The Celebrated Marquis 9781611637861 | 9781531009748 RedShelf

The Celebrated Marquis

An Italian Noble and the Making of the Modern World

John D. Bessler
eISBN-13: 9781531009748

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During the Enlightenment, a now little-known Italian marquis, while in his mid-twenties as a member of a small Milanese salon, the Academy of Fists, wrote a book that was destined to change the world. Published anonymously in 1764 as Dei delitti e delle pene, and quickly translated into French and then into English as On Crimes and Punishments, the runaway bestseller argued against torture, capital punishment, and religious intolerance. Written by Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794), an economist and recent law graduate of the University of Pavia, On Crimes and Punishments sought clear and egalitarian laws, better public education, and milder punishments. Translated into all of the major European languages, Beccarias book led to the end of the Ancien Regime.

Praised by Voltaire and the French philosophes, Beccaria was toasted in Paris in 1766 for his literary achievement, and his bookthough banned by the Inquisition and placed on the Catholic Churchs Index of Forbidden Bookswas lauded by monarchs and revolutionaries alike. Among its admirers were the French Encyclopedistes; Prussias Frederick the Great; Russias enlightened czarina, Catherine II; members of the Habsburg dynasty; the English jurist Sir William Blackstone; the utilitarian penal reformer Jeremy Bentham; and American revolutionaries John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. On Crimes and Punishments, decrying tyranny and arbitrariness and advocating for equality of treatment under the law, helped to catalyze the American and French Revolutions. In 1774, on the cusp of the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress explicitly hailed Beccaria as "the celebrated marquis."

Called the Italian Adam Smith for his pioneering work as an economist in Milan, Cesare Beccarialike his Italian mentor, Pietro Verriwrote about pleasure and pain, economic theory, and maximizing peoples happiness. Once a household name throughout Europe and the Americas, Beccaria taught economics before the appearance of Smith's The Wealth of Nations but died in obscurity after working for decades as a civil servant in Austrias Habsburg Empire. As a public councilor, Beccaria pushed for social and economic justice, monetary and legal reform, conservation of natural resources, and even inspired Frances adoption of the metric system. In The Celebrated Marquis, award-winning author John Bessler tells the story of the history of economics and of how Beccarias ideas shaped the American Declaration of Independence, constitutions and laws around the globe, and the modern world in which we live.

Sold By Carolina Academic Press
ISBNs 1611637864, 9781611637861, 1531009743, 9781531009748
Language English
Number of Pages 568

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