The Rise of Modern Police and the European State System from Metternich to the Second World War

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Lopez, ed. Davies, Stephen , The private provision of police during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in D. Beito, P. Gordon and A. Ehrlich, I. Ekelund, Robert B.


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Porter, ed. Evidence Taken by the Constabulary Force Commissioners: state of the rural districts as to crime and the means of its prevention Millar, London. Finer, S. Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street.

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Friedman, J. Gash, Norman , Mr. Gatrell, V. Wrigley, ed. Harley, Knick , Reassing the industrial revolution: A macro view, in J. Mokyr, ed. Haude, Sigrun , War—a fortuitous occasion for social disciplining and political centralization? Mladek, ed. Hay and F.

Hoebel, E. Hudson, Pat, ed. King, Peter , Prosecution associations and their impact in eighteenth-century Essex, in D. Landes, William M. Leeson, Peter T. Little, Craig B. McMullan, John L.

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MD Minute book of the committees of Vestry , Clapham Committee Book. Mokyr, Joel , Accounting for the industrial revolution, in R. Floud and P. I, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp.

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Klemens von Metternich

Mokyr, Joel , The institutional origins of the industrial revolution, in E. Helpman, ed. Yet, in the end, many members of the police failed to show the level of loyalty required of them, as discussed in more detail below. On 10 March , for example, a court-martial sentenced to death a number of Civil Guard commanders accused of opposing and preventing the military rebellion in Barcelona in July In reality, Risques argues, they had acted out of a sense of discipline and professionalism, not as enthusiastic Republicans.

They had done their best to avoid direct conflict with the rebels and, after the rebellion had failed, had protected them from revenge attacks. Several had later been retired for alleged disloyalty to the Republic Little is known about the purging process that lower-ranking members of the Civil Guard, or members of other police forces, underwent. After the civil war, the enforcement of rigid discipline and ideological conformity helped to maintain Civil Guard loyalty to the Franco regime All members of the military had to belong to the Movimiento Falangist Party Yet, the direct influence of the Falange in matters of police training is questionable, given its subordinate position in the Francoist state.

Material reward and a sense of professional prestige may also have reinforced police loyalties to the regime. Payne notes, for example, that the rank-and-file members of the Civil Guard enjoyed status similar to NCOs with high wages and housing privileges Alongside economic treatment, ideological training and systems of discipline, we should consider career incentives, and policing resources and workloads.

Fascism failed to enforce sufficiently rigid disciplinary regimes or ideological loyalty, whilst inadequate resources made it difficult to sack unreliable personnel and recruit better quality police applicants. Lack of professional enthusiasm was also a consequence of increased workloads Loyalty levels among the German police appear to have been higher.

This may have been a result of more rigid disciplinary regimes, higher levels of political indoctrination and greater career opportunities discussed below. Working conditions were not necessarily ideal. We know that the Gestapo suffered from limited resources leading to understaffing, overwork and inefficiency.

On the other hand, the reduced forces in relation to population of the Kriminalpolizei appeared to benefit from a lower workload because of greater standardization under the Nazis The employment of terror. It also considers the role played by the public in the creation of terror through systems of denunciation. It questions whether radical forms of policing were products of practices or mentalities carried over from previous regimes or represented a true and proper break in continuity brought on by processes of ideological infiltration, disciplinary control or force of circumstance.

Finally, it considers the extent to which regimes made use of systems of repression or terror at their disposal, as well as the overall effectiveness of such systems in creating social and political conformity. One only has to consider the presence throughout Italian society of surveillance organizations employing informers to appreciate this.

Italo Savella argues, for example, that while OVRA officials threatened and blackmailed arrested anti-Fascists to get information from them, they did not employ physical torture. Bocchini did not intend to create martyrs for the anti-Fascist cause However, there is evidence to suggest that OVRA and the regular police forces on occasion engaged in the physical and psychological torture of prisoners.

The question remains whether this differed radically from tactics used under the Liberal state. The Militia also gained a reputation for cruel treatment of prisoners in the penal colonies In considering factors accounting for terror levels, it is clear that in Italy the police, though gaining greater autonomy from the judiciary, remained accountable to a legal system that was authoritarian but did not match up to the totalitarian designs of the most radical Fascists.

It embodied racial theories that from the late thirties onwards allowed the imposition of restrictions on the rights and movements of Jews, for example, but not their extermination It is evident that during the Second World War onwards, the regime put forward plans for more radical forms of repression that would involve the police.


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  • This included the permanent removal from society of habitual criminals incapable of rehabilitation , and the creation of concentration camps specifically for Jews While the Fascist regime of never put such plans into practice, policemen were expected to engage in inhumane acts under the Italian Social Republic, created in September , following the Nazi occupation of Central and Northern Italy. Under the control of newly appointed Fascist Party police chiefs, many were involved, directly or indirectly, in atrocities against partisans and the deportation of Jews to Nazi death camps. There was a notably high level of dissociation from the Social Republic within the police.

    Yet, high desertion rates are no sure indication that the police would not have supported or complied with a terror system had it been set up in different circumstances. A refusal to engage in atrocities partly accounts for desertions. However, they were also a result of an overriding desire for self-preservation in the face of impending military defeat. Many Carabinieri deserted in view of Nazi plans to deport them to Germany If the Weimar political police, for example, had functioned under the legal constraints of a democratic state, an ability to behave ruthlessly came easily to ex-members of the political police transferred into the Gestapo in Graf argues that when Hitler came to power, Abteilung 1A actively assisted in the preparation, execution and safeguarding of the Nazi takeover.

