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Crime and Punishment in Colonial Massachusetts Throughout Massachusettss colonial history the interest and confusion can be targeted to the punishments done for the crimes committed Presentism is a major idea to remember when reflecting on the actions taken during colonial times The below excerpt is taken from The Body of Liberties of 1641 and can add to the understanding of why and how such punishments discussed were carried out Perhaps the magistrates in power took things too far Possibly the law enforcers took the word of God too literally Nevertheless Colonial Massachusetts proves to have been a place for persecution guilty or not and a place to affirm power and the interpretation of Gods law The free fruition of such liberties Immunities and priveledges as humanitie civilitie and christianitie call for as due to every man in his place and proportion with out impeachment and Infringement hath ever bene and ever will be the tranquillitie and Stabilitie of Churches and Commonwealths And the deniall or deprival thereof the disturbance if not the ruin of both We hold it therefore our dutie and safetie whilst we are about the further establishing of this government to collect and expresse all such freedomes as for present we foresee may concerne us and our posteritie after us And to ratify them with our sollmne consent We doe therefore this day religiously and unanimously decree and confirme these following Rites liberties and priveledges concerning our churches and Civill state to be respectively impartialle and inviolably enjoyed and observed throughout our jurisdiction for ever The settlers in Massachusetts looked upon themselves as moral and religious people Yet there were many wrongdoers in the new colony They had a strict moral code and violators were handed bizarre punishments With every crime imaginable there was a harsh punishment to follow weather it be emotional or physical Either way in colonial Massachusettss laws were made and enforced The crimes and punishments in
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