history edexcel exam questionWatch this thread
- ive written it timed, and also i struggled to find a third paragraph hence why i only wrote 2, but usually i write 3
'The main purpose of punishment during the period c1000-c1700 was to deter people from committing crimes.' How far do you agree?
Explain your answer. You may use the following:
- corporal punishment
- the introduction of transportation
I agree to an extent with the statement, because deterring the public from committing the same crimes as criminals was a very popular way of preventing crimes from happening in the first place, through the use of means such as corporal punishments. However, there are other reasons, including retribution and rehabilitation, as this was also evident through the introduction of transportation.
One reason as to why I agree is due to the use of corporal punishments in the period c1000-c1700. This was used throughout the period, since the Middle Ages, but became heightened in the early modern period, particularly for vagabond. The Act for the Relief of the Poor in 1597 made vagabonds victims to new forms of corporal punishments such as whipping and burning of the ear. This use of punishment was to leave marks - as a sign for other people. It was essentially a warning to other people, deterring them from committing the same crimes, or else they'd face the same consequences. Therefore, I can agree that punishments in the period c1000-c1700 majorly aimed to deter people from committing crimes.
However, one reason as to why I disagree is because punishments in the period c1000-c1700 also involved the idea of retribution - criminals paying for their crimes, but also rehabilitating (ensuring that they have learnt a lesson). This was clear through the use of transportation which began in James I's reign. Britain was lacking an efficient prison system, so transportation to North America was seen as an alternative, which began in 1610. Minor criminals faced a 7 year sentence, where they'd do manual labour in the new colonies. Major criminals faced a 14 year sentence, often an alternative to execution for them. However, when released, they were not given any money, and could not afford to return to England, so they had to settle there, which would aid the British Empire. Clearly, this was a way to benefit from the criminals, and criminals were made to pay for their crimes, they spent long years enduring punishment which was physically demanding, as a consequence of their actions, which is why this is a clear form of retribution. Although, it did deter people, as conditions in the ships were harsh and could take several months. However, it slowly became more desirable to live in, due to new goods and developments.
In conclusion, I agree to an extent that punishment in the period c1000-c1700 focused on preventing crime through deterrence, however there were also other forms of punishments, which began implementing the idea that criminals should pay for their deeds, there was much more than just deterrence being the 'main' cause .