- Manuel Eisner
This chapter reviews the empirical evidence and theoretical frameworks for understanding the long-term trends in interpersonal violence on the British Isles, focusing on homicide. After an overview of the theoretical frameworks for long-term big-picture analyses of violence, it presents an introduction to the relevant historical sources and the problem of comparing violence over time. It then summarizes the current knowledge on trends and structural characteristics of homicide over the past 800 years, along with looking at infanticide as a separate category. The chapter finally provides an overview of core issues in four historical periods, namely the Middle Ages (1200–1500), the early modern period (1500–1800), the Industrial Age (1800–1950) and the post-Second World War period. For each period the chapter provides insight into historically specific cultural and economic processes that affected trends in violence.