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On Crimes and Punishments Cesare Beccaria 1764 Cesare Beccaria was an Italian legal reformer He wrote On Crimes and Punishments during the Enlightenment in the 18th century Kishlansky Mark Geary Patrick OBrian Patricia Unfinished Legacy A Brief History of Western Civilization p432 and 436 It had a very large impact on European law It was also the first published reformation on the treatment of crimes committed and how these crimes should be punished The ideas presented in On Crimes and Punishments slowly made their way through other civilizations and consequently had a substantial impact on the laws of future societies After this document was published the laws of a state the crimes committed by criminals and the punishments dealt to the criminals were written and handled in an entirely different light than in the past One of Beccarias main reasons for recording On Crimes and Punishments was to institute happiness within a society The definition of happiness used by Beccaria comes from If personal good was pleasure then social good was happiness Unfinished Legacy p436 It was said by Francis Hutcheson that the object of government was the greatest happiness of the greatest number Unfinished Legacy p436 This principle was the core of Beccarias thoughts in On Crimes and Punishments It also reflects a little bit of democracy which was the government basis of the future United States Beccaria also used this document to make more fair judgments for the criminal and victim and the punishments were to act as deterrents rather than as retribution Unfinished Legacy p436 The statement about happiness was very important because a few year later in 1796 there was the American Declaration of Independence and in it contained a statement life liberty and the pursuit of happiness Unfinished Legacy P436 These three things were the basic rights of every American citizen This was one of the main interests Breccia had in his ideas for On
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