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After the American Revolution in the 1780s, Great Britain needed a new place to send its convicts. The penal colony in Australia started in 1788 and lasted until 1868. In the beginning, the ships docked in New South Wales, but later, they also used areas such as Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). The convicts had to work either in agriculture or on state-run projects such as building roads. The colonisation of Australia back then was only possible due to this 'free labour'. After 1850, 'normal' Brits started to settle in large numbers also.
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