Northern Illinois University Press

Police and the Social Order in German Cities

The Düsseldorf District, 1848–1914

Elaine Glovka Spencer

Spencer traces the formation and development of large bureaucratic police forces in the cities of the Düsseldorf district, the northernmost subdivision of the Prussian Rhine province. Following the revolutions of 1848–1849 and prior to World War I, urbanization, industrialization, and a changing cultural, political, and social dynamic helped justify a dramatic increase in the size of urban police forces. As the bureaucracy of law enforcement grew, uniformed patrolmen became highly visible and often resented representatives of governmental authority.

Drawing primarily on archival sources, including police records, Spencer presents a detailed study of the police—the men who joined the forces, their activities, and their relationships with the citizens they served and with government authorities. Spencer shows how the emergence of the police as an instrument of state power in German Central Europe reveals changing values and social relationships and new patterns of interaction between the bureaucracy and society.

In presenting the history of German urban law enforcement during the years of state development between 1848 and 1914, Spencer begins with a brief overview of Prussian absolutism and civilian policing in the nineteenth century prior to 1848. She then focuses on the development of the police forces in the Düsseldorf district—analyzing such factors as industrialization, urban life, and crime—and examines policing actions and the role of the police in shaping popular perceptions of the state. The study concludes with the beginning of World War I, when the composition and challenges of urban police forces were significantly transformed.

(1992) 261 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-170-4
cloth $37.50

Table of Contents

List of Tables
One- Prussians and Rhinelanders to 1848
Two- Revolution and Reaction, 1848–1858
Three- Police for Industrializing Cities, 1850–1878
Four- Policing Urban Life, 1850–1878
Five- The Empire and Its Internal Enemies, 1871–1890
Six- Big-City Police
Seven- Police and Daily Life, 1890–1914
Eight- Police and Organized Workers, 1890–1914
Nine- On the Eve of War and Beyond

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-170-4
cloth $37.50