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Counting AmericansHow the US Census Classified the Nation$
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Paul Schor

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199917853

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199917853.001.0001

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Modernization, Standardization, and Internationalization

Modernization, Standardization, and Internationalization

From the Censuses of J. C. G. Kennedy (1850 and 1860) to the First Census of Francis A. Walker (1870)

(p.79) 8 Modernization, Standardization, and Internationalization
Counting Americans

Paul Schor

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses developments surrounding the censuses of 1850, 1860, and 1870. Topics covered include the first international statistical congress in Brussels in 1853; efforts to bring American statistics closer to the European publications; the abortive reform of 1870; and the counting of roughly 4 million free men and women of African origin alongside more numerous immigrants from more places, in the wake of the Civil War. The chapter concludes that the period from 1850 to 1870 appears to be an exception in the long history of the US census, and that the appeal to international scientific authority must be seen as one way for experts to give weight to their arguments, with mitigated success.

Keywords:   Civil War, American statistics, African Americans, immigrants, US census

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