English Influence on the Development of U.S. Law Enforcement


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In the English system of citizen volunteer law enforcement, who was primarily responsible for preventing and prosecuting crime in a community?

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1. Why were sheriffs and constables not highly effective at preventing and prosecuting crime in the English and American systems of the 16th-18th centuries?

2. What part of the English law enforcement system became very important to American colonists?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Take this short multiple-choice quiz to see how much you know about the impact of the English on U.S. law enforcement. Questions cover important topics like who was responsible for prosecuting crime in the English system and the reason constables were ineffective at their jobs in the 1500s - 1700s.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

Quiz/worksheet topics are as follows:

  • Part of English law enforcement that was important to American colonists
  • Who the London Metropolitan Police were
  • Element of Peel's police departments that changed in the U.S.

Skills Practiced

  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding the group who was in charge of preventing crime in the English system
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about why constables were ineffective at law enforcement during the 1500s - 1700s and the role of the London Metropolitan Police
  • Making connections - use your understanding of English law enforcement and how it's connected to the American colonists

Additional Learning

To learn more about the history of policing, you can review the lesson entitled English Influence on the Development of U.S. Law Enforcement. These points are discussed:

  • Basic definition of the law
  • Policing before and during the Industrial Revolution
  • Dutch and English policing in the American colonies
  • First U.S. police departments in Boston and New York