Cesare Beccaria Essay Crimes Punishments

With the encouragement of the "academy of fists", Beccaria started to read the enlightened authors of France and England, and while he said very little, he did write essays that his friends assigned him.

His first publication was "On Remedies for the Monetary Disorders of Milan in the Year 1762."Beccarias most noted essay, "On Crimes and Punishments" was written with the help of his friends in the "academy of fists".

View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

Historical Background: Cesare Beccaria was born on March 15, 1738 into an Aristocratic family in Milan Italy.

Only after it was received and accepted by the government, did Beccaria have it published under his name.

Many people had a hard time believing that this quiet, unknown man wrote the work, but once again his friends came to his rescue and affirmed that the essay was Beccarias own writings.

He received a Jesuit education, and achieved his degree in 1758.

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As a young man, he fell in with brothers Pietro and Alessandro Verri and their “academy of fists,” The Verri brothers supplied the assignment and the insider knowledge of the criminal justice system of the day, and at the behest of this group, Becarria completed his famous essay On Crimes and Punishments in 1764.The intellectuals thought of him as "childish imbecile without backbone and unable of living away from his mother (Paolucci, pg. Away from the support of his friends, he never wrote anything else that was worthy of publication. After his death his legend in France and England grew.Many people at that time thought that Beccaria was silenced by the suppression of a tyrannical government.His treatise, "On Crimes and Punishments" had a large and lasting impact on the American Constitution, the Bill of Rights and our criminal justice system.So while he only wrote one worthy, published essay, his influence is still felt today.It was published in many languages all over the world and was influential in the creation and reform of penal systems across the globe.The treatise discussed issues, government (crime and human rights) that were being widely expressed at that time, and was written in a manner that was both to the point and clearly understood.There are three main legs in which Beccarias theory rests.Those are that all individuals possess freewill, rational manner and manpulability.Two friends with knowledge and experience in the criminal justice system had the most influence on Beccaria, Alessandro had the official post of "protector of prisoners" in Milan and Peirto was working on the history of torture.The treatise "On Crimes and Punishments" was published in 1764, but since Beccaria feared a political backlash, he published it anonymously.

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