Nico Randeraad

London was the fountainhead of international statistics. When the fourth international statistical congress was held in London in 1860, there was no one better suited to opening the proceedings than Prince Albert. In 1859, on behalf of the statistics community Adolphe Quetelet invited the Prince to attend the forthcoming congress. Albert began by focusing on the congress's public and national character, which was entirely consistent with the high intensity of political life in Britain where every important issue was debated in the public arena. Quetelet was the first to address the congress after all the national and colonial reports had been presented in the plenary sessions. In addition to Quetelet's sixth section on the nature and methods of statistics, there were five other sections on civil and criminal statistics; health; agriculture, mining, textiles and railways; economic statistics; and the census and related population statistics.

in States and statistics in the nineteenth century
Open Access (free)
Verbal offences on the streets of Modena
Katherine Aron-Beller

There were twenty-two processi in which Jews were prosecuted for blasphemy, heretical blasphemy and insults. These processi are considered as legal narratives in the same genre and show the efforts of the Inquisition to control Jewish speech. Three of these processi are described in this chapter. They suggest the degree to which poor Jews in Modena, as opposed to the wealthier classes, adopted the language of their Christian neighbours and provide a commentary on the social conflict produced by their public behaviour. They represent three types of cases which recur at intervals throughout our forty-year period, that is, simple blasphemy, heretical blasphemy, and abuse of neophytes or Jews on the margins of society. Inquisitorial processi for verbal offences have important implications for the issues of morality, discipline and communal conflict that were prevalent within the Jewish community.

in Jews on trial
Open Access (free)
A locus for fantasy
Katherine Aron-Beller

Like many micro-histories, this chapter, which studies the tension between Jews and Christians during the frequent clash of Passover and Easter, is based on one processo in 1604, which uncovers the boisterous and intrusive actions of a group of Jews in the home of Davide de Norsa, a Jewish banker in the small town of Soliera. The chapter provides a description of the various testimonies in the processo, provided in response to leading questions of the Inquisitor, and in addition an interpretation of the Jews' noise, defiance and commedia dell'arte during the clash of Easter and Passover in 1604. Christians were also likely to take offence at any noise made by Jews at a time when they were supposed to be silent. This explains why there was no clear understanding by the Christian witnesses whether what they heard was the recitation of the Haggadah or the swinging on the pingolo.

in Jews on trial
Open Access (free)
Katherine Aron-Beller

This chapter studies the procedure adapted by Modenese Inquisitors in their trial proceedings against Jews, and the Jews' reactions to the expanding jurisdiction of this court. It begins with a comparison of the tribunal's treatment of Jews with that of other Inquisitorial courts in Italy in the early modern period, and then examines the judicial procedure to reveal what was distinctive about the Holy Office's prosecution of Jews in contrast to Christians. Inquisitorial trial proceedings can be divided into two parts. The first was a preliminary investigation followed by the interrogation of any witnesses named by the delator. The second part of the trial, the full processo, involved the interrogation, and sometimes the imprisonment, sentencing or absolution of the suspect. A study of Inquisitorial policy regarding the expurgation and removal of prohibited books in the possession of Jews provides a deeper insight into its control over the Modenese Jewish community.

in Jews on trial
Open Access (free)
Katherine Aron-Beller

On 23 March 1625, five years before the Great Plague would come with fury to Modena and carry off almost half its population, the Jewish festival of Purim coincided with Palm Sunday. Using a micro-historical approach again to validate an exhaustive investigation, and further exploring the subject of Jewish/Christian tensions during festivals, this chapter examines an intriguing case, using it as a meaningful indicator of broader themes and aiming to put it into its wider historical context. There were also cases where Jews appeared before the tribunal in order to prevent accusations of proselytizing, and denounced the neophytes who they claimed were bothering them. In most of the cases Jews were accused of proselytizing neophytes rather than 'old' Christians but were rarely sentenced because these neophytes refused to indict them.

