History: Crime & Protest

The first textbook of my history gcse

  • Created by: lara
  • Created on: 30-06-11 09:18









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Crime Detection and prevention 1

Medieval ideas about different types of crime and punishment.

Medivial authorities relied on preventing crime by:
making groups of people responsible for eachother's actions
deterring people by threat of punishment
church teaching about right and wrong.

Medivial authorities relied on detecting criminals by:
catching a person as they committed a crime
Local people deciding iof a neighbour was the kind of person likely to have committed a crime, based on past behaviour.

More people were punished for stealing when unemployment increased Taxes went up to pay for armies and forced some people into poverty, making them more likely to steal. The 'War Of The Roses' weakened local governments and gave oppertunities for criminals to commit crimes and escape punishment.

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Crime Detection and prevention 2

Medieval crime prevention:
in 1285 ordered that a verge should be cleared of bushes for 200 feet on either side of a main road as they might be used to cover theives.
All freement were made to join a tithing of ten men who were responsible for eachother, if one committed a crime the others had to catch him or pay a fine to the victim.
Witness of neighbours
The accused person would be judged innocent if enough people were willing to swear on oath concerning their past good behavious

Trial by jury

The usual method by 1450- a group of local people looked at evidence, listened to witnesses discussed the person and made a decision.
With no police force, from the 12th century law enforcement relied on groups of local people bringing suspected criminals before a judge. By 1400 local landowners were appointed as Justices of Peace to hold local courts at least 4 times a year to deal with less serious offences

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Beggers (vagabonds- person who wanders from place

Reasons why beggers increased in 16th century
Problems in cloth industry increased numbers of unemployed people
Inflation caused prices to go up faster than wages
Landowners kept sheep, instead of crops. This needed fewer workers
Closure of monasteriesbtook away support for the poor
End of wars in England led to soldiers being out of work
Population increase put pressure on jobs and food
There was no national system to help the unemployed and sick

Problems with beggers:
Large numbers of beggers threatened society
The cost of supporting beggers were resented by the communities they were in
Acts of charity did not seem to be enough to meet the demands of the beggers
Poor people were more likely to turn to other crimes such as theft

Wealthy people in parliment were so worried by begging that in 1547 the Vagrancy Act forced beggers to work, it also ordered that they should be whipped and branded.

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The punishment for treason is hanging, drawing and quartering. The official punishment for treason was death until 1998

On Novermber 5th 1605 Cathlic opponents attempted to blow up parliament  but they were caughts and the leaders were quartered and hung.

Political changes between 1485 and 1750 caused rules to feel under threat
This led to an increase in accusations of treason
Earlier harsh punishments were increasingly used during this period of time
Lesening of political tension after 1750 reduced the use of such punishments

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Causes orime

Causes of crime                                          Types of crime

Growth of towns  -Beggars wandering from town to town

Enclosure of all land, including                  
common land once used by all -Hedge levelling to give acess to common land again

Changes in religious belief -Refusal to follow oficial religios relief

Increased unemployment- Footpads in dark alleys


Improved quality of roads -Highwaymen on open roads, robbing travellers

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Attitudes and beliefs- challenging the system

Hierarchy- There was a strong belief that society had a strict ordering with some groups of people above, or below, others in terms of power, wealth and rights.

Increasing population- By 1450 the population of England was 2 million, by 1551 it had risen to 3 million and by 1750 it had more than doubled- to 7 million.
In growing towns people were more difficult to control. The old world, where rulers knew the people they governed, was harder to maintain. This situation was made more difficult as unemployed people left their local areas to look for work.

Crimes against property- Most crimes were crimes against property- not against person. Streed criminals were known as footpads. Because of the road improvement from 1700 to 1750 more people travelled on roads and the number of highwaymen increased. **** Turpin was one of the most famous highwaymen. Poaching was a problem in 17th century, this was a 'social crime'.
Smuggling-1614 exporting wool was made illegal and in 1661 it was made punishable by death. Increased taxes on tea and brandy in 1730s made smugglers also smuggle that. Big gangs formed because of the big profits made from this crime. The Hawkhurst Gang dominated smuggling from kent to dorset. 1735-49

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How rulers met the challenges they faced

Begging was regarded as a crime. Other wanderers would be even more harshly punished In 1554 a law was passed that allowed gypsies to be hanged.