    The Gestapo was associated with terror well before the SS gained control over it Yet, even within the Gestapo, a certain amount of psychological training in radical policing was required. It was not difficult to create a situation in which the idea of such forms of policing was acceptable, especially if they were entrusted to others.

    The exploitation of rivalry between police forces, without creating serious conflict between them, also served as a means of inducing the employment of terror. Severin Roeseling argues that the Kriminalpolizei and Gestapo competed in radical forms of policing in their efforts to fulfil the growing demands of the political leadership Wagner also indicates that Himmler encouraged competition between the two corps in fighting homosexuality in order to achieve maximum results Yet, Johnson argues that in rural communities, the regular police persecuted Communists and non-conformists and deported Jews, without the need to call in the Gestapo On the basis of her research on the Schutzpolizei and administrative police of Cologne, Rossol argues that an already existing administrative apparatus provided the Nazis with an instrument for persecuting Jews.

    Under the direction of a non-Nazi Catholic civil servant appointed to the Cologne police presidency after the Von Papen Putsch, the police targeted the Jews as a distinct group in society in and This also involved a census of Jewish shops, pubs and restaurants, which would play a crucial part in the destruction of Jewish property during the pogrom of November The administrative police collaborated and co-operated with the Gestapo in anti-Jewish policies without any serious difficulties or friction. Whilst a few members resigned, most deluded themselves that they were not acting inhumanely by clinging to a false image, which the Nazi leadership had built up, of a professional police force honoured and trusted by the people, and denied anything more than a formal link with the SS-SD.

    The period of the civil war and the years immediately following the cessation of hostilities were years of extreme terror, characterized by around , executions, by the most recent estimates , whilst , individuals spent time in prison, concentration camps or labour squads Legislative measures sanctioned the terror. A combination of scientific theory and Catholic doctrine arguing that Liberals and Communists carried the traits of physical, psychological and racial degeneration that only national and Christian purification could cure aimed to justify it morally The civil war experience undoubtedly increased psychological acceptance levels of the more systematic employment of extreme violence.

    The involvement of the Gestapo in training the police suggests, however, that they received instruction in more sophisticated methods of brutality. According to Gallo, from Himmler initiated collaboration between the German and Spanish police. He states that by It had learnt the art of infiltration into underground networks, of waiting before pouncing, of setting traps, and it had adopted many of the techniques of interrogation after arrest, with graduated degrees of violence, which might lead a prisoner to break down and confess, or to commit suicide.

    Former members of the German police or the French militia had been more or less officially engaged by Spanish police organizations, which could take their pick among the many refugees who had come into Spain While there were fewer shootings, for example, during strikes and demonstrations, there were a significant number of cases of the police brutally torturing individuals in their custody For Nazi Germany, Gellately has emphasized the reliance of a relatively undermanned Gestapo organization on the help of the German public The apparent lack of denunciations in Fascist Italy has recently been the object of reappraisal.

    Mason appeared to have based his argument on research on the working class of Turin. It is plausible that close-knit working class communities with a strong subversive tradition may have been less permeable to betrayal. Recent research by Mimmo Franzinelli suggests that a considerable number of Italians denounced their fellow citizens to the benefit of the police. If there is a distinction between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, it possibly lies in the fact that a much higher percentage of Italian citizens denounced anonymously However, it is likely that, in comparison with Spain, a lower proportion of citizens spied on and denounced their neighbours in Germany and Italy, given the less dramatic circumstances in which the Nazi and Fascist regimes came to power.

    This particularly regards the policing of the working classes. Although strikes and demonstrations became illegal, the regimes concerned did not automatically deal with them in a harsh manner. In Fascist Italy the police were often reluctant to do anything more than arrest the main promoters when work stoppages took place.

    Reform and reaction

    Following practices more reminiscent of the Liberal state, they sometimes took measures to alleviate the cause of disputes and to encourage mediation In both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, the authorities appeared to attempt to strike a balance between repression and concession, the latter seen as necessary to win round the workers to the political cause of the regimes concerned. Richards suggests that, though in the very early years of the Francoist regime strike organisers could face execution without trial, from the mid-forties Spanish workers were on occasion able to stage protests without excessive harassment from the police.

    In January , the first general strike of the Franco era took place in Manresa Barcelona. The action resulted in a wage rise Johnson argues that, as long as they were upright members of the Volksgemeinschaft, German citizens who gave vent to their daily frustrations, even by openly criticising Hitler and the Nazi regime, rarely faced severe punishment Though the above points require further substantiation, they are significant in that they suggest that the exceptional powers of control given to dictatorial police systems were not used to their full potential and that more traditional methods of policing based on mediation and concession were sometimes employed in their place.

    IR347 20111024 LECTURE10 The Rise of The Modern State and Sovereignty

    On the other hand, it is possible to draw tentatively some parallels between the Nazi, Francoist and Fascist policing systems or between two of the three systems in terms of their development, though more research is required in order to substantiate this. There are clear similarities in the motives for police support of fascist movements.

    During periods leading up to the creation of right-wing dictatorships police forces faced serious law and order crises that bolstered their anti-Marxist, authoritarian mentality and turned them against democratic forms of government. This attitude was also a result of the introduction of ambiguous reforms in the police.

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