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Le pénal dans tous ses États

 | 
René Lévy
, 
Xavier Rousseaux

- I - Acculturation juridique et intégration nationale

Penal Law and Criminality in South Western Germany: Forms, Patterns and Developments 1200-1800

Peter Wettmann-Jungblut

Texte intégral

  • 1 Local Knowledge: Fact and Law in Comparative Perspective, in C. GEERTZ, Local Knowledge. Further e (...)

11. Law is, as Clifford Geertz taught us, "a craft of place" that works only "by the light of local knowledge"1. That is just as true for the penal law and its working material 'criminality': the cultural contextualization of lawgiving and acts labelled as crime is a crucial aspect of any legal and historical analysis. Criminality is a designation attributed to a certain kind of behaviour from outside, but not an end product which is to be understood and interpreted apart from the dynamics of its process of development. Despite the fact that most of the European penal codes of the early modern period followed more or less the example of the biblical decalogue, and despite the fact that crimes like heresy and witchcraft, murder and infanticide, robbery and larceny, incest, sodomy and adultery were defined and fixed by the dominating power of Christian faith, the nations and regions of western Europe are often characterized by different patterns with regard to both form and incidence of prosecuted crime.

  • 2 Cf. M. GIJSWIJT-HOFSTRA, Six Centuries of Witchcraft in the Netherlands: Themes, Outlines, and Int (...)
  • 3 Cf. H.C.E. MIDELFORT, Witch Hunting in Southwestern Germany 1562-1684. The Social and Intellectual (...)

2The most evident differences exist within the field of witchcraft prosecutions. Some countries as England or the northern Netherlands had extremely low rates of prosecutions and executions for sorcery and witchcraft2, whereas some territories of southwestern Germany with a population only running into thousands witnessed incredibly high execution rates, which, on the other hand, were never reached in areas just a few miles away3.

  • 4 Cf. my article "Stelen in rechter hungersnodtt". Diebstahl, Eigentumsschutz und strafrechtliche Ko (...)
  • 5 Cf. W. BEHRINGER, Mörder, Diebe, Ehebrecher. Verbrechen und Strafen in Kurbayern vom 16. bis 18. J (...)

3Then, too, popular attitudes towards and the official prosecution of other crimes reveal remarkable distinctions. Almost all English studies on the history of crime, based on the quantitative analysis of the indictment files of assizes and/or quarter sessions, depict theft rates for the 17th and 18th centuries which were unparalleled on the continent and especially in Germany4. Prosecutions for buggery and bestiality may also serve as examples: in France, Bavaria and southwestern Germany, they constituted just a minimal percentage of all punished crimes from the 16th to the 18th century, while at the same time, in some parts of Switzerland and Spain, hundreds of men were sent to the stake, to the galleys or into exile5. If there is any common feature of early modem European criminal justice systems, it is their different shapings, their national and local differentiations; in spite of comparable characteristics, there is not one history of English, French or German criminality, but a plurality of histories.

  • 6 'Sins of All Sorts Swarmeth': Criminal Litigation in an English County in the Early Seventeenth Ce (...)
  • 7 E.P. THOMPSON, Whigs and Hunters. The Origin of the Black Act, Harmondsworth 1975, p. 261. Cf. als (...)

4Such a great diversity, to be sure, is mainly due to the concentration of historical research on 'serious crime' regardless of the specific meaning of that term for the early modem period. If we wish to avoid crude generalizations such as that 'the middle ages were dominated by violent crimes' or 'petty and grand larceny were the characteristics of the 17th and 18th centuries', we have to combine the records of all the courts dealing with 'crime'; Louis A. Knafla has given us an excellent example of that approach which should be able to shatter some common assumptions6. For a better understanding of the transformation of crime and criminal justice, it is not sufficient to look at the evidence of the higher courts (Blut, Hoch, or Malefizgerichtsbarkeit). We should also take the records of low justice (Nieder, or Frevelgerichtsbarkeit) into consideration which handled the great bulk of deviant behaviour, and finally the various forms of informal dispute settlements which left - due to their very nature - only marginal traces in the archives of justice. By focussing exclusively on the "éclat des supplices" and taking it as the sole model of explanation for the functions of early modern penal law, we lose sight of the everyday practice of law, of the fact that law "was deeply imbricated within the very basis of productive relations", and "as definition or as rules, was endorsed by norms, tenaciously transmitted through the community"7. Lower courts were closer to the 'common people’s heartbeat'; their activities reflect more appropriately people’s everyday experience of right and wrong, and the circumstances in which different situations and actions were defined as problematic and/or criminal.

  • 8 S.E. MERRY, Disputing Without Culture, Harvard Law Review, 1986/1987, 100, p. 2063; S.E. MERRY, Ge (...)
  • 9 Cf. S. HUMPHRIES, Law as Discourse, History and Anthropology, 1985, 1, p. 251 ff.

5Legal systems are not restricted to codified rules, procedures and institutions which - as it is often claimed - lead a complex life on their own. Certainly, the existing normative and institutional framework shapes the way people conceptualize their problems and disputes, and the kinds of solution they look for. But legal systems are without doubt cultural systems, and disputing is cultural behaviour, "informed by participants’ moral views about how to fight, the meaning participants attach to going to court, social practices that indicate when and how to escalate disputes to a public forum, and participants’ notions or rights and entitlement." Disputing may serve to maximize the self-interests of the actors or to promote the interests of a certain class, but it is nevertheless a way of getting things right, normal or fair, and "a process of meaning making or, more precisely, a contest over meanings in which the law provides one possible set of meanings"8. Thus, the use of the criminal law is just one aspect of the "discourse about good and bad states of society", and in all societies from the 12th to the 18th century we find both legal decision-making and a proliferation of alternative mechanisms for maintaining order: self-help, informal settlements, mediation and compensatory arrangements, public discussion, gossip and rumour, charivaris, rough music, etc.9.

  • 10 E.P. THOMPSON, Introduction: Custom and Culture, in E.P. THOMPSON, Customs in Common, London, 1991 (...)
  • 11 Cf. N. SCHINDLER, Widerspenstige Leute. Studien zur Volkskultur in der frühen Neuzeit, Frankfurt a (...)
  • 12 E.P. THOMPSON, Whigs and Hunters, p. 267.
  • 13 Cf. P. JUST, History, Power, Ideology, and Culture: Current Directions in the Anthropology of Law,(...)

6To regard law as an integral part of culture by no means implies consensual or holistic notion of legal culture, which "may serve to distract attention from social and cultural contradictions, from the fractures and oppositions within the whole". Especially for lower-class people, living under the rule of law showed at least "two aspects of the same reality: on the one hand, the necessary conformity with the status quo if one is to survive, the need to get by in the world as it is in fact ordered" by elites and rulers, and on the other hand "the 'common sense' derived from shared experience with fellow workers and with neighbours of exploitation, hardship and repression, which continually exposes the text of the paternalist theatre to ironic criticism and (less frequently) to revolt"10. But we should also be aware of the clandestine accordances and reciprocities between the culture of the rulers and the culture of the ruled, of the coincidence of dissent and consent in social conflicts, and of the fact that law is a complex and variable system of conduct whose origins were often mysterious for rulers and ruled alike and which imposed restraints upon both of them11. The penal law has always been far more than a "mystifying and pompous way in which class power is registered and executed"12; in order to explain its functions as well as the fine balance long maintained between the different forms of conflict management and the final, but never complete, victory of the (governmental) criminal law, we must pay attention to both the local meaning of conflicts and "the great machinations of class and cash, power and privilege" which run side by side through the history of criminality and criminal justice systems13.

7In trying to draw a somewhat accurate picture of the relationship between 'the state, the community and the criminal law' in Germany from the later middle ages to the 18th century, I am going to concentrate upon the southwest of Germany and complete my locally focused approach by the results of research undertaken for other areas of the German empire. The main emphasis will be put on the early modem period (16th-18th century) with a description of criminal procedure, of the staff employed for law enforcement, of the patterns of prosecuted crime, and of constant or changing attitudes towards law and crime.

  • 14 Cf. E. VON REPGOW, Der Sachsenspiegel, ed. by C. Schott, Zürich 1984, Nachwort p. 335-386; F. SCHE (...)
  • 15 H.J. BERMAN, Law and Revolution. The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition, Cambridge (Mass.)/L (...)

