Commercial Influences on the First Settlements of Australia
Kenneth McKenzie Dallas (1902- 1988) was a Tasmanian historian, teacher, writer and socialist. In September 1968, the Tasmanian Historical Research Association (THRA) published a collection of three articles by Dallas, each offering a different perspective on aspects of Australian history.
The first of the three: ‘Commercial Influences on the First Settlements of Australia’ challenges the belief that the British chose to colonise Australia because it needed a remote spot to dump its unwanted criminals. He argues instead that British colonial policy at the time was mainly driven by economic considerations arising from the rapidly expanding mercantile system. The article is republished here with the kind permission of the THRA.