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Colonial America (1492-1765)
Law Enforcement and Fire Fighting



Law Enforcement and Fire Fighting
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.56

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    apprehend, bolted, fining, whipping, posse, provided, illegal, burning, criminal, offense, colonial, armed, enforcement, community, responsibility, prisoner
     content words:    New York


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Law Enforcement and Fire Fighting
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Any community can have its problems, and it wasn't any different in the settlements built by the first American colonists. Criminals committed illegal acts. Careless actions started fires.
 
2     Some of the crimes were the same ones that make the headlines today - murder, kidnapping, and theft. At that time, cursing a parent by a grown child was also a criminal offense. All of these activities were illegal according to the laws of England. Some things that were illegal in the colonies are not much of a problem today, such as witchcraft.
 
3     Fires were a problem for the communities too, since houses were usually built of wood, and a fire could spread quickly. With fireplaces used for heat, and candles and lanterns used for light, fire was a constant threat.
 
4     To deal with these problems, the colonists needed law enforcement officials and firefighters.
 
5     Sheriffs were some of the first officials in the new colonies. Sheriffs for the colonies were first appointed by the king and later were chosen by the local colonial governments.

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