Moral Panics, the Media and the Law in Early Modern England by David Lemmings, Claire Walker

By David Lemmings, Claire Walker

This publication explores and exemplifies a few of the subtler hyperlinks among opinion, governance and legislations in early sleek England by means of investigating ethical panics. sleek media-driven 'law and order' panics could have originated in eighteenth-century England, with the advance of the click and executive sensibility to opinion, yet there have been past panics approximately witchcraft and popery. Essays through an skilled workforce of students talk about generally episodes of ethical panic prior to and after 1689, and think about their implications for adjustments in governance.

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Radzinowicz, A History of Criminal law and its Administration from 1750 (London, 1948–86), i. 3–8, 611–59; J. Langbein, ‘Albion’s Fatal Flaws’, Past & Present 98 (1983), 115–19; J. Innes and J. Styles, ‘The Crime Wave: Recent Writing on Crime and Criminal Justice in Eighteenth-Century England’, Journal of British Studies, 25 (1986), 420–30; J. M. Beattie, Crime and the Courts in England 1660–1800 (Oxford, 1986), 516–17, 528–30, 531–4, 583–5, 592–601. D. Hay, ‘War, Dearth and Theft in the Eighteenth Century: the Record of the English Courts’, Past & Present, 95 (1982), 156–7; J.

Although most people’s participation in law and governance was confined to consuming newspapers, magazines and prints with accounts and images of trials and parliamentary debates, it appears that their consumption habits may have had a ‘powerful’ impact, insofar as titles which prospered did so because they helped to constitute their readers’ and viewers’ opinions. Moreover, the apparently reciprocal relations between opinion, judicial decision-making and legislation suggest ‘discipline’ from within society and ‘law’ from above actually formed a continuous culture of social regulation.

50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. Introduction and Distribution of Books from 1700 (Oxford, 1982), 1–36; A. ’, 14–15. See also L. B. Faller, Turned to Account: The Forms and Functions of Criminal Biography in Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth-century England (Cambridge, 1987). Trials for Adultery (see n. 8 above). Cf. a study which demonstrates how the characteristics of modern newspaper reporting help to ‘construct’ news about crime and engender anxiety among their readers (P. Williams and J.

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