Providing a brief history of Australia is hardly possible, especially when you consider the nation's long and fraught history with Britain. Australia started as a penal colony - a place for lawbreakers to reside outside the confines of England's general population. Britain believed getting rid of responsible parties would end crime altogether, so it sent them across the ocean to the largest island in existence.
While many penal colonies in Australia were known for their heinous conditions, other British colonies across the ocean offered a chance for people to start fresh, with little connection to their past life of misconduct. But why did the British send convicts over to Australia in the first place? Opportunity combined with necessity provides a succinct explanation of Australia's origins as an English penal colony.