The Evolution of Criminal Law and Police During the Pre-Modern Era
The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 540-567, 2011
Posted: 29 Aug 2012
Date Written: October 28, 2011
Increased standardization was a by-product of technical innovations during the Industrial Revolution. An unfortunate side effect of standardization was enhanced opportunities for theft and embezzlement. Two significant modern institutions radically evolved during the eighteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries to control these growing problems: criminal law and public police. These institutions strongly interacted with the pace of the Industrial Revolution. Our argument explains this evolution and is tested through an analysis of several historical facts: the role of early police, the fall of the watch system, the creation of improvement commissions, the removal of possession immunity, the rise and fall of factory colonies, and the fall and rise of court cases during the eighteenth century.
JEL Classification: N43, K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation