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HIST3076 Crime and Punishment in England c.1688-1840 part 2

Module Overview

This course will span the period c.1688-c.1840, beginning with the reforms of the criminal code introduced following the Glorious Revolution, known as the ‘Bloody Code’, and concluding in the mid-nineteenth century with the introduction of the police force under Peel and the first acts removing capital punishment from felonies. You will be asked to consider why the legal system moved away from capital punishment towards firstly the transportation and ultimately the imprisonment of felons and what led to the establishment of the police force. You will be introduced to a wide range of sources for examining the history of crime and punishment, both qualitative and quantitative. In looking at punishment, the ideas of Beccaria, Howard and Bentham will be examined in addition to prison and Home Office records. The material of Colquhoun and Peel form the basis of a consideration of early policing. A final component of the course will be to address modern representations of the history of crime and punishment through the watching of films and documentaries (ranging from Dick Turpin to Blackadder) to examine and deconstruct some of the myths that have grown up around the period and subject.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Enable you to develop an understanding of how the criminal justice system and the machinery of public order worked in a specific historical context. • Enhance your ability to read, assimilate and analyse primary source material. • Introduce you to the historiographical debates surrounding the development of the criminal justice system during the long eighteenth century.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The changing structure of the criminal justice system between 1688 and 1840.
  • The nature and incidence of crime in the period and the extent to which historical research confirms the perceptions of contemporaries.
  • Changing attitudes towards punishment, in particular the move away from capital punishment to imprisonment.
  • The different forms of evidence available to historians for uncovering the histories of crime and punishment.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Collect data and information, evaluate it, and integrate it in an essay or oral presentation.
  • Participate in group discussion, as speaker to a group but also as a respondent.
  • Work individually but also in a small group.
  • Learn to develop critical time management skills by handling several tasks competently at the same time.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Perform research with electronic media on a wide range of subjects.
  • Be able to present research both orally and in short text formats
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the changing patterns of criminal activity in the period 1688 to 1840.
  • Make connections between Enlightenment theories and the development of the criminal justice system.
  • Analyse a wide range of primary source material (including images), with regard to the specific context.
  • Identify and engage with the most important historiographical texts on the subject
  • Reflect upon the impact of the development of the police force - and changing penal policy in particular - with regard to the treatment of crime today.

Syllabus

a. Module Overview This course will span the period c.1688-c.1840, beginning with the reforms of the criminal code introduced following the Glorious Revolution, known as the ‘Bloody Code’, and concluding in the mid-nineteenth century with the introduction of the police force under Peel and the first acts removing capital punishment from felonies. You will be asked to consider why the legal system moved away from capital punishment towards firstly the transportation and ultimately the imprisonment of felons and what led to the establishment of the police force. b. Module Syllabus You will be introduced to a wide range of sources for examining the history of crime and punishment, both qualitative and quantitative. In looking at punishment, the ideas of Beccaria, Howard and Bentham will be examined in addition to prison and Home Office records. The material of Colquhoun and Peel form the basis of a consideration of early policing. A final component of the course will be to address modern representations of the history of crime and punishment through the watching of films and documentaries (ranging from Dick Turpin to Blackadder) to examine and deconstruct some of the myths that have grown up around the period and subject.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Two double sessions per week in seminar format with source interpretation and student presentations • Close analysis and interpretation of primary sources in different genres. • Essay workshops and tutorials Learning activities include • preparing introductory and background reading for each seminar • preparing oral presentations on specific aspects of the course • analysis, in groups and individually, of primary source materials Seminars will introduce you to the changing notions of crime and punishment through the long eighteenth century and provide you with the necessary research skills, such as: how to find and analyse secondary literature and also how to research, evaluate and use primary source material. The seminar environment will help to develop your interpersonal skills through the use of individual and group presentations. These will develop your knowledge and understanding of particular subject areas and enhance your oral communication skills. The preparation for presentations will help you to find an essay topic, narrow it down to a specific question and start to research sources and secondary materials relevant for it, to critically evaluate the contributions made by published secondary works and to develop a coherent written argument at length. The final examination will ask you to reflect back upon the course material and to revise the key historiography, seminar discussions will help to provide this thematic overview.

TypeHours
Teaching40
Independent Study260
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

M. Gaskill (2002). Crime and Mentalities in Early Modern England. 

J. Sharpe (1984). Crime in Early Modern England, 1550-1750. 

D. Taylor (1998). Crime, Policing and Punishment in England, 1750-1914. 

P. King (2000). Justice and Discretion in England, 1740-1820. 

D. Hay, et al (1976). Albion’s Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth Century England. 

F. McLynn (1989). Crime and Punishment in Eighteenth Century England. 

J. Beattie (1986). Crime and the Courts in England, 1660-1800. 

J. Briggs, C. Harrison, A. McInnes and D. Vincent (2001). Crime and Punishment in England: An Introductory History. 

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online.

British Newspapers 1600-1900 access through library website. 

J. S. Cockburn, ed (1977). Crime in England, 1550-1800. 

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) access through library website. 

J. Beattie (2001). Policing and Punishment in London, 1660-1750: Urban Crime and the Limits of Terror. 

V. A. C. Gatrell (1984). The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People, 1770-1868. 

C. Emsley (1987). Crime and Society in England, 1750-1900. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
Examination  (3 hours) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework %

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Students may choose to buy their own copies of key texts but there is no requirement for you to do so.

Travel Costs for placements

Any field trips (archives, museums etc.,) will be optional and self-financed.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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