1500 - 1750 : EARLY MODERN CONTEXT ,CRIME, LAW.E, PUNISHMENT

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  • Created by: kangaroo
  • Created on: 14-01-19 17:29

1500 - 1750 : CONTEXT

Continuity : Farming and harvesting stil done by hand, weather affected harvets - reliance on land

Changes:  

England wealthier BUT gap between rich and poor became wider

Towns/cities grew as population increased

Religous conflicts between Catholics and Protestans = puritans established  - higher standards

International trade grew, new products(tea, silk, spices, tobacco etc)  - import taxes = 30 percent 

Printing press intoduced(end of 15c)- books/newspapers = spread of ideas, people no longer illiterate (CHANGE) - by 1750 over 30 newspapers publishes around country = people educated

------ As population increased, wages fell and demand increased = increase in prices of necessties, such as staple food bread.  

 

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1500 - 1750 : CRIME

CONTINUITY in use of violence by ordinary people-CHANGE: upper class use of violence fell

Witchcraft: trails rocketed 16c/17c - spurred on by famine and plague(1348),  BUT by 18c withcraft trials decresed due to increase of scientific studies/education 

Smuggling : 30 percent import tax introduced(1720), so smuggling began - tobacco, silk tea,etc - included respectable people (disliked import taxes) and poor people (more money in 1night than 1week)

Highway robbery: more roads = more travel by stage coach/carriages, few banks - possessions carried  - brutal thugs committed highway robbery

Moral crimes: due to Puritans - (Oliver Cromwell) , included: sweaeing, homosexuality, gambling=minor offences

-- CONTINUITY :Vagrancy: desperate search for work .... huge problem due to - rise in population, high food prices and unemployement (due to collapse of clothtrade - English Wollen cloth) 

--- Main Motives: MONEY and RELIGION, Overall:dramatic increase in crime due to: Popluation rise, decrease of wages and higher prices

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1500 - 1750 : LAW ENFORCEMENT

Continuity: no police force, constables raised hue and cry, law still enforced voluntarily/unpaid 

Change: towns grew so  more watchmen, extended role of JP`s = decresed use of sheriffs.

  • Courts remained the SAME (CONTINUITY):
  • Assizes: main courts, for serius crimes (capital offences), eg.murder, ****, witchcraft,larceny
  • JP`s: quarter sessions, less serious crime, eg. petty theft, drunkenness
    • In 17c, small groups of JP`s met in local areas to cope with amount)
  • Manor Courts:dealt with crimes in individual manors-taken over by JP/petty sessions in 17c
  • Church Courts: church attendance/christian behaviour, -17c - JP took over priests/sheriffs
    • From 1660, local manor courts and church courts  not used, due to JP`s petty sessions
  • Community played huge role also - 90 percent in vilages/small towns
  • No police force: local wealthy men appointed for 1-2 years as voluntary church wardens, constablles and overseers of poor
  • Process of investigation started by victims and witnesses or those affected
  • Local people relied on to: help provide evidence against those accuses in witchtrials, h/c etc
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1500 - 1750 : PUNISHMENTS

  • Continuity: Public Humiliation, Physical Punishments, Prisons
  • Change : Bridewells, Bloody Code
  • Public penance: criminals accused publicly, confess sins in church , eg. fornication
  • Pillory/stocks: unlawful traders and sexual offenders - offenders spat on,kicked and insulted
  • Cucking stool: for disorderly women, women accused of scolding and dishonest traders
  • Ducking stool: (harsher): offender tied to chair with oron band and repeated lowered in river
  • Whipping/branding: increased vagrancy/ vagabonds led to increase in corporal punishment 
    • Prisons less popular, Bridwewells introduced
  • Prisons STILL uncommon : castles,towngates etc still used,those awaiting trial
  • Bridewells (houses of correction)introduced:prisoners forced work = response to vagrancy
  • 1609 Vagabond Act: forced JP`s in every county to build bridewell
    • NEW Bloody Code (1688), rise in capital offences = people hanged for minor crimes
  • Bloody Code (1688-1820), threat of capital punishment = deterrance
  • Capital offences(other than treason) punished by hanging = slow, agonising death
  • Black Act (1723): if caught with blackened face , accused of poaching = death
  • Both Bloody Code/Black Act: made less serious crimes, punishable by death
  • 1688= 50 capital offences, 1820 = 200 - BUT less acctually killed: unwilling to allow death
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