Punishments varied according to a persons social group.
Commoners- hang, drawn and quartered for treason
Nobles- beheaded for treason

Until 18th century any first-time offender who claimed benefit of clergy were often let off. This was originally done so that people would be tried in a church court.

Women who killed husband- burnt at the stake

Lacking a real prison system punishment could be- killing them, fining them, hurting them, humiliating them (stocks) The aim was a mixture of retribution (punishment) and deterrence.

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Bloody code and start of transportation

Year             Number of crimes carrying the death penalty

1668                                                       50
1768                                                       160
1815                                                       225

Death penalty was handed out even to minor crimes such as stealing sheep. MEan to be a detterent but failed because many juries refused to find a person guilty if a death penalty would follow. So in 1823 Sir Robert Peel reduced the number of crimes punishable by death by over 100 offences.

From 17th century until American Independance in 1776, convicts were also sent to the Caribbean and to North America to be used as labourers on plantations.

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Jonathan Wild

Most famous criminal in 18th century Britain, 1683-1725. He ran a successful gang of theives and at the same time seemed to be the most successful policeman in the country.

Wild kept the goods his gang stole, he would claim his 'agents' had recovered the stolen items and he would return the goods for a reward.

As well as pretending to find the stolen goods he also 'caught' thieves, they were really rivals of his own gang who had refused to obey him.

In 1718 Wild gave himself the title 'Thief Taker General of Great Britain and Ireland'. He claimed to have had over 60 theives hanged. He became a popular figure in the newspapers.

This popularity collapsed when his criminal activities were finally exposed. He was hanged in Tyburn, London 1725.

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Impacr of industrial and agricultural change on cr

Huge growth of Towns and Cities:
Extreme poverty in slums. Growth of a 'criminal underclass'
Increased street crime and burgulary
Growth in alchoholism, disorder and riots
Oppertunities for crime with rich and poor living closely together
Increased prostitution (including child prostitution)
Theft of clean water

Movement of Population
Immigrants move into areas of terrible poverty and exploitation- many turn to crime to survive
Harder to know and keep track of people
Navvies moving through country areas brought new crime

...Faced with the difficulty of keeping order and tackling crime in the early 19th century Sir Robert Peel, set up the Metripolitan Police force in 1829. Soon the idea was copied across the country.

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Challenges to authority
Poor living and working conditions made many workers desperate for reforms
The French revolution 1789 made people hope for similar change in Britain
Many people made more moderate demands-right to vote, strike, critisise gov.
No police force until 1829- soldiers put down uprisings and revolutionary meetings
Government used laws to control people who protested at how Britain was run

In 1917 Habeas Corpus was suspended, which meant that prisoners could be held without trial. In 1819 groups demanding the right to vote met at St Peter's Fields, Manchester.

People demanding reform were treated as criminals
Reforms after 1850 meant that deands for change were no longer treate as crimes

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The creation of a modern police force

When the magistrate Henry Fielding established the Bow Street Runners in 1749, this improved crime detection a little. However, they did not patrol so did not contribute to crime prevention. When after 1754, his brother- John Fielding-established mounted patrols, this gave the force a presence on the streets. Nevertheless, the bow street policemen were not present in sufficient numbers to meet the needs of London.

In 1829 Sir Robert Peel oersuaded parliament to pass the Metripolitan Police Act. This established the first permanent, uniformed police force in London.

In 1842 a detective department was set up in London to solve crimes, not just to prevent them. . In 1878 this became knows as CID. In 1901 the first fingerprint Bureau was set up in Scotland Yard, which increased the numbers of crimes solved by CID.

