Volume II, Issue 1, 2008


Perspectives on Romanian population

Constanţa Vintilă-Ghiţulescu, – Marriage without Contracts in Romanian Society (18th and 19th Century)


The present paper is an attempt at assessing the importance of dotal documents in the reconstruction of matrimonial practices. Nuptial contracts proper were not used in old-regime Romanian society. The reforms and modernising programs of the 19th Century did not introduce the use of nuptial contracts, but expanded the format of dowry documents. Initially a simple, basic inventory, the dowry paper