82. For the period prior to the 12th century, it is impossible to use the term 'criminal law', which implies a public prosecution carried out by special law enforcement agencies for public purposes on account of wrongs done to the public. The middle ages were dominated by the Germanic private composition system or, as it is sometimes maintained, by the unchecked system of private retribution; only a few offenses victimized the whole community and were the subject of a communal process. The declarations of "peace of God" and of "territorial peace" (Gottesfrieden, Landfrieden, above all the Mainzer Reichslandfrieden of 1235) of the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries and the first records of local law and custom (Sachsenspiegel, Schwabenspiegel14) of the 13th century pointed to the early beginnings of a transition from the former system to a system of criminal sanctions. Like all western legal tradtions, they had "their sources in religious rituals, liturgies and doctrines (...), reflecting new attitudes toward death, sin, punishment, forgiveness, and salvation, as well as new assumptions concerning the relationship of the divine to the human and of faith to reason"15. Both were primarily aimed at combatting the so-called landschädlichen Leute (persons causing damage to the common good) exemplified by the robber knight or the peasant vagabond, and at restricting armed conflicts (Fehden); nevertheless they contained the basics of the future criminal laws: homicide, robbery, burglary, counterfeiting, heresy, blasphemy, etc.

  • 16 That process is best documented for the medieval cities; cf. for a general survey: E. ISENMANN, Di (...)
  • 17 Cf. E. SCHMIDT, Inquisitionsprozess und Rezeption. Studien zur Geschichte des Strafverfahrens in D (...)

9The medieval courts of justice presided over by king, counts or their officials, soon became central instances of social life because the main duty of the king was not to rule, but to secure peace and law. Since the repression of crime now necessitated enforcement duties on the part of the participating authorities, the period between the 13th and 16th centuries witnessed the development of the first public procedures for the apprehension, trial, and execution of offenders16. It was in that time that the Inquisitionsprozeß came into being which was determined by two functional requisites: Offizialprinzip and Instruktionsmaxime. The first means the public prosecution of criminal acts without private complainant, the second the reception of 'rational' modes of proof, i.e. torture, confession or the evidence of two witnesses, instead of the former modes of ordeal, purgation oath and oath-helping17.

  • 18 Cf. K. EDER, Die Entstehung staatlich organisierter Gesellschaften. Ein Beitrag zu einer Theorie s (...)
  • 19 Cf. H.E. FEINE, Die kaiserlichen Landgerichte in Schwaben im Spätmittelalter, Zeitschrift der Savi (...)
  • 20 Cf. B. DIESTELKAMP, Das Gericht des deutschen Königs im Hoch und Spätmittelalter und das peinliche (...)

10The late medieval feudal system and its most important political institution, the vassallry, had both made possible the stabilization of the new kingdom and restrained the process of centralization of legal power; it was characterized by a great many local courts that held the right to dispense both high and low justice mainly derived from the German emperor18. But the decay of the emperor’s medieval power (which became most evident during the reign of the last Staufer and the Interregnum 1254-1273) made penal justice exercised by imperial courts more and more obsolete. The institutionalization of a system of criminal justice within the next centuries was completely left to the rulers of cities and territories; that decentralized system had no counterpart neither at the emperor’s court nor at his criminal courts in the countryside that kept limited jurisdiction in some areas until the beginning of early modem period19. Both central courts in Germany - Reichskammergericht and Reichshofrat - which had been instituted at the end of the 15th century, possessed no penal competence except that of proscriptions in case of breaches of territorial peace. Criminal justice remained in the hands of the particular powers20.

  • 21 Cf. W. GRUBE, Vogteien, Ämter, Landkreise in der Geschichte Südwestdeutschlands, Stuttgart, 1960 ( (...)
  • 22 Cf. K. S. BADER, Id., p. 15 ff.

11The powerlessness of the medieval emperor was the actual starting point of the territorial history of the German southwest. Secular princes and counts, clerical bishops and abbots, as well as free and unfree municipalities or cooperative peasant communities secured and extended their powers. They developed domains, territories, countries and finally states which gained political and constitutional independence of the empire; they turned the countryside of the southwest into a kind of territorial patchwork carpet which remained characteristic until the first decade of the 19th century. The organization of rule was completely changed at the same time. The medieval vassalage, centered on relatively autonomous units of, local administration, was replaced by an officialdom which was dependent of, and responsible to, the ruler. Each official presided over an area (Amt) which united a whole bunch of former domains, fiefs and juridical districts (Gerichtssprengel)21. Thus, the local courts did not have to transfer their former privileges to the emperor - as in France or England - but to the rulers of the developing territorial states (in the southwest especially Baden and Habsburg). The possession of the rights of low and high justice was of utmost importance for the rulers’ aspirations and the basis of their power. It was above all the privilege of high justice (Blutbann) that became the sign of rule as such - secular rule was equated with the power of the sword, in fact predominantly for symbolic (but not for real or economic) reasons. That institution became part and expression of the comprehensive power of early modem princes22.

  • 23 Cf. P. LANDAU, F. C. SCHRÖDER (eds.), Strafrecht, Strafprozeß und Rezeption. Grundlagen, Entwicklu (...)

12By the beginning of the 16th century the states of the southwest had reached the form they kept until the destruction of the German Empire. In the following decades some important steps towards the development of a governmental criminal law system are to be noted. On the one hand, there was the enactment of the Constitutio Criminalis Carolina (Peinliche Halsgerichtsordnung Kaiser Karls V.) in the year 1532 and of the police ordinances (Reichspolizeiordnungen) of 1530, 1548 and 1577. The Carolina was particularly a codification of criminal procedure but not a real code of criminal law. Its main endeavour was to give a uniform shape to the Inquisitionsprozeß which had replaced the medieval Parteiverfahren in locally and regionally different forms; thus the Carolina laid down a minimal degree of guaranties for the accused (limitation and regulation of the use of torture) as well as procedural requirements aimed at promoting the public prosecution of offenders23.

  • 24 Cf. P. NITSCHKE, Von der Politeia zur Polizei. Ein Beitrag zur Entwicklungs-geschichte des Polizei (...)

13The police ordinances announced the emergence of the absolute state and gave evidence of the changing concept and meaning of statehood: for the first time, the sovereign claimed a unified sovereign jurisdiction and a right of government. The stress was no longer put on his mere entitlement, but above all on his obligation for the maintenance of order and "good police" within all domains of life. Consequently, the ordinances tried to intrude on everyday activities and practices by introducing an overwhelming mass of rules and orders. These ordinances and their subsequent modifications went far beyond the scope of the traditional 'societas civilis' and provided - at least in theory - the foundations of the modem authority of the state: they promoted the 'healing' (omni)potence of the "well-ordered police state" as well as the duty to shape the behaviour of its subjects24.

  • 25 Cf. R. HEYDENREUTER, Rcchtsgeschichte im Herzogtum Bayern in der Mitte des 16. Jahrhunderts, in H. (...)

14On the other hand, local courts with the right to institute proceedings of high justice were more and more obliged to follow the directives given by the central governments in all stages of criminal procedure. By the end of the 16th century, the sovereigns and the councils (Hoher Rat, Gemeimer Rat, etc.) of Baden, Bavaria, and many other German States, almost completely dominated penal justice. The criminal justice of these countries now manifested the characteristics that moulded the common German criminal procedure for more than 200 years: a strong centralization which restricted the scope of discretion of lower authorities to a minimum and put all decisions into the hands of the princely government; the criminal process was led in writing and indirectly; the formal investigation and inquisition were done by town or country offices (Ammeter, Oberämter, Pflegämter, Rentämter) according to the instructions of the council; the completed files were sent to the council that discussed the subject and suggested a punishment to the sovereign; the latter confirmed or commuted the sentence and possessed the right of reprieve at the same time25.

  • 26 Cf. K. STIEFEL, Baden 1648-1952, Karlsruhe, 1979 (2nd ed.), 2, p. 929.

15Nevertheless, a final trial (Endliche Gerichtstag) was held at the place where the crime had been committed, or where the offender had been arrested; in most cases it followed exactly the ordinary procedure laid down in the Carolina and local Maleftzordnungen. Although that trial had lost its former function - to decide on guilt and innocence of the accused - and turned into a formalized and meaningless spectacle, it retained a strong symbolic function as a manifestation of the sovereign’s power of life and death of his subjects. The local courts were composed of one judge (Blutrichter, Blutvogt, Kastenvogt) one of the sovereign’s officials - and usually twelve (sometimes 16 or 24) elected lay jurymen (Urteilssprecher, Schöffen). In Baden they were not allowed to pass a sentence without the previous confirmation of the margrave since 1655; since 1729 they only sat in cases where the death penalty had to be expected, and were finally abolished in 1753 (Baden-Durlach) or 1786 (Baden-Baden)26.

  • 27 Cf. with regard to the increasing importance of faculties of law: K. KROESCHELL, Deutsche Rechtsge (...)
  • 28 W.J. BOUWSMA, Lawyers and Early Modem Culture, in W.J. BOUWSMA, A Usable Past. Essays in European (...)

16Of course, there were some territories that did not lose the privilege of high justice (especially in the imperial cities, and in such parts of the Austrian empire as the Landvogtei Ortenau, the monasteries of St. Peter and St. Blasien). But even they were not able to keep their former autonomy; the lay judges and lay jurymen were no longer capable of coping with the complex system of codified rules and procedural requirements, they had to rely on the cooperation of professional jurists and on the advice given by faculties of law which took over the decisions in all important matters (application of torture, sentence etc.)27. The learned professions, such as the lawyers, constituted "a kind of civil militia" who played an important role in "developing the institutions and the conventions of early modem Europe". As servants of government, they enforced and extended the rights of central authority, they manned "the frontiers between the safe and familiar on the one hand, the dangerous and new on the other; between the tolerable and the intolerable; between the conventional world and the chaos beyond it"28.

