Crime into two different social classes, which were the

Crime and punishment affected the Elizabethan Era by highlighting the difference between the lower class and the upper class. During this time England was separated into two different social classes, which were the noble and the commoners and punishments were determined not only according to social class but on seriousness of the crime committed.The lower class was more prone to theft and poaching out of desperation and poverty their crimes were punished more with public humiliation tactics rather than killing the criminals like they did with most nobels. Some public humiliation tactics the Europeans had were carting, whipping and using the pillory. When carting they would put the criminal backwards on a horse wearing a place card that stated the crime they had committed and the horse would be led through the town for everyone to see and watch (Picard). Usually crimes such as petty theft or incest were punished with carting and then led to the center of the town and put in the pillory. A pillory was a wooden plank with three holes cut in it a hole for the head and two hands where they would stand there while people gathered around and mocked or threw items at, although the pillory was not meant to be deadly, the spectators would kill them depending on how bad the crime was (Picard). As the crimes got worse the punishments would vary, whipping was a punishment they would often use for low treason which was the type of treason commoners were more prone to rather than high treason like the nobles. When a criminal was to get whipped their back would be placed bare and they would whip them however many times Queen Elizabeth assigned and then they would send them on a trail through the town to scare everyone in hopes that crime rates would drop. It can be inferred that during this time commoners punishments were more in the public eye and most of the crimes they commited were considered petty. The nobles were more prone to commit more serious crimes during this time because they had money and they either wanted more or wanted to overthrow Queen Elizabeth. So their crimes dealt with treason and spying on the government, and Queen Elizabeth feared being overthrown from her throne therefor those offenses had serious punishments. Nobel criminals were never publicly humiliated, there punishments were fast and deadly. Although their punishments would sometimes be held publicly in hopes of scaring people so the crime rates would drop. The nobles were often sentenced with beheading which is where there head would be dismembered from their body. Often when the head was completely removed  they would hold it up for the people watching to see because there was eight seconds where the person was still conscious until lack of oxygen would finally kill them (Picard).  

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