GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2001-10 > 1003949058
From: "Phil Moody" <>
Subject: RE: Irritating Posts
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 13:44:18 -0500
I think those of us who are historians, or those of us with knowledge of
history, know the kinds of crimes convicts were accused of, regardless
of how these crimes are perceived today. I suppose there will be those
on this group who are utterly ignorant of what you say below, but I
should imagine they would be few.
PLM: An optimistic assumption at best, but I hope you are right:-)
As historians, we deal with the period concerned, and in the periods
concerned, they were convicts. They had been convicted of what was then
recognised as a serious crime.
PLM: John has a good point when he mentions criminals who were not brought
to justice because the foundation of America was a crime against the king.
Rebellion is an act of treason and a crime and had England won, then the
revolutionary soldiers would have been convicted criminals.
As it turns out, these revolutionary soldiers are just criminals who were
never brought to justice and convicted of the crimes and attrocities they
committed against their government. We as Americans tend to glorify these
criminals and take pride in their accomplishments and form organizations
like the D.A.R. to commemorate them, but the truth of the matter is that
they were fortunate criminals who escaped the noose.
We obscure from memory our crimes by terming it a Revolution, as opposed to
what the rest of the world aptly calls it, a Rebellion, because this would
be an admission of guilt. Most Americans are to arrogant to admit that the
foundation of America was a criminal act against the king, but I am not; so
I can say with conviction, that most Americans are descendants from
A criminal is a criminal, whether convicted or not.
It really doesn't matter that we perceive stealing a handkerchief or
five chickens as minor crimes. It's what happened then that matters.
It's part of history. The story of how our ancestors came to be wherever
PLM: As long as you understand the distinction between being a convict then
and a convict now and that they are really disparate terms, then I have no
problem with the use of the term.
We all agree that murder is a crime, but when our self preservation is
threatened, it is "OK" to murder in self defense. Then how can it be a crime
to steal food or money in an act of self preservation; so you can avoid
literally starving to death? I see no lasting tributes to the honourable
souls who said to themselves, "I am to honourable to steal so I am just
going to sit here and starve to death with my children and say to them when
they cry that we still have our integrity dearie, now help mummy dig our
Then if it is acceptable to kill someone in "self defense" because your
self preservation is threatened; then how can it be a crime to steal so you
can eat and live. These people were unjustly convicted if their crimes were
due to a matter of self preservation, which is our strongest primal urge.
These people obviously could not afford proper legal representation, and
I'm sure many were falsely accused just to be rid of them. Just because
someone is found guilty by a corrupt and unjust legal system; it does not
mean that I have to accept the verdict of a Kangaroo court:-) Rather than
accept the broad generalization that convict is synonymous with guilt, we
should bear in mind that in many instances, justice was not served.
From: [mailto:]On Behalf Of Renia
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2001 7:33 PM
Subject: Re: Irritating Posts