The Puritan Court System Essay

1211 words - 5 pages

The court system in Puritan New England was an unfair and unjust system, stemming from the general court of Massachusetts. Many of the trials and procedures were ludicrous. General life in the Puritan communities was centered around religion and the judicial system reflected this. Religion crept into laws and the courts until they were practically combined. Puritan's valued their religion zealously and it became part of everyday life in the colony.
Religion was a huge part of law, the court, and the state in Puritan New England. The Puritan church was mixed with the state and often they seemed to almost combine. Laws were a combination of the state and religion (Yale 9). Referring to church and state, David Yale wrote, “The distinction is far from clear” (Yale 9). This was in contrast to the Puritan founders who origionally wanted church and state to be separate, but able to work together (Yale 9). The Church had so much power in the state, it ultimately organized the civil government (Yale 9). If a person would rebel against the government and criticize or defy the Puritan rule, it would be considered a sin against God. Religion also had a association with questioning in the courts and religion was part of the prosecution. An example of this is during the examination of Sarah Good by John Hathorne. The examination starts off with this text. “(Hathorne) Sarah Good what evil spirit have you fimiliarity with. (Sarah Good) None. (H) Have you made no contact with the devil. (S G) Good answered no. (H) WHy doe you hurt these children. (S G) I doe not hurt them. I scorn it. (H) Who doe you imploy then to doe it. (S G) No creature but I am falsely accused” (Linder This shows a trait in Hawthorne's prosecution style where he always started his examination with assume guilt, as opposed to innocence. He also seemed to be on the accuser’s side (Salem Witch Trials 1).
In Puritan New England, judicial and normal practices were centered around religion. Laws were extreme and often would relate to religion. Many examples of this are present in the Massachusetts Body of Liberties which was a set of laws that governed New England. One law states, “If any man or woeman be a witch, (that is hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit). They shall be put to death” (Mass. Body of Lib. 10). Another law states that if a man worships any other god, but the lord god, after legal conviction, he would be put to death (Mass. Body of Lib. 10). Even if a man did something as small as damage or ridicule the name of God, he would be put to death (Mass. Body of Lib. 10). Laws were severe and there are plenty of examples of these laws put into practice. Baptists who did not believe in infant baptism would cover their ears and turn around during the process. This could be changed in courts, the person could be banished, or the person could be imprisoned (Yale 9). Also, people who would protest against the General Court or the Puritan rule would be banished (Breen 1)....

Find Another Essay On The Puritan Court System

The basic structure of the U.S Federal court system

1162 words - 5 pages Outline and Briefly Explain the Federal Court SystemThe U.S. has a dual court structure. To be exact, we have a federal judiciary system and the systems that are operated by each of the states. This dual court structure is a unique feature of the American judicial system. Although most cases are tried in state courts, the federal court is playing a larger and larger role in finding resolutions to disputes. Partly, this is because congress in

The Juvenile Court System is Distinct from Adult Courts

2010 words - 8 pages an appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel (Thrown Away, 2005). Medina’s story was featured in the 2005 series “Thrown Away” published by Human Rights Watch. The Juvenile Court System is Distinct from Adult Courts How can a 15 year old boy be sent to an adult prison for the rest of his life? In order to answer that question we must first understand the history of the Juvenile Justice System. Social conditions during the progressive

Report of Downing Court (local, civil and district courts) and the Roles and Responsibilities in the Court System

2098 words - 8 pages 1. On arrival at the downing courts on Liverpool St, the court officer Richard took the commerce II students on a tour. The students were provided with a brief history on the building before they were taken to courtroom 2 on level one. Here Richard explained the role and jurisdiction of both the local and district courts as well as the layout of the court room. He also explained that the Australian court system is arranged in a hierarchy.The

Essay regarding the public's Misperception of the criminal court system and due process of the law

1916 words - 8 pages court system through warbled glasses. The prosecutors are always seen making deals with defendants and judges are viewed as being too lenient. Because there is little faith in the fairness of police procedures and court outcomes the public turns to the media to get the real "truth". The general majority believe that crime is on a constant rise, although statistics show offenses are at their lowest since the early 1990s. Criminologists blame news

Juvenile Justice Court Cases and How they Helped to Develop the System - Grantham University CJ203 - Essay

1063 words - 5 pages The Juvenile Justice system has evolved in many ways throughout the century. Often these changes are made from actual court cases that caused the justice system to rethink or reconsider a law from previously. This is especially the case in the juvenile department. There are three court cases that will be used to demonstrate how they helped to evolve the juvenile justice system. I will be using the in re Gault, McKeiver v

