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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/162

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

perism. Remove from social statistics this postulate that blood kinship or mental resemblance between one social unit and another is the basis of social phenomena, and the statistics themselves would cease to exist.

Statistics reveal also the consciousness which men have of their resemblances and their differences. It is statistically known that the geographical distribution of nationalities is not accidental or capricious. Immigrant Italians, Germans, and Scandinavians find their way to those parts of the country where men of their own blood and speech are already established. Intermarriages of men and women of different nationalities are statistically known to be frequent where no differences of religion exist, and infrequent where different nationalities profess different faiths. The statistics of political elections are quite as much statistics of the consciousness of kind as of differences of mental type itself.

The most significant fact of all, however, has still to be named. It is this: From the first known beginnings of statistical research to the present time every extension of statistical inquiry has been in a large measure due to the consciousness of kind. The first statistical surveys of communities of which we have any record were such tribal enumerations as those recorded in the book of Numbers, the avowed object of which was to ascertain the strength and resources of the various tribes by clans, lesser gentile groups, and households, not more for utilitarian reasons than for the gratification of gentile and tribal pride. The census taken in Greece in 594 B.C. was for the purpose of dividing the people into four classes and levying taxes according to wealth. The constitution of Servius Tullius, 550 B.C., distinguished six property classes, and the attempt to determine these statistically was one of the earliest experiments in census-making at Rome. The Domesday Book of William I (1086) is the first great statistical document in English history, and its origin was due to a desire to know not only the military and fiscal strength of the nation, but also its class distinctions and feudal relationships. The great stimulus given to statistical investigation by the Trench Revolution was an obvious product of class feeling. Most of the refinements of statistical inquiry in later years have had a like origin. Such, for example, was the cause of the discrimination in our own census of the foreign born from the native born, and of the native born of foreign parents from both native and foreign born. Such has been the cause of the attempt to get more exact statistics of religious denominations, of labor organizations, and of the distribution of wealth. Had there been no reason for including these costly inquiries in statistical investigations, except that of their general