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Changes in Punishment

Transportation to Australia
No national prison system to house lots of criminals.Where to send them?
Lost control of America after 1776. Where to send criminals now?
Tradition since C17 of transporting criminals to colonies.
By 1780s, British prisons and hulks overcrowded and diseased.
Despite the bloody code many feel execution is too harsh for petty crime
Increasing petty crime in growing cities
Belief that crimes against property deserve heavy punishment to deter criminals
In 1770 Eastern Australia claimed for Britian

Transportation was a more humane punishment than excecution.
Transportation was abolished in 1868. Over 160,000 people were transported to  to Australia. It ended because Australia no longer had the need for forced laboureres and did not want the kind of people that transportation brought. Since 1820s an improved prison system in Britain offered an alternative for transportation. Many people in Britain began to question the use of transportation some felt it was too expensive.
Public executions were banned in Britain in 1869

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How successful were 19th-century prison reformers

Retribution-To punish people for doing well
Removal-To keep them away from societs to protect others
To change a person for the better
To work to make a payment back to society

John Howard was appalled by conditions in the county gaol. Howard toured Britain and Europe in 1770s and 1780s to try to discover better ways of running prisons. He called for prisoners to have Christian teaching, work and decent food, and visits by chaplains and prison guards to be paid. As a result of his work parliament passed the  1774 Goal Act, which suggested ways for improving health and sanitation. Later reformers built on his work and took it forward.
The Quaker Elizabeth Fry was born in 1780 and like howard, was motivated by her christian faith. Fry found women and children living in conditions of violenceand disease and she was determined to show G-d's love to them and try to reform them. She set up education classes for the prisoners and treated them with kindness and respect. She suggested and the prisoners voted on them. In 1825 Fry published her ideas on how to improve prisons.

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How successful were the reformers?

Progress was not as Howard or fry wanted. They wanted reform. Many in government wanted retribution and detterence.

Reforms were made to stop prisioners learning criminal skills from one another. Reforms were made to stop prisoners learning criminal skills from one another.

The seperate system and the silent system were introduced in the mid-19th century. Although these systems aimed to reform prisoners, the lack of contact with others drove many of them to committ suicide.

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Law and order in Roman Britain

Roman society was hierarchical

Roman law based onb certain principles:

  • The right for every person to know what the laws were
  • The right of a defendent to know any charges being brought against them
  • The idea of innocence until proven guilty
  • the right to present evidence in court
  • the right to a fair trial in court

Britain had a centralised legal system for the first time
Britain was controlled by the governer who heard legal cases but there was no proper police force.
There were criminal courts

Emporer Justinian created a code that summarised Roman law called the institutes of justinian in 533ce

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Crime and punishment roman britain

Most common crime was petty theft and simple street violence.
The most serious crimes

Rebellion, was a rebellion against Romans in 60ce when the Iceni in East Anglia rose under their queen, Boudicca.
Religious non-conformity- christians refused to worship the roman emporer were severely punished.

Minor crime (petty theft)-flogging, beating, fines
Major crimes (mugging)- amputation of limbs
More serious crimes (murder)-Execution or exile available for upper class
Most serious crimes (refusing to accept authority of emporer)-excecution by cruifixion or being thrown to lions, or being forced to become a gladiator

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Anglo saxon law and order

Roman society collapsed 5th century.

North german tribes such as angles and saxons took over and used much more basic, small scale and local systems. Then much of Eastern and northern england was conquered by the danes and vikings who made their own laws. So once again there was a different law system across britain.

Later in 9th and 10th centuries anglo-saxons kings grew and they made laws.

Anglo saxon changes from roman times:
The importance of lkocal community and family
The influence of the christian church

If someone killed, victims family could get revenge by killing the murderer or one of the murderer's family- blood fued. Lots of violence, big mess because no police force.

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Blood feud ended by 9th century but Anglo-saxon law still based on community.

By 1000, legal system built up based on shires and 100 (containing 100 peasant farms).

To enforce the law men had to belong to a 'tithing'- a group of ten free men. It was a system of collective responsibility. If one had committed a crime, others made sure he appeared in court or pay a fine themselves.

Tithing also had to alert the rest of the 100 by raising the 'hue and cry'.

Later kings became very important and made up laws. They tried to reduce blood feud with wergeld, a system based on the payment of money compensation. Wergeld was paid if someone was killed or murdered and botgeld was for injuries. The amount of compensation depended on the rank of the victim.

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Influence of church

2 main ways anglo-saxon law decided on the guilt of a person

Trial by community

Decided in court by a jury made up of local men who knew the accused and the victim.

Trial by ordeal

If the jury could not agree, this was supposed to reveal the judgement of G-d. The church was responsible for this process. Most common forms- ordeal by hot water, ordeal by fire. If the wounds had not festered they were found innocent, if they had they were guilty. Priests only had to eat bread without choking to be proved innocent whilst slaves were thrown into cold qater, if he sank he was innocent.

