Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2012 December 21

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Humanities desk
< December 20 << Nov | December | Jan >> December 22 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Humanities Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.


December 21[edit]

Janice the turkey monster[edit]

Which painting is Janice the Turkey Monster (http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/3/8/1331212425004/Stephen-Collins-cartoon-t-002.jpg) in? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.96.113.87 (talk) 00:03, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion by Francis Bacon. Mikenorton (talk) 00:09, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

How did America become "christian"[edit]

From what I understand most of the founding fathers of America were deists or believed strongly in separation of Church and State. It seems to me that most European immigrants at the time were fleeing religious persecution in their native countries, but ironically these European countries became strongly non-religious as time progressed to modern times, while Americans became very christian. When and how did this occur? ScienceApe (talk) 06:55, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

See History of religion in the United States. --jpgordon::==( o ) 07:18, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Christianity in America preceded the split from Great Brittain. The initial migrants were predominantly Christian. Plasmic Physics (talk) 08:23, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
The majority of immigration took place long after the split - but either way, the US is predominantly Christian because the majority of migrants were. The 'founding fathers' may well have created the institutions, and have certainly played a significant part in the creation myth of the USA, but they didn't 'found' the population. AndyTheGrump (talk) 08:30, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I'd challenge the idea that most European countries have become 'strongly non-religious'. There's less uniform Christian observance, but the majority of people still have some form of religious or spiritual belief. (The figures for those who do not are up sharply in the British census from 2001 to 2011, according to recent reports, but still not a majority.) And many devout Christians believe strongly in separation of Church and State. There's a widespread view that once states started getting their hands on Christianity (325 AD or thereabouts), it went badly for the integrity of Christianity. I'm not sure I agree, but it's hardly a rare view. So in short, I think the OP's premises are wrong. America is as it was; a predominantly Christian country with formal separation of Church and State. (Don't forget that many European countries still do not have this - some still have established churches, and others have church taxes.) AlexTiefling (talk) 08:52, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Not that I disagree with your main point, but the question on religion in the UK census has been criticised for being leading (they won't fix it so that they can compare results with previous censuses), and the British Social Attitudes Survey has found a majority of people claiming to be non-religious (BBC article). 130.88.99.231 (talk) 16:42, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps that's because "being Christian" and "being religious" are not synonyms? Dbfirs 08:42, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
There are certain currents of (very hardcore) Christian thought that would deny that the two things are even particularly compatible. I remember reading in a Jack Chick tract that "God hates religion" (and as appalling as I find much of Chick's stuff, that's a concept that at some level resonates with me, depending of course on how the term is understood). That might not be what you were getting at, though. --Trovatore (talk) 09:37, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
I haven't come across quite such "hardcore" attitudes on this side of the pond, but I was thinking that there are religions other than Christianity, and that "being religious" in the UK tends to have a connotation of particular dedication to religious practices that some Christians have and some haven't. Dbfirs 21:17, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
The 19th-century author De Tocqueville had a passage (in Democracy in America, I believe) about how separation of church and state in the U.S. had the paradoxical effect of strengthening the hold of religion on the people. However, also remember that the prohibition against having an official "established" church/religion at first only applied on the federal government level; several individual states had established churches for a while even after the constitution was adopted... AnonMoos (talk) 11:04, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
The problem that the many of the early migrants had with religion in England at the time, was the government's version of Anglicanism, which it was virtually compulsory to follow. The migrants often followed much more fundamentalist brands of Christianity, which they wanted to be free to practice. So the separation of church and state was about the freedom to be more radically Christian. Alansplodge (talk) 11:07, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, 'fundamentalist' is a highly anachronistic term to apply to those early American Protestants; any they encompassed radicals of all sorts, not all of whom were well-treated in the New World either. The treatment of Quakers in Boston was particularly harsh. AlexTiefling (talk) 11:21, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Please don't perpetuate the myth that the US was colonised by fundamentalist Christians fleeing religious persecution. It simply isn't true - the overwhelming proportion of immigrants to what became the US went there for economic reasons, and in the hope of a 'better life' - as indeed do more recent immigrants, legal or otherwise. They brought their Christianity with them (and often still do), but that wasn't why they came. AndyTheGrump (talk) 11:35, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Who are you replying to? I said no such thing. AlexTiefling (talk) 11:42, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
The "Founding Fathers" were the wealthy elite; their beliefs weren't representative of the majority of the population. thx1138 (talk) 14:17, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
