State Police in the United States: A Socio-Historical Analysis

By H. Kenneth Bechtel | Go to book overview

existing police organizations presented a "serious handicap to effective and economical" law enforcement. The idea of a state police was advanced as the best remedy for this defect, as it would provide centralized and coordinated statewide police forces. 23 Rhetoric aside, the primary factors leading to the development of the state police were the increase in immigration from eastern and southern Europe and the desire to curb the growing labor movement.

The thesis of this book is that, rather than being a unique occurrence, the creation of the state police followed a recurring pattern in the history of social control. As those at the top of the social class hierarchy perceive a threat to their position of dominance, new and improved methods of preserving the status quo will be established. Whether it be the Royal Irish Constabulary, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or the Colorado Rangers, the idea of centralization was used to bolster or replace social control mechanisms that had become inadequate in the face of greater challenges from below. As with immigration restriction, prohibition, scientific management, commission forms of city government, eugenics, the juvenile court, and education reform, centralized state police forces were part of a massive effort on the part of the dominant segments of society to preserve their values and ideas of social order.


NOTES
1.
Jerome Hall, Theft, Law, and Society ( Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs Merrill, 1956); William J. Chambliss , "A Sociological Analysis of the Law of Vagrancy," Social Problems 12 (Summer 1964): 67-77.
2.
Ernest K. Alix, Ransom Kidnapping in America, 1874-1974 : The Creation of a Capital Crime ( Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1978); Howard S. Becker, Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance ( New York: Free Press, 1963); Joseph R. Gusfield , Symbolic Crusade: Status Politics and the American Temperance Movement ( Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1963); Alfred R. Lindesmith, The Addict and the Law ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1965); Pamela A. Roby, "Politics and Criminal Law: Revision of the New York State Penal Law on Prostitution," Social Problems 17 (Summer 1969): 83-109.
3.
Steven Vago, Law in Society ( Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1988), p. 121.
4.
William J. Chambliss, "The State and Criminal Law," in Whose Law? What Order?: A Conflict Approach to Criminology, edited by William J. Chambliss and Milton Mankoff ( New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1976), p. 67.
5.
Hall, Theft, Law, and Society; Chambliss, "A Sociological Analysis"; Douglas Hay et al., Albion's Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth Century England ( New York: Pantheon Books, 1975); E. P. Thompson, Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act ( New York: Random House, 1975).
6.
Gusfield, Symbolic Crusade.
7.
Becker, Outsiders; Lindesmith, The Addict; Troy Duster, The Legislation of Morality: Law, Drugs, and Moral Judgment ( New York: Free Press, 1970).

-145-

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State Police in the United States: A Socio-Historical Analysis
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Chapter 1 Introduction 1
  • Notes 9
  • Chapter 2 What Do We Know About the State Police? 13
  • Notes 22
  • Chapter 3 State Police Development, 1835-1941 25
  • Notes 44
  • Chapter 4 - The State Police in Historical Context 49
  • Notes 62
  • Chapter 5 State Police Development in Illinois, 1917-1929 65
  • Notes 85
  • Chapter 6 the State Police Movement in Illinois 89
  • Notes 110
  • Chapter 7 Creating the State Police in Colorado 113
  • Notes 130
  • Chapter 8 Analysis of the State Police Movement 133
  • Notes 145
  • Appendix - Suggestions for Further Research on the State Police 147
  • BIBLIOGRAPHIES AND DIGESTS 148
  • GENERAL WORKS--BOOKS 149
  • GENERAL WORKS--ARITICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS 149
  • GENERAL WORKS--ARITICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS 151
  • GENERAL WORKS--ARITICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS 152
  • Bibliography 161
  • Index 173
  • About the Author 180
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