Offenders, who committed a crime, were punished for the offense. Physical force was used instead of jail. Jails housed offenders who were awaiting trial and individual who could not pay their debts. In this paper, Learning Team A will discuss the various forms of punishment exercised in the 1700s, the crimes that led to the forms of punishment, and the criteria between various societies for criminal sentencing during the 1700s. Learning Team A will also describe prisons for women and the difference between prisons for men and juveniles.
There are various forms of punishment used during the 1700s. Physical force and humiliation was the main two types of punishment during the 1700’s. Corporal punishment was used more often than any other form of punishment. Foster (2006) stated, “Corporal punishment is defined as any punishment that involves infliction of pain on the human body (p. 2). Whipping, beating, branding, mutilation, and burning are types of corporal punishments used during the early years. In the beginning, whipping was the main method of punishment. It could be performed anywhere and only required a whip. Usually whippings occurred in a central location in order for the community to witness; the community observed the whippings. A criminal punished by whippings could receive a numerous amounts of lashes depending on the severity of the crimes because whippings were a measured punishment. When the Whipping Act was passed during the reign of King Henry VII of England it was to keep wandering vagrants in order. The act allowed vagrants to be tied to a cart naked and receive lashes. Only after the body was bloody did the criminal complete his or her punishment. Once Queen Elizabeth was in control the Whipping Act was amended; offenders were stripped only halfway and the post was exchanged for the cart.
Branding was another form of early punishment as consisted of burning offenders with a hot iron. This form of punishment was painful and left the offender with a brand for life. Foster (2006) stated, “The “T” on the man’s thumb meant he was a thief. The fleur-de-lis mark on the Parisian woman’s shoulder meant she was a prostitute” (p. 3). The mark allowed an individual to bore the scars for the rest of his or her lives and allowed authorities to identify criminals. The community was also aware of what type of crimes a person committed.
Capital punishment was also a form of punishment during the 1700s. Death as a form of punishment was existent more often than it is now. Capital punishment was used for crimes as simple as pick pocketing to murder. In some cases torture before death was also used. Foster (2006) stated, “The Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon, from about 1750 B.C., provided the death penalty for 25 different crimes” (p. 3). A person could be sentenced to death for cursing one’s mother or father, sorcery, adultery, having sex with animals, homosexuality, and allowing an animals to cause the death of another person.
Some offenders was placed in exile or banished from the community for the crimes he or she committed. Criminals were also punished to hard labor as well as held under slavery in some cases. Economic sanctions were also ordered as punishment for property and violent criminals. In the 1700s, societies did not use prisons to punish criminals. Instead, these early societies had a want for pain, large-scale humiliation, and the punishments were in need of a stage for mass entertainment (Foster, 2006). In part for humiliation and education but would end with torture and death. Although Europe was in the transition stages between traditional societies and the growth of modern cities, American Colonies were still small communities with people that had similar outlooks on punishment (Foster, 2006). When a criminal committed a crime in Europe in the 1700s, there were many methods of punishment. Kings, knights, lords, sheriffs, and by the church could impose a...