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The commissariat in Australia

Categories: AustraliaCapitalism

 

The only way imported manufactured goods could be obtained (the purchasing of cargoes off ships) was by sterling, and the only way to obtain sterling was via this store receipts/treasury note system or by paymaster’s bills as paid to civil and military officers. 9 The army officers were not only expected to engage in commerce; they had to, as an officer was unable to live on his wage at that time. 10 Here lay the crux of the economic system of New South Wales, as the commissariat purchased agricultural produce from the settlers and the earnings that were made from this could be converted into foreign exchange (treasury bills).

Access to these Treasury bills in turn provided the opportunity to enter into the trade of imports which was a very profitable venture. 11 The commissariat provided access to store receipts which was the first step for anyone other than an officer to become involved in commerce, as they provided anyone with the ability to accumulate enough of them enter into the type of business usually reserved for a gentleman (the civil and military officers, for example), effectively by-passing the traditional British class system.

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12 It is very clear that in terms of economic, political and social importance the commissariat was crucial to the free settlers, the convicts and the colony as a whole. 13 It was through capitalism that the society of the colony evolved, as social status in New South Wales was determined by money rather than by birth as in Britain.

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14 While settlers quickly turned to capitalist endeavours the colony was still something of a state enterprise due to the number of convicts in the labour force.

15 The principal market for the colony’s agricultural produce was the commissariat and in this role it afforded the settlers an income which was stable and secure. 16 This stability was perhaps due to a policy which the settlers could rely on: in the first decade of the colony, the commissariat purchased all the maize, wheat and grain that it was offered whether it was needed or not. 17. The commissariat was central to the early colonial economy because of the multiple functions it performed and in the ability for it to adapt and evolve in the face of changing circumstances.

From the initial task of providing provisions the commissariat then purchased the colony’s agricultural production, provided the means to purchase imported manufactured goods (access to sterling) and became a multi-faceted financial institution, as it functioned as a bank and as the colony’s market. 18 Considering that New South Wales started as a colony founded on bare ground, to then develop “… a mixed economy with strong government and private sectors” shows tremendous application of management and control.

19 The success of the colony of New South Wales itself could be said to be a direct result of the ability of the commissariat to address and manage change from its central position in the economy. Bibliography. Abbott, G. J. , ‘Governor King’s Administration’, in Economic Growth of Australia, 1788-1821, Abbott, G. J. , Nairn, N. B. , 1969. Butlin, N. G. , Forming a Colonial Economy:

Australia 1810-1850, Cambridge University Press, 1994, in Support Materials, Assessment 3, HST110, Macquarie University, 2006. HST110, Support Materials, Macquarie University, 2006. Mackay, D., ‘Far Flung Empire: A Neglected Outpost at Botany Bay’, 1788-1801, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Vol. 9, Number 2, London: Frank Cass & Co Ltd, 1981. MacLean, Ian, Australian Economic Growth in Historical Perspective. Working Paper, 2004-01, online at http://www. economics. adelaide. edu. au/research/papers/doc/econwp04-01. pdf Parsons, George, Audio Lecture 06, Support Materials HST110, Macquarie University, 2006. Parsons, George, ‘The commercialism of honour: Early Australian Capitalism’, 1788-1809 in A Difficult Infant: Sydney Before Macquarie, Alpin, Graeme, 1988.

Parsons, T. G. , ‘The Development of Early Colonial Capitalism: some thoughts on Connell and Irving’s Class Structure in Australian History’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 68, Pt. 2, 1983. Parsons, T. G. , ‘Colonial Commissaries’, in Australian Financiers, Biographical Essays, Appleyard, R. T. , Schedvin, C. B. (eds), 1988.

Rutherford, J. , Logan, M. I. , Missen, G. J. , New Viewpoints in Economic Geography, Martindale Press, Sydney, 1969. Websites. http://www. army. mil/cmh/books/RevWar/risch/chpt-7.htm http://www. economics. adelaide. edu. au/research/papers/doc/econwp04-01. pdf http://www. records. nsw. gov. au/cguide/c1/commisst. htm 1 D. Mackay, ‘Far Flung Empire:

A Neglected Imperial Outpost at Botany Bay, 1788-1801’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Vol. 9, Number 2, London: Frank Cass & Co Ltd. , 1981, p. 125. 2 George Parsons, ‘The Commercialisation of Honour: Early Australian Capitalism 1788-1809’ in A Difficult Infant: Sydney Before Macquarie, Alpin, Graeme, 1988, pp. 102-103. 3 T. G.

Parsons, ‘The Development of Early Colonial Capitalism: some thoughts on Connell and Irving’s Class Structure in Australian History’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 68, Pt. 2, 1983, p. 156. 4 N. G. Butlin, Forming A Colonial Economy: Australia 1810-1850. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, in Source 3a, Assessment 3 Instructions, HST110, Macquarie University, 2006. 5 http://www. records. nsw. gov. au/cguide/c1/commisst. htm 6 Ibid. 7 T. G. Parsons,’ Colonial Commissaries’, in Australian Financiers:

Biographical Essays, Appleyard, R.T. , Schedvin, C. B. , 1988. pp 13-14. 8 J. Rutherford, M. I. Logan, G. J. Missen, New Viewpoints in Economic Geography. Martindale Press, Sydney, 1969, p. 21. 9T. G. Parsons, ‘Colonial Commissaries’. p. 14. 10 T. G. Parsons, ‘Early Colonial Capitalism’. p. 156. 11 G. J. Abbott, ‘Governor King’s Administration’, in Economic Growth of Australia 1788-1821, Abbott, G. J. , Nairn, N. B. , 1969, p. 162. 12 George Parsons, Early Australian Capitalism, p. 108. 13 George Parsons, Audio lecture 06, Support Materials, HST110, Macquarie University, 2006. 14 T. G.

Parsons, ‘Colonial Commissaries’. p. 11. 15 Ian McLean. Australian Economic Growth in Historical Perspective. Working Paper, 2004-01, School of Economics, University of Adelaide, 2004, p. 4, online at http://www. economics. adelaide. edu. au/research/papers/doc/econwp04-01. pdf 16 T. G. Parsons, ‘Colonial Commissaries’. p. 12. 17 Ibid. p. 16. 18 N. G. Butlin, Forming A Colonial Economy: Australia 1810-1850. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, in Source 3a, Assessment 3 Instructions, HST110, Macquarie University, 2006. 19 T. G. Parsons, ‘Early Colonial Capitalism’. p. 156.

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The commissariat in Australia. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/the-commissariat-in-australia-2-10619-new-essay

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