Crime And Punishment In The Elizabethan Era

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Queen Elizabeth’s rule sported a new humanistic culture and higher literacy rates in England that have not been seen before with previous ruling monarchs. According to Elizabethan England, more books and pamphlets were published in England. This is caused by a growth in printing which in turn means books could be made for less money and significantly less time. The sheer amounts of books now being produced allows cheaper and easier access to books for everyone. With more access to books, literacy rates were able to increase such as the yeomen who “were illiterate at the start of Elizabeth’s reign but literate by its end” (177). Also it is apparent in Nobles and gentlemen that they were almost all literate along with craftsmen and traders all…show more content…
However, the severity of punishments and the methods used by the law were beneficial and practical and they helped to reduce the amount of crime in England. The article “Crime and Punishment in the Elizabethan Era” expresses that crime was an issue in Elizabethan England, and a threat to the stability of society. To maintain order the penalties for committing minor crimes were generally punished with some form of public humiliation. For major crimes including thievery, murder, and treason those convicted were put to death. The sheer ruthlessness of the punishments discourage any sort of crime as they will scare the citizens into never breaking the law in fear of the consequences. The document “Crime and Punishment in the Elizabethan Era” also points out that the law was flexible and could be applied differently based on the situation. When a person was convicted of treason, they were not always executed immediately. Some were inhumanely tortured for more information to see if they were working with others, despite the obvious lack of morality in doing this, it worked. However, on the other hand, the Elizabethan Law did have at least some moral sense to it as people some were spared from torture, and even execution in certain circumstances. When pregnant women were sentenced to death they could be spared for their the lives of their unborn children. The severe Elizabethan Law provided England the means to help reduce crime, practical application of torture, and even some sense of
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