The Puritans may not have been a numerical majority, but it is generally understood that they had a huge influence on the emergence of the United States and its Constitution. A quick Google produced pages of results including Puritanical Influence on the U.S. Constitution, PURITANISM, ENLIGHTENMENT AND THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, Reflections on Puritan America & the Constitution, Puritanical Influence on the US Constitution and so on and on. Is there a contrary opinion? Alansplodge (talk) 14:44, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
"Huge influence"? I don't think that anyone would argue against the proposition that the Puritans had some role in the development of American political culture. However, those who argue for a "huge influence" are typically modern religious conservatives who believe (contrary to the consensus among academic historians) that the founders of the United States had mainly religious motivations. Note that at the time of the founding of the United States, hardly anyone considered himself or herself a Puritan. That term describes a 17th-century religious movement. Most of its proponents had been dead for nearly a century by the time the United States was founded. Furthermore, Puritanism was mainly limited to New England, which made up roughly one third of the future 13 colonies by population. (There were Puritans in other colonies, but they were a minority there.) Puritanism was not very influential in the Middle or Southern colonies representing most of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention. On the other hand, it is hard to argue against the idea that congregationalism, or the subset of Protestantism in which each congregation determines its own affairs and leadership, had a big influence on American political culture. But it is sloppy to equate congregationalism with Puritanism, which was a much narrower tradition. Here is a paper that argues that the Puritan influence on the Constitution was limited. I'm sure that there are others, though they aren't as easy to search for as papers making the opposite argument.
As for the original question, I don't think that the United States has become more Christian over time. As others have said, the elite who founded the country were less conventionally religious than most ordinary Americans of the time. However, at the time of the country's founding, non-Christians were a minuscule minority. There were slightly over 2,000 Jews in a population of 3 million in 1790, or less than 0.1% of the population, with no more than a handful of free citizens who were neither Christian or Jewish. (There may have been many thousands of Muslim slaves, but they had practically no influence on the political culture of the early United States.) A larger proportion of the Christian population were actively observant than today. Since then, the United States has seen the emergence of a significant minority who belong to either non-Christian religions (especially Judaism and Islam, but also Buddhism and Hinduism) or who claim no religion. Even among the nominally Christian, religious observance has fallen off since the 19th and early 20th century. Marco polo (talk) 16:23, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Marco, excellent answer, I stand corrected. Alansplodge (talk) 23:35, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I'd blame the Cold War for most of the "America is a Christian nation" attitude (then why are does half our government oppose helping our poor and sick?</soapbox>) since that era is responsible for "Under God" being inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God we trust" inserted into our currency. That was also around the time when non-Christian minorities started to grow significantly, and the growth of minorities causes the militant wing of any majority (see ancient Rome, the Middle east, and the Hindutva movements) to freak out and assert that "this nation has always been a [homogeneous] (insert majority here) nation!"
However, I also know that when Jewish and Irish Catholic immigration to New York was increasing during the 19th century, some folks were freaking out about not only the former group, but the latter. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:45, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Irish Catholics became a big issue (at least in New York and Boston) in the 1840s and 1850s, while Jews didn't arrive in very significant numbers until later... AnonMoos (talk) 18:33, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Not as large then, but there was enough Jewish immigration (even during the 1840s and 1850s) to scare the WASPs. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:50, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
A couple of notes: some European countries, like Norway, Greece and the UK are officially Christian, even if specially the UK has large non-Christian populations. Roughly 3/4 of the US population are Christians, the same as in European countries that were deeply Christian like Spain. OsmanRF34 (talk) 19:33, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
(And yet only 32% of Norwegians can bring themselves to say they believe in God. Amazing how State churches work out. </soapbox>) Ian.thomson (talk) 19:39, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
From the same article: "78.9% of the population belonging to the state Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway." Maybe they are Christian Atheists, OsmanRF34 (talk) 20:01, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
As mentioned earlier, De Tocqueville's observed that freedom of religion increased faith. At roughly the same time, Soren Kierkegaard attacked the (Danish) state church for reducing Christianity to mere citizenship. Though I still blame the Cold war for most of the idea of "the US is a Christian nation," the large number of devout Christians enabling the idea that a state could somehow be Christian does appear to come from freedom of choice American Christians had. As the father of American literature observed, people (at least Americans) are more likely to engage in an activity when it is not an obligation. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:16, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
The idea that the US is a Christian nation goes back long before the Cold War... I would point editors to our article on the Great Awakening and especially the Second Great Awakening, both of which had a profound influence on religious and political (and religio-political) attitudes in the Untied States. Blueboar (talk) 15:36, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Harvard credit[edit]

