In this post, we will discuss crime and punishment before the Civil War. Because of the Civil War the United States itself changed from having to rebuild to making and

In this post, we will discuss crime and punishment before the Civil War.  Because of the Civil War the United States itself changed from having to rebuild to making and incorporating new laws into it’s judicial system.  Here are some examples that we will discuss that before the Civil War. *Due to the rapid increase of immigrants into our country, crime in many regions rose sharply.  These crimes were due to lack of jobs and housing. *Because of the crime increase, police forces were soon formed and began in their infancy stages. *Southern culture changed drastically in many areas.  From how men thought about race to how they considered race and what class a person fell into. Before the Civil War, the South was considered to be ran by white, upper class men.  “Southerners grew up with violence as a part of everyday life”.   (Ayers, 1984.)   Women and African Americans had no voting rights and were not considered on the same level as white men.  Many white men were considered the leaders of their wives and daughters.  Not all white men were in these positions though, most were upper-class, business men.  After the Civil War and slavery was abolished and women were given the right to vote, all of this fully was changed.  It would take years to free all slaves from all regions and win all rights for all women, but it was the beginning.  “Crime and violence stemmed only from racism, political conflict, and social dislocation.” (Ayers, 1984.)  While many people might agree with Ayers, I do not think that is entirely accurate.  One cannot blame all crime and violence on those items. IMPACT THIS HAD ON CURRENT VIOLENT TRENDS: During the Civil War and after, many changes would come to the United States.  Slavery would be abolished and voting rights would be put into play for women.  It would be long and hard for those men and women.  The South would undergo reconstruction and during this time the laws would slowly begin to change for the citizens of that region.  A few ways this era impacted our system today we will discuss now. *The beginning of our prison system.  During the Civil War Era, the start of our jails and prison system grew.  Our judicial system that sentences offenders today to prison, is due to this change. *The decision to stop public execution and the beginning of the end of capital punishment in some states. After the Civil War, laws prohibiting public execution were passed and made prisons move capital punishment from the public eye. *There were more laws passed after the Civil War than had ever been done in U.S. history.  Laws from abolishing slavery to women’s rights were made and passed. All of these items listed above impacted violent and violence trends in the U.S.  When the Civil War ended, our citizens had to band together and forget the North and south and start looking at our country as one, as the United States of America.  The citizens had to learn how to work together, live together, vote together, and just be together in everyday life. VIOLENT TRENDS IN OUR REGION: Current research shows in my region, which is the state of Alabama, is as follows: *with 98.9% of reporting population in 2012 Murder-283 Rape-981 Robbery-4,517 Assault-11,061 INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS TO DRAW FROM CIVIL WAR: I believe the largest international comparison that I can draw from the Civil War era to now is war crimes.  In the Civil War, this was a terrible way that soldiers got information from the other side.  War crimes are of course forbidden internationally today with the international humanitarian law, but they do still happen during wars. CONCLUSION: Crime and punishment have been around since the beginning of man’s time on earth.  The Civil War was a bloody-ear for our country.  It divided us into many categories and showed how horrific man can be to each other, but it also showed how we can come together and make it work.  Because of the Civil War, our country became united and created many laws that brought us out of those dark days and started our country on a new path. RESOURCES CITED: Ayers, E. (1984) Vengeance and Justice: Crime and Punishment in the 19th Century America south. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 353. , R. (2004) Cambridge University.  pp. 97 Roth, M.P. (2011) (2 ed.) Belmont, CA. Wadsworth Publishing.

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