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Title: Russel Ward and the Convict Legend
Contributor(s): Roberts, David  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: In 'The Australian Legend', Russel Ward wrote that "the convict influence on Australian society was very much more important than has usually been supposed". Here, he was evoking an understanding that the unusual and ignominious origins of Australian society had, for many years, plagued our history and our sense of ourselves, and this had been manifested in a tendency to ignore convict heritage, to excuse it, or to downplay its true and vital significance to the development of Australian identities and institutions. Ward claimed to be breaking from tradition by proposing and demonstrating that convictism was 'central' to the development of Australian society and culture. As he said, the fact that Australia was "for nearly the first half-century of its existence ... primarily, an extensive gaol ... is basic to any understanding of social 'mores' in the early period when an Australian tradition was forming".
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Australian Colonial History, 10(2), p. 37-58
Publisher: School of Humanities, University of New England
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1441-0370
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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