  • 29 Cf. with regard to northern Germany: H. LINDERKAMP, Niedergerichtliche Strafformen und ihre Anwend (...)
  • 30 Cf. A. STROBEL, Agrarverfassung im Übergang. Studien zur Agrargeschichte des badischen Breisgaus v (...)

17Besides the criminal (peinliche) sanctions meted out by high justice, civil (bürgerliche) sanctions, which did not possess the infamous character of the former ones, developed. The crimes apt for civil sanctions were designated in territorial police ordinances (Landesordnungen), but the distinctions between these niederen Freveln and the crimes to be dealt with in the high courts of justice (hohe Frevel) were never clearly cut, and left wide discretionary powers to the investigating authorities. The legal sanctions to be imposed by Ämter and Oberämter were limited in range; they included fines, public work, short terms of imprisonment (up to several weeks), lenient forms of corporal punishment and penalties of honour (the fiddle, the pillory, the Spanish Coat, the Iron Maiden, public exhibition and public apology)29. Village courts (Vogt-, Rüge-or Frevelgerichte) worked at the lowest level of justice. They handled minor offenses (thefts in the fields, physical attacks and verbal injuries), they were held once to four times a year with the participation of the entire community, and presided over by a local official. By the middle of the 18th century these courts had lost most of their original competence to mete out penalties (primarily fines) in favour of the jurisdiction of the Ämter and Oberämter. Instead of that, they had become regular means of control that allowed the village elites to discipline the lower strata of society, and to urge more industry and less idleness upon them30.

  • 31 The same was done by two Gewaltrichter and four Gewaltdiener (supported by Bettelvögte and Bubenkö (...)
  • 32 Cf. P. WETTMANN-JUNGBLUT, Stelen in rechter hungersnodtt. p. 169.

18Any history of crime would remain incomplete without the history of the gradual development of police forces. According to Max Weber, the existence of special personnel using means of coercion is a basic requirement of law (as distinguished from convention). But the prosecution of criminals was almost entirely left to the victims or their families and friends until the end of the 18th century. There were no police forces which were exclusively employed for apprehending criminals: the absolute state, threatening various kinds of behaviour by loads of edicts and ordinances, was a lion with blunt teeth. Of course, there were persons who dealt with criminal matters in every territory and city. During the 16th and 17th century, three heimliche Räte and three Turmherren fulfilled the task to charge wrong-doers and to lead the inquisition in the city of Freiburg; they were assisted by three Stadtknechte (and sometimes by two Bettelvögte) in cases of arrest31. But these were amateur forces that had to keep their daily business going and were often charged with a lot of other municipal responsibilities. Mannheim, the capital of the Palatinate and one of the biggest cities in the German southwest, employed eleven fully paid Policey Subalterne in 1787. Even then, a report complained about the fact that they were not sufficient to maintain the public order, since every man was forced to do a lot of other jobs in order to secure the subsistence of his family32.

  • 33 Stelen in rechter hungersnodtt..., p. 167. Cf. with regard to the inefficiency of the early police (...)
  • 34 Cf. E. SCHUBERT, Mobilität ohne Chance: Die Ausgrenzung des fahrenden Volkes, in W. SCHULZE (ed.),(...)

19Irregular patrols, composed of members of the local militias and military forces, controlled the highways of all territorial states. Only rarely were they successful in apprehending wanted criminals; their normal booty were vagrants, beggars, pedlars, apprentices and all sorts of foreigners travelling the roads. Thus, 18 out of 25 persons caught by patrols of the imperial monastery of Salem between March 1781 and March 1782 had to be released at once, whereas the rest were whipped (without any criminal charge) and expelled from the monastery’s territory33. The homeless part of the population which had always been able to keep in touch with local residents became one main target of an abundant (but more or less fruitless) legislation since the second half of the 17th century. All measures taken against it by the authorities were closely connected with the broad outlines of social reform. The desired exclusion of vagrants did not aim at combatting realistic threats to life and limb, but at a general social danger exemplified by the life of 'idleness' deliberately led by 'masterless' men and women34.

  • 35 Cf. STIEFEL, Baden 1648-1952, p. 1190 ff.; B. WIRSING, Die Geschichte der Gendarmeriekorps und der (...)
  • 36 B. LENMAN, G. PARKER, The State, the Community and the Criminal Law in Early Modem Europe, in V.A. (...)
  • 37 Cf. B. WIRSING, Die Geschichte der Gendarmeriekorps...; K. SCHWEIKERT, Das badische Strafedikt von (...)

20Mounted paramilitary organisations called Hatschiere, Husaren, or Landreuter, may be regarded as the earliest precursors of our modem centralized police forces. They served primarily as protection against vagrants, but due to their minimal number - a total of 23 men were in service for the whole margravate Baden in 1773 - it is doubtful whether they fulfilled more than a symbolic function35. It was not before the first half of the 19th century that the aspirations of the bureaucratic states began to make the old system of criminal prosecution inadequate, and brought about "a revolutionary change in legal methods and in the technique of social control"36. A national Gendarmeriekorps was established in Baden in 1831 (in Bavaria in 1812, and in Württemberg in 1811, respectively); fourteen years later a new criminal code - the first to be called 'bourgeois' - was enacted37.

  • 38 Cf. with regard to the social situation and repression of outsiders and marginal groups in the med (...)
  • 39 Cf. G. GUDIAN, Geldstrafrecht und peinliches Strafrecht im späten Mittelalter, in H.J. BECKER, G. (...)

213. Until recently, the traditional legal history regarded cruel corporal punishments as the central feature of the late medieval and early modern penal system. This view has now been challenged by studies putting the main emphasis on legal practice rather than on legal doctrine. All of these studies stress the 'double-track' nature of criminal justice systems: cruel punishments and severity were almost completely reserved for foreign offenders or hardened criminals, whereas the system of norms and sanctions was principally orientated to the reintegration of (local) delinquents38. A great deal of legal sanctions, which were often considered as a last resort in cases of escalating and uncontrollable conflicts, did not intend to stigmatize or exclude the offender, but to secure the common peace and the settlement of disputes for the (present or future) good of the whole community39.

  • 40 Cf. M.B. BECKER, Changing Patterns of Violence and Justice in 14th and 15th century Florence, Comp (...)
  • 41 Cf. S. BURGHARTZ, Leib, Ehre und Gut..., p. 155 ff.; A. BUFF, Verbrechen und Verbrecher zu Augsbur (...)

22Most of the work depicting medieval crime and criminal justice refers to the big cities that - due to efficient administration - started the activities of criminal courts records earlier than the territorial states. As in England, France, or Italy, there are controversies concerning the issue which kinds of offenses were dominating the late middle ages, but the predominance of violent crime is pointed out in general. The small city of Freiburg outlawed more than 400 persons on account of accusations for homicide during the second half of the 14th century. That number corresponds to a homicide-rate of about 60 to 90 per 100.000 inhabitants, which was only surpassed by cities like Florence or Oxford40. In the court of the council of Zürich (which held no right of high justice), accusations of breaches of the peace and offenses involving physical or verbal violence outnumbered by far property and economic offenses. The same tendency has been shown for the cities of Augsburg and Nürnberg41.

  • 42 Cf. with regard to both the decay and partial persistence of elements of composition in the legal (...)

23The 'double-tracked' system of penal law mentioned above outlived the middle ages, and even the reception of the Roman law. At the same time, there was an informal, infrajudiciary 'law system' which handled a great deal of conflicts without recourse to official justice and whose principal aims can be described as limitation (or deescalation) of disputes, pacification and compensations of damages42. The latter, as well as the 'lenient' part of justice, made sure that the 'severe' part of the penal system, the "spectacle of suffering", dealt only with a small fraction of all punishable offenses, and that there was an enormous gap between codified sanctions and actual penal practice. One reason for that gap may be found in the inefficiency or absence of an apparatus of police. On the other hand, the deliberate abandonment of sanctions and the mitigation of punishments were effective methods of securing the authority of the law and legitimizing the existing relations of domination. Almost every local delinquent was allowed to count on the intercession of his family, his friends, employers and notabilities like the parish priest, and members of the lesser or higher nobility. To intercede on behalf of delinquents was not an altruistic act at all: for the better ones, it was a means of cementing the social bonds of subordination; for the families involved, it was of utmost importance in order to avoid their 'social death', since any infamous punishment affected not only the offender, but also his entire kinship which would have been stigmatized for generations.

  • 43 The category 'foreigner' also includes persons who had been living in the city for several months (...)
  • 44 Cf. regarding the distinctions made between outsiders/servants and local residents at all stages o (...)

