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Changes in Crime and Punishment.

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Changes in Crime and Punishment (a) Source A is a mid seventeenth-century engraving showing the 'swimming test' of a woman accused of witchcraft. The swimming test was used to find witches. The accused would be submerged in water, and if they floated on the surface they were assumed guilty of witchcraft. Source A illustrates uniformed spectators. The very fact that they are uniformed shows that the swimming test was a sanctioned event. The source also shows a creature which looks a little like a warthog, which may represent the witch's familiar. From this source it can be seen that in the mid seventeenth century the swimming test was highly regarded. Observing the spectators, their dress and the very fact that two of them are actually taking part can state this. The very fact that the source is an engraving from the mid seventeenth century makes it very reliable. Source B is an extract from 'Early Modern England' by J A Sharpe, in 1987. The source explains how a suspected witch in 1751 was given the swimming test and died as a result. It also explains that Thomas Colley, who had played a part in the 'swimming test', was hanged for murder. The source is describing an event, which took place a hundred years after that of source A. From source B it can be seen that the swimming test was no longer officially recognised. This is quite significant as it shows that witchcraft was not seen as important as it had been a hundred years before. The source also illustrates that the swimming test was still a recognised event in the countryside. ...read more.


During the First World War the government adopted a tough policy. This was the policy of conscription that made it compulsory for men aged between 18 and 41 to fight for their country. This was eased up a little in the Second World War. Public attitudes, however, remained constant in both the wars, which meant that the Conscientious Objectors had a very hard time. The public viewed the Conscientious Objectors as cowards to the country. They felt that if their husbands, brothers, sons or any other male relative had to go to war and die, then the Conscientious Objectors should as well. Between the years of 1914 and 1916 the government relied mainly on volunteers to fight in the war, although an increasing pressure was placed on men to join the army. In May 1916, conscription was introduced for men aged between 18 and 41; the upper age limit was then extended by another ten years to 51. Exemption was available in certain cases. Conscientious Objection during the First World War was extremely difficult. Tribunals interviewed Conscientious Objectors, and some were offered different means of work for the War effort. Even so, they were still widely accused of being cowards by many people. Some were attacked and some were completely shut out of society. The authorities imprisoned about thirty percent of the total number of Conscientious Objectors, while many others eventually did give up and fight. Public grudges towards the Conscientious Objectors lasted even after the war. In the Second World War official attitudes had changed. This was partly due to the Prime minister, Neville Chamberlain at the time when conscription was brought back. ...read more.


It was in Pentonville, London where the first of this type of prison was opened in 1842. It was able to accommodate five hundred inmates. Others followed, including Portland in 1849, Dartmoor in 1850, Portsmouth in 1852, Brixton in 1853 and Chatham in 1856. Between the years of 1842 and 1850, fifty prisons were built or rebuilt. Elizabeth Fry made a large contribution to prison reform. This is because she was the first to fight for what we now regard as first principles; classification of criminals, segregation of the sexes, female supervision of women and provision for education. The very fact that she spent twenty years checking every female convict ship before it sailed; inspected prisons and mental hospitals in Scotland and Ireland; instituted a Nursing Order; provided libraries for coastguard stations; and struggled for housing and employment for the poor, shows how determined she was to change the way in which prisons were run. It can be argued that the government's action in the first half of the nineteenth century was more important than Elizabeth Fry's contribution to prison reforms. This is because their actions resulted in several changes to prison reforms. Such as the building or rebuilding of fifty prisons between the years of 1842 and 1850. It can also be argued that Elizabeth Fry's efforts were more important as it was she and other reformers that demanded for better prisons that made the government start to act in the year 1815. It can be stated that without the continuous effort of Elizabeth Fry and other reformers the government may have never acted upon changing the prisons at all. Mustafa Hussein - 1 - ...read more.

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