Cultural history of the United States
The cultural history of the United States covers the
This includes knowledge, customs, and arts of Americans; and events in the social, cultural, and political spheres.
Prior to the early 19th century, people were infrequently jailed. Jails were considered too expensive and could not competently secure a criminal for a lengthy period. Those convicted were either flogged, placed in stocks for a time, or hanged. In 1829, an attempt was made to reform (induce repentance in) convicts by incarcerating them in a penitentiary. Strict silence was enforced. This model was widely copied and persisted for nearly a century. Authorities conceded failure when those incarcerated often went insane through lack of social contact.