1 Many civilizations have formed their own legal systems to ensure justice among their citizens. Law codes are a must for any society that needs to keep the peace among its citizens. They settle conflicts with the goal of preventing feuds between citizens. Two such law codes are those of Hammurabi and the Yuan Dynasty. In both, death remained the number one punishment and was used often for many crimes. Physical punishment was also more popular than repayment.
As societies became more civilized, law codes remained barbaric. # Aside from being barbaric there were differences in punishments concerning the different genders. Status differences appear in the law codes as well as gender differences. Women and slaves were treated differently than the free men of the society, although punishments for both men and women were still harsh. Many things are reflected through Hammurabi’s Law Code and the Yuan Law Code. The writer’s values, legal equality or lack thereof, consumer protections, the differences between pre-meditated and involuntary manslaughter and more, are all apparent within the law codes.
The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi and the Yuan Code written by the Mongols are comparable because of similarities between the two reigns of Hammurabi and Kubilai Khan. Hammurabi was the sixth Amoritic king of Babylon and he reigned between the Tigris and Euphrates. With a series of military campaigns he extended his control over Sumer, Akkad, and far to the north and northwest of Mesopotamia. # His reign lasted from approximately 1792 B. C. E.
The Code of Hammurabi was a primitive and cruel justice system that relied on fear to keep the populace in line. Hammurabi claimed he was sent by a god to rule, so therefore, no one would question his authority. Religion alone was not enough to keep the people in line, so Hammurabi created a code of laws that would scare the people into obedience. Breaking the laws resulted in an inhumane or ...
to 1750 B. C. E. Two reasons for expanding into Mesopotamia were the need for vital resources and the need for trade. # Because of the Amorites, Mesopotamian society changed. City-states shifted to territorial states, long 2 distant trade relations grew, and Hammurabi changed the social structure in order to support his army.
# There were three social classes. # The first class consisted of royalty, high ranking officials, warriors, priests, merchants, and some artisans and shopkeepers. They were the free, landowners. The second class included dependant farmers and artisans who were legally bound to land that belonged to the king, temple, or elite families. They provided the bulk of the work force for the rural estates and temple complexes. The last is the slave class and they were employed for domestic services.
Slaves usually came from mountain tribes and they were either captured in war or sold by slave traders. # There was also another category for slaves which contained people who were unable to pay off a debt. Most information known about Mesopotamian society is biased because the written sources are the product of male scribes and most of the information reflects male elite activities. # There is only limited information on the attitudes towards the roles women played in society.
It is assumed that women remained in the homes and raised the children because hunting and farm work required physical labor, which was usually done by men. Because women gave care to the children, anthropologists theorize that women were prevented from gaining the specialized skills of the scribe or artisan. # Society in China, under the Yuan Dynasty, was similar to the Mesopotamian society and the Kubilai Khan reign has many similarities to Hammurabi’s. In 1279 China fell under the alien-rule of the Mongols.
# Like Hammurabi and the Amorites, Khubilai Khan and the Mongols were nomadic. The Mongols traveled to different territories, such as China and Japan, to conquer them and to rule over them. 3 Khubilai’s main objective however was to restore the unity of the Chinese realm. # In 1265 he made Beijing his new capital and in 1271 he declared himself founder of the Yuan Empire. # Both the Mongols, under Khubilai’s rule, and the Amorites, under Hammurabi’s rule, changed the societies they conquered. In China, all regional regimes were destroyed and the restoration of many features of Chinese government and society were encouraged.
The Function and Role of Law in Business and Society Law is the defined as the body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having legal binding force. In simplified terms Law is the body of rules, or regulations, that create duties and rights within a widely accepted viewpoint within society. Everyone will not always agree to what is right and wrong. Therefore, the ...
# All aspects of life in China changed with the new Mongolian control. The Mongols redistricted China for purposes of census taking and administration and China was organized in to provinces that were much larger than earlier units had been. # Like the Amorites, the Mongols had different social classes. Although the classes were different, they were definitely present. The status of individuals, by law, was dictated by where their ancestors had come from.
The highest social rankings belonged to the Mongols and they made up the conquering caste; next in line were the Central Asians and Middle Easterners who held the highly valued political functions of census taking, tax collection, and managing the calendar. # Below the Central Asians and Middle Easterners were the northern Chinese, and finally the southern Chinese. # According to J. J. Saunders, “The resentment of the educated at Mongol rule no doubt explains the policy of racial segregation practiced by the conquerors.” # Both the Yuan Law Code as well as Hammurabi’s Law Code reflect the societies different social classes as well as the gender differences. Hammurabi’s Law Code was inscribed on a big piece of black basalt.
