Classical Criminology Essay

Classical Criminology Essay

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Classical Criminology


The classical school of criminology was around in the eighteenth
century. It came abount in a time when the previous dominent spiritual
look at defining crime and criminal behaviour was being challenged by
a newer naturalistic approach of the social contract theorists.

The classical school was the established ideas of monarchs, fedual
lords and the fathers of the church. The main pioneers of the classical
school were Cesar Beccaria ( 1738-1974) from Italy and Jeremy Bantham
from Britain (1948-1832). From them writing their theories in the
eighteenth century they established the essential components of the
rational actor model. They both shared the idea that crime and
criminal behaviour could be understood and controlled by human nature.
The classical school was not intrested in studying crime and
criminals, it got its theorys from law making and legal processing.
The new ideas of '' enlightenment'' philoshefers were Montisque,
Rasseau, Voltaire, Thomas Aquins and Locke.

The fundermental principles of the classical school are made up of
four main things. These are, free will, rationality, self-intrest and
responsibility. Free will - People thought that god made people commit
the crime, the classical school thought that people are not forced
into commiting crimes. They believe that its our choice to behave in a
criminal or non criminal way. We have a range of choices, and it is up
to us if we want to break the law. Rationality,- This is where we
think about each pro and con of each action we take, and we think
about what we are doing. Self-intrest.- The classical school believed
that we were all born s...


... middle of paper ...


...present the state. In proportion to all this,
the law must specify the relationship between law and the punishment
given. The Punishment must come very soon and as quick as possible
after the crime has been commited. The judge's and the jurys
administer the law and punishment and interprate the law. Beccaria's
theorys have a huge impact on modern criminal law. The idea of free
will is built into many legal codes.

Jermy Bantham was a philoshopher and a leading disciple of Beccaria.
He too thought that human nature had some place in people becoming
criminals. He too was a believer in that people would commit crime to
minimalise pain and maximise pleasure. Bantham believed that it was
incorect up-bringing that caused people to commit crime.


Works Cited

Roger Hopkins Burke. An Introduction to Criminological Theory

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