Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 January 2022
This chapter explores how punitive mobility expanded the reach of convicts’ political beliefs, including the ideologies for which they had been punished. The first section of the chapter employs examples from the Dutch and English East India companies, and the Danish-Norwegian empire, from the seventeenth century onwards, the chapter traces the spread of resistance to imperial governance in the early-modern period by people subjected to punitive mobility, including through religious practice. The second section centres on the history of penal transportation and servitude in Ireland, revealing its global dimensions, and foregrounding its relationship to convict unrest in Britain’s hulks and penal colonies. Finally, the chapter suggests that there were important continuities between insurgency, politics, and religion in the Spanish Empire and its successor nation states, including in Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, and Mexico. Overall, the chapter also reveals some of the ways in which penal colonies became sites of cosmopolitanism and cultural transformation. If convicts carried political ideologies to their punitive destinations, their mobility also facilitated cultural and religious dissemination, adaptation and transformation. Thus, punitive mobility was a vector for community formation, nationalism, and resistance to the changing geopolitical formations created by empires.