The Transformation of Criminal Justice, Philadelphia, 1800-1880

By Allen Steinberg | Go to book overview

Notes

Abbreviations
CMRA Citizens Municipal Reform Association
JPD Journal of Prison Discipline
PL Philadelphia Public Ledger
PSAMPP Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons

Introduction
1. The Mysteries and Miseries of Philadelphia, pp. 12-14, 17-18.
2. PL, 27 June 1836.
3. The use of the law was a common thing among nineteenth-century Americans and a matter of frequent note, especially by European travelers like Tocqueville. Yet its role as an aspect of political participation has been strangely neglected by both legal and political historians. This is in part due to the artificial separation between the two fields and the unfortunate tendency of the literature to equate political participation with voting. The latter is one of those historical contingencies that may well characterize the United States of the 1980s but should not therefore be assumed to be the case for the nineteenth century. One interesting exception to this tendency is Paludan, "The American Civil War Considered as a Crisis in Law and Order", pp. 1013-34. More recently some political scientists have begun to reconsider the subject. See Zemans, Legal Mobilization, pp. 690-703; and from the perspective not of the law but of political parties, Bridges, A City in the Republic.
4. The literature on this subject is vast and growing. Many of the important relevant books and articles are cited and discussed below. Among the clearest statements about the transformation of the national government is Skowronek's study of the expansion of the early American "state of courts and parties" in Building a New American State. The transformation of local government is still treated best in Frisch, Town into City. See McGerr, The Decline of Popular Politics, for a discussion of the depopularization of electoral politics.
5. Some of the better discussions of the early nineteenth-century state can be found in Hartog, Public Property and Private Power, especially Part II, and Bridges, A City in the Republic. The reactive and particularistic state is also a key part of the notion of a "state of courts and parties" developed by Skowronek for the federal government in Building a New American State. Shefter skillfully uses this characterization of city government in building his typology of the stages of the political machine in "The Emergence of the Political Machine: An Alternative View".
6. The question of the relationship between the "public" and "private" spheres lurks prominently behind the surface of this study and will be highlighted from time to time.

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The Transformation of Criminal Justice, Philadelphia, 1800-1880
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables vi
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction: the Greatest Luxury of All 1
  • Part I the Duality of Criminal Justice 11
  • 1. Courtrooms and Cases 13
  • Part Ii the World of Private Prosecution 35
  • 2. the Aldermen and Primary Justice 37
  • 3. the Courts of Record 56
  • 4. the Weakness of Court Officials 79
  • 5. Politics and Private Prosecution, 1800-1850 92
  • Part III the Rise of State Prosecution 117
  • 6. the Origins of Police Authority 119
  • 7. Consolidation and Compromise 150
  • Part Iv the Decline of Private Prosecution 169
  • 8. the Impact of Consolidation 171
  • 9. the Transformation of Primary Justice 196
  • Epilogue 224
  • Appendix 233
  • Notes 251
  • Bibliography 307
  • Index 323
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