History of European Ideas 36 (2):217-235 (2010)

This article discusses the early history of academic statistics in the Netherlands in relation to the reform challenges of the Dutch state. Statistics, before it developed into a predominantly quantitative social science, was adopted around 1800 by Adriaan Kluit as a method for shaping and articulating his political vision. Kluit's politics, the article suggests, echoed the specific outlook on the ‘intrinsic power’ of the Dutch Republic as a trading state that was developed during William IV's stadholderate in the mid eighteenth century. Through the ideas of later writers and statesmen who had trained as statisticians this same approach to envisaging the Dutch future in international trade and politics was carried over into nineteenth-century Dutch political economy and constitutional reform
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DOI 10.1016/j.histeuroideas.2009.11.002
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