24The everyday practice of penal justice is exemplified by the court proceedings taken in the city of Freiburg: from 1568 to 1570 a total of 400 per sons had been accused before the inner and outer town councils. Five out of these persons (one murderer and four thieves) were finally executed; another five were put in the pillory and expelled; 13 had to pay a fine and were expelled for a certain term; 4 were imprisoned for several days, whereas just a fine was imposed on 373 persons for a wide range of offenses, including manslaughter and serious assault, as well as minor fraud and nightly disturbance of the peace. It was not the seriousness of the misdeed which decided the sentence, but rather the social context of the offender and the social assistance granted to him. The good luck of local delinquents could easily become the misfortune of foreign ones; vagrants and pedlars, servants and maidens, virtually risked their lives in all cases of being accused of serious offenses. Only 48 (18,9 %) out of 238 persons convicted of larceny from 1550 to 1628 had been born in Freiburg, but 186 (78,1 %) were foreigners43. The Land-vogtei Ortenau showed a very similar proportion from 1555 to 1632: 28 (30 %) of all convicted thieves were local residents, 67 (70 %) foreigners; and whereas only 5 of the former ones (18 %) were condemned to death, 32 foreigners (48 %) ended up their lives at the gallows or on the scaffold44.

  • 45 P.-H. CHOFFAT, La sorcellerie comme exutoire. Tensions et conflits locaux: Dommartin 1524-1528, La (...)
  • 46 D. GARRIOCH, Neighbourhood and Community in Paris, 1740-1790, Cambridge, 1986, p. 40.
  • 47 Cf. G. SPITTLER, Strcitregclung im Schatten des Leviathan. Eine Darstellung und Kritik rechtsethno (...)

25Thus, a lot of various offenses that could have been severely punished under penal regulations, but did not exceed the threshold of community tolerance, were seen in relative terms (or not regarded as offenses at all) by both local communities and courts. The collaboration of members of the community was of crucial importance for the success of a criminal process. The authorities were helpless without the population’s willingness to deliver wrongdoers, to denounce their misdeeds, to testify against or in favour of them. Several recent studies try to underline the active role of communities in initiating prosecutions for witchcraft; most of these prosecutions reflected long-standing animosities, tensions, conflicts and all kinds of 'factionalism' within villages and towns45. At the same time, the prosecutions for witchcraft as well as for other crimes bear witness to the limitations of traditional modes of conflict resolution, and of preventive means of social control like gossip, rumour and scandal. On the one hand, the "symbolic casting-out"46 of the offender by public opinion and his/her attempts at self-justification did not work when basic needs of victims and offenders (above all their economic and symbolic capital) had been affected; on the other hand, informal modes of settlement often took place' in the shadow of the Leviathan', i.e. they only worked when both parties were aware of the fact that their failure implied an official judgment which made the consideration of mutual interests impossible47. Finally, they were not inherently better or fairer than judicial decisions, and going to court was sometimes the sole possibility left to the poor and powerless groups for creating a forum for their version of what had happened and of getting justice.

  • 48 Cf. with regard to the Verrechtlichung of conflicts: W. SCHMALE, Der Prozess als Widerstandsmittel (...)
  • 49 N. CASTAN, Les criminels de Languedoc. Les exigences d'ordre et les voies du ressentiment dans une (...)

26In a society where the gap between rich and poor was growing wider and wider and all kinds of social conflicts were intensifying, the increasing recourse to official justice did not only serve the interests of the rulers. The Verrechtlichung of disputes about various customs and privileges between authorities and subjects following the German Peasant War gives a good example of the way in which legal procedures were employed as instrumental 'weapons of the weak'48. Thus, more and more local residents appeared before the courts both as complainant and defendant in the late 17th and 18th centuries. The courts were no longer considered as institutions dealing predominantly with the deviant behaviour of social outsiders, and it is not surprising that 37 % of all thieves convicted in Freiburg from 1763 to 1772 had been born within the city walls. That development could have been an effect of the 'generalization' of crime (above all of thefts and prostitution), since a great deal of the labouring poor were dependent on delinquent behaviour to secure their subsistence. But it indicates also the fact that a relative consent about fundamental values and the traditional order were fading away, that, as Nicole Castan wrote, "dans le tissu même des communautés, le nombre des délits irrémissibles s’accroit; les distances établis par la différenciation des genres de vie et des moyens d’exploitation rendent plus précaires les chances de 's’arranger entre soi'; le criminel n’est plus regardé comme l’auteur d’une faute douloureuse, accidentelle, qui peut être réparée puis effacée, son crime le qualifie pour des récidives probables"49.

  • 50 D. LANDES, The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Euro (...)

27The state developed new techniques and new institutions in order to control and discipline his subjects since the end of the 18th century. It criminalized a whole range of customs formerly regarded as a legitimate and legal prerogative of the poor; it instituted a competent administration able to decide criminal matters according to the logic of formal justice; and it made the access to courts easier for everybody by abolishing all sort of fees. We should not expect that all that was done in accordance with opinions as to what is good and right. Legislators act in accordance with their own interests. Law is "the reflection - frequently the belated reflection of man’s values and material needs. But the fact that it is often belated is evidence that it is not simply a dependent variable in the service of economic development. Not only do economic interests conflict and pull both legislation and administration in different directions; non-economic considerations have their say, and questions of morality and social prejudices intervene"50.

  • 51 Cf. D. ABEGG, Zur Verarmungsfrage mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des Groβherzogthums Baden, Rasta (...)

28A great part of the population welcomed and accepted the new facilities provided by the state; they released the individual from his own initiative and allowed him to neglect his personal responsibility (for the concrete, common interest of the specific community) in favour of the more abstract interests of the society. The peasant and landowner who reported his neigh-bour for wood-stealing to the police now fostered his own interests in his private property of forests, which had been enclosed to a large degree in Baden since the 1780’s. The criminalization of the theft of wood dropped to a fertile soil; we should not wonder that yearly average of 265.000 cases were punished in Baden from 1835 to 1846, what corresponds to an incredible crime rate of 20.400 per 100.000 inhabitants for that offense alone51.

  • 52 Cf. now B. GARNOT, Une illusion historiographique: justice et criminalité au XVI-IIe siècle, Revue (...)

29The problem of when and how thoroughly official justice replaced the community based system of dispute settlement (which took common interests, social reputation and future consequences into account) has always been connected with the issue of which kinds of deviant behaviour had been predominantly prosecuted at specific periods of early modern times. As social scientists familiar with the results of criminological research, we know very well that we are only able to grasp a minimal fraction of 'real crime' when rooting through the archives of justice. The question then is whether that fraction is in any way representative of what had been left out. Those methodological considerations are determining the ongoing debate about the 'from-violence-to-theft' theory52. At the same time, it is not only a debate about the usefulness of quantitative research, but also about the historical appropriateness of theories describing cultural and socio-economic changes, as well as the (real or imagined) effects of these changes: civilization, modernization and capitalistic industrialization, (de)synchronization of popular and elite cultures.

  • 53 The statistical material presented by R. VAN DÜLMEN, Theater des Schreckens..., p. 187 ff.; ID., F (...)
  • 54 G. SCHWERHOFF, Köln im Kreuzverhör..., p. 117 and 347.

30It has been explained earlier why an approach restricted to the evidence of high justice will always give a distorted image of past criminal behaviour53. With the help of the records of criminal courts of high justice, the predominance of property crimes will be easily worked out even for the the 16th and 17th centuries - except for the late 16th century and the 1620’s and 1630’s, which saw the zenith of the witch-hunt throughout Germany. A different standard has been taken by Schwerhoffs analysis of Cologne, namely the number of persons imprisoned after having been accused of a crime (more than half of these persons were released after several days of imprisonment without any trial or sanction at all). Consequently he concluded that theft did by no means dominate - especially in comparison with violent crimes - the wide range of behaviour regarded as criminal or deviant, although theft possessed an uncontested leading position within the field of (serious) crime finally punished54.

31The same is true with regard to most of the territories and cities of southwestern Germany. A combined analysis of the files of the courts of high and low justice reveals the overwhelming percentage of violent, interpersonal offenses: 56 % out of the sample of 400 persons indicted in Freiburg from 1568-1570 were accused of violent crimes (including verbal injury or abuse); 32 % of the defendants were charged with offenses against the public order and peace, but only 3 % with property crimes. In the nearby jurisdiction of the monastery of St. Peter the corresponding ratio for the years 1605-1618 was as following: 67 % of offenses against the person, 12 % of property related crime (with a high percentage of infringements of forest regulations), 9 % of offenses against the public order and peace, 8 % of sexual offenses (adultery, incest, fornication, etc.), and 1 % of witchcraft/sorcery.

  • 55 Cf. W. HARTINGER, Rechtspflegc und Volksleben. Zur Funktion des Rechts im absolutistischen Bayern, (...)
  • 56 Cf. for Konstanz: K. KÜHNE, Das Kriminalverfahren…, p. 123 ff.

