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

By K. Levitan

The British census performs an unquestioned function in governance this day, and the new digitization of 19th century census info has allowed thousands of novice researchers to imagine their nationwide and familial earlier. This research tells the tangled tale of the way the census took form over the early many years of its lifestyles, constructing from an easy counting of families in the course of the Napoleonic Wars right into a centralized venture that concerned the governmental and highbrow luminaries of Victorian Britain. alongside the best way, 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 booklet explores the hotly disputed method through which the census was once created and built and examines how a large solid of characters, together with statisticians, novelists, nationwide and native officers, political and social reformers, and newshounds spoke back to and used the assumption 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 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

26 He ended his article on a patriotic note. ”27 Rickman’s article established many of the themes and modes of talking about the census that remained important throughout the first half of the nineteenth century. The automatic association that Rickman made between “political economy” and “patriotism” and his related emphasis on productivity and usefulness were crucial to ongoing understandings of the census. The census as the basis for other statistical investigations was also a recurring theme.

This meant that in a small community where the enumerator knew all of the inhabitants, he may have been able to fill out the form without requesting any information directly, and many people would likely have remained unaware that the census was being carried out. 33 The numbers of marriages were also listed for every year from 1754 (when Hardwicke’s Marriage Act made the registration of marriages in England and Wales a law) until 1800. The final abstracts included summaries for England, Wales, Scotland, and a separate one for London.

33 The numbers of marriages were also listed for every year from 1754 (when Hardwicke’s Marriage Act made the registration of marriages in England and Wales a law) until 1800. The final abstracts included summaries for England, Wales, Scotland, and a separate one for London. ”34 The government considered the 1801 census to be only partially successful, for some parishes did not send in returns. ”35 The innovations established in the 1811 census were thus ones of method, not content, and were meant to address the confusions that had resulted in 1801.

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