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Anglo saxon crimes and punishment

Minor crimes (petty theft)-fines

Major crimes or repeat offense-fines, confiscation of property, floggings

Stealing-cutting off hands or feet

Slander- Cutting off tongue

Murder-Execution (mostly hanging)

Treason against king-Execution by beheading, burning or hanging

The death penalty was less common than in Roman times as it was a more religios time so it was believed that criminals should be given a chance to repent

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Norman society

Norman conquest- 1066

Power of king increased and role of king increased
Religion became even more important

William I promised to uphold anglo-saxon law but some aspects of law did change after 1066. He declared that about 30% of England would be protected by Royal forests, controlled by a new forest law. It became a crime to kill animals in those parts, even if they were eating crops. But the king was allowed to hunt

Controlled by:
Large network of forest officials
Fines and special forest taxes

William I set up church courts for adultery, sex before marriage and not following religion. Trial by ordeal ended in 1215 when the church refused to administer oaths

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Continuity in Norman law enforcement

After 1066 because the king owned the whole country, his 'mund covered everything.

The reliance on shire courts and sherrifs for the maintanance of law and order, but the normans used the word 'county' instead of shire. Tithings, the system of hue and cry and trial by ordeal all continued. Like the anglo-saxons, the normans had no ploice force.

Trial by combat was created, a new version of trial by ordeal which demonstrates the importance of warfare in Norman society. It was believed that God would show guilt by whoever lost. It outlasted trial by ordeal.

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Norman crime and punishment

Minor crimes (petty theft)- fines, stocks or pillary

Major crimes- Beatings and gloggings, amputations of hands, arms ect.

Serious crimes (murder)- Excecution

Most serious crimes (heresy, rebellion)- excecution by beheading, burning or hanging.

The norman rulers faced mush resistance from the anglo-saxons so their punishments were especially harsh.

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The church's influence

2 ways that the influence of the church sometimes protected the guilty from royal justice.

Benefity of clergy: priests could only be tried by church courts, which had no power to use the death penalty. It was originally assumed that only priests would be educated enough to read, but many wrongdoers escaped by learning by heart the passage from the bilbe (nickname: the neck verse) used for the test.

Right of sanctuary: a criminal who could get to the sanctuary of a church could not be arrested. If he confessed his crime, he would be allowed to leave the country.

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A new legal system in the later middle ages

For a long time after 1066, Anglo-Saxon and normal law continued to operate side by side, although it was norman law that dominated. However during a civil war that lasted from 1135 to 1154, law and order broke down.

at 1154 at the end of the civil war, Henry II became king. His priority was to restore the authority of the king. He had to tackle the problem of overly strong individuals such as sheriffs or great mobles who felt strong enough to ignore the laws. He drew together the anglo saxon, norman and royal laws in the Constitutions of Clarendon, 1164.

The coroner was introduced, he dealt with all suspicious deaths.
In 1361, the justices of peace act was passed. JP were local landowners who were given the power to hear less serious crimes. They held their own 'quarter sessions' courts four times a year.

In 1825 Edward I passed a new law declaring that men had a duty to help form a posse comitatus (force of the county) to help the sheriff catch criminals.

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Law enforcement after 1154

Travelling justiced in eyre
England was divided into 6 'eyres' or circuits and royal judges travelled around to hear the legal cases using the English common law.
Church justice
Henry also attempted to reduce the legal rights of the church such as seperate courts, sanctuary and benefit of clergy.
The chruch power was so great, though, that Henry was forced to allow the church courts to continue. In fact, after 1154 the church played an even greater role in the English legal system. It influenced punishments and laws.
County gaols
All countries now had their own prison where accused people were kept before the judge arrives to try their case.
The court of king's bench
The most serious criminal cases were dealt with by the king's court, not in local courts.

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Crime and punishment in the later middle ages

There was a lengthy period of distruction in the 15th century known as the war of the roses. Crime and disorder increased during this civil war.

Another crime that was harshly punished was heresy.

To begin with executions and other physical punishments continued to be the most common types of punishment. But as the middle ages continued hanging was used less and less. This was partly due to the influence of the church.

Between 1446 and 1447, 172 people recieved pardons from the kings court.

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