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 position in governance this day, and the hot digitization of 19th century census information has allowed thousands of novice researchers to imagine their nationwide and familial previous. This examine tells the tangled tale of the way the census took form over the early many years of its life, constructing from an easy counting of families through the Napoleonic Wars right into a centralized project 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, copy, and empire. The ebook explores the hotly disputed technique through which the census used to be created and built and examines how a large forged of characters, together with statisticians, novelists, nationwide and native officers, political and social reformers, and newshounds 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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Extra resources for A Cultural History of the British Census: Envisioning the Multitude in the Nineteenth Century (Palgrave Studies in Cultural and Intellectual History)

Example text

Under Graham’s charge the census indeed seems to have become more efficiently managed. The years that it took to complete and print the results of the 1841 census were decreased in 1851, and despite the greater population and increased questions, the expense was not much greater. Finally, in 1861, the Scottish census was for the first time taken separately from the English and Welsh censuses. The Scottish Registrar- General, W. P. 139 Tension between Graham and Dundas arose, however, over how much control each was to have over the Scottish census.

Finally, the tabulated results were sent to the central office of the RG in London, at which point the long process of abstracting and interpreting the national statistics began. The recording of individuals rather than communities had a crucial impact on public and official understandings of the role and descriptive power of the census. The 1841 census suggested that there were a number of possible traits by which to identify and classify people other than locality, and a single individual was to be a member of a number of different categories.

52 The statistical movement in Britain took off during the 1830s. The Statistical Society of London and its counterparts in the provinces, of which the most influential was the Manchester Statistical Society, were formed in the early years of the decade. The immediate impetus for the founding of the Statistical Society of London came from the well-known Belgian statistician Adolphe Quetelet, who attended a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1833, and inspired a group of men to form a statistical section of that society.

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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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