Why did punishments become so bloody in the 18th century? KQ4

Pupils label their own copy of a motivating Hogarth print showing popular attitudes to public executions before explaining the puzzling conundrum: when the number of death penalties was increased why did the number of executions actually go down?  Really good thinking skills stuff.

Learning Objectives

  • Pupils understand that this was an era of the Bloody Code when there was a massive increase in the number of capital offences.
  • They grasp that these were often for quite trivial offences, usually involving property.
  • Pupils understand what is meant by the term Bloody Code and that punishments were as harsh as possible and as public as possible to deter people from committing crime.
  • Pupils can explain the paradox that the number of crimes went up but the number of executions went down.

Smart task 1

Start with a motivating image, Hogarth’s depiction of the execution of Tom Idle, on slide 2 of the PowerPoint presentation as there is so much human interest in it.
Ask pupils to annotate 6-10 significant scenes from a contemporary print of an execution, giving them a copy of slide 3, enlarged to A3 to work on in pairs.
Lower-attaining pupils are given label cards 1-10 (provided as RS1)

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