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Reading Comprehension Worksheets
Colonial America (1492-1776)
Law Enforcement and Firefighting

Colonial America (1492-1776)
Colonial America (1492-1776)

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

     challenging words:    fining, whipping, burning, provided, colonial, criminal, posse, community, witchcraft, punishment, offense, illegal, prisoner, armed, bolted, murder
     content words:    New York

Law Enforcement and Firefighting
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 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 stealing pigs.
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.

Paragraphs 6 to 13:
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