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Download A Cultural History of the British Census: Envisioning the by K. Levitan PDF

By K. Levitan

ISBN-10: 0230119379

ISBN-13: 9780230119376

The British census performs an unquestioned function in governance this day, and the hot digitization of 19th century census info has allowed thousands of novice researchers to imagine their nationwide and familial previous. This learn tells the tangled tale of ways the census took form over the early many years of its lifestyles, constructing from an easy counting of families throughout the Napoleonic Wars right into a centralized venture that concerned the governmental and highbrow luminaries of Victorian Britain. alongside the way in which, the census intertwined with the urgent questions of the day, together with Malthusianism, industrialization, political illustration, Irish immigration, women’s employment, replica, and empire. The ebook explores the hotly disputed procedure in which the census was once created and built and examines how a large forged of characters, together with statisticians, novelists, nationwide and native officers, political and social reformers, and reporters replied to and used the belief of a census. It indicates that the act of describing British society in statistical phrases was once additionally an act of contestation.

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Additional info for A Cultural History of the British Census: Envisioning the Multitude in the Nineteenth Century (Palgrave Studies in Cultural and Intellectual History)

Example text

The societies also reported on foreign statistics and censuses. ”63 McCulloch, in fact, saw one of the prime benefits of the census to be its ability to answer controversial questions. ”66 Despite their claims of neutrality, however, the statisticians were moralists as well, and they arrived on the scene just as the heated debate over the “condition of England” was taking off. ”67 The Journal of the Statistical Society of London declared in 1839 that when the system of registration shall have been perfected .

The schedules sent to the overseers asked for the number of inhabited houses in the parish, by how many families they were occupied, the number of uninhabited houses, the numbers of males and females, and the total population. 32 Since the census did not ask about ages, the initial goal of assessing military strength among the population was not met. The census provided an overall assessment of the country’s population strength, but it did not provide firm numbers of potential military recruits.

From the beginning, it had close links with the government. indd 22 7/15/2011 2:05:17 PM “A National Undertaking”: Taking the Census 23 of Parliament and other people with political influence, often prominent Whig reformers who had a longstanding interest in political economy. Its first members included such well-known economists and writers as Charles Babbage, William Sykes, Nassau Senior, and Thomas Malthus, as well as the politicians Lord John Russell, Lord Brougham, and Francis Jeffrey. The Manchester Statistical Society counted writers, industrialists, and doctors such as William Rathbone Greg, James Kay, and Benjamin Heywood among its founding members.

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A Cultural History of the British Census: Envisioning the Multitude in the Nineteenth Century (Palgrave Studies in Cultural and Intellectual History) by K. Levitan


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