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Punishment During The Tudor And Victorian Eras

1019 words - 5 pages

The changing views of society over a period of time can be reflected by the punishment techniques that were used by the society. Whereas in previous times, punishments were mainly to discourage people from following criminals, and often for vengeance, it was later to try and reform the person so they can contribute to society, and repent their sins. The ruling government/monarchy also had influence over punishments. Varying societal views can be demonstrated in England and China, during the Tudor and Victorian eras, and Ancient China and the Qing dynasty respectively.
The Tudor era, from 1485-1603, still had excruciating punishments towards criminals. They were intended to prevent others ...view middle of the document...

In the present, the monarchy don’t have as much authority as they used to, which allows for a more equal society.
The Victorian Era had less painful punishments for their minor crimes, compared to those previously mentioned. Crime during the Victorian times rapidly increased due to the Industrial revolution, as machines were used for production and poor people became unemployed, and were forced to steal food to live. However, there were fewer executions, and in 1968, public executions no longer occurred. During this era, prisons were used to house criminals, rather than housing debtors and people waiting to be executed. Many more criminals were imprisoned for their wrongdoings. Besides imprisonment, fines were also a main punishment. That way, criminals could repent their actions and become a better person, and hopefully have a better chance of going to heaven.
Prisons today, are a popular and effective means of reprimanding criminals. Criminals were made to work and securely housed in prisons, which were often on ships. Source A displays the interior of a prison ship. This exhibits how more humane people have become in reprimanding their criminals, and have taken a more subtle method for improving them. Fines, though not as effective, still allow people to rethink their actions, and make them ponder as to whether crime is worth financial loss.
Ancient China had very cruel and vicious punishments for criminals. Like other societies, punishments were carried out in order to deter people from doing crimes, and to stop the criminal from repeating their actions. Additionally, it was to stop people from overthrowing the government, and the utilisation of harsh punishments would most definitely trigger fear into people’s hearts. Beheading was a method of execution, for crimes such as murder. This was probably the most shameful of all punishments, as the head was considered the noblest part of the body. Perhaps one of the cruellest punishments was the ‘Nine familial extermination’. This punishment, used on people who committed treason, involved the execution of the convicted, as well as anyone related to them, and...

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