It contains 282 laws that deal with court procedures, thefts, slaves, crafts, land tenure, farming, wives, family and domestic life, trade, and consumer protection. # Death was the most 4 serious punishment and was used often. Most of the punishments are “eye for an eye” type punishments. Some examples include laws 195-197: “195. If a man strike his father, they shall cut off his hand.
196. If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye. 197. If he break a man’s bone, they shall break his bone.” # Under Hammurabi’s law code, penalties depended on the class of the offender and the most severe punishments were reserved for the lower classes. # Law 198 states: “If he destroy the eye of a common man or break a bone of a common man, he shall pay one mana of silver.” # In this law the ” eye for an eye” assessment doesn’t apply. The common man does not get the same treatment as a male member of the free, landowning class.
Throughout the history of civilization there has been a need for order amongst societies. This order has been seen in the ruling of kings and the laws they created. Most of these laws were set into motion on the basis of whatever the king said is what happened. With the Code of Hammurabi there is a written law that was portrayed as something that not even the king could change. The purpose of this ...
The laws reflect the differences in gender as well as the differences in status. Women are treated as second citizens and they are not treated as equals in the Hammurabi’s law code. If, for example, a women claims to hate her husband and she does not want him to have her, her past is questioned. If she does not have a past then she is free of blame and she can take her dowry and live with her father. Her husband receives no punishment for “going out and greatly belittling her” but if she does have a past of “belittling her husband’ and if she is not free from sin then she would have been thrown into the water. # Clearly men received better treatment from the law code than women did.
In the Yuan Law Code, men also were treated differently than women and there were also different punishments depending on the status of the offender. As well as being bias the Yuan Code is also barbaric like Hammurabi’s Law Code. The Yuan Law Code contains many laws concerning killing and fighting. Almost all of the laws punish killing with the death penalty as well as compensation.
If a person 5 kills another person they are punishable by death and their family must pay funeral expenses of the murdered. # There are exceptions to this. If a man kills someone who was flirting with his wife then he would have received a punishment one degree less than the death penalty. # The laws from the Yuan Dynasty reflect a violent society where fights and murder occur often.
The punishments themselves are also barbaric and if it is not the death penalty then the offender usually receives a set amount of blows. In the Yuan Dynasty women received harsher punishments for crimes than the men did. The laws reflect how women were treated as second citizens as they were in the Mesopotamian society. A father can murder his married daughter, if she has committed a serious offense, and instead of receiving a punishment of death he will only receive 57 blows while the husband of the deceased is entitled to receive a full refund for the amount he paid for her. # Women were treated as if they were just simply pieces of property and the father was punished as if he stole the property. In another example if a father kills his son and happens to kill his daughter in law he will receive only 77 blows and her dowry would have been returned to her parents.
During times of great political change, dynasties in both Japan and China were dealing with issues regarding stability within the state and maintaining power throughout their respective realms. In order to solidify and centralize their states, the leaders of these dynasties introduced ideas of governing and ruling in order to successfully form and maintain a united empire. In China this was done ...
# Laws pertaining to slaves were also equally unfair. Slaves, although not on the same level as women, were treated just as poorly. An example of two laws concerning slaves show that the death of a slave is not as important as the death of a free man: “57. If a person kills his or her slave who has been faultless, he or she will punished by 87 blows. If he or she is in a state of drunkenness when the killing takes place, the punishment will be reduced by one degree. 58.
If a person beats to death a slave who is about to gain his or her freedom, the offending person will be punished by 77 blows.” # The laws were brutal and offensive, especially concerning the treatment of women and 6 slaves as if they were property. Both law codes present seemingly inhuman punishments. The Law Code of Hammurabi and the Yuan Law Code are very similar even though there is a difference of four thousand years between the two. Law codes reflect that societies continued to treat women as second citizens as well as slaves. Both Hammurabi and Khubilai Khan were nomadic and they both expanded their territory into larger regions of land. In order to keep their control over their new expansions they formed law codes to govern the citizens and maintain justice.
The different social structures from both civilizations are revealed in the law codes. There are wealthy land owning classes, lower working classes that work for the king, common men, and slaves. Each of these different social standings are punished differently and the fairness of punishment decreases as the class of men decreases. Bibliography Botero, Jean.
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The Virginia Slave Codes date all the way to early 1600s. During the 17th century, indentured servants, who decided to work for an affirmed amount of time in replace for their means of access to the “New World”, were a handy resource of manual labor for the American colonies. Both blacks and whites served under the system (Goldenburg 1). White servants, after working out their time of ...
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