32Especially in rural areas, assaults, verbal insults and offenses against the public order and peace (insubordination, all kinds of nuisances, etc.), remained the main focus of low justice until the end of the 18th century. It was not unusual that the authorities and judges tried to reconcile the conflicting parties whenever possible in order to keep the neighbourhood and the community quiet55. Lethal violence was rapidly decreasing since the end of the Thirty Years' War, as did the use of public executions. The liturgy of violent death at the gallows or the scaffold became a rare event in the course of the 18th century: Freiburg witnessed six executions (one woman for infanticide, one man for counterfeiting, and four men for larceny) during the years 1763-1772; Konstanz ten (three women and seven men exclusively for larceny); and St. Peter only one (for larceny/robbery in 1700) during the whole century56. The death penalty was more and more replaced by other sanctions as recruitment to the army, external banishment or (seldomly) galleys and, above all, the newly instituted prisons and workhouses (Zucht-und Arbeitshäuser).

  • 57 Cf. E.C. ELLRICHSHAUSEN, Die uneheliche Mutterschaft im altösterreichischen Polizeirecht des 16 bi (...)

33The (relative) decline of accusations for serious violent crimes brought before the courts of high justice was accompanied by an enormous upswing of charges of sexual offenses (above all fornication, prostitution and adultery) since the second half of the 17th century. The latter development can be seen in proceedings initiated before the courts of both high and low justice. The criminal act "fornication" (used to define deviant sexual behaviour) had been an invention of the 16th century, but it was not completely criminalized until the early 17th century57. Sexual offenses kept their exposed position within the field of punished crime until the end of the 18th century: they amounted to 40 % in Freiburg from 1763 to 1772 (compared to 46 % of property crimes); to 27 % in the Palatinate from 1776 to 1784 (38 % of property crimes); and to about 25 % in Salem (only low justice) from 1751-1798 (less than 20 % of property crimes, more than 40 % of offenses against the person).

  • 58 Cf. P. WETTMANN-JUNGBLUT, Stelen in rechter hungernodtt..., p. 150 ff; P. SAUER, Im Namen des Köni (...)
  • 59 Cf. J. COMAROFF, S. ROBERTS, Rules and Processes: The Logic of Dispute in an African Context, Chic (...)

34It was not before the first half of the 19th century that theft and other property related crimes occupied an uncontested leading position58. At the same time, the states of Baden, Württemberg, and Hohenzollern (which had come into the territorially scattered countryside of southwestern Germany by the grace of Napoleon) separated the dispensation of criminal justice from general administration and built up a regular system of criminal courts of first and second instance. Society and the legal system were actually 'modernized' and were 'modernizing', but even then charges of violent crimes were more rapidly increasing than charges of larceny. Thus, 'modernity' is not to be measured by pointing out changing theft-violence-ratios produced by the selectivity of biased legal institutions while the degree of acculturation to official justice is neglected. Any analysis of rule-governed institutions aimed at maintaining social order - the "ruled-centered paradigm" has to be linked to the analysis of disputing behaviour - the "processual paradigm". Legal systems have always consisted of codified rules and procedures and an unwritten and apparently irregular disputing behaviour; their "cultural logic" can only be understood if form and content of both elements as well as the application of norms for the purpose of dispute settlement are regarded to be generated from the same source: the ideological universe of culture and social organization that produces and is reproduced by rules and processes alike59.

Notes

1 Local Knowledge: Fact and Law in Comparative Perspective, in C. GEERTZ, Local Knowledge. Further essays in interpretative anthropology, New York, 1983, p. 167.

2 Cf. M. GIJSWIJT-HOFSTRA, Six Centuries of Witchcraft in the Netherlands: Themes, Outlines, and Interpretations, in M. GIJSWIJT-HOFSTRA, W. FRIJHOFF (eds.), Witchcraft in the Netherlands from the Fourteenth to the Twentieth Century, Rotterdam, 1991, p. 1-36, who mentions just about 150 known death penalties on the whole and emphasizes the early end of witchcraft prosecutions by 1600, which is very unusual in comparison with the peak of the witch craze in Germany and France during the twenties and thirties of the 17th century.

3 Cf. H.C.E. MIDELFORT, Witch Hunting in Southwestern Germany 1562-1684. The Social and Intellectual Foundations, Stanford, 1972; E. LABOUVIE, Zauberei und Hexenwerk. Ländlicher Hexenglaube in der frühen Neuzeit, Frankfurt a.M., 1991; W. RUMMEL, Bauern, Herren und Hexen. Studien zur Sozialgeschichte sponheimischer und kurtrierischer Hexenprozesse 1574-1664, Göttingen, 1991; A. BLAUERT, Frühe Hexen-verfolgungen. Schweizerische Ketzer-, Zauberei-und Hexenprozesse des 15. Jahrhunderts, Hamburg, 1989; S. LORENZ (ed.), Hexen und Hexenverfolgung im deutschen Südwesten, Ostfildern, 1994; G. JEROUSCHEK, Die Hexen und ihr Prozeß. Die Hexenverfolgung in der Reichsstadt Esslingen, Esslingen, 1992; G. SCHWERHOFF, Vom Alltagsverdacht zur Massenverfolgung. Neuere deutsche Forschungen zum frühneuzeitlichen Hexenwesen, Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, 1995, 46, p. 359-380.

4 Cf. my article "Stelen in rechter hungersnodtt". Diebstahl, Eigentumsschutz und strafrechtliche Kontrolle im vorindustriellen Baden 1600-1850, in R. VAN DÜLMEN (ed.), Verbrechen, Strafen und soziale Kontrolle. Studien zur historischen Kulturforschung III, Frankfurt a.M, 1990, p. 133-177; G. SCHWERHOFF, Köln im Kreuzverhör. Kriminalität, Herrschaft und Gesellschaft in einer frühneuzeitlichen Stadt, Bonn/Berlin 1991, esp. p. 458 ff.; G. SCHORMANN, Strafrechtspflege in Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel 1569-1633, Braunschweigisches Jahrbuch, 1974, 55, p. 90-112; E. ÖSTERBERG, D. LINDSTRÖM, Crime and Social Control in Medieval and Early Modern Swedish Towns, Uppsala, 1988; J.R. RUFF, Crime, Justice and Public Order in Old Regime France: The Sénéchaussées of Libourne and Bazas, 1696-1789, London, 1984; S.G. REINHARDT, Justice in the Sarladais 1770-1790, Baton Rouge/London, 1991, esp. p. 5-117.

5 Cf. W. BEHRINGER, Mörder, Diebe, Ehebrecher. Verbrechen und Strafen in Kurbayern vom 16. bis 18. Jahrhundert, in R. VAN DÜLMEN, Verbrechen...., p. 85-132; A. SOMAN, Pathologie historique: Le témoignage des procès de bestialité aux XVIe-XVIIe siècles, in La faute, la répression et le pardon, Paris, 1984, p. 149-161; E. WETTSTEIN, Die Geschichte der Todesstrafe im Kanton Zürich, Diss. Winterthur, 1958, p. 62 ff. and 80 ff.; W. MONTER, Sodomy and Heresy in Early Modem Switzerland, Journal of Homosexuality, 1980/1981, 6, p. 41-55; M.E. PERRY, The "Nefarious Sin" in Early Modern Seville, Journal of Homosexuality, 1988, 16, p. 67-89; R. CARRASCO, Le châtiment de la sodomie sous l’inquisition (XVIe-XVIIe siècles), in A. CORBIN (ed.), Violences sexuelles, Paris, 1989, p. 53-69.

6 'Sins of All Sorts Swarmeth': Criminal Litigation in an English County in the Early Seventeenth Century, in E.W. IVES, A.H. MANCHESTER (eds.), Law, Litigants and the Legal Profession (Papers presented to the Fourth British Legal History Conference at the University of Birmingham, 10-13 July 1979), London, 1983, p. 50-67. Cf. for a differentiated view of crime in the late middle ages: P. C. MADDERN, Violence and Social Order. East Anglia 1422-1442, Oxford, 1992.

7 E.P. THOMPSON, Whigs and Hunters. The Origin of the Black Act, Harmondsworth 1975, p. 261. Cf. also R. VAN DÜLMEN, Theater des Schreckens. Gerichtspraxis und Strafrituale in der frühen Neuzeit, München, 1985, p. 11: "Zwar gab es durchaus normative Rechtsvorstellungen in einer Vielzahl territorialer Rechtskodifikationen, doch die Strafpraxis (...) folgt einer eigenen Logik, in die nur so viele abstrakte Strafvorstellungen aufgenommen wurden, als die noch regional gültigen traditionellen Rechtsvorstellungen des Volkes und direchtswirksam werdenden sozialen Interessen einer Gerichtsgemeinde nötig machten".

