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Crime and authority in eighteenth century England

Kriminalität und Macht im 18.Jahrhundert in England
[journal article]

Oberwittler, Dietrich

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Abstract Die Geschichte der Kriminalität und des Strafrechtswesens ist für einige Jahre ein intensives Forschungsfeld der englischen Sozialgeschichte gewesen. Der vorliegende Artikel verfolgt zwei Absichten: (1) Ein Übersichtsbericht der sozialgeschichtlichen Forschungen zur Kriminalität und Strafjustiz im 18. Jahrhundert; (2) Die Funktionsweise des Strafrechtswesens unterhalb der Ebene der Strafgerichte. Die Analyse von juristischen Unterlagen ergibt dabei Hinweise auf die informellen Wege wie Delinquenz auf der lokalen Ebene und im Vorfeld der Gerichte gehandhabt worden ist. (pmb)

'The history of crime and the criminal justice system has been a field of intensive research in the English social history for some years. This article pursues a twofold aim: Firstly, it is intended to give a broad overview over the social history of eighteenth-century crime and criminal justice in England, discussing different approaches and methodological questions. In the second part, the focus will be on the actual working of the criminal justice system on the level below the criminal courts where it was the task of the justices of the peace to enforce the law. As the analysis of justices' notebooks reveals, informal ways of dealing with delinquency were common on this local level. The importance of these findings for the character of the criminal justice system and authority in general will be assessed in part three.' (author's abstract)
Keywords Great Britain; domination; criminality; power; jurisdiction; social history; execution of sentence; eighteenth century
Classification Criminal Sociology, Sociology of Law; Social History, Historical Social Research
Document language English
Publication Year 1990
Page/Pages p. 3-34
Journal Historical Social Research, 15 (1990) 2
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works