in Jews on trial
Nico Randeraad

The international statistical congresses in St Petersburg in 1872 and Budapest in 1876 tackled the issue of using graphics in statistics. The congress in St Petersburg was delayed by the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, but in August of 1872 representatives of every country in Europe made their way to the Russian capital. The attempts made by the international statistics community to streamline their organisation by establishing a 'supranational' permanent commission, were at odds with the inward orientation of national governments. The proposal to establish a permanent commission dated from the Berlin congress too, but nothing had come of it. Petr Petrovich Semenov believed that the solution was to improve the distribution of tasks among 'producers' and 'consumers' of statistics. He believed that the best results could be achieved by establishing a permanent commission, based on the ideas put forward by Ernst Engel in Berlin in 1863.

in States and statistics in the nineteenth century
Nico Randeraad

People arriving from Paris, London, St Petersburg, Vienna, Brussels, Rome or Berlin, like the foreign guests of the seventh international statistical congress, would have thought they had landed in a provincial town. Simon Vissering and Marie Matthieu von Baumhauer were familiar faces to the regular participants of the international statistical congress. The Dutch government had good reason to put Vissering and Von Baumhauer in charge when the congress came to The Hague. Much of the brainpower came from Von Baumhauer, who presented the preparatory commission with an Idées-mères, a grand scheme encompassing organisational matters and congress topics. Von Baumhauer and Vissering achieved in The Hague what they had set out to accomplish: to limit the number of topics, limit the number of participants from the host country, give ample attention to theory and methodology and create a place for colonial statistics.

in States and statistics in the nineteenth century
The relative efficacy of poor relief provisions under the English Old Poor Law
Richard Smith

One of economic and social institutions attracting great interest is the role of the precocious 'Old Poor Law', a national social security system deemed by act of parliament to operate throughout England in 1601. Peter Solar made a claim that, when comparisons are made between English poor relief and other systems of poverty alleviation to be found in most other areas of pre-industrial Europe, levels of English poor relief exceeded those provided elsewhere. This chapter attempts to develop some of Solar's arguments and to confront some of the criticisms made against Solar's case. It is concerned with the issue of welfare entitlements and discriminations in relation to parochial residence and particular notions of citizenship that flow from this membership or association. The chapter aims to extend Solar's observations about the centrality of the agrarian underpinnings of revenue generation for welfare provisioning, in rural and urban industrial regions.

in History, historians and development policy
Why modern African economies are dependent on mineral resources
Keith Breckenridge

This chapter discusses the feature of mineral resources which distinguishes them from the other assets in the continent's economy: the simplicity, precision and consistency of property rights in mineral resources. It considers whether mineral resources are very important in the workings of modern African economies, weighing them up against the other, much more popular, domains of economic activity. The chapter describes the history of mining development, offering a five-stage periodization in order to account for the special place of mining in many African economies. It shows that the developmental benefits of mining have been restricted to a special kind of metal mining, and that diamond and oil extraction are unlikely to repeat them. The chapter offers a wider conceptual explanation for the importance of mining in many African economies.

in History, historians and development policy
Europe by numbers
Author: Nico Randeraad

This book is a history of an illusion. It is also a history of the dream that preceded the illusion. The book discusses statistics as the field of tension between the scientific claims of neutrality and universality on the one hand and the political and economic reality of the conflicting interests of nation-states on the other. The various paths of state- and nation-building that European countries traversed in the nineteenth century are recognisable in the objectives of government statistics and are reflected in the topics selected for statistical study and in the categories used in the research. Each congress was clearly dominated by the specific interests of the country in which the statisticians convened. The book shows in each case how the organisation of government statistics and national concerns influenced the international agenda. It describes the perceptions, goals and dilemmas of the protagonists and their contact with each other, and in so doing unravels the complex relationships between science, government and society, wherever possible from their point of view. The genesis of international statistics was inspired by a desire for reform. Belgium's pioneering role in the European statistical movement was informed both by its liberal polity and the special status of statistics within it, and by Adolphe Quetelet's key position as an intellectual. The consolidation of the Grand Duchy of Baden, a new medium-sized state in the Rhine Confederation and later in the German Confederation, offered great opportunities for the development of official statistics.