Journal Article

A ‘Weak’ State? The English State, the Magistracy and the Reform of Policing in the 1830s

David Philips

in The English Historical Review

Volume 119, issue 483, pages 873-891
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/119.483.873
A ‘Weak’ State? The English State, the Magistracy and the Reform of Policing in the 1830s

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • British History
  • World History
  • European History
  • International History

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

It has long been a historical cliché that the English state of the eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries was a weak one, compared to the bureaucratic states of France or Prussia. This article challenges this view by examining the political struggle over the issue of policing England outside London, in the 1830s and early-1840s. It argues that any definition of the state and its workings in this period must look beyond the small salaried bureaucracy to include the unpaid JPs in county Quarter Sessions. Though they maintained a rhetoric of gentlemanly independence of — and sometimes outright opposition to — the powers of the central state, they were a crucial ingredient of that state. An examination of their role in bringing in police forces for the counties shows that, in important respects, they complemented and strengthened the central state in maintaining law and order in a period of social, economic and political turbulence.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: British History ; World History ; European History ; International History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.