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Space in the TropicsFrom Convicts to Rockets in French Guiana$
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Peter Redfield

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520219847

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520219847.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Botany Bay to Devil's Island

Botany Bay to Devil's Island

(p.51) CHAPTER 3 Botany Bay to Devil's Island
Space in the Tropics

Peter Redfield

University of California Press

This chapter draws attention to the period between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, when the European attitude toward punishment shifted to an official level. Public trials and prisons took the place of public torture and execution, and focus moved to the issue of whether malefactors might be reformed. Even as techniques of confinement, isolation, and regulation grew refined in Metropolitan prison architecture, cruder structures of punishment took shape on the periphery. The Australian system faded away, making a lasting impression and echoing across the English Channel, where French officials sought solutions for their own dilemmas of crime. Glowing references to Australia and proposals to establish an overseas prison appeared frequently during the first half of the nineteenth century. The double logic of the British system also drove the French imagination. Proposals alternately concentrated on a desire to punish criminals and get rid of their presence from the Metropole, and a hope of furthering the work of colonial expansion and economic progress.

Keywords:   Botany Bay, Devil's Island, public trials, prison architecture, British system, colonial expansion

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