Why did the British need Australia as a penal colony when they already have vast tracks of land in Canada?

Forgive my ignorance, but what was the reason behind the British needing Australia when they could have just dumped convicts in parts of British North America they still retained post-ARW?
 
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They wanted to dump them somewhere they could not bother the non-prisoner settlers. Canada was full of the latter, and they did not want the convicts transported there.
 
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Forgive my ignorance, but what was the reason behind the British needing Australia when they have just dumped convicts in parts of British North America they still retained post-ARW?
It's not wise, when you've just lost the majority of British North America, to start settling convicts in the part you've managed to hold on to.

It would upset the existing settlers, the convicts aren't going to be positively inclined towards the British government either, and would only increase agitation for their own independence/annexation to the USA.
 
At the time there was no railways in Canada. The Atlantic colonies and upper Canada was being promoted as a place for settlers with thousands arriving each year. Therefore you do not send them there. Plus any could just walk south to the US. So you spend a lot of $ and they all escape to US or bother/attack regular settlers.

no for a little extra cost you transport them to an isolated colony that you control the seas. That way they work in new colony and not escape easily
 
Maybe Hudson Bay? It’s not particularly far from Britain by sea, it’s far from the US and considering some of the proposal of penal colony were in disease ridden or deserted part of Africa, It would be an upgrade from all the proposal so except Australia

Plus the french had silence activity in the Hudson Bay In the 1780s, even shortly took back York Factory in 1782
 
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Maybe Hudson Bay? It’s not particularly far from Britain by sea, it’s far from the US and considering some of the proposal of penal colony were in disease ridden or deserted part of Africa, It would be an upgrade from all the proposal so except Australia
Except that unless you have modern icebreaking technology in the 18th century, going that far north into Rupert's Land it would be difficult, not to mention interfering with the HBC's operations and their commercial relationships with the Aboriginal peoples there (not to mention the livelihoods of these same Aboriginal peoples). The HBC would not be keen on seeing their land being used for something like that, and it would make known that much to the Board of Trade. So that nips the Hudson Bay proposal in the bud.
 
What better way to reward the Loyalist settlers who fought and stayed loyal to the crown then sending a bunch of convicts to live among them? Australia was "terra nullius" to the Brits so ideal dumping ground for criminals.

And yes the convicts could have been sent to to the more remote parts of Canada but it would be human nature for them to move towards the already settled regions.
 
Wasn’t there also a perceived need to establish a settler population in Australia to block other powers from colonising and build up an economy to support the RN etc in the region?
People were voluntarily moving to Canada but virtually no-one would go to Australia and ever fewer would voluntarily stay there.
 
With the benefit of hindsight concerns about the French getting to Australia first seem silly but it was a major motivating factor at the time.
 
Those vast tracts of land in Canada remain mostly uninhabited to this day for a reason. Roughly 90% of the country is practically uninhabitable, due to extreme cold. And the habitable parts of Canada that were controlled at the time by the British were already settled. Sending convicts to remote areas like Hudson Bay would effectively be a death sentence without giving them clothing, shelter, indoor heating, and food (which without railroads would be limited to whatever they could hunt as the climate is too cold for agriculture). You may as well leave them stranded on Greenland or in the middle of the Sahara.
 
For social context, I've read that the social stigma surrounding convicts and their descendants persisted for generations after the end of transportation in Australia, so transplanting those tensions into Canada, where there were already major revolts in the 1830's IOTL, seems likely to only add more fuel to that fire.
 

CalBear

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Forgive my ignorance, but what was the reason behind the British needing Australia when they could have just dumped convicts in parts of British North America they still retained post-ARW?
It was a two-fer.

Gave them a place to dump the riff-raff (which was really what transportation was meant to do, they would transport people for petty theft and a remarkable host of other minor offenses as well as serious crimes) in hopes of reducing crime (guess what? Big time failure, crime continued unabated) while also enabling the UK to establish a new colony on the cheap. That kept Australia from the French, Dutch and Spanish, provided the RN with a number of replenishment stations and established a strong springboard into the SW Pacific.
 
It was an expensive undertaking to ship convicts to Australia. They had to re-water and re-victual the First Fleet at Rio de Janeiro and were almost arrested by the local authorities for not paying their bills.
Was Brazil planning to take the convicts as immigrants if they didn't let the fleet leave port?

[ would Brazilian rainforest or Australian outback be more of a death sentence for a London-raised pickpocket? ]
 
The British Empire worked very hard to stuff Canada with Scots and keep the Irish out. I think even in the 1980s every other Canadian boy was named Doug Campbell.
Remember we invaded Canada in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 and kept threatening repeats through the 1850s: 54-40 or Fight! There was a push to invade Canada just before the Civil War in hopes of improving American national harmony. Palmerston and Gladstone both made a point of putting Scot regiments in Canada. Meanwhile, with Alpha Centauri not practical, they sent the Irish to the other side of the world by sailing ships that took months each way.
 
The British Empire worked very hard to stuff Canada with Scots and keep the Irish out. I think even in the 1980s every other Canadian boy was named Doug Campbell.
Remember we invaded Canada in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 and kept threatening repeats through the 1850s: 54-40 or Fight! There was a push to invade Canada just before the Civil War in hopes of improving American national harmony. Palmerston and Gladstone both made a point of putting Scot regiments in Canada. Meanwhile, with Alpha Centauri not practical, they sent the Irish to the other side of the world by sailing ships that took months each way.
I don't know about the anglophone provinces, but Québec received a quite large number of Irish immigrants. For the most part they assimilated in the francophone population. (Some changed their names : Reilly could become Riel, Sullivan could become Sylvain.)
 
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