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Court records from medieval France(Non OG)-weakener

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gocoder Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Court records from medieval France(Non OG)-weakener

Post Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:43 am
Court records from medieval France show that in the years 1300 to 1400 the number of people arrested in the French realm for "violent interpersonal crimes" (not committed in wars) increased by 30 percent over the number of people arrested for such crimes in the years 1200 to 1300. The increase was not the result of false arrests; therefore, medieval France had a higher level of documented interpersonal violence in the years 1300 to 1400 than in the years 1200 to 1300.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

(A) In the years 1300 to 1400 the French government's category of violent crimes included an increasing variety of interpersonal crimes that are actually nonviolent.

(B) Historical accounts by monastic chroniclers in the years 1300 to 1400 are filled with descriptions of violent attacks committed by people living in the French realm

(C) The number of individual agreements between two people in which they swore oaths not to attack each other increased substantially after 1300.

(D) When English armies tried to conquer parts of France in the mid- to late 1300s. violence in the northern province of Normandy and the south-western province of Gascony increased.

(E) The population of medical France increased substantially during the first five decades of the 1300s until the deadly bubonic plague decimated the population of France after 1348.



Conclusion: More interpersonal crimes were recorded in years 1300-1400 than in years 1200-1300.

some of the weakeners I expected before attempting this question:

-some account testifying that documented crimes in 1200-1300 had been lost( causes:burnt down, flood etc )
-recently recovered documents from 1200-1300 that describe the chronicles of interpersonal violence.
-Increase in general population in 15th century greater than 30%.

what problem I faced with OA(choice A)is that stimulus mentions false arrests were undocumented in 15th Century while OA states that many non violent crimes were documented under interpersonal crimes. Aren't these analogous ?

Secondly, laws governing interpersonal violence, or any other violence, can change over time. Same laws that are used to judge a crime in 12 or 13th century may not be applicable in the proceedings centuries-either laws became more stringent or they became more lenient.

In this light, OA doesn't seem right to me.

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Top Reply
Post Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:47 am
gocoder wrote:
Court records from medieval France show that in the years 1300 to 1400 the number of people arrested in the French realm for "violent interpersonal crimes" (not committed in wars) increased by 30 percent over the number of people arrested for such crimes in the years 1200 to 1300. The increase was not the result of false arrests; therefore, medieval France had a higher level of documented interpersonal violence in the years 1300 to 1400 than in the years 1200 to 1300.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

(A) In the years 1300 to 1400 the French government's category of violent crimes included an increasing variety of interpersonal crimes that are actually nonviolent.

(B) Historical accounts by monastic chroniclers in the years 1300 to 1400 are filled with descriptions of violent attacks committed by people living in the French realm

(C) The number of individual agreements between two people in which they swore oaths not to attack each other increased substantially after 1300.

(D) When English armies tried to conquer parts of France in the mid- to late 1300s. violence in the northern province of Normandy and the south-western province of Gascony increased.

(E) The population of medical France increased substantially during the first five decades of the 1300s until the deadly bubonic plague decimated the population of France after 1348.



Conclusion: More interpersonal crimes were recorded in years 1300-1400 than in years 1200-1300.

some of the weakeners I expected before attempting this question:

-some account testifying that documented crimes in 1200-1300 had been lost( causes:burnt down, flood etc )
-recently recovered documents from 1200-1300 that describe the chronicles of interpersonal violence.
-Increase in general population in 15th century greater than 30%.

what problem I faced with OA(choice A)is that stimulus mentions false arrests were undocumented in 15th Century while OA states that many non violent crimes were documented under interpersonal crimes. Aren't these analogous ?

Secondly, laws governing interpersonal violence, or any other violence, can change over time. Same laws that are used to judge a crime in 12 or 13th century may not be applicable in the proceedings centuries-either laws became more stringent or they became more lenient.

In this light, OA doesn't seem right to me.
Here's the logic this argument seems to be going for:

Imagine that there are two time periods, Period A and Period B. We have the following statistics from court records:

Period A: 1 people arrested for committing violent crimes
Period B: 2 people arrested for committing violent crimes

So we'd conclude that in Period B more violent crimes were committed, right? Now image we look more closely at the court records and we see the following:

Period A: 1 person arrested for attacking a silversmith with a short sword
Period B: 1 person arrested for attacking a silversmith with a club. 1 person arrested for wearing a shoes that did not much his belt.

Well, it's clear now that in Period B, we had an arrest that was categorized as being for a "violent crime" but was for a crime that was not, in fact, violent, so the conclusion that there were more violent crimes in Period B is no longer valid. It's just the case that more crimes were described as violent in court records. (Note that the poor guy who was arrested for the fashion offense wasn't the victim of a false arrest. He really did commit the crime he was accused of. It just wasn't violent.)

That said, this question does make me a little uneasy. I suspect an official question would make it crystal clear that there's a distinction between the way crimes are described and what the crimes actually are. Here, the writer attempts to do it by introducing quotes around "violent interpersonal crimes" to show that we're dealing with a description.

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