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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 169796 Find in a Library
Title: For God, State, and People: Crime and Local Justice in Preindustrial Sweden (From Civilization of Crime: Violence in Town and Country Since the Middle Ages, P 165-197, 1996, Eric A. Johnson and Eric H. Monkkonen, eds. - See NCJ-169788)
Author(s): J Sundin
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: University of Illinois Press
Champaign, IL 61820-6903
Sale Source: University of Illinois Press
1325 South Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820-6903
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data from cases handled by district and town courts in Sweden from the beginning of the 17th century until 1840 formed the basis of an analysis of the nature, functions, and changes in local justice systems from the beginning of the 17th century until 1840.
Abstract: The data came mainly from the town of Linkoping and the county district of Gullberg in southern Sweden, the town of Harnosand and the county district of Sabra in northern Sweden, and the Gota Court of Appeal in the province of Ostergotland. Results revealed a gradual centralization of justice as the central government grew and increasingly regulated local areas. In addition, penalties gradually shifted from compensation to the injured party to greater reliance corporal punishment and the subsequent growing use of prisons combined with hard labor. The results also revealed a decline in homicide rates and other over the period. This decline was associated with a change in how people preserved their honor; people shifted from using fist fights in the 17th century to using court litigation in the 19th century. The decline in homicides also resulted from a decrease in weaponry among the citizenry, an increase in church discipline, and the increasing peacefulness of society at large after the warlike 17th century. The results also indicated that female criminality was greater in the towns than in the countryside. Findings indicated that the developments in specific geographic areas resulted both from specific circumstances and from common trends, including changes in economic and social factors. Reference notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Crime in foreign countries; Foreign courts; Foreign criminal justice systems; High crime areas; History of criminal justice; Rural urban comparisons; Sweden; Urbanization; Violence causes
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