Assisted immigration introduced
To curb the dominance of the squatters and to end the system of free convict labour, the Colonial Government decided to promote the migration of free settlers and limit squatter land leases to 14 years. This was to create an emancipist (free people) consumer economy and improve the moral tone of the colony. The Colonial Government assisted some migrants by paying their fare to Australia and helped to set up farms and businesses alongside the wealthy squatters – who of course were not very happy with such competition.
About one third of migrants who came to Australia between 1830 and 1850 paid their own way. Convicts and settlers who came to Australia found that in comparison to Europe, conditions were very good and with hard work and determination they could prosper. They encouraged their relatives in England to come to Australia and enjoy the prosperity. Women migrants were also assisted to curb a gender imbalance in the colonies, to work as domestic servants and to foster marriages and childbirth. These migration schemes resulted in 58,000 people coming to Australia between 1815 and 1840.
With increasing numbers of free migrants and the desire of Colonial society to be free of the hated ‘convict stain’, the Colonial Government decided to cease transportation to NSW in 1852. Between 1788 and 1868 approximately 160,000 convicts were sent to Australia.