according to this Harvard does not grant any credit from AP exams but will grant an "advanced standing". And a sentence from the link "Students may be allowed to use an AP exam score (or appropriate international credential) to meet certain requirements (foreign language, introductory departmental course, etc.)." What I don't understand is if you can't get college credit then how can you meet certain requirements? I know each credit in Harvard equivalent to an entire year course so 4 credits = 1 year full load of courses so you will need 16 credits to graduate, in other word get the bachelor degree. Let say I'm required to take 1 credit of Spanish but my AP exams can be used to fulfill that requirement so basically I'm not required to take the Spanish class anymore but I'm not getting any credit either. I don't understand how this system works. Either way you need to get 16 credits to graduate so if the AP exams only help you meet the requirements but you have to take other classes anyway to get enough 16 credits to graduate, I don't see any point of the AP exams fulfill the requirements. I mean either way you have to take some classes or the others, doesn't matter if it is elective class or required. To sum it, basically the point of AP exams are just for that you can take more elective class than you could? Is there any beneficial to take more elective classes?184.97.227.164 (talk) 19:01, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

It says that students with advance standing may graduate after 5 or 6 terms, so I assume they just reduce the number of required credits to graduate. In effect, you can't use the AP courses as credit, but you get a discount on a year or year and a half. They also warn that Advanced Standing limits a student's options, especially for scholarships that are meant to help in the (now absent) senior year, so it looks like you'd take the same first three years as everyone else, but would graduate as a junior rather than a senior. All this is making me glad I went to the finest school there is... in South Carolina. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:16, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
No no, I'm not talking about advanced standing, it wasn't my question. Let say assuming that I don't use my AP exams for advanced standing but to fulfill some required courses then what is it going to do? What does that benefit me?184.97.227.164 (talk) 19:21, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't really see much for AP stuff at Harvard except for advance standing. The section "Using AP Exams for Placement or to Meet Requirements" only discusses using AP exams for advanced placement. Unless there's something elsewhere on the website, it doesn't appear to make any difference to Harvard whether or not you took AP courses Harvard unless you go for Advanced Placement. The only exceptions appear to be for off-topic courses (like calculus for med school students, or second languages assumably for those not majoring in that language). Any more information would probably be at the department for the major in question.
You would probably still need credit in some sort of second language, but could take a higher level course for it instead of the introductory course. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:30, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
What is the point of take a higher course in a second language if I'm not majoring in it? This is my point, to me AP exams are useless unless being used for advanced standing. I'm just wondering if there are other benefiting from meet some requirements without getting the credit with AP exams?184.97.227.164 (talk) 19:42, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
You're right, it appears there's no benefit unless one goes for the advanced standing (or maybe a second minor in the second language if they'll let you, which would look good on a resume). As long as one gets through high school in no more than 4 years and doesn't earn a criminal record, what one does in high school really doesn't matter. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:46, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Asking an institution directly is always better than here. No matter what we say, it will only be an opinion. OsmanRF34 (talk) 19:48, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
"What is the point of take a higher course in a second language if I'm not majoring in it?" Some people, for whatever mysterious reasons, actually believe there are reasons to want to learn languages even if they don't count towards a specific credential. I have even heard — though it's hard to believe — that some people even enjoy learning advanced levels of topics in general for their own sake. Granted, those people might not be at an institution like Harvard, but perhaps they were, long in the past, when these requirements and rules were formulated. Harvard is nothing if not protective of their customs.
