Сonnection of the Stereotype of Slavery with the Stereotype of Convicts

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Associating this stereotype of slavery to that of the convicts transported o Australia between 1 788 and 1 850, we could find many similarities. The past lives each individual lead, whether it be as a slave or a convict, can initially be perceived as degrading and a slow progress of deterioration of the mind and body. Once researching and finding more on each of the topics I was able to gain a clearer understand of both, enabling great comparison and debate.

Upon reading “Freedom in the making: the slaves of hacienda La Spenserian, Mental ‘ , Puerco Rich, on the eve of abolition, 1868-76” I was given a better insight into what the slaves here endured. “In 1869 slaves comprised a minority f over 41 ,000 persons in Puerco Rich, or 7 per cent of the total population. ” This specific set of events provided mental images and a more truthful look at the way they were forced to live their lives. These slaves were in the sugar cane fields of La Spenserian and were trying to fight for their freedom.

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Although they endured physical harm on a regular basis, they were able to report any cases of punishment they thought of as severe or clear cases of deprivation going unnoticed by authorities. “Some of these complaints revealed a harshness of punishment beyond the limits admitted by the law. Slaves complained of excessive punishment, too many working hours and night shifts, insufficient food or even clothes. The law forbade all types of punishment except confinement in a cell or in the stocks. ” Similarly to the slaves, convicts were forced to endure punishment too.

The journal of convict East, J gives a great awareness into certain events he witnessed to those around him. On Friday Feb. the 15th 1788 East wrote “this morning the Sentenced of the Court held yesterday put into Execution 2 Women receive 25 Lashes Each for theft ATT the Carts tail and one man 45 for theft ATT the Carts tail”. Luck (1 992, p. 23) writes specifically of ‘the instrument of torture” called “the lash”. He states that “the convicts accepted flogging as a natural part of life” and “convicts who’d endured sometimes hundreds of lashes regarded themselves as the ‘real’ men”.

To try and determine which group of people received harsher penalties or who suffered more would be impossible and highly debatable. We can, however, take from these comparisons the contention that they were vastly similar. Both were in no way, or none shown from these readings, treated at a level that was regarded as parallel to those of whom ‘took charge”. When convicts begin to demonstrate good behavior they could be granted a kicked of leave by a Supreme Court.

At first this ticket could be issued with no regards to the individuals’ sentence, but later this changed as the convicts had to have served a certain period of time before being considered. The ticket allowed convicts to have freedom of choosing working conditions in which they could be paid, moving to another district was acceptable with permission and they were able to acquire property if desired. The ticket still came with restrictions though as attending church and appearing before a Magistrates court when requested were both compulsory.

Many details were taken of the convicts with ticket including number, name, ship year of arrival, offence, detailed physical description and so on. Conversely, the slaves of La Spenserian were only able to leave their position under “the More Law of off’ after they reached the age of 60; this was granted that they could prove their age. In the case of Manuel Jimenez of Plague, a hearing was granted, as although he was registered as being 54 years of age, he protested that he was well over 60. He “demanded the authorities look for his baptism records in the town of Logic, which would prove his real age”.

Another case claims; “The slave Rexes of La Spenserian similarly argued she was over 60, although the martyrdom denied it. He argued that the slave was presenting as evidence the baptismal record of another slave who had recently died in La Spenserian. ” It seems that the slaves were forced to work for as long as possible, despite their ability to protest and challenge their masters. But even with their objections they weren’t listened to or believed with no help even once authorities were involved and able to find more information.

The convicts appear to have been given a lot more responsibility and trust once we see the slaves that would have been labeled as liars and disloyal. The ticket of leave also gave the convicts the right to have their wives and children with them. They were also encouraged to find a woman and marry as this would make them a better man and provide them with the morals that a good man should have. However, “All slaves in La Spenserian were also classified as non married. This suggests the institutional lack of concern for promoting formal family life among the slaves. With more evidence it seems the authoritative figures of the convicts provided much more care and thought to the social and emotional needs of the convicts in comparison to that of the slaves. Or reaps they just did not care that the convicts would have journals and artwork in the way that masters would care that their slaves might want to learn to read or write. Many slaves were uneducated as the masters’ fear believed an educated slave would attempt to leave; it was believed that education brought knowledge of a better life.

As we have looked at the journal of convict East,J we are aware the convicts were able to write whatever they pleased, in his case details of punishments. Now by studying Ere, J, also a convict, we see his artwork which “generally focused on urban landscapes, giving his creative output value not only s works of art but also as historical records”. If his paintings are anything of a reflection of how he felt as a convict I believe they do not depict a dark and harsh lifestyle.

This may suggest that the convicts were able to see past the labor and punishments and focus on their passions, in Eyre’s case it being his paintings. The notion that slaves were not allowed to read, write or to marry proves a lot in contrast to convicts who were mostly all educated before being shipped over. This provides us with a vast difference in convicts being more accepted, encouraged and influenced in regards to their social and emotional deeds. Whereas we see the slaves’ needs in this sense were unacknowledged and dejected. We may even argue that the convicts were given freedom and the slaves were not.

However, as Iguana states “Freedom is, of course, a social construct; a basically western conception of enormously complex cultural implications. ” Once reviewing the lives of the convicts that were shipped to Australia and the environment in which slaves had to live, we can see many similarities and a few subtle differences. The main difference however, that brings me to my conclusion, is that the convicts had the choice of whether they were sent to Australia or not. A choice in the terms of the crimes they committed, although somewhat petty, they did not have to do it.

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Сonnection of the Stereotype of Slavery with the Stereotype of Convicts. (2018, May 10). Retrieved from


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