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On Historical Distance$
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Mark Salber Phillips

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300140378

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300140378.001.0001

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Nine Hundred Scottish Ministers Write the History of Everyday Life

Nine Hundred Scottish Ministers Write the History of Everyday Life

Contrasting Distances in Sinclair's “Statistical Account of Scotland”

(p.97) 5 Nine Hundred Scottish Ministers Write the History of Everyday Life
On Historical Distance

Mark Salber Phillips

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the issue of distance in Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland which was a pioneering work of political economy and the new science he called statistics. It explains that Sinclair's study involved nine hundred ministers who were asked to composing local histories that traced a genealogy of present conditions through two or three generations of rapid social change. It suggests that the participating ministers took Sinclair's invitation as an occasion to write the history of everyday life as it was reflected in social and economic progress in their own parishes.

Keywords:   distance, John Sinclair, Statistical Account of Scotland, political economy, statistics, ministers, local histories, social change, everyday life

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