The Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts
The Laws And Liberties Of Massachusetts
The Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts, enacted in 1648, served as the basis for civil and criminal law in the colony until the eighteenth century. This code was a revision of a 1641 code known as The Body of Liberties, which was written by NATHANIEL WARD, a Puritan minister and teacher. The Laws and Liberties reflect the Puritans' concern that members of the community should live a Christian life true to the principles of the sect. Laws were meant to guide the righteous and punish the wicked, but they were also to be administered fairly. Religious heresy was severely punished as were fornication, adultery, and other behavior that violated the moral teachings of the colonists. Nevertheless, the code mandated that individuals could not be punished or penalized without DUE PROCESS OF LAW.
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