Beccaria, Cesare Bonesano, Marchese di

Beccaria, Cesare Bonesano, Marchese di

Cesare Bonesano Beccaria was an expert in law and economics and put forth new principles in both fields which were widely accepted throughout Europe.

Beccaria was born March 15, 1738. He taught law and economics in Milan. He vehemently opposed Capital Punishment and cruel treatment of prisoners. His economic theories concerned wages and labor and influenced such eminent economists as Adam Smith and Thomas Robert Malthus.In 1771 Beccaria served as councilor of state and magistrate; in 1790, he was a member of a committee that advocated reform of criminal and Civil Law in Lombardy.

Beccaria's ideas were published in 1764 in his Essay on Crimes and Punishments. The book was well received throughout Europe and greatly influenced changes in European economic and legal systems.

He died November 8, 1794, in Milan.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.