Evangelicalism, penal theory, and the politics of criminal law reform in England, 1808-30 /
Richard R. Follett.
Houndmills, Basingstoke ; New York : Palgrave, 2001.
xi, 231 p.
More Details
Houndmills, Basingstoke ; New York : Palgrave, 2001.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Richard Follett is Adjunct Instructor in History at Washington University in St. Louis.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-09-01:
Follett (history, Washington Univ.) seeks to redress the dismissal by most historians of the Evangelical influence on the politics of criminal law reform between 1808 and 1830. In addition, he manages to follow and elucidate the historiography of debate while maintaining a focus on the rather narrow topic of the connection between the Evangelical revival and how this version of humanitarianism influenced political perspectives. Historical discourse has moved too far from the old ideas of a march of progress (Leon Radzinowicz) to an overemphasis on the study of language to illustrate a shift in social control and power (Michel Foucault.) Follett seeks to strike a balance between these extremes by tracing how religious language and influence on political action changed public policy. Both Evangelicalism and utilitarianism emphasized individual responsibility, sought serious governmental reforms, and had a common Enlightenment heritage. By the conclusion, the reader is convinced that the legal reform vision of the early 19th century was as much a matter of religion as of utility, since the Evangelicals tied reform into existing community values and utilitarianism provided a cohesive vision for the future. Clear citations and a good bibliography make this slim volume practical for undergraduates, although the high cost will inhibit its value for classroom use. C. Curran College of St. Benedict/St. John's University
Review Quotes
"...a comprehensive and eminently readable account of a complex subject..."--Simon Devereaux, Journal of Modern History
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Choice, September 2001
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Bowker Data Service Summary
Exploring the politics and propaganda of criminal law reform from 1808 to 1830, this study demonstrates how Evangelicalism provided an unexpected foundation for utilitarian as well as religious advocates for penal reforms.
Main Description
Following the abolition of the British slave trade in 1807, a group of politicians began to agitate for reform of England's "bloody code" of criminal statutes. Exploring the politics and propaganda of criminal law reform from 1808 to the Whig succession to power in 1830, this study demonstrates how Evangelicalism provided an unexpected foundation for utilitarian as well as religious advocates for penal reforms in an era when conservative leaders resisted every attempt to change the laws.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviationsp. vii
Preface and Acknowledgementsp. viii
Mitigating the 'Bloody Code': an Introductionp. 1
Of the myth of Bentham and the language of Blackstonep. 4
Of crime, criminal justice and the claims of humanitarian reformp. 10
Of Evangelicals and their impactp. 14
Raising the Hue and Cry, 1808-10p. 21
Getting startedp. 23
Lines are drawnp. 32
The meaning of the debates in 1808 and 1810p. 44
Romilly, Bentham, and Utilityp. 46
Romilly's background and early writingsp. 46
Romilly and Bentham: independent minds in a common causep. 57
Evangelicalism and Penal Law Reformp. 67
Evangelical theology and public lifep. 68
Evangelicals and penal theory: the demands of justice and mercyp. 80
The Evangelical Approach to Criminal Law Reformp. 90
Wilberforce: moral reform to criminal law reformp. 91
Buxton: the growth of commitmentp. 99
Criminal law reform and the middle class reform complexp. 105
The Conservative Resistancep. 109
William Paley and the conservative defense of the lawp. 110
The certainty and the flexibility of the established lawp. 112
The fear of innovationp. 117
A closer look at Eldon and Ellenboroughp. 120
Conclusionp. 123
Mobilizing Opinion, 1811-18p. 125
Parliamentary moves, 1811-18p. 126
The campaign beyond Westminsterp. 133
The promises of 1818p. 145
The Partnership: Mackintosh and Buxton, 1819-22p. 147
Tragedy and new leadershipp. 147
Petitions for changep. 150
The flow of politicsp. 154
The Report of the 1819 Committeep. 160
The politics of implementationp. 165
Consolidation, MItigation and Conclusionsp. 171
Peel takes chargep. 171
Peel's limits and the demand to go beyondp. 174
Evangelicalism and the politics of criminal law reformp. 183
Notesp. 188
Bibliographyp. 215
Indexp. 226
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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