8 S.E. MERRY, Disputing Without Culture, Harvard Law Review, 1986/1987, 100, p. 2063; S.E. MERRY, Getting Justice and Getting Even: Legal Consciousness Among Workingclass Americans, Chicago, 1990, p. 5.

9 Cf. S. HUMPHRIES, Law as Discourse, History and Anthropology, 1985, 1, p. 251 ff.

10 E.P. THOMPSON, Introduction: Custom and Culture, in E.P. THOMPSON, Customs in Common, London, 1991, p. 1-15, here p. 6 and 11.

11 Cf. N. SCHINDLER, Widerspenstige Leute. Studien zur Volkskultur in der frühen Neuzeit, Frankfurt a.M., 1992, p. 7-19; P. ROCK, The Sociology of Deviance and Conceptions of Moral Order, The British Journal of Criminology, Delinquency and Deviant Social Behaviour, 1974, 14, p. 139-149.

12 E.P. THOMPSON, Whigs and Hunters, p. 267.

13 Cf. P. JUST, History, Power, Ideology, and Culture: Current Directions in the Anthropology of Law, Law & Society Review, 1992, 26, p. 373-411.

14 Cf. E. VON REPGOW, Der Sachsenspiegel, ed. by C. Schott, Zürich 1984, Nachwort p. 335-386; F. SCHEELE, di sal man alle radebrechen. Todeswürdige Delikte und ihre Bestrafung, in Text und Bild der Codices picturati des Sachsenspiegels, 1: Textband, Oldenburg, 1992.

15 H.J. BERMAN, Law and Revolution. The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition, Cambridge (Mass.)/London, 1983, p. 165.

16 That process is best documented for the medieval cities; cf. for a general survey: E. ISENMANN, Die deutsche Stadt im Spätmittelalter 1250-1500. Stadtgestalt, Recht, Stadtregiment, Kirche, Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft, Stuttgart, 1988, esp. p. 160-166. - The criminal law of early modem cities has always been a popular subject with legal historians; among the best individual portraits that take into account penal theory and practice are: G. SCHINDLER, Verbrechen und Strafen im Recht der Stadt Freiburg im Breisgau von der Einführung des neuen Stadtrechts bis zum Übergang an Baden (1520-1806), Freiburg i. Br., 1937; P. ROBERTZ, Die Strafrechtspflege am Haupt-und Kriminalgericht zu Jülich von der Karolina bis zur Aufklärung (1540-1744), Aachen, 1943; H. NORDHOFFBEHNE, Gerichtsbarkeit und Strafrechtspflege in der Reichsstadt Schwäbisch Hall seit dem 15. Jahrhundert, Schwäbisch Hall, 1971; T. HARSTER, Das Strafrecht der freien Reichsstadt Speyer in Theorie und Praxis, Breslau, 1900; K. KÜHNE, Das Kriminalverfahren und der Strafvollzug in der Stadt Konstanz im 18. Jahrhundert, Sigmaringen, 1979.

17 Cf. E. SCHMIDT, Inquisitionsprozess und Rezeption. Studien zur Geschichte des Strafverfahrens in Deutschland vom 13. bis 16. Jahrhundert, Leipzig, 1940; J.H. LANGBEIN, Prosecuting crime in the Renaissance: England, Germany, France, Cambridge (Mass.), 1974, esp. p. 140-157; W. TRUSEN, Der Inquisitionsprozeß. Seine historischen Grundlagen und frühen Formen, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kan. Abt., 1988, 74, p. 168-230.

18 Cf. K. EDER, Die Entstehung staatlich organisierter Gesellschaften. Ein Beitrag zu einer Theorie sozialer Evolution, Frankfurt a.M., 1980, p. 102.

19 Cf. H.E. FEINE, Die kaiserlichen Landgerichte in Schwaben im Spätmittelalter, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung fur Rechtsgeschichte, Germ. Abt., 1948, 66, p. 148-235; F.R.H. DU BOULAY, Law Enforcement in Medieval Germany, History, 1978, 63, p. 345-355; D. WILLOWEIT, Die Herausbildung des staatlichen Gewaltmonopols im Entstehungsprozeß des modernen Staates, in A. RANDELZHOFER, W. SÜB (eds.), Konsens und Konflikt: 35 Jahre Grundgesetz, Berlin/New York, 1986, p. 313-323; D. WILLOWEIT, Die Entwicklung und Verwaltung der spätmittelalterlichen Landesherrschaft, in K.G.A. JESERICH, H. POHL et al. (eds.), Deutsche Verwaltungsgeschichte, 1: Vom Spätmittelalter bis zum Ende des Reiches, Stuttgart, 1983, p. 66-143; P. BLICKLE, Das Gesetz der Eidgenossen. Überlegungen zur Entstehung der Schweiz 1200-1400, Historische Zeitschrift, 1992, 255, p. 561-586.

20 Cf. B. DIESTELKAMP, Das Gericht des deutschen Königs im Hoch und Spätmittelalter und das peinliche Strafrecht, in G. LINGELBACH, H. LÜCK (eds), Deutsches Recht zwischen Sachsenspiegel und Aufklärung. Rolf Lieberwirth zum 70 Gehurtstag dargebracht von Schülern, Freunden und Kollegen, Frankfurt a.M./Bern, 1991, p. 37-45.

21 Cf. W. GRUBE, Vogteien, Ämter, Landkreise in der Geschichte Südwestdeutschlands, Stuttgart, 1960 (2nd ed.), p. 9-18; K. S. BADER, Der deutsche Südwesten in seiner territiorialstaatlichen Entwicklung, Stuttgart, 1950, p. 20-61; D. WILLOWEIT, Allgemeine Merkmale der Verwaltungsorganisation in den Territorien, in K.G.A. JESERICH, H. POHL (eds.), Deutsche Verwaltungsgeschichte, Vol. 1, p. 289-346.

22 Cf. K. S. BADER, Id., p. 15 ff.

23 Cf. P. LANDAU, F. C. SCHRÖDER (eds.), Strafrecht, Strafprozeß und Rezeption. Grundlagen, Entwicklung und Wirkung der Constitutio Criminalis Carolina, Frankfurt a.M., 1984; K. KROESCHELL, Die Rezeption der gelehrten Rechte und ihre Bedeutung für die Bildung des Territorialstaates, in K.G.A. JESERICH, H. POHL, Deutsche Verwaltungsgeschichte..., p. 279-288.

24 Cf. P. NITSCHKE, Von der Politeia zur Polizei. Ein Beitrag zur Entwicklungs-geschichte des Polizeibegriffs und seiner herrschaftspolitischen Dimensionen von der Antike bis ins 19. Jahrhundert, Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, 1992, 19, p. 26 ff.; M. RAEFF, The Well-Ordered Police State: Social and Institutional Change Through Law in the Germanies and Russia, 1600-1800, New Haven, 1983.

25 Cf. R. HEYDENREUTER, Rcchtsgeschichte im Herzogtum Bayern in der Mitte des 16. Jahrhunderts, in H. MOHNHAUPT (ed.), Rechtsgeschichte in den beiden deutschen Staaten (1988-1990). Beispiele. Parallelen, Positionen, Frankfurt a.M., 1991, p. 264-286; A. LAUFS, Gerichtsbarkeiten und Rechtspflege im deutschen Südwesten zur Zeit des Alten Reiches, in Kommission fur Geschichtliche Landeskunde in Baden-Württemberg (ed.), Bausteine zur geschichtlichen Landeskunde von Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, 1979, p. 157-174; D. WILLOWEIT, Rechtsgrundlagen der Territorialgewalt. Landesobrigkeit, Herrschaftsrechte und Territorium in der Rechtswissenschaft der Neuzeit, Köln/Wien, 1975, esp. p. 17-108; W. LEISER, Strafgerichtsbarkeit in Süddeutschland. Formen und Entwicklungen, Köln/Wien, 1971; H. SCHNABEL-SCHÜLE, Institutionelle und gesellschaftliche Bedingungen der Strafgerichtsbarkeit in Territorien des Reichs, in H. MOHNHAUPT, D. SIMON (cds.), Vorträge zur Justizforschung. Geschichte und Theorie, 2, Frankfurt a.M., 1993, p 147-173; W. OGRIS, De sententiis ex plenitudine potestatis. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Kabinettsjustiz vornehmlich des 18. Jahrhunderts, in S. GAGNER, H. SCHLOSSER et al. (eds.), Festschrift für Hermann Krause, Köln/Wien, 1975, p. 171-187.

26 Cf. K. STIEFEL, Baden 1648-1952, Karlsruhe, 1979 (2nd ed.), 2, p. 929.

27 Cf. with regard to the increasing importance of faculties of law: K. KROESCHELL, Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte (Vol. 3: Seit 1650), Opladen, 1989, p. 56 ff.; C. SCHOTT, Rat und Spruch der Juristenfakultät Freiburg i.Br., Freiburg i.Br., 1965; P.M. HAHN, Die Gerichtspraxis der altständischen Gesellschaft im Zeitalter des "Absolulismus". Die Gutachtertätigkeit der Helmstedter Juristenfakultät fur die brandenburgisch-preußischen Territorien 1675-1710, Berlin, 1989.