Less sarcastically, Harvard doesn't care very much about AP results — rightly so, if you ask me, as the test results have very little to do with competency at college-level work in these subjects — and these handling of the credit issue reflects that. So if your conclusions is, Harvard doesn't give you much for APs, the answer is, yes, that's exactly correct, and it's on purpose. It is a tremendous myth that AP courses are "college equivalent" — they are harder than non-AP courses, and have a big, nasty standardized test at the end of them, but they bear very little relationship to actual college courses, even introductory ones, in my experience. At least, in the humanities; I can't speak very much for the sciences or math. --Mr.98 (talk) 21:25, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Are you saying AP course is easier compare to the same course at college? As for the AP test, it is not easy! However, the curve score is pretty dang nice. I think 70% on the AP exam is equivalent to a 5. I think the problem you're getting at is those AP scores don't really reflect how much you know the material because you only need to get 70% on the test to get a 5, which is the highest score on the test. The class itself is equivalent to the college class such as same curriculum, same difficulty, at last that's what I've heard. And when I say "What is the point of take a higher course in a second language if I'm not majoring in it?" I didn't just mean the language course but I meant for everything else. Personally, I see no point in "learning advanced levels of topics in general", it is true that it is good to learn new thing but chances are you will never use any of the thing you learn in life except for those things that you have major in. To me introductory courses are good enough to know.184.97.227.164 (talk) 22:04, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
It's not an easier/harder comparison. They just aren't similar in terms of content or what is required. I've taken AP courses (as a high school student); I've taken college courses (as a college student); I've taught college courses (as a professor). It's just not the same sort of thing at all. AP courses are about rote memorization of facts and fitting within a very constrained testing format. Most college courses — especially those at places like Harvard — aren't like that at all. (There are a few exceptions in the sciences for the introductory courses; intro organic chemistry has a huge amount of rote memorization, for example.) You might be good at "AP History" but lousy at real university history courses; or the opposite could be true.
Explain to me exactly what is the difference between AP course and college course? You sounded like AP courses are just all about memorization of facts, it maybe true for AP US history or AP Europe but not true for all AP courses. I wonder how is the history class in college different than AP course? To me history is just a bunch of events that if you know what happen (basically memorize the events, what happen) then it is easy to analyze what how did it impact our society or other analysis questions related. And for AP course like AP Calculus, it's literally impossible to do well in the course if you just rely on memorizing. It is about understanding the math concepts and actually applying it. My teacher once told me, prior to Calculus, we were taught like a monkey, which means we were basically mimicking what the teacher did and we did just fine. Before Calculus, most people can do just fine by memorizing formulas and how to do a typically problem but started in Cal there are so many different combinations of problems so it is impossible to memorizing how to do all of them, you got to understanding the concept then you can do all of them. That's why Calculus is a breaking point, when you get to Calculus you will know that Math fits you or not. It is true that if you didn't do well in AP Cal, you still probably can go on major in Math but you probably have to work a lot harder and you probably also can do something that you're better at. But if you did terrible in Cal then it is a really bad idea to on major in Math. (And plus did you think about the time change between your transition from high school student to college student to a professor? I know that after certain amount of years then the curriculum changed, textbook changed, new things will be added to the course. That's maybe why you have seen the difference).184.97.227.164 (talk) 02:13, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Just a small tip from someone who has run the full educational gauntlet: if you focus on mere credentialism ("getting your ticket punched"), you will have a very impoverished education, and — if I can say so — you will probably find a place like Harvard a bad fit. (They still do believe in general education there, though they go about it in fits and starts, in my experience.) You are also likely dead wrong that the courses you major in will contain the things you will use later in life. It doesn't generally work out that way in practice. Do yourself a favor and study a few things just to learn about them. Don't prejudge what you like or don't like; your experience in high school may not be representative. (Nobody I know who takes history seriously, for example, actually liked it in high school. I hated it; now it's my profession. The difference is not so much that I changed — though I did, a bit — but more that high school history is completely unrepresentative of historical study. I would be very surprised if it wasn't the case for other disciplines as well.) --Mr.98 (talk) 23:26, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not saying all courses that in my major will be useful later but most of them probably will because I will do something that required my major degree. 184.97.227.164 (talk) 02:13, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, now you know one person Mr.98, I loved history in high school. Adam Bishop (talk) 06:32, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

UK drink driving law[edit]

Is it illegal to drink alcohol while driving a car in the United Kingdom? 114.75.47.72 (talk) 20:33, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

