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REVISION - CRIME, PUNISHMENT AND PROTEST INTRODUCTION Crime, Punishment and Protest covers a period of more than 2500 years. Although you will not need to remember

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LONDON REVISION - CRIME, PUNISHMENT AND PROTEST INTRODUCTION Crime, Punishment and Protest covers a period of more than 2500 years. Although you will not need to remember masses of detailed information, you will need a broad understanding of the main changes - and the factors behind those changes - from one period to another. Key definitions: Law - the formal rules of a society or country, which all members are expected to obey, and which are intended to control the behaviour of individuals. Depending on the period or country being examined, laws are made either by various individuals or by larger political organisations or authorities. Crime - an action which breaks one or more of the laws of any given society. In many cases, most members of a society will agree that certain actions (e.g. murder) should be illegal. Sometimes, however, certain sections of a society might find some behaviour acceptable even though it has been defined as criminal by those with the power to make laws (e.g. kings or governments). Punishment - part of the process of law enforcement, and refers to the sanctions or penalties imposed on those who break the law (i.e. commit crimes). These can vary from fines, to imprisonment or to different kinds of physical punishments. Punishments can also have several different functions, ranging from revenge to reform. Protest - any action against or resistance to the decisions of those with political, religious, social or economic authority. It can be taken by individuals, small groups or large sections of society. In many societies, protest and rebellion were seen as the most serious crimes of all, and were given the most severe punishments. Why do we have laws? All societies have had rules in order to function and avoid complete chaos. Small groups of people, such as the hunters and food-gatherers of pre-historic times, villages, or even individual families, had various customs which all members were expected to follow. ...read more.


Because many employers immediately sacked any worker who tried to join the GNCTU (or any trade union), about 40 farm labourers in the small village of Tolpuddle in Dorset met in secret to join the GNCTU, and decided to swear an oath to keep their union secret. However, according to the Mutiny Act of 1797, it was illegal to swear oaths. Despite their attempts at secrecy, the farmers found out about the union, and decided to break it. The magistrates - most of whom were landowners themselves - ordered the arrest of those involved. In March 1834, they were all sentenced to seven years' transportation to Australia, and became known as the 'Tolpuddle Martyrs'. This case effectively ended the hopes of those who had organised the GNCTU, as most workers were now too frightened to join. However, the men did not serve their full sentence. This was because trade unionists and others organised a massive protest campaign against their conviction and sentences. The government finally overturned their convictions in 1836 and allowed them to return home, though the last of the Tolpuddle Martyrs did not return until 1839. By then, many working class people had turned from trade unionism to politics - and especially the Chartist Movement - as a way of improving their living and working conditions. 6. The London Dock Strike, 1889 After 1850, there were fewer protests, as greater prosperity began to benefit at least certain sections of the working classes. At the same time, governments began to tackle some of the problems associated with poverty. While, in 1867 and again in 1884, the franchise was extended so that most working class males had the vote - though all women were still denied a say in elections. However, large sections of the working class - especially the unskilled and semi-skilled - still suffered from low wages and periodic unemployment, even in the 1880s, when times were generally good. ...read more.


So some arrested suffragettes began to refuse to pay fines and, from 1909, several went on hunger strike in prison. When prison authorities force-fed hunger-striking suffragettes, there was a public outcry once the WSPU publicised details of the methods used. Increased militancy, 1912-14 In 1912, Christabel Pankhurst went to Paris, from where she organised an even more violent campaign. By 1913, Suffragette methods included arson attacks on post boxes, attacks on famous paintings, digging up or pouring acid on golf greens and bombs placed in empty buildings and even in railway stations. At the 1913 Derby, Emily Davison tried to stop the king's horse as a protest, but was knocked down and later died. But only a small minority of women were involved in the campaign for women's suffrage, and some even organised opposition protests. Some women protesters were physically and even indecently assaulted by the police and by men who objected to the right of women to have the vote. As the number of suffragettes in prison grew, the government decided to end forced feeding, and instead passed the Cat and Mouse Act, 1913. Suffragette activity increased but, in 1914, was suspended because of the approach of war. Winning the vote During the war, women played an extremely important and active part in the war effort. Women also experience a more liberated social life, such as smoking in public and going into pubs; their range of clothing also became less restrictive and more practical, with many wearing trousers. In 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave votes to women householders, or women married to householders, over the age of 30. At the same time, the voting age for men was set at 21. However, it was not until 1928 that another Representation of the People Act at last gave women equal voting rights, when all women over the age of 21 were given the vote. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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