Crime In Elizabethan Era Essay

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INTRO Ripe with power imbalances and misguided lawmaking, crime and punishment in the Elizabethan era reeked of bias and a common intermixing of church and state, all of which greatly impacted the severity of punishments. The statuses of the victim and perpetrator often decided the outcome of a court case. Authorities attempted to ban dancing and revealing clothing, and could punish a woman for flirting. Additionally, adultery was taken more seriously than domestic abuse. Common Crimes in Elizabethan Era Crime during the Elizabethan Era was primarily sorted into two separate categories, them being “crimes against people” and “crimes against property.” Crimes against people were treated more seriously by the law, especially if the victim was…show more content…
Commoners & nobles and men & women were treated differently. For example, crimes against royalty resulted in more severe punishments, while crimes committed by royalty were often swept under the rug. If a case was deemed embarrassing or inconvenient to the prince, then the culprit could be murdered in their cell or exiled without a trail. Women who were raped had to have proof that she cried out, tried to fight the attacker away, and had to report the rape within a limited amount of time after it occurred. Religious authorities also chose when to interfere, and when they’d rather not to; they would often charge a woman with improper behavior and send her to institutions for prostitutes and “fallen women,” which were established by churches and the city. Improper behavior included flirting and wearing revealing attire. Often times religious authorities would not intervene in spousal disputes unless it disturbed the neighbors or caused a public scandal; when they would, they would try to reconcile them. Domestic abuse was generally not punished as long as the beating was not too extreme, and was done to correct her behavior; “too extreme” would mean that the stick he abused his wife with was narrower than his thumb. Accusations of adultery were taken more seriously than domestic abuse as well, and was a capital offense in a large amount of
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