Law and Order in the Medieval Period Assigment - Year 8
SOSE Medieval Assignment
- How has the medieval punishments influenced the modern punishments system?
- How has the modern criminal evolved from the medieval times?
- Why did they change from the medieval justice system to the modern justice system?
- Since the police force has been in place have crime rates dropped or increased?
- Why did Saxon invent the Saxon Laws?
Magnacarta – Document that King John had to sign that limited his power of king
Gallows – wooden device where people were hung
Treason – The act of betraying your country or your king
Trial by ordeal
Tithe- Tax given to the church which amounted to about 10% of what they grew or earned
Innocent until proven guilty
- Explain how the feudal system worked?
In most of medieval Europe, society was depended on the "feudal" system, which was based on a grant of land which was returned with service for the army. The king would give out grants of land to his most important noblemen (barons and bishops). Every noble would have to promise loyalty to the king have his back when a war arose. They did this at a special service. They kneeled down and swore on the oath using these words "Sire, I become your man." Then the nobles divided the land among the lower lords, or knights who also had to become their vassals (servants). In the lowest spot in society sat the peasants who worked on the land. (Rees, 2006)
2.Outline the significance of the Catholic Church to medieval European Society?
The Catholic Church played a major part in society in the middle ages. Everyone in the village followed the Catholic Church. Peasants, noblemen and kings all followed the church and believing. They believed that hell, heaven and god all existed. They were all taught the beliefs from a very young age. The peasants would work on the land for free in return for land from the king following the feudal system. They would find it difficult to work on their own land as they spent most of the time at the church looking after the grounds. The church would make their money form tithes (10% of the money earnt in a year would go to the church). The church was also court. Where trial by ordeal took place. This meant that if a noble accused a citizen of a crime they would automatically by guilty and would have to face a severe punishment. (Site, 2000)
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- What is trial by ordeal? Give and example
Trial by Ordeal was a court system started by Charlemagne the king of the Frankish Empire. He agreed that the court system would become consistent. He believed that the court system was unfair and inconsistent. The system was very harsh and didn’t allow the criminal to plead his case. As soon as the accused was guilty the court case came to a conclusion.
Peasants Trial by Ordeal
If you were a peasant and you were accused of a crime. To prove your innocence you had to hold a redhot poker until your hand deeply burnt. Your hand was then banged up and you were sent back to your village after 3 days you would be required to come back to the court. If your hand healed you would be found innocent and if it didn’t heal you would be found guilty. This was in place as they believed that god would decide if the were guilty or not.
Nobleman Trial by Ordeal
If you were a nobleman you could prove your innocence in a trial by an ordeal fight. The nobleman would be able to hire a person to fight for him. If the person the nobleman hired survived they would be found innocent and if they died they would be found guilty and therefore the nobleman had paid the punishment.
Each accused person would have be heard by the panel of honorable men (men who had taken an oath to listen and to judge fairly based on the evidence presented)
- Who were the Saxons
The Saxons were a group of Germanic people who lived in northern Germany along the Baltic Coast. When the Roman Empire lost the Saxons expanded into Europe. During the 5th century AD the Saxons invaded the coasts of Gaul (France) and Britain. The Saxons, angles and Jutes who were all Germanic groups eventually established the Anglo-Saxons kingdom in Britain, which lasted until the Norman Conquest in 1066. During that time they conquered the Celts. In the 700’s the Franks king Charlemagne conquered the Saxons in the continent and forced them to make their land called Saxony, part of his Empire. Charlemagne was the founder of the trial by Ordeal justice system that has shaped the modern justice system immensely. (Gillingham, 2013)
5. What is the Hue and Cry?
The Hue and Cry came into place after the Norman Conquest. The Hue and Cry was a general alarm raised by trumpet, alarm bell or a shout that would make all witnesses to assist in the crime. Therefore a witness to a crime could raise in order for the perpetrator to be arrested. In 1275 the failure to raise or assist in the Hue and Cry would become a punishable offence.
- Who were the Normans
The Normans of France the Vikings established a very strong base. In 911 the leader of the Normans Hrolf defeated Charles the simple (a descent from Charlemagne) forcing the Franks to pay heavy penalties. But the Frankish king came to an agreement with Hrolf. He gave him a fithe in the region of western France. This is called Normandy the land of the North men. In return Hrolf promised to stop raiding and covert to Christianity. He also changed his name to Rollo and became the first Duke of Normandy. The Normans had great interest in England. Emma the sister of Richard the 2nd married Ethelred who then became the king of England in 1042. During his reign the Normans became involved with the English politics.
