Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Richard Brymer




This study examines the police organization of the Hamilton community and the nature of its relationship with its urban environment during the nineteenth century. The central theme of this thesis states that with increasing urbanization there has been a corresponding increase in society's reliance upon formal mechanisms of control. For the purpose of the study the police organization has been defined as an example of such a mechanism of social control operating within the urban setting and it is argued that the development of this organization has paralleled the growth of the city. The examination of the Hamilton community during the nineteenth century, a period of increasing urbanization and industrialization, provides a means for analysis of the nature of the relationship between this particular police organization and an increasingly urbanizing environment.

Furthermore, it is suggested that since the development and growth of the police organization occurs over time, it must of necessity be studied as an historical process and consideration must be given to the concept of change and to the influence of social, political, and structural variables within the urban community environment.

This analysis of the police within the Hamilton setting is meant to outline one perspective that will aid in the further understanding of the development and use of this particular mechanism of formal control. It is hoped that from this point of departure possible alternatives for additional study will emerge for the further examination and analysis of the nature and process of social order and the utilization of both formal and informal mechanisms of social control in the twentieth century.

McMaster University Library

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