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History if Vigilantism

             Vigilantes have been a part of history for along time. A basic definition of a vigilante is someone who takes the law into his or her own hands. Vigilantes can act by themselves or in a vigilant group. Laws of the United States typically shun the vigilante way of doing things. However, in certain cases vigilantes are needed where the government fails to bring proper justice. .
             Vigilantes our most famous in the late nineteenth century in the Midwestern United States. Where a vigilante law system was widely used. But first, the actual definition of a vigilante is someone who takes law enforcement into one's own hands or a member in a vigilance committee (Dictionary). In this time period, in small towns where no legal system or law enforcement was put into place, a vigilance committee could have been made. Where by there is no legal officers, just normal people. Here people would stand trial and sentence would be carried out. The sentencing was built on a revengeful scale of repercussions. A Code of Hammurabi type of mentality was used. Death was a common sentencing. Sentence was carried out immediately. One example of a vigilance committee is in California in the late 1840's where the gold rush began. It was here that thousands of Americans came in search of gold. However, no government was yet established, so people organized and started vigilance committees in order to lower crime and punish criminals (Encarta).
             Most of the vigilantes of the Midwest were loved by the community and were good people. They were good honest people that could make wise decisions. Which is more like the judicial system of antiquity. Where usually a towns elders were the court system. They had a whole lifetime of knowledge and were respected by the whole town. Thus the people respected their judgments. Since there was no actual laws or government this is all they had and it worked. Vigilantes were very prominent in anytime period of American History where little or no local government was established.

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