Life and Progress in Australasia

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Media: DATA CD - 1 CD (498 pages)
Author: M. Davitt
Year: (1898) 2010
ISBN: 9781742227856
Publisher: Archive Digital Books Australasia

Written in 1898 by Michael Davitt, while MP for South Mayo following a seven month journey through the Australasian colonies.

... Australasia is, in fact, an industrial empire of unfederated Labour nations, where neither wars nor foreign policies intrude their demoralising influences upon the peaceful programmes and progress of domestic government. The people have the fullest and most effective control of their own affairs. There are no ruling classes. The Conservatism which shows itself in any organized form in the Legislatures has to be more democratic in its professions and programmes than an opportunist English Liberalism dares yet to be.

The book is written in nine parts covering Western Australia, South Australia, labour settlements on the Murray River, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, and New Zealand with the final part being on Australasian Prisons.

He had a special interest in the prisons, being interested in prison reform and the treatment of prisoners, and noted that Australian prisons were in advance of those of England with more enlightened and effective discipline imposed on the criminals … perhaps a reflection of our beginnings! He found no tread-mill or cell-crank in the whole of Australasia.

He visited many places – including Coolgardie, Perth, Albany, Adelaide, Broken Hill, Lyrup, Pyap, Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Mount Morgan, Charters Towers, Hobart, Dunedin, Auckland, and Wellington – and ranges widely in what he writes. The book covers his impressions of each area, politics, the constitution, taxation, how the poor are cared for, Kanaka labour, and much more. His interest is largely a reflection of his own background – his family evicted from their home when the rent was in arrears, his time in prison and his position as a politican.

This CD contains high quality scanned images of the original book, and has been bookmarked for easy navigation. Pages can be searched, browsed, enlarged and printed out if required.

Any computer using Adobe (Acrobat) Reader 4 or later
Adobe Reader 6 or later is recommended for CDs with searchable text

Click here to download a file of sample pages from this book. Right click on the link and select "save as" - to a location on your hard drive. The sampler can be opened, navigated and searched as with the full CD file/s. Sample files usually contain the title page, contents, some introductory pages and sample pages from the body of the book. Often the complete index from the original book is included.


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