Talk:Historical demography of Scotland/GA1

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GA Review[edit]

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Reviewer: Mike Christie (talk · contribs) 21:23, 17 May 2014 (UTC) I'll do this review. I'll add my comments here as I go through the article.

Thanks for taking this on. I will be working through the points one-by-one over the next few days.--SabreBD (talk) 14:25, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
  • An initial comment about the title; my understanding of demographics is that it includes other data about populations than just the total population -- e.g. literacy rates, age distributions, gender ratios, and so on. I'd suggest renaming the article to "Population history of Scotland". See Demographics of Italy for an example of an article that covers these other areas. Of course, most of these statistics won't exist historically, but if that's the reason to exclude them then something to that effect should be said in the article.
    It is true that demography includes more than just population and it is also true that the main problem here is that this is an historical article for a country with very poor evidence for population until the modern era, whereas the Italy article is not historical. This article contains all pretty much all the demographic data I could find for the pre-1800 period (and this may be all that currently exists). I do have some more statistics for the post-1801 era dealing with other aspects of demography and could add these, but I would rather keep the broader title, despite the lack of early statistics, otherwise it is limiting on coverage here. There is also a Demographics of Scotland article that is a closer parallel to the Italy article.--SabreBD (talk) 14:25, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
    Where do you think the post-1801 demographic data that you have would best fit? In this article or in Demographics of Scotland? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 18:17, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
    I was planning to put it here, with a paragraph in the last section.--SabreBD (talk) 09:14, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
    OK, just checking to see if I should wait for that before striking the comment -- I think if you would prefer to keep this title that I should wait for you to add that material before passing for GA. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:49, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
    On second thoughts, I think I can pass this without that data, as the GA criteria just require broad coverage, not comprehensive coverage. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:46, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
    OK. Since I've made a start on this, I will probably add it at some point, but I will prioritise the points below.--SabreBD (talk) 16:15, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
  • My books are packed away so I can't check this, but I believe in Pettit & White's British Palaeolithic there are comments to the effect that there may have been palaeolithic inhabitants further north than are currently known, but any traces would have been erased by subsequent glaciation. Not an issue for GA; just a suggestion to add a note to that effect if you can find supporting sources. I should have access to my books again in a couple of weeks so will add something myself if needed. The earliest date you give is 130,000 BP, but Boxgrove, for example, is about 700,000 BP. Anyway, not an issue for GA.
    It would be good to have that if you can find the reference sometime. There are also quite a few articles to which it could then be added--SabreBD (talk) 16:15, 20 May 2014 (UTC).
  • Both "souterrain" and "wheelhouse" are linked, which is helpful, but in this context I think a few parenthetical words for each would be helpful to the reader -- e.g. "(a type of underground structure associated with settlements)".
     Done--SabreBD (talk) 16:15, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
  • How about a link for "invasions of the 1640s"?
     Done--SabreBD (talk) 16:15, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
  • A parenthetical definition of "clachan" would be helpful.
    I didn't put this in, so I just want to check that this term was used in the Lowlands. I will come back to this one.--SabreBD (talk) 16:15, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
     Done--SabreBD (talk) 14:55, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
  • "By 1600 Scotland had a higher proportion of its population living in larger towns than contemporaneous Scandinavia, Switzerland and most of Eastern Europe. By 1750 Scotland was a more urbanised society those of Germany and France." These sentences are at the end of the "Early modern era" section; the 1600 statistic is closer to the beginning than the end of that period, and I wonder if it should be moved up.
    That is because they are in the paragraph about towns. The whole section is general, then rural and then urban, rather than simply chronological, so I think it would be confusing if this was earlier.--SabreBD (talk) 16:15, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
    Agreed; I just meant move it up in the paragraph. Looking at it again, how about just linking those last two sentences with a semicolon? I think that would make it flow more smoothly. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:39, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
 Done.--SabreBD (talk) 16:43, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
  • A separate point is the relationship between these urbanization statistics and the famines mentioned in this section. Presumably the famines had a stronger impact on rural populations -- do the sources draw the causative connection between the famines and the high degree of early urbanization?
    Not really, so I would probably be straying into OR here.--SabreBD (talk) 16:15, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Also, the comparisons to other countries would be more useful with a bit more context, if it's available -- for example, I don't know how urbanized Switzerland and Scandinavia were in 1600. The text implies that Scotland is effectively rising through the league table of urbanized countries, but it doesn't say that directly.
    That is because this is the way it is put, more or less, in the text. I think have something that expresses this in terms of the most urbanised counties (Italy and the Netherlands), so I will look for that.--SabreBD (talk) 16:15, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
     Done.--SabreBD (talk) 15:37, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
  • WP:EL is not part of the GA criteria, but FYI the external link in the graph caption should be replaced by a footnote with the link inside.
    Helpful and  Done - I think - please check that I understood this.--SabreBD (talk) 16:15, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
    Looks good to me. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:39, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Can the population figures from older censuses be used in the graph? I was under the impression that the censuses went back to at least 1840.
     Done--SabreBD (talk) 21:15, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
  • "They turned to money rents, displaced farmers to raise sheep, and downplayed the traditional patriarchal relationship that had historically sustained the clans": I think this needs to be restructured; on first reading it sounds like the landlords "turned to displaced farmers", which is not the right way to parse this. Also, can you clarify "money rents"? Were rents typically paid in crops prior to this time? I assume the tenants would have had few sources of cash, and that was the problem -- if so, can we say that?
     Done. I split this into two sentences and added a bit of explanation. I think this is clearer now.--SabreBD (talk) 20:31, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I'd suggest recasting the two sentences about the Irish potato famine and the impact of the blight on Scotland so that the force of the sentence is that in contrast to Ireland, the blight had little effect on the population. As it stands it doesn't seem to address the topic of the article.
     Done.--SabreBD (talk) 20:31, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
  • "Scotland was already one of the most urbanised societies in Europe by 1800": a similar comment here to one I made above: do the sources talk about causes at all? I would think Scotland's early role in the industrial revolution must be related to its early urbanization.
     Done.--SabreBD (talk) 20:31, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
  • The last population figure given is 2000; can a later figure be given?
    The graph goes to 2011, but the test was written before then.--SabreBD (talk) 20:31, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

-- Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 21:23, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

That's everything I can see; this is a solid article and the issues are all pretty minor. I'll place the nomination on hold. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 18:25, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
I think all the points are addressed, except the extra data. I will put that in when I have had chance to put it together.--SabreBD (talk) 20:31, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

I've struck most of my comments above -- of the five remaining, the first two aren't necessary for GA, and two of the others are left only because you commented that you planned to do more. The remaining one is the suggestion about combining two sentences. None of these would really hold up GA, but I'll wait since you say you're planning to make a couple more changes. Sorry about the delay getting back to this; been busy in real life. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:39, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

I forgot about the two I was going to get back to. They, and the sentence splitting are done now. I will get to the other suggestions when I can.--SabreBD (talk) 16:46, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Looks fine -- thanks. Passing. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 16:53, 25 May 2014 (UTC)