Influence of English Concept about Law Enforcement in Producing the United States Modern Law

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English concept about law enforcement were instrumental in producing the United States modern police. The influences that the English law had on the law enforcement in the United States was when the Great Britain started bringing their own customs and laws. These invaders intermarried with those they conquered outcome was the Angelo-Saxon. The unit of civil administration (10 families also known as tithing) were self-governed and self-policed. If they’ve caught criminals, they would give them a chance to redeem themselves from the crimes otherwise they would’ve punished them severely.

As time went on the tithing system was establishing the principle of collective responsibility for maintaining the local law and order by those 10 families. Around this time when they had hue and cry this method would not work with current criminal justice system of the United States. Many reasons for example most civilians would do the bystander effect. Recording on their cell phones or the fear of having any involvement. I wouldn’t consider the hue and cry method to completely not work, but the percentage would be very small.

However, if one person from the group is caught committing a crime the rest of their group will be punished as well so all groups had to watch one another. Around this time society was simple and the two law that were made was for laws against murder and theft. In 1066 a Norman by the name of William conquered England he was concerned on the national security creating 55 military districts each headed by a Norman shire-reeve whom only answers to the crown. Normans men also decided to modify the tithing system requiring loyalty to the king law and mutual local responsibility in maintaining the peace also known as the Frankpledge system. William decided shire-reeves should serve as police officers, selected his own judges who traveled handling cases, and separating law enforcement and judicial roles.

The twelfth century influences were when Williams son Henry I ruled English 1100 to 1135 issuing the Leges Henrici document that made law enforcement a public matter and separated offenses into felonies and misdemeanors. When Henry I resign Henry II became king in 1154 establishing the jury system calling it an inquisition requiring people to hand information to panel of judges to determined innocence or guilt. So, for the next 100 years kings designated enforcement officers to meet needs. At some point a man by the name of John became king and abused his power. Groups of barons and church leaders drew up a list of right and the king refused. Since the king refused twice the barons and church leaders raised an army then forced him to meet demands that’s when the king decided to sign a Magna Carta a decisive document contained 63 articles that checked royal power and placed the king under the law.

In 1748 Henry Fielding was a multiskilled man being a lawyer, novelist, and playwright was appointed chief magistrate of Bow Street. Fielding exercised general leniency and wrote books and pamphlets poverty-stricken inhabitants calling for an understanding and lessening of their suffering. During this time in London robbers and thieves moved freely looting and rioting. Fielding then established the Bow Street Runners. I believe the Fielding and the Bow Runner was the most significant influence on law enforcement because even though they were amateurs the volunteer force was proven successful. The London Metropolitan police also known as bobbies or peelers were uniformed for easier identification and their duty was crime prevention and patrol.

The London mob assembled a Parliament attacking and killing a police sergeant and critically injuring two constables. Juries of London citizens heard the clear evidence of the indicative of murder returned the verdict justifiable homicide. The late 19 century women were finally allowed to join the police force even though they were limited on their duties. The first U.S. police forces were developed in Boston, New York, And Los Angeles. Boston (1636) established six-man force to guard the city they were required to call out the time of day and weather. In New York (1643) was once called the New Amsterdam had the rattle watch group of citizens patrolling at night and armed with rattles to call for help the system was very effective.

In Los Angeles (1850) the city established police forces of 100 volunteers called the Los Angeles Rangers later they were replaced by Los Angeles City Guards who maintained the peace. The final change in the police force was in 1869 when the voluntary organization was changed to a paid department. In the south the southern colonies amid concerns about the potential dangers by oppressed slave. They established law forbidding slaves for have weapons, assembling groups, or resisting arrest. The blacks started to outnumber the white colonists and feared about the potential dangers, so they created the slave patrols the special enforcement.

Officers who could enter plantations and break into slaves’ dwellings, search slaves’ person and possessions at will, and beat and even kill any slaves found violating the slave code.

In the 18th and 19th century the slave patrols had black officers to keep the African American in line by enforcing the Jim Crow laws supporting segregation. As the years transpire the evolution of law enforcement agencies local, state, and federal. The five levels of law enforcement are the U.S Marshals the oldest American federal law enforcement agency whom protects the President and providing security for U.S. courtrooms. Immigration & Naturalization Services administered federal immigration law and regulations including the Immigration and Nationality Act. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has many responsibilities this level of law enforcement is considered the most important because of the special services they provide and the having jurisdiction on over 4000 federal crimes that has been categorized in 200 categories.

Bureau of Prisons whom are responsible for holding inmates and having custody for individuals that violated federal law. Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are responsible for inhibiting drug trafficking and smuggling. All five interact with each other by collaboration and helping one another with solving investigations. In frontier regions the law and order were absent causing 500 settlers to take the matter of the law in their own hands making it the vigilante movement. Since there was no respectable sheriff or court in South Carolina the respectable settlers organized regulators vigilantes to attack and break up outlaw gangs and restore order it became the American tradition that sweep to the Pacific.

The tribal law enforcement also known as the Bureau of Indian Affairs oversees the Indian Country, they’re responsible for 55.7 million acres and operates 42 agencies. The agencies provide wide ranges of public safety services and responds and engages to crime prevention activities, warrants, traffic, and serving court papers. The tribal areas started improving the criminal justice system helping law enforcement navigate the federal law and court decisions because of the increasing levels rampant crime. The congress passed the Tribal Law and Order Act. The officers were provided better access to criminal sharing databases and authorizing guidelines for handling violence and assault crimes and more training to improve evidence collections and conviction rates.

The 3 eras of policing were the political, reform, and the community eras has progressed throughout history to meet responsibilities. Policing is a very demanding, intricate and dynamic field of endeavor that is always evolves as hard lessons teaching everyone what is needed to know what does and does not work. As for the last question “Do you agree with the consensus, disagree – why?” I agree with how the evolution of law was created, the choosing of which part of the law to use, how it blends well enough to understand the process and rules as society we all should obey by. However, with technology and how the future is shifting we should always take opinions and ideas in consideration to better the next generations.

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Influence Of English Concept About Law Enforcement In Producing The United States Modern Law. (2022, Feb 05). Retrieved December 2, 2023 , from

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