Buenos Aires at the end of the eighteenth century was a city in transition. Due to the Bourbon Reforms, Buenos Aires had become an important city. Since 1776 it became tahe capital of the newly created viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata and in 1778 it received a trade monopoly. These reforms made Buenos Aires wealthier and more important in the Spanish empire and an elite has been formed during the time of this viceroyalty. The central focus of this thesis is the criminality during the late colonial period (1776 – 1810) of Buenos Aires and Rio de la Plata. This period reflects the evolution of crime and also of the political approaches to prevent crime. The structure of this thesis is as follows: in the first chapter, the legal history of Rio de la Plata is explained. It touches the medieval period and explains the processes toward the late colonial period. The second chapter deals with the political philosophy of the political elite during the viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata between 1776 and 1810. It shows that especially in the period of 1776 – 1785 an enormous amount of changes are being introduced by the viceroys and Bourbon kings. The most important of these are without any doubt the creation of the Real Audiencia and the new bureaucrat; the superintendent. In the nineties, the viceroy and the superintendent both are trying to create an elite culture. They want a devote culture with hardworking and loyal citizens who don’t drink alcohol, don’t gamble or any other unethical thing. The third chapter discusses punishment. It explains the small changes in the ways of punishing during the late colonial period of 1776 – 1810. Delinquents are punished more often by having to do hard physical work such as paving roads and digging canals. The consequence of this is that the prison becomes more important as a home for these delinquents. This phase in the penal history of Rio de la Plata is an important step towards penitentiary and solitary confinement. The final chapter deals with the evolution of crime. It analyzes 231 cases in an quantitative way and it investigates the nature and location of the crime and the sex and race (casta) of the criminal and victim. The conclusion of this essay is as follows: the late colonial period was a period of constant changes. The crime rate rose in the first ten years due to the improved bureaucratic infrastructure, but the nature of the crime was less violent. The elite wanted to nurture the poor, with the result that Rio de la Plata and Buenos Aires became less violent, but not less criminal.

Additional Metadata
Keywords criminaliteit, Buenos Aires, laatkoloniaal
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/2105/6669
Series Maatschappijgeschiedenis / History of Society
Hooijdonk, J. van. (2010, February 10). De schaduwzijde van moderniteit. Maatschappijgeschiedenis / History of Society. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/6669