Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
What Is "Your" Race?The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kenneth Prewitt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157030

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157030.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

The Compromise That Made the Republic and the Nation’s First Statistical Race

The Compromise That Made the Republic and the Nation’s First Statistical Race

Chapter:
(p.31) Chapter 3 The Compromise That Made the Republic and the Nation’s First Statistical Race
Source:
What Is "Your" Race?
Author(s):

Kenneth Prewitt

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691157030.003.0003

This chapter demonstrates how assumptions of racial superiority and inferiority tightly bound together statistical races, social science, and public policy. The starting point of this is constitutional language. The U.S. Constitution required a census of the white, the black, and the red races. Without this statistical compromise there would not have been a United States as it is today. In the early censuses slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person, a ratio demanded by slaveholder interests as the price of joining the Union. A deep policy disagreement at the moment of founding the nation was resolved in the creation of a statistical race. Later in American history the reverse frequently occurred. Specific policies—affirmative action, for example—took the shape they did because the statistical races were already at hand.

Keywords:   racial superiority, racial inferiority, statistical races, social science, public policy, U.S. Constitution, slaves, affirmative action

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.