Cesare Beccaria



Biography : Full name Cesare Bonesana Marchese di Beccaria, born in 1738, educated by Jesuits. Befriended Alessandro and Pietro Verri; the three discussed French and English philosophers. Theu founded the Society of Fistfighters in 1761. Alessandro Verri worked at a Milan prison; through him, Beccaria learned about the appaling conditions inmates had to endure. In 1764, Beccaria wrote On Crime and Punishment. Translated into French and other languages, the essay quickly was discussed in many regions of Europe. From 1764 to 1766, the three publiashed the magazine Il Caffe.
A 1766 visit by Beccaria to Paris, by contrast, was a disappointment; Beccaria soon returned to Milan. His further publications did not meet the success of On Crime and Punishment.
Beccaria demanded a more human form of punishment, and spoke out against capital punishment. Emperor Joseph II., for the Habsburg Cisleithanian territories, abolished the death penalty in 1781 (and cancelled this and other reforms in 1789); Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany, Joseph's brother, abolished the death penalty in 1786. Beccaria died in Milan in 1794.
List of publications

1762 . . Del Disordine e dei rimedi delle Monete
1764 . . Tentativo Analtico sui Contrabbandi
1764 . . Dei delitti e delle pene (An Essay on Crimes and Punishment)
1771 . . Ricerche intorno alla natura dello stile
1804 . . Elementi di economia pubblica (Elements of Public Economy)









EXTERNAL
FILES
Biography of Cesare Beccaria, from Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy; from CEPA; by Giuseppe Bonghi, in Italian
DOCUMENTS Excerpt of Cesare Beccaria : Essay on Crimes and Punishments, from Modern History Sourcebook
Full Text English online edition, from CUWS
REFERENCE



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on September 13th 2003, last revised on November 14th 2004

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