Coerced Labour in Western Australia during the Nineteenth Century

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Coerced forms of labour in Colonial Western Australia have been of particular interest to archaeologists. This paper synthesises research into nineteenth-century systems that coerced the labour of indentured workers, convicts and Aboriginal people in Western Australia. It becomes clear that economic and geographic expansion in Western Australia during the nineteenth century was heavily dependent on the exploitation of coerced labour, until the advent of the gold rushes at the end of the century. This exploitation was legitimised by a range of government processes and allowed elites to reaffirm their dominant position
in the face of worker social mobility in the early days of the Swan River colony.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages9
JournalAustralasian Historical Archaeology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

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