These documents were written during the middle period in Bentham's life when he had many preoccupations. Like many contemporaries Bentham desired stability after the excesses of the French Revolution and the threat of invasion in Britain. He advocated security through schemes for a panopticon prison, the poor laws and financial reform. His panopticon plan, accepted and then rejected by the British government, was his principal interest from the period 1790-1803. After the failure of this scheme in 1803 Bentham returned to the subject of legal reform, developing his idea of 'sinister interest' which, he believed, corrupted the ruling establishment. See a time-line of Bentham's life.
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