Market Crime

James E. Shaw

in The Justice of Venice

Published by British Academy

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780197263778
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734823 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

Market Crime

Show Summary Details


The weakness and unreliability of the public administration forced the government to work closely with private interests, leaving responsibility for policing and taxation to private corporations. Without the guilds, which provided a kind of self-interested policing system, it would have been extremely difficult for the government to tax and regulate the economy. This chapter examines the consequences of this in terms of how market justice was experienced in practice on the streets of Venice. It presents a detailed study of law enforcement in practice, using one of the few surviving registers of criminal denunciations at the Giustizia Vecchia. To understand the real meaning of market justice for ordinary people, the discussion focuses on the mundane and the everyday, the sort of ordinary crime that constituted the background to economic life.

Keywords: market justice; taxation; private corporations; price manipulation; Venice; Giustizia Vecchia

Chapter.  13466 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

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