All the world’s a stage: Paris 1855
in States and statistics in the nineteenth century

In 1855 Parisians believed that their city was the centre of the world. Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Dieterici, who represented the Prussian kingdom in 1855 as he had in 1853, observed a bellicose mood among the French. The absence of the peacemaker, Adolphe Quetelet, may be one reason for Dieterici's about-face and less-than-conciliatory attitude towards the French. Quetelet wrote about Charles Dupin's graphical innovation in his journal, Correspondance mathématique et physique, and announced that an education map of the Netherlands was being prepared. Dupin's linear progress diktat was well suited to the Napoleonic climate. In many ways, Napoleonic statistics foreshadowed the form that statistics would take as the nineteenth century progressed. By the time the second international statistical congress began in 1855, statistics had acquired a permanent place in the machinery of government, in the academies and in public opinion in France.


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