Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Political police
(865 words)

Although the political police began to emerge as an institution only in the 18th century, early forms of surveillance of social attitudes and dispositions can be traced back to the beginnings of printing. During the Age of Reformation and the (early) Enlightenment, the persecution of dissident thinkers had a specific target group in mind: censorship was directed at authors, printers, and publishers who espoused and disseminated religious and philosophical positions undesirable to the sovereign power [6. 97–117].

Following initial moves in Austria during the age of Josephini…

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Herold-Schmidt, Hedwig, “Political police”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 01 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_025681>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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