In 1615, English courts began to
send convicts to the colonies as a way of alleviating England's large criminal
population. This practice was unpopular in the colonies and by 1697 colonial ports
refused to accept convict ships. In response, Parliament passed the Transportation
Act of 1718 to create a more systematic way to export convicts. Instead of relying on
merchants to make arrangements on their own to ship felons to the colonies, the
British governme. . .
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