According to this article--Drunk driving law by country, after a certain amount, Yes, it is illegal in the United Kingdom. Futurist110 (talk) 21:10, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I think that's a slightly different issue. A person could be in total breach of the law for having too high a blood alcohol reading while at the wheel, even if their last drink was consumed well before they got into the car. The question was about actually drinking while driving (which would not necessarily put you over the limit). -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 22:16, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Drinking while driving can be construed as "Driving without due care and attention" regardless of whether alcohol is involved. I knew someone who was fined for drinking a can of Coke. Rojomoke (talk) 22:49, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
See Driver booked for sipping water; the police eventually decided that the £20 fine was "inappropriate" because she was actually waiting at a red traffic light at the time. Alansplodge (talk) 23:12, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
  • In the NE US, an open bottle of liquor in the car will get you a ticket, but my father tells of drive-up bars in Louisiana in the 70's and elsewhere in the South where you could get a drink at the window and drive off with a plastic cup of beer. That has all surely changed since the federal campaign on driving laws in the 80's. μηδείς (talk) 17:33, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
  • In the UK, it is illegal even to be drinking alcohol as a passenger in a car, and on buses or coaches, but not trains. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 22:33, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Can you provide a source for 'in a car', KageTora? If it was true, I'd expect it to be mentioned here: [1] AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:40, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Jewish Population in Russia Proper in 1914[edit]

What was the Jewish population of Russia proper (the territory within the current borders of Russia minus Kaliningrad) right before World War I began (in 1914)?

https://sites.google.com/site/marktolts/

This paper ("Jews in Russia: A Century of Demographic Dynamics") states that there were 8 K (8 thousand) Jews in Moscow, 17 K Jews in St. Petersburg, and 225 K Jews in the rest of Russia in 1897. It states that in 1926 there were 131 K Jews in Moscow, 84 K Jews in St. Petersburg, and 324 K Jews in the rest of Russia.

Based on the info here ([2]) and here (http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Saint_Petersburg) I could make a rough estimate of 15 K Jews in Moscow, 35 K Jews in St. Petersburg, and 300 K Jews in the rest of Russia in 1914, for a grand total of about 350 K Jews in Russia proper in 1914. However, Wikipedia does not accept original research, so is there any published info on this? Thank you very much. Futurist110 (talk) 21:08, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Anyone? Futurist110 (talk) 06:04, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
1897 was the last census, so there is no weighty source until 1926. I don't think that many Jews migrated during 17 years as the Pale of Settlement was still in force. Most of them migrated to Central Russia exactly after the Revolution. It's quite likely that this many-fold growth happened in the 10-year post-Revolution period.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 07:34, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
You might be right, but keep in mind that the Jewish total fertility rate and birth rate in the Russian Empire was very high, to the extent that the Jewish population in the Pale of Settlement stayed roughly the same between 1897 and 1914 despite two million Jews emigrating during this time period. I'm not sure if the emigration of Jews to other countries was as large from outside the Pale of Settlement, since life outside the Pale of Settlement was generally better for many Jews. It's extremely disappointing that the Russian Empire wanted to wait another 18 years (until 1915) to hold another census, and by that point it was already too late since World War I already broke out by then and thus the next census had to be cancelled. Futurist110 (talk) 22:04, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
It's just as likely that there was steady or increasing migration to cities and growth within them in the earlier post-census period, for reasons known to have impacted Jews: besides outright poverty, antisemitism such as pogroms was prevalent in rural areas, which would spur migration to urban centers and emigration to Western countries. For an overview, see Anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire, Pale of Settlement, and History of the Jews in Poland#Pogroms within the Russian Empire. Besides - I don't see how this query can be factored out if Czarist-era statistics don't differentiate population centers within the "Russian Empire" respective of the borders the OP states. Though if the Communists kept particular statistics of Jewish citizens by geographic area, the documentary evidence would most likely be found in Communist archives - in which case, happy hunting! -- Deborahjay (talk) 10:50, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
The Russian Empire statistics that I looked for do determine ethnicity and religion by guberniyas, which could be used to approximately determine the populations of various ethnic and religious groups within the current borders of Russia and the post-Soviet states, since many guberniya borders approximately match up with the current ex-Soviet Union country boundaries. Futurist110 (talk) 22:04, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
This is the Statistical yearbook for 1914, and this is the chapter concerning population (pdf, 40 MB). The tables for ethnic groups and religion are on the page 63 and onward. If you have some problems with understanding I can help you. In general the borders of the imperial governorates are roughly equal to the modern Russian state borders, so you need only count those ones which made up modern Russia.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 16:59, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Thank you very much. That statistical yearbook for 1914 helps out a huge amount. I can speak Russian fluently, as well as write it and (slowly) read it. Thus, I think that I can manage it by myself, but if I'll need any help I'll make sure to let you know. Futurist110 (talk) 22:04, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
I've looked that that section and while it does talk about the Jewish population it only talks about percents, not actual population numbers. I suppose that these percents could be used to approximately calculate the Jewish population in Russia proper, but they leave a large amount of room for error. Do you know if there is any source that talks about actual Jewish population numbers in Russia proper right before World War I? Thank you very much. Futurist110 (talk) 03:38, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
I've come across this site only by accident just recently and then recollected your question. I do not know where can be the numbers. The statistic yearbooks were compiled from the data send from each governorate, I suppose they contained exact numbers, but where they are I don't know, they can be in Moscow central archives or simply thrown out. There were also yellow-books for each governorate (памятные книжки), they could probably contain data on religion (I found one for 1858 year for the governorate I'm interested, there was a table for religions). Though all this would be difficult to find.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 18:16, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

