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The Justice of VeniceAuthorities and Liberties in the Urban Economy, 1550-1700$
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James E Shaw

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263778

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263778.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Market Crime

Market Crime

(p.75) 3 Market Crime
The Justice of Venice

James E. Shaw

British Academy

The weakness and unreliability of the public administration forced the government to work closely with private interests, leaving responsibility for policing and taxation to private corporations. Without the guilds, which provided a kind of self-interested policing system, it would have been extremely difficult for the government to tax and regulate the economy. This chapter examines the consequences of this in terms of how market justice was experienced in practice on the streets of Venice. It presents a detailed study of law enforcement in practice, using one of the few surviving registers of criminal denunciations at the Giustizia Vecchia. To understand the real meaning of market justice for ordinary people, the discussion focuses on the mundane and the everyday, the sort of ordinary crime that constituted the background to economic life.

Keywords:   market justice, taxation, private corporations, price manipulation, Venice, Giustizia Vecchia

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