Lead: Beginning in 1787, Britain began transporting convicts from overflowing prisons 10,000 miles to Sydney Cove in eastern Australia. A modern state was built on convict labor.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Crowded prisons was just one reason why Britain chose the Southern Pacific colony of New South Wales. After rejecting West Africa, Jamaica and Nova Scotia as impractical, the government settled on Australia after considering the description of a visit to the island continent by Captain James Cook eighteen years before. The mild climate, good soil and well-protected harbors seemed ideal for permanent settlement. In addition, Australia had the benefit of providing Britain with a strategic outpost in a region where it had had little military presence.

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