Having effectively established an early version of , the Anglo-Saxons created a “warlike” system founded on family bonds, success, acquisition of funds and property, and control through legal means. (Roth,
Having effectively established an early version of , the Anglo-Saxons created a “warlike” system founded on family bonds, success, acquisition of funds and property, and control through legal means. (Roth, 2005) Crime was a serious matter as this could effect an individual’s financial status/land holdings, family and personal reputation, and life. As each /kingdom had their own laws; however, your “value” as a human would determine (blood price) and options for punishments. (BBC, 2016) Blood and vengeance based retaliations occurred. There were no police forces; however, there were ” ” (groups of 10 to 12 men) who were responsible for each other and held accountable for each other’s actions. (Roth, 2005) Therefore, if you were accused of , you and your tithing would appear before a community jury to hear a sentence of death or a fine; however, should you not appear you would then be stripped of your humanity/value and executed. (Roth, 2005) If the Saxons were known for their death penalty, then the Norman’s were known for verdicts of mutilation and forming the class system. (Roth, 2005) Unlike the Saxons, the Norman’s legal system did establish a police system that was loyal to the monarch instead of the community or . (Roth, 2005) Taking the power away from communities and families to uphold and the law, handed everything from “tax collection, arresting , transporting prisoners, and serving legal papers” to maintaining curfew and monarch regulations. (Roth, 2005) Instead of having to survive an ordeal, a would have to battle to prove his/her innocence or appoint someone to battle for them if the defendant was a woman, child, elderly, or ill individual. (Roth, 2005) If a woman stole an apple, her brother might have to battle the shop keepers. However, the two systems were vastly different. In the Anglo-Saxon world, the kingdoms experienced more personal and kingdom based freedoms. Even though the death penalty was widely utilized, no positions existed that would be seeking out infractions or looking to punish someone (like a constable). A thief might loose his family and personal honor, face the wrath of his tithing, or have to endure his victim’s family claiming their blood price. However, value and worth were placed on family honor, deeds, and contributions to the community. In the United States, this is similar to what we experienced before the civil war. The states had more power than the federal government over their laws and regulations; however, like the Saxons, there were major among states regarding policies, sentences for crimes, and even social attitudes towards certain crimes. The Anti Federalist movement in the United States is founded on the premise that we as citizens should not allow the Federal Government to reduce state freedoms and rights in favor of a singular federal control and legislation. ( , 2016) While the Federalist argument supports the Norman’s concepts of Federal regulation keeps peace, reduces death sentences, and keeps unified standards that are generalized across the entire unit being controlled. However, Roth (2005) states that this lead to overly harsh micro control such as violations. (p 30) Therefore, does absolutely power corrupt ? Does giving state power up eventually leave the individual at the mercy of the perceived . These are the debates started by the Saxons and Normans that are still argued by Federalist and Anti Federalist today. Even in our two party system, Republicans and Democrats, the argument is still the same. Therefore, the Saxons and the Normans still effect our political system and government today. BBC. (2016) Anglo Saxons: Kings and Law. Retrieved from , G.(2016)Federalist- Debate.Retrieved from Roth, M.(2005) Crime and : A story of the Criminal Justice System. Wadsworth. Sam Houston University. 2
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