28 W.J. BOUWSMA, Lawyers and Early Modem Culture, in W.J. BOUWSMA, A Usable Past. Essays in European Cultural History, Berkeley/Los Angeles, 1990, p. 136.

29 Cf. with regard to northern Germany: H. LINDERKAMP, Niedergerichtliche Strafformen und ihre Anwendung nach Quellen der Rechtspraxis. Ein Beitrag zur rechtlichen Volkskunde in Schleswig-Holstein, Neumünster, 1985.

30 Cf. A. STROBEL, Agrarverfassung im Übergang. Studien zur Agrargeschichte des badischen Breisgaus vom Beginn des 16. bis zum Ausgang des 18. Jahrhunderts, Freiburg i.Br. 1972, p. 179 ff. - At least in parts of west and north Germany the village courts (here called Gogerichte) retained their original function until the early 19th century; cf. M FRANK, "Weil Ordnung die Seele aller Dinge ist". Dörfliche Gesellschaft und Kriminalität in Lippe 1650-1800, in S. BRAKENSIEK, A. FLÜGEL et al. (eds.), Kultur und Staat in der Provinz. Perspektiven und Erträge der Regionalgeschichte, Bielefeld, 1992, p. 351-380; F. VERDENHALVEN, Die Straffälligkeit in Lippe in der 2. Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts, Lippische Mitteilungen aus Geschichte und Landeskunde, 1974, 43, p. 62-144, esp. p. 69-90.

31 The same was done by two Gewaltrichter and four Gewaltdiener (supported by Bettelvögte and Bubenkönige) in the city of Cologne; cf. G. SCHWERHOFF, Köln im Kreuzverhör, p. 60 ff.

32 Cf. P. WETTMANN-JUNGBLUT, Stelen in rechter hungersnodtt. p. 169.

33 Stelen in rechter hungersnodtt..., p. 167. Cf. with regard to the inefficiency of the early police troops and the distrust of local inhabitants towards them: C. KÜTHER, Räuber, Volk und Obrigkeit. Zur Wirkungsweise und Funktion staatlicher Strafverfolgung im 18. Jahrhundert, in H. REIF (ed.), Räuber, Volk und Obrigkeit. Studien zur Ceschichte der Kriminalität in Deutschland seit dem 18. Jahrhundert, Frankfurt a.M., 1984, p. 17-42; U. DANKER, Bandits and the State: Robbers and the Authorities in the Holy Roman Empire in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries, in R.J. EVANS (ed.), The German underworld. Deviants and Outcasts in German History, London/New York, 1988, p. 75-107.

34 Cf. E. SCHUBERT, Mobilität ohne Chance: Die Ausgrenzung des fahrenden Volkes, in W. SCHULZE (ed.), Standische Gesellschaft und soziale Mobilität, München, 1988, p. 113-164.

35 Cf. STIEFEL, Baden 1648-1952, p. 1190 ff.; B. WIRSING, Die Geschichte der Gendarmeriekorps und deren Vorläuferorganisationen in Baden, Württemberg und Bayern 1750-1850, PhD Konstanz, 1991 (Microfilm), p. 36-49.

36 B. LENMAN, G. PARKER, The State, the Community and the Criminal Law in Early Modem Europe, in V.A.C. GATRELL, B. LENMAN, G. PARKER (eds), Crime and the Law. The Social History of Crime in Western Europe since 1500, London, 1980, p. 23.

37 Cf. B. WIRSING, Die Geschichte der Gendarmeriekorps...; K. SCHWEIKERT, Das badische Strafedikt von 1803 und des Strafgesetzbuch von 1845. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der deutschen Partikular-strafgesetzgebung im 19. Jahrhundert, Freiburg i.Br., 1903, p. 27 ff.; and in general: P. NITSCHKE, Von der Politeia..., p. 1-27; P. NITSCHKE, Verbrechensbekämpfung und Verwaltung. Die Entstehung der Polizei in der Grafschaft Lippe 1700-1814, Münster/New York, 1990; A. LÜDTKE, Einleitung: "Sicherheit" und "Wohlfahrt". Aspekte der Polizeigeschichte, in A. LÜDTKE (ed.), "Sicherheit" und "Wohlfahrt". Polizei, Gesellschaft und Herrschaft im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Frankfurt a.M., 1992, p. 7-33; H. REINKE (ed.), "... nur für die Sicherheit da...?": Zur Geschichte der Polizei im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Frankfurt a.M./New York, 1993; R. SCHRÖDER, Die Strafgesetzgebung in Deutschland in der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts, in M. STOLLEIS (ed), Die Bedeutung der Wörter. Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte. Festschrift fur Sten Gagner zum 70. Geburtstag, München, 1991, p. 403-420.

38 Cf. with regard to the social situation and repression of outsiders and marginal groups in the medieval and early modem society: F. GRAUS, Randgruppen der städtischen Gesellschaft im Spätmittelalter, Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, 1981, 8, p. 385-437; F. IRSIGLER, A. LASSOTTA, Bettler und Gauner, Dirnen und Henker. Außenseiter in einer mittelalterlichen Stadt: Köln 1300-1600, München 1989; R.J. EVANS, Introduction: The 'Dangerous Classes' in Germany from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century, in J. EVANS (ed.), The German Underworld..., p. 1-28; and the articles collected in B.U. HERGEMÖLLER (ed), Randgruppen in der spätmittelalterlichen Gesellschaft: ein Hand- und Studienbuch, Warendorf, 1990.

39 Cf. G. GUDIAN, Geldstrafrecht und peinliches Strafrecht im späten Mittelalter, in H.J. BECKER, G. DILCHER et al. (eds.), Rechtsgeschichte als Kulturgeschichte. Festschrift für Adalbert Erler zum 70. Geburtstag, Aalen, 1976, p. 273-288; S. BURGHARTZ, Disziplinierung oder Konfliktregelung? Zur Funktion städtischer Gerichte im Spätmittelalter: Das Zürcher Ratsgericht, Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, 1989, 16, p. 385-407; S. BURGHARTZ, Leib, Ehre und Gut: Delinquenz in Zürich Ende des 14. Jahrhunderts, Zürich, 1990; K. SIMON-MUSCHEID, Gewalt und Ehre im spätmittelalterlichen Handwerk am Beispiel Basels, Zeitschrift fur Historische Forschung, 1991, 18, p. 1-31. - Unfortunately, there are no special studies on the informal settlement of disputes comparable to those carried out for England or France; cf. e.g. E. POWELL, Arbitration and the Law in England in the Late Middle Ages, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 1988, 33, 5th Series, p. 49-67; E. POWELL, Settlement of Disputes by Arbitration in Fifteenth-Century England, Law and History Review, 1984, 2, p. 21-43; P. C. MADDERN, Violence and Social Order., p. 14 ff; S. WHITE, "Pactum... legem vincit et amor judicium": the Settlement of Disputes by Compromise in Eleventeenth-Century Western France, The American Journal of Legal History, 1978, 22, p. 281-308.

40 Cf. M.B. BECKER, Changing Patterns of Violence and Justice in 14th and 15th century Florence, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 1976, 18, p. 281-295; C.I. HAMMER Jr., Patterns of Homicide in a Medieval University Town: Fourteenth-Century Oxford, Past & Present, 1978, 78, p. 3-23.

41 Cf. S. BURGHARTZ, Leib, Ehre und Gut..., p. 155 ff.; A. BUFF, Verbrechen und Verbrecher zu Augsburg in der zweiten Hälfte des 14. Jahrhunderts, Zeitschrift des Historischen Vereins für Schwaben und Neuburg, 1878, 4, p. 160-231; M. SCHÜSSLER, Statistische Untersuchung des Verbrechens in Nürnberg im Zeitraum von 1285 bis 1400, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Germ. Abt., 1991, 108, p. 117-193.

42 Cf. with regard to both the decay and partial persistence of elements of composition in the legal doctrine of the late medieval and early modem period: F. SCHAFFSTEIN, Wiedergutmachung und Genugtuung im Strafprozeß vom 16. bis zum Ausgang des 18. Jahrhunderts, in H. SCHÖCH (ed.), Wiedergutmachung und Strafrecht. Symposion aus Anlaß des 80. Geburtstags von Friedrich Schaffstein, München, 1987, p. 9-27; D. FREHSEE, Schadenswiedergutmachung als Instrument strafrechtlicher Kontrolle. Ein kriminalpolitischer Beitrag zur Suche nach altemativen Sanktionsformen, Berlin, 1987, p. 16-28.

