During the course of the nineteenth century, Western ways of per-
ceiving and processing criminals underwent radical transformations.
Criminal laws were modified to handle new forms of urban and indus-
trial crime; modes of punishment were redefined and imprisonment
became the almost universal means of social retribution; police forces
were reshaped into national networks, progressively extended through
international cooperation. Variously pursued and opposed by legisla-
tors and magistrates, landowners and businessmen, philanthropists,
reformers, and a wide variety of experts (in medicine, commerce,
and architecture), such alterations took place only gradually, through
heated debates, and often in reaction to chance or circumstance. None-
theless, during the last third of the century, integrated systems of
criminal justice crystallized a new perception of crime and its per-
petrators. Earlier, turn-of-the-century apprehensions of crime as a
symptom of severe and threatening social trauma were replaced by a
general acceptance of crime and criminals as normal, inevitable occur-
rences to be faced with rational methods of control. How this new con-
ception came about, to what effects, and in answer to what economic,
political, and social pressures will be the general questions investigated
in this study.
Previous researchers have amply demonstrated how the new sys-
tems of criminal justice were structured to meet the requirements of
industrial capitalism. Codes establishing the equality of all before the
law were necessary to abolish aristocratic privileges and protect the
rising middle classes from royal power. The widespread use of police
forces for the preservation of order and the recourse to imprisonment
as punishment for crime were needed by the industrial and commer-
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