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It was imposed as a form of judicial punishment and as a means of maintaining discipline in schools, prisons, military forces, and private homes.
The instruments and methods of flogging have varied. Children in schools and homes have been beaten with sticks, rods, straps, whips, and other objects. This was constructed of nine knotted cords or thongs of rawhide attached to a handle. The Russian knout, consisting of a of dried and hardened thongs of rawhide interwoven with wire—the wires often being hooked and sharpened so that they tore the flesh—was even more painful and deadly.
A particularly painful, though not so deadly, type of flogging was the bastinado, generally used in Asia, which involved blows delivered to the soles of the feet with a light rod, knotted cord, or lash. Flogging was formerly executed with great brutality. The backs of the condemned were frequently lacerated, and salt was poured into the wounds to increase the pain.
In England the Whipping Act of authorized the whipping of thieves, blasphemers, poachers, men and women guilty of minor offenses, and even the insane. Victims were tied to the end of a cart until the s, when the whipping post was introduced. During the 19th century, imprisonment gradually replaced corporal penalties as a punishment for crime, but the courts retained the power to order whippings in cases involving violent crimes see prison.
This power was terminated in England, Scotland, and Wales by the Criminal Justice Act ofalthough corporal punishment for mutiny, incitement to mutiny, and gross personal violence to an officer of a prison when committed by a male person was permitted in England and Wales until The whip was used in 18th-century Denmark and Holland; German felons were flogged out of town, and warders in the French penal colonies in the s employed riding whips. The Japanese used three lengths of bamboo bound together, which caused multiple lacerations, and although judicial torture in that country was abolished incaptured Koreans and Formosans were still beaten in this fashion, as were Allied prisoners of war in World War II.
Throughout history whips have been a terrible symbol of slavery. Additional Info. Print Cite verified Cite. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback External How to flog someone.
Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires. External Websites. Jewish Virtual Library - Flogging. See all media. Also Known As: caning Show more Related Topics: Corporal punishment Show more. Full Article. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Prisonan institution for the confinement of persons who have been remanded held in custody by a judicial authority or who have been deprived of their liberty following conviction for a crime.
A person found guilty of a felony or a misdemeanour may be required to serve a prison sentence.
The last floggings in the United States, for example, were carried out in the state of Delaware in the practice was abolished there in British criminal law stood as a rare exception in its legal prescription of whipping as punishment for some offenses, but the…. It is not known if White-Jacket was directly responsible for the cessation of flogging; however, members of Congress received copies of the novel during the congressional debate over the issue, and flogging in the U.
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