7. What was the significance of the Doomsday Survey?
The doomsday survey is one of medieval England’s greatest treasures. The doomsday book was an enormous survey carried out in 1085-1086. The survey was carried out in England by the William the 1st the king (the conqueror) it was completed in 1086. The survey is like the census carried out today. The main purpose of the survey was to keep a record of the land, property and people in the country so they could raise the taxes. This also gives modern historians a sense of how old the towns and villages were and where they were positioned. To further gather information William ordered a book to be created on who owned the land throughout the country and who owned the king taxes.
8. Briefly describe the role of King Henry II’s travelling judges, Explain the significance of the justice system.
King Henry II was born in Le Mans, France on the 5th of March 1133. He was the son of Geoffrey Plantagenet and Matilda. Matilda was the granddaughter of William the conquer. Henry traveled to England in early 1142 to defend his mother’s claim to the throne. The significance of King Henry II’s traveling Judges ensured that law and punishment was kept the same throughout the country and made sure some parts weren’t to lenient and others weren’t to strict. This was the start of having the same law throughout a country, which is used in many
9. What is the common Law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of court and tribunals. A common law system gives great potential precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different occasions.
Compare different Crimes
ts, tiny pieces of property - and no
Medieval justice, crime and punishments has shaped the modern justice to a medium extent. What is justice? Justice is paying back a crime that you have committed. The medieval times spanned from 500AD – 1500AD. The medieval justice system followed the system of trial by ordeal, including trial by hot poker and trial by water, which gave the suspected criminal no chance to plea, his case. The modern justice system has taken a step on from that and instead of dealing physical punishments they send you to prison. In today’s society physical punishment is not always the way to go. Community involvement played a major part in the medieval justice system in the absence of a professional police force. The police and surveillance force relied on the community to inform them of a wrongdoing. Therefore if you had a form of power, you could inform the authority of a non-existent crime. The court and jury of the middle ages followed the system of guilty as charged. Consequences and punishments of the middle ages were very harsh and there was no escape from the severe punishment the citizen was about to face.
Community involvement played a major part in the medieval justice system. The authority relied on the citizens of the village to inform them of a crime in the absence of a professional police force. This work in the way that the authority would be informed of a crime and further punishment would be laid. This has shaped the modern day as the police rely on the community to inform them of a crime. The lord of the manor would call upon the baker, knights and the reeve to give evidence of the committed crime. Based on the information provided the decision would be made. There was no time for the offender to plead his case. The modern justice system follows that system to a medium extent but the only different is the offender has a chance to plea their case. The modern system follows the medieval system, as it relies on the community to inform of the crime and to give evidence of the crime.
The police force in the medieval times hadn’t evolved yet. So the authority relied to the community to inform them of a crime committed. This element worked to the extent that all citizens had a right to inform the authority of a crime and that would be time into further consideration. Since the modern police force has been in place the crime rate has dropped. In modern society the police have the right to chase the criminal. This is linked to the medieval society in the way that the police are the citizens and they can inform the authority of a crime.’
The birth of the modern justice system, including the judge, jury and the concept of innocent until proven guilty are the main aspects developed from the medieval times. The notion of guilty as charged was a horrific as it gave the criminal no chance to plead the innocence. As soon as the criminal was accused of a crime the case came to a conclusion and the case was solved. Therefore there was no way of getting out of the severe punishments you were about to face. The modern jury consists of 12 anonymous people from the community to decide from the evidence if the criminal is guilty or innocent. The modern justice system first came into place in 1967. The modern justice follows the system of innocent until proven guilty. This system is a much fairer but more complex system. The criminal can hire a lawyer to defend their case and try to find him innocent of any crime.
The medieval punishments and consequences were a lot harsher than the modern system. These severe punishments acted in the place of a prison. This element worked in the sense that the punishment would hurt or kill the criminal so badly that they wouldn’t commit any further crimes. One of these punishments is the trial by hot poker. This trial is started with the criminal walking 5 paces with the scolding poker on there hand. This would create a severe burn mark. The criminal’s hand would be bandaged up and the criminal would be required to return to the court and if the hand hasn’t shown any healing progress they would be found innocent. If it became e infected the criminal would be found guilty. They believed that god would make the decision on whether they were guilty or not. In the modern punishment system when I crime is committed the criminal is expected to attend the court hearing. If the crime is severe the suspect will be given a time in prison. This is to let them reflect on their wrongdoing.
In conclusion the modern justice system has been shaped from the medieval system to a medium extent. The modern system has used the court judge system. The community involvement reflects on the medieval times. Therefore a citizen can inform the authority of a crime and further investigation will be done.