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“Arbitrary and cruel punishments:” Trends in Royal Navy Courts martial, 1860-1869

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dc.contributor.author Johnston, Andrew
dc.date.accessioned 2020-07-30T03:16:45Z
dc.date.copyright 2020 en_US
dc.date.issued 2020-07-29
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/11969
dc.description.abstract Britain’s Royal Navy of the nineteenth century was the unquestioned master of the world’s oceans, having won such standing after over a century of near-uninterrupted warfare. However, while the strategies, tactics and technology of the navy evolved dramatically during this period, the laws that governed its many thousands of sailors and officers remained virtually unchanged from the original 1661 Articles of War. Despite minor amendments throughout the eighteenth century and a major reworking in 1749, both capital and corporal punishments were frequently employed as punishment for minor offences in a system that made England’s “Bloody Code” look positively humane. The 1860 Naval Discipline Act provided the first substantive overhaul of the original Articles of War, but historians have generally lamented this act as providing little comprehensive change to the governance of the navy. Using statistical data collected from thousands of courts martial records, this thesis takes a broad look at trends in naval courts martial, studying how these courts interacted with the legislative changes of the 1860s. Viewing how charges and sentences changed on the global scale, it becomes clear that the “arbitrary and cruel punishments” of the previous century had at last given way to a centralized, formal expression of discipline. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject British history en_US
dc.subject Naval history en_US
dc.subject Legal history en_US
dc.subject Big data en_US
dc.subject Military law en_US
dc.title “Arbitrary and cruel punishments:” Trends in Royal Navy Courts martial, 1860-1869 en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Zimmerman, David
dc.degree.department Department of History en_US
dc.degree.level Master of Arts M.A. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US
dc.description.embargo 2021-07-21


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