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By Norman & ERDOS, George DENNIS

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The success of the VLBs was itself connected with the importance in Victorian culture of Grace Darling. At great risk to 12 CULTURES AND CRIMES their own lives, in an open rowing boat in a violent storm, she and her father rescued five passengers from the Forfarshire, wrecked off Bamburgh in 1838. The first Volunteer Life Brigade was established in Tynemouth in 1864. A group of men at South Shields—typically at the Mechanics Institute—decided to follow suit. When volunteers were called for, 140 men enrolled.

This weapon could not have been decisive in battles involving thousands of men. Their possession of horses was a factor in their conquests. Swords of Spanish steel were much more deadly than the stone maces and wooden clubs of the Aztecs and Incas. But the decisive difference lay in cultural factors. The Aztecs fought to get captives for sacrifice. For them, a battle was a matter of dashing up to the enemy’s lines and pulling out a prisoner. The Spaniards fought to destroy the opposing army as a cohesive force.

Xxxii CULTURES AND CRIMES The state might approve the use of some degree and type of physical violence by some private individuals in some circumstances. Teachers might be permitted by the state to detain pupils, and use a minimum of physical restraint when they attempt to evade detention, where the intention is to maintain the good order of the class or school. Parents might be permitted by the state to smack their children on certain parts of their bodies where the intention is to make their children behave ‘properly’.

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