American Homicide

American Homicide

by Randolph Roth
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674035208

ISBN-13: 9780674035201

Pub. Date: 10/15/2009

Publisher: Harvard


In American Homicide, Randolph Roth charts changes in the character and incidence of homicide in the U.S. from colonial times to the present. Roth argues that the United States is distinctive in its level of violence among unrelated adults—friends, acquaintances, and strangers. America was extraordinarily homicidal in the mid-seventeenth century, but…  See more details below

Overview


In American Homicide, Randolph Roth charts changes in the character and incidence of homicide in the U.S. from colonial times to the present. Roth argues that the United States is distinctive in its level of violence among unrelated adults—friends, acquaintances, and strangers. America was extraordinarily homicidal in the mid-seventeenth century, but it became relatively non-homicidal by the mid-eighteenth century, even in the slave South; and by the early nineteenth century, rates in the North and the mountain South were extremely low. But the homicide rate rose substantially among unrelated adults in the slave South after the American Revolution; and it skyrocketed across the United States from the late 1840s through the mid-1870s, while rates in most other Western nations held steady or fell. That surge—and all subsequent increases in the homicide rate—correlated closely with four distinct phenomena: political instability; a loss of government legitimacy; a loss of fellow-feeling among members of society caused by racial, religious, or political antagonism; and a loss of faith in the social hierarchy. Those four factors, Roth argues, best explain why homicide rates have gone up and down in the United States and in other Western nations over the past four centuries, and why the United States is today the most homicidal affluent nation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674035201
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
10/15/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
672
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 2.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Introduction 1

1 "Cuttinge One Anothers Throates": Homicide in Early Modern Europe and America 27

2 "All Hanging Together": The Decline of Homicide in the Colonial Period 61

3 Family and Intimate Homicide in the First Two Centuries 108

4 "A Sense of Their Rights": Homicide in the Age of Revolution 145

5 The Emergence of Regional Differences: Homicide in the Postrevolutionary Period 180

6 The Rise in Family and Intimate Homicide in the Nineteenth Century 250

7 "All Is Confusion, Excitement and Distrust": America Becomes a Homicidal Nation 297

8 The Modern Pattern Is Set: Homicide from the End of Reconstruction to World War I 386

9 The Problem Endures: Homicide from World War I to the Present 435

Conclusion: Can America's Homicide Problem Be Solved? 469

Sources 477

Methods 489

Notes 497

References 588

Acknowledgments 641

Index 644

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