AnarresTakver's Initiatives. P.O. Box 1078, Brunswick M.D.C, Victoria, 3056, Australia

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The Flogging of a Master - Bushranging as Class Struggle

Provided by the Question Mark Collective as part of a forthcoming anthology on Australian Troublemakers to be published by Melbourne based Scam Publications.

Not only did the ruling class of the early to mid nineteenth century face opposition from the original inhabitants of the lands they were occupying, but also from the servants and convicts they employed to do their work. Much of this opposition came to the surface in everyday refusals to carry out orders properly, petty theft, drunkenness and general laziness. Occasionally more organised forms of revolt broke out including small uprisings and the murder of masters. More commonly labourers who had come to know the land would run off and become bushrangers.

The majority of bushrangers were quite clearly out for themselves and no one else. However their class allegiances occasionally came to the fore, particularly in incidents where they deliberately attacked and humiliated "gentlemen", the police and former masters. The following statement from the victim of one such attack clearly illustrates such class attitudes.

Reprinted from the Sydney Herald, 11 February 1836.

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