Capital Punishment And Its Effect On The Modern World Essay

2399 Words Oct 24th, 2016 10 Pages
Early Modern Europe is a period modern historians date from around 1450 to the beginning of the industrial revolution in late 18th century Britain. It is considered a transition period from the Medieval world to the modern world, and thus has elements of both in most aspects of life at this time. The Legal system was not an exception as during the 17th century, the legal system across Europe was changing to reflect the centralizing power of the crown or lack thereof. The new legal systems tried to reflect a desire for empiricism and order in a violent world once ruled by the nobility. A major aspect of the legal system at this time is corporal and capital punishment. In modern terms, capital punishment is rare and is reserved for the most heinous crimes. In the early modern period, both capital and corporal punishment were much more common. In the 17th century, punishment of a crime was more theatrical so that others would be demotivated to commit the same crime. Englishmen John Taylor traveled to Hamburg in 1616, and witnessed some of these crimes. He wrote “the prisoner mounted on a mount of earth, built high on purpose that the people without may see the execution a quarter of a mile round about.” Taylor noted the horrid execution “was the terrible manner of this horrid execution…displayed for the edification of the city’s inhabitants.” He does not say, but it is very possible that the condemned was already dead when he was publically executed on the hill. Early Modern…

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