In this article (Russian Jews), I created a chart of the historical Jewish populations by each SSR and former SSR over time (using current borders). Would it be considered original research to combine the data for various guberniyas into modern borders for 1914 and 1897? I'm tempted to think No, but I'm not entirely sure. Futurist110 (talk) 22:26, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

If you notify readers that by "Russia in 1914" you imply definite governorates (these are 45), it will not be a great OR. It's indeed curious that many old internal borders correspond to the modern inter-state ones. And where they do not the border changes should not greatly affect the numbers.
As for your question. Soviet government was not concerned about ethnic statistics greatly, and about religious statistics at all. I could again be mistaken, but most probably they didn't collect this sort of data between censuses. All were simply Soviet citizens, more important were the indicators influencing economy, i.e. age, sex, fertility, birth and death rates, health etc.
One curious question: why on your maps are there such intervals for percents? I thought the exact numbers of population by ethnicity were well-known.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 18:16, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
What do you mean by "intervals for percents"? Futurist110 (talk) 19:47, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Here, for example, 0.45-0.99%, 0.25-0.44% etc. Is it unknown how many were exactly?--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:01, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
No, I was simply writing that on the map in place of a color scale. I obviously know the exact percents. Futurist110 (talk) 08:23, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Soviet Union passport says ''... the internal passports identified every bearer by nationality (ethnicity) (национальность, natsional’nost’), e.g., Russian, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Estonian, Jew. This was on the so-called "fifth record" (пятая графа, pyataya grafa) of the passport." -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 18:44, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, Jack of Oz is right on this. The USSR considered nationality/ethnicity to be pretty important, which is why they bothered enumerating people by this category in the first place (in contrast, to, say, many Western European countries). Futurist110 (talk) 19:49, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Of course, Ministry of the Inferior, which issued passports, could theoretically collect statistics on ethnicity, but what for? This was not useful for the government at all. And even if they did, this information certainly wasn't public.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:01, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
This info could have been used to draw the borders of various national/ethnic autonomous Soviet republics. Futurist110 (talk) 08:23, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

After spending some time calculating the approximate Jewish population numbers from the 1914 Statistical yearbook that Luboslov Yezykin gave me, and considering that this paper ("Jews in Russia: A Century of Demographic Dynamics") states that there would about 75 K Jews in 1897 in Russia proper but within the Pale of Settlement and in parts of mostly non-Russian guberniyas (a number which I doubt changed much by 1914), I calculated that Russia proper had a cumulative Jewish population of about 307 K by ethnicity in 1914 (25 K in St. Petersburg, 7 K in Moscow, and 275 K Jews in the rest of Russia in 1914). Futurist110 (talk) 08:23, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

I have now used the religion percents to calculate the approximate Jewish population numbers in Russia proper in 1914 and got about 329-330 K Jews in Russia proper in 1914 (13 K in Moscow, 32 K in St. Petersburg, and 285 K Jews in the rest of Russia). It's worth noting that the religion data calculates percents to two decimal places, whereas the ethnicity data only calculates percents to one decminal place, and thus the religion data might be more accurate. Futurist110 (talk) 22:43, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

The data from the tables of the 1914 statistic yearbook is from the 1897 census. See the footnotes to the table headings. I checked it with Demoscope tables, it's indeed so. These tables from the yearbook are of no use. I am very sorry I've misled you, you spent your time in vain with them. I myself found out the notes just occasionally after I've also already made an excel table.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 16:48, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Don't worry about it. Everyone makes mistakes. :) If you do actually do find data for the Jewish population in Russia proper either between 1910-1914 or between 1945-1950 in the future, please let me know. Thank you very much. Futurist110 (talk) 22:40, 25 December 2012 (UTC)