Australian colonization was based on England's process of shipping prisoners to another part of the world. The original European settlers in Australia were persons convicted of crimes by the English courts, political prisoners, and the military guards sent to supervise the prison settlements.
The settlers, both prisoners and officials, had very little advance knowledge about the area to which they were going. Living conditions were incredibly difficult as they all tried to adjust to unfamiliar climate, different soil and farming conditions, strange plants and animals, and the aboriginal natives they encountered. There were many more men than women in the original colonies, which created tension. Enforcement of rules and regulations was frequently brutally strict. The extreme isolation of the settlements was a hardship on everyone involved.