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Historian Deborah J. Swiss tells the heartbreaking, horrifying, and ultimately triumphant story of the women exiled from the British Isles and forced into slavery and savagery-who created the most liberated society of their time. Agnes McMillan and Janet Houston were convicted for shoplifting. Bridget Mulligan stole a bucket of milk; Widow Ludlow Tedder, eleven spoons. For their crimes, they would be sent not to jail, but to ships teeming with other female convicts. Tin tickets, stamped with numbers, were hung around the women's necks, and the ships set out to carry them to their new home: Van Diemen's Land, later known as Tasmania, part of the British Empire's crown jewel, Australia. Men outnumbered women nine to one there, and few "proper" citizens were interested in emigrating. The deportation of thousands of petty criminals-the vast majority nonviolent first offenders-provided a convenient solution for the government. Crossing Shark-infested waters, some died in shipwrecks during the four-month journey, or succumbed to infections and were sent to a watery grave. Others were impregnated against their will by their captors. They arrived as nothing more than property. But incredibly, as the years passed, they managed not only to endure their privation and pain but to thrive on their own terms, breaking the chains of bondage, and forging a society that treated women as equals and led the world in women's rights. The Tin Ticket takes us to the dawn of the nineteenth century and into the lives of Agnes McMillan, whose defiance and resilience carried her to a far more dramatic rebellion; Agnes's best friend Janet Houston, who rescued her from the Glasgow wynds and was also transported to Van Diemen's Land; Ludlow Tedder, forced to choose just one of her four children to accompany her to the other side of the world; Bridget Mulligan, who gave birth to a line of powerful women stretching to the present day. It also tells the tale of Elizabeth Gurney Fry, a Quaker reformer who touched all their lives. Ultimately, it is the story of women discarded by their homeland and forgotten by history-who, by sheer force of will, become the heart and soul of a new nation.
In the early 1880s a disastrous plant disease diminished the yields of the hitherto flourishing coffee plantation of Ceylon. Coincidentally, world market conditions for coffee were becoming increasingly unfavourable. The combination of these factors brought a swift end to coffee cultivation in the British crown colony and pushed the island into a severe economic crisis. When Ceylon re-emerged from this crisis only a decade later, its economy had been thoroughly transformed and now rested on the large-scale cultivation of tea. This book uses the unprecedented intensity and swiftness of this process to highlight the socioeconomic interconnections and dependencies in tropical export economies in the late nineteenth century and it shows how dramatically Ceylonese society was affected by the economic transformation.
In the West, human bondage remains synonymous with the Atlantic slave trade. But large slave systems in Africa and Asia predated, co-existed, and overlapped with the Atlantic system—and have persisted in modified forms well into the twenty-first century, posing major threats to political and economic stability within those regions and worldwide. This handbook examines the deep historical roots of unfree labour in Africa and Asia along with its contemporary manifestations. It takes an innovative longue durée perspective in order to link the local and global, the past and present. Contributors trace shifting forms of forced labour in the region since circa 1800, connecting punctual shocks such as environmental crisis, conflict, market instability, and crop failure to human security threats such as impoverishment, violence, migration, kidnapping, and enslavement. Together, these chapters illuminate the historical and contemporary dimensions of bondage in Africa and Asia, with important implications for the fight against modern-day bondage and human trafficking.
The narrative of this book is built around the historical experiences of the Paraiyars of Tamil Nadu. The author traces the transformation of the Paraiyars from an 'untouchable' and socially despised community to one that came to acquire prominence in the political scene of Tamil Nadu, especially in early 20th century. Through this framework, the book studies a number of issues: subaltern history, colonial ethnography, agrarian systems, agrarian bondage, land legislations, and the interventions by missionaries and social and political organizations. While delving into the Paraiyar community's own understanding of history, the book presents the conflicting versions of Adi Dravida politicians and nationalist politics. It establishes that nationalism still serves as the overarching framework under which caste, class and other forms of competing identities operate in the Indian state. It presents a rare amalgamation of government, private and vernacular sources, which adds to its distinctive quality.

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