43 The category 'foreigner' also includes persons who had been living in the city for several months or years.

44 Cf. regarding the distinctions made between outsiders/servants and local residents at all stages of criminal process: M.J. INGRAM, Communities and Courts: Law and Disorder in Early Seventeenth-Century Wiltshire, in J.S. COCKBURN (ed.), Crime in England 1550-1800, London, 1977, p. 132 ff.

45 P.-H. CHOFFAT, La sorcellerie comme exutoire. Tensions et conflits locaux: Dommartin 1524-1528, Lausanne, 1989; R. WALZ, Der Hexenwahn vor dem Hintergrund dörflicher Kommunikation, Zeitschrift fur Volkskunde, 1986, 82, p. 1-18; R. WALZ, Die autopoietische Struktur der Hexenverfolgungen, Sociologia Internationale, 1989, 27, p. 39-55, esp. p. 41-48; R. WALZ, Der Hexenwahn im Alltag. Der Umgang mit verdächtigen Frauen, Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, 1992, 43; E. LABOUVIE, Zauberei und Hexenwerk..., esp. p. 646-739; E. LABOUVIE, Hexenspuk und Hexenabwehr. Volksmagie und volkstümlicher Hexenglaube, in R. VAN DÜLMEN (ed.), Hexenwelten. Magie und Imaginationen, Frankfurt a.M., 1987, p. 49-93; W. RUMMEL, Bauern, Herren und Hexen, esp. p. 259-315; J.P. DEMOS, Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England, New York/Oxford, 1982, p. 246-268; J.A. SHARPE, Witchcraft and Women in Seventeenth-Century England: Some Northern Evidence, Continuity and Change, 1991, 6, p 179-199; A. GREGORY, Witchcraft, Politics and "Good Neighbourhood" in Early Seventeenth-Century Rye, Past & Present, 1991, 133, p. 31-66, esp. p. 50-58.

46 D. GARRIOCH, Neighbourhood and Community in Paris, 1740-1790, Cambridge, 1986, p. 40.

47 Cf. G. SPITTLER, Strcitregclung im Schatten des Leviathan. Eine Darstellung und Kritik rechtsethnologischer Untersuchungen, Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie, 1980, 1, p. 4-32.

48 Cf. with regard to the Verrechtlichung of conflicts: W. SCHMALE, Der Prozess als Widerstandsmittel. Überlegungen zu Formen der Konfliktbewältigung am Beispiel der Feudalkonflikte im Frankreich des Ancien Regime (16.-18. Jahrhundert), Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, 1986, 13, p. 385-424; W. SCHULZE, Bäuerlicher Widerystand und feudale Herrschaft in der frühen Neuzeit, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, 1980, p. 73 ff.; H. GABEL, W. SCHULZE, Peasant Resistance and Politicization in Germany in the Eighteenth Century, in E. HELLMUTH (ed.), The Transformation of Political Culture. England and Germany in the Late Eighteenth Century, Oxford/New York, 1990, p. 119-146; W. TROSSBACH, Bauernbewegungen im Wetterau-Vogelsberg-Gebiet 1648-1806. Fallstudien zum bäuerlichen Widerstand im Alten Reich, Darmstadt/Marburg, 1985, p. 437-495; W. TROSSBACH, Soziale Bewegung und politische Erfahrung. Bäuerlicher Protest in hessischen Territorien 1648-1806, Weingarten, 1987, p. 162-202.

49 N. CASTAN, Les criminels de Languedoc. Les exigences d'ordre et les voies du ressentiment dans une société prérévolutionnaire (1750-1790), Toulouse, 1980, p. 329.

50 D. LANDES, The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present, London, 1969, p. 199.

51 Cf. D. ABEGG, Zur Verarmungsfrage mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des Groβherzogthums Baden, Rastatt, 1849, p. 20 ff. and 57. - Cf. with regard to the criminalization of thefts of wood in Prussia: D. BLASIUS, Bürgerliche Gesellschaft und Kriminalitat. Zur Sozialgeschichte Preuβens im Vormärz, Göttingen, 1976, p. 39-49 and 103-110; J. MOOSER, "Furcht bewahrt das Holz". Holzdiebstahl und sozialer Konflikt in der ländlichen Gesellschaft 1800-1850 an westfälischen Beispielen, in H. REIF, Räuber, Volk und Obrigkeit…, p. 43-99.

52 Cf. now B. GARNOT, Une illusion historiographique: justice et criminalité au XVI-IIe siècle, Revue Historique, 1989, 113, p. 361-379; B. GARNOT, Quantitatif ou qualitatif? Les incendiaires au XVIIle siècle, Revue historique, 1991, 115, p. 43-52; J.C.V. JOHANSEN, H. STEVNSBORG, Hasard ou myopie. Réflexions autour de deux théories de l’histoire du droit, Annales E S C., 1991, 41, p. 601-624.

53 The statistical material presented by R. VAN DÜLMEN, Theater des Schreckens..., p. 187 ff.; ID., Frauen vor Gericht. Kindsmord in der frühen Neuzeit, Frankfurt a.M. 1991; ID., Kultur und Alltag in der frühen Neuzeit, Vol. 2: Dorf und Stadt 16-18. Jahrhundert, München, 1992, p. 246-274, for Frankfurt, Nürnberg, Würzburg and Ulm, and by G. SCHORMANN, Strafrechtpflege..., esp. p. 97 ff, deals exclusively with the records of high justice; its value may be as doubtful as that of studies based on the quantitative analysis of 'cas d’appel devant les parlements' in France.

54 G. SCHWERHOFF, Köln im Kreuzverhör..., p. 117 and 347.

55 Cf. W. HARTINGER, Rechtspflegc und Volksleben. Zur Funktion des Rechts im absolutistischen Bayern, in K. KÖSTLIN, K.D. SIEVERS (eds.), Das Recht der kleinen Leute: Beiträge zur Rechtlichen Volkskunde. Festschrift für Karl-Sigismund Kramer zum 60. Geburtstag, Berlin, 1976, p.50-68; B. MÜLLER-WIRTHMANN, Raufhändel. Gewalt und Ehre im Dorf, in R. VAN DÜLMEN (ed.), Kultur der einfachen Leute. Bayerisches Volksleben vom 16. bis 19. Jahrhundert, München, 1983, p. 79-110; W. HELM, Konfliktfelder und Formen der Konfliktaustragung im ländlichen Alltag der frühen Neuzeit. Ergebnisse einer Auswertung von Gerichtsprotokollen, Ostbairische Grenzmarken, 1987, 29, p. 48-67; T. WINKELBAUER, "Und sollen sich die Parteicn gütlich miteinander vertragen". Zur Bedeutung von Streitigkeiten und "Injurien" vor den Patrimonialgerichten in Ober-und Niederösterreich in der frühen Neuzeit, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Germ. Abt., 1992, 109, p. 129-152; B. SCHILDT, Der Friedensgedanke im frühneuzeitlichen Dorfrecht: Das Beispiel Thüringen, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, 1990, 107, p. 188-235; M. FRANK, Weil Ordnung...

56 Cf. for Konstanz: K. KÜHNE, Das Kriminalverfahren…, p. 123 ff.

57 Cf. E.C. ELLRICHSHAUSEN, Die uneheliche Mutterschaft im altösterreichischen Polizeirecht des 16 bis 18. Jahrhunderts dargestellt am Tatbestand der Fornikation, Berlin, 1988; A. FELBER, Unzucht und Kindsmord in der Rechtsprechung der freien Reichsstadt Nördlingen vom 15. bis 19 Jahrhundert, Bonn, 1961.

58 Cf. P. WETTMANN-JUNGBLUT, Stelen in rechter hungernodtt..., p. 150 ff; P. SAUER, Im Namen des Königs. Strafgesetzgebung und Strafvollzug im Königreich Württemberg von 1806 bis 1871, Stuttgart, 1984; W. WEBER, Kriminalität, öffentliche Sicherheit und Industrialisierung in der 1. Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts. Bemerkungen zur Entwicklung in Augsburg, Die Alte Stadt, 1985, 12, p. 251-275.

59 Cf. J. COMAROFF, S. ROBERTS, Rules and Processes: The Logic of Dispute in an African Context, Chicago, 1981, p. 3-29 and 243-249; P. JUST, History, Power, Ideology, and Culture…, p. 374 ff.

Auteur

Collaborateur scientifique à l'Institut für Rechts-und Sozialphilosophie de l'Université de Saarbrücken (Allemagne) ; Publications : "Stelen inn rechter hungersnodtt". Diebstahl, Eigentumsschutz und strafrechtliche Kontrolle im vorindustriellen Baden, 1600-1850, in R. van Dülmen (Ed.), Verbrechen, Strafen und soziale Kontrolle, Frankfurt, 1990 ; Unordnung im Bürgerstaat: Kriminalität und strafrechtliche Repression im Großherzogtum Baden während der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts, in E. Dillmann (Ed.), Regionalgeschichte (à paraître). Ses recherches actuelles portent sur l'histoire de la criminalité en Allemagne et des relations sociales à l'époque prémoderne.

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