'The Active Arm of the Government' The Police of Buenos Aires in the First Half of 19th Century
39 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2015
Date Written: March 1, 2015
In the first half of 19th century, the Río de La Plata was involved in a process of militarization and changing of political orders. During this time the conflictive relation between the old schemes of government and the tendency to centralize and to create new structures of power and social control was extended all across the territory. Among those Institutions thought to provide new forms of discipline, appeared the Police, created in 1812, which immediately would be involved in a tension between the local authorities and the central government. In this article, by analyzing the juridical concepts deeply rooted in legal reasoning used by the actors to create the force, it will be explained some structural elements of the meaning and logic of police order in the Spanish legal tradition (domestic government, localization, negotiation, etc.). After the study of those categories, inscribed in the legal sources which breathed life to the police's institution, it will be examined the problems that faced the diverse attempts of building a central police-government, especially, in front of a traditional negotiable juridical culture that persisted in the mentality of the agents of Buenos Aires in the period comprehended between 1812-1853.
Keywords: Police, Government, Domestic power, Justice, Legal Culture
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