Get A Cultural History of the British Census: Envisioning the PDF

By K. Levitan

ISBN-10: 0230119379

ISBN-13: 9780230119376

The British census performs an unquestioned position in governance at the present time, and the hot digitization of 19th century census info has allowed thousands of novice researchers to imagine their nationwide and familial prior. This learn tells the tangled tale of ways the census took form over the early a long time of its life, constructing from an easy counting of families throughout 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 booklet explores the hotly disputed strategy during which the census used to be created and built and examines how a large solid of characters, together with statisticians, novelists, nationwide and native officers, political and social reformers, and reporters answered to and used the belief of a census. It indicates that the act of describing British society in statistical phrases used to be 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)

Sample text

91 If numerical strength was important on the international scale, the other particulars would be important domestically, and would aid the government in legislating for the population. Since the administrators of the census were aware that the new method might be considered intrusive and would prove unpopular with some people, they promised that the individual results would be kept entirely confidential and would not be used for any purpose other than compiling an abstract of the whole. Individuals were thus important as members of the whole, or as parts of the aggregate.

Indd 25 7/15/2011 2:05:17 PM 26 A Cultural History of the British Census at the central office in London had control over a number of superintendent registrars in the provinces, who likewise were in charge of a number of registrars whose duty it was to conduct the actual registration on a local level. The RG began to publish weekly reports of mortality for London in 1840, and quarterly reports for the nation in 1842. The Office also issued special publications at times, such as a report on the cholera epidemic of 1848–1849.

135 The census, as usual, was in the delicate position of gathering as wide a range of facts as possible while simultaneously testing the boundaries between public and private, state and society. Keeping the census within feasible and popularly acceptable limits was therefore crucial to its success. Various suggestions for improving the 1861 census were also made in Parliament, but the most dramatic controversy revolved around the proposed question about the “religious profession” of every individual.

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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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