A Look at the Conflicts of the Juvinile Court System in “No Matter How Loud I Shout” by Edward Humes

1725 words - 7 pages The book “No Matter How Loud I Shout” written by Edward Humes, looks at numerous major conflicts within the juvenile court system. There is a need for the juvenile system to rehabilitate the children away from their lives of crime, but it also needs to protect the public from the most violent and dangerous of its juveniles, causing one primary conflict. Further conflict arises with how the court is able to administer proper treatment or

The roles of various enforcement agencies, discussing the limitations of legal aid and evaluating the usefulness of alternatives to the court system in resolving disputes

1304 words - 5 pages In using the prescribed text book "Legal Studies Preliminary" written by Hamper Boesenberg Kenny and many other sources I have gained sound knowledge in the roles of various enforcement agencies, discussed the limitations of legal aid and evaluated the usefulness of alternatives to the court system in resolving disputes.Enforcement agencies are bodies that have the role of enforcing certain laws. Acts of parliament have created the agencies and

The court system, and it's capability to put innocent people into jail or to death as seen in the book A Tale of Two Cities

537 words - 2 pages a spy, Barsad and Cly gave false evidence to the court, and had this not been discovered it is very likely that Darnay would have been convicted of this crime, and he probably would have faced the death penalty. This could happen in any legal system.The court system, though it has the capability to punish the innocent and set free or even reward the guilty, is a beneficial and necessary system. Without it, there would be no way to uphold the rights for the common man, and there would be no way to fairly determine whether or not a man is guilty or innocent. There would also be no way to fairly determine and administer punishment.

John Proctor and John Hale - Good Person vs. Good Citizen

993 words - 4 pages the beliefs of the Puritan religious authority, and the Reverend Hale points that out to Proctor. Proctor did not have faith in the court system and clearly disregarded the official court warrant.John Hale was a good citizen. He was a very pious Puritan, by the fact that he became a reverend. Also, he was shocked by the fact that someone missed a day of church, and could plow on Sabbath becaue he believed "a Christian on Sabbath Day must be in

Imperfect Characters Exposed in The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible

967 words - 4 pages ;     The main characters of these two novels are the sinners who receive the harshest penalties of the Puritan system because they are both proud of what they are going through. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne "has to wear the mark of shame upon her bosom" (Hawthorne 59), the letter "A", symbolizing her sin of adultery. Hester choses this punishment over the option of revealing the fellow perpetrator, which shows

Impure Puritans Exposed in The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible

867 words - 3 pages novels are the sinners who receive the harshest penalties of the Puritan system because they are both proud of what they are going through. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne "has to wear the mark of shame upon her bosom" (Hawthorne 59), the letter "A", symbolizing her sin of adultery. Hester choses this punishment over the option of revealing the fellow perpetrator, which shows the pride in what she has done. However, besides her actions with

Similar Essays

The Juvenile Court System Essay

784 words - 3 pages The Juvenile Court System The Juvenile Court system was a system set up to deal with minors who find themselves in trouble. In trouble with their parents, or the law. This system has its benefits and its flaws. The first juvenile court in the United States was established in 1899, in Illinois. This set a trend that would grow across the entire United States { Forer, 198 }. In 1974 The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

English Law The Court System

657 words - 3 pages HistoryThe English court system dates back to 1200, the longest running within European secular court records. It is a common law system. The court system started as a concept of justice, a matter of the crown. The court system works on a hierarchy. This proves to be a tried a tested system which is centuries old, the hierarchical system means there is always a court of appeal, thus a second chance for justice.The main backbone of the English

Structure Of The Federal Court System

1563 words - 7 pages involve US laws and treaties • Ambassadors and public ministers • Disputes between two or more states • Admiralty law • Bankruptcy ( A federal court has more extensive jurisdiction than a state court. While the jurisdiction of state courts is limited by their boundaries, the federal court system covers the entire nation ( Court of Appeals The system next up on the tier is the Court of Appeals or Appellate Court. Currently

Criminal Procedure And The Court System

1056 words - 5 pages The idea of having a criminal law, procedure and a proper court system has been a concern and must in the United States since it was first founded. This concept is always under consistent speculation and undergoes changes almost every year. One of the most influential pieces included into the procedure of criminal law and the court system is the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights was created by the representatives of America to not only