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A Global History of Historical Demography

Half a Century of Interdisciplinarity

Edited By Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux, Ioan Bolovan and Sølvi Sogner

At the XXIst World Congress of the International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS/CISH) in 2010 in Amsterdam, the International Commission for Historical Demography (ICHD) decided to write an overview of its own history. Fifty years had gone by since the CISH XIst World Congress in Stockholm 1960, when historians took the first tentative initiatives to create a wholly new interdisciplinary commission for historical demography, a meeting place for a budding discipline where researchers in letters and science could meet, exchange ideas, cultivate and develop a new field. This book is the outcome of that decision.

Demography, past, present and future is a common concern for all inhabitants of this planet. The variation is great, however, with regard to sources, social and political conditions, state of the art, technological development, national and local initiatives. In the course of half a century many changes take place. Keeping abreast of the gigantic streams of information and innovation in the field is demanding, even more so for a discipline with global dimensions and ambitions. The book makes fascinating reading, and preparing it has been a rewarding and thought provoking experience. The thirty-seven articles in the book represent as many different stories.

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25. Mexican Historical Demography


Mexican Historical Demography


The Origins of the Historical Demography Research

The investigation of the historical population of Mexico started in the third decade of the twentieth century, and can be followed in approximately 400 titles of diverse size and content. For the most part the studies are exclusively about the Mexican population, but one can also find them included in a Latin American context.

Mexican historical demography, as well as that of other Latin American countries, was in the first place a response to a question about the origin of American man, a continuation of the scholars from Europe and North America following the clues of language and diverse cultural manifestations of the Amer-Indians. Later on, interest arose regarding the size of the populations in Mesoamerica and the Andes region.

The German geographer and linguist Karl Sapper (1924, 1935) was one of the first scientists to be interested in the size and density of the native population in America, presenting the results of his investigation at the Congress of Americanists in The Hague and in Seville. The Spaniard Ciriaco Pérez Bustamante (1927, 1928) together with colleagues investigated the peninsular migration to the New World and the population of New Spain in the century of the Conquest. Another distinguished Americanists, the North American Herbert J. Spinden (1928) presented global calculations of the aboriginal population.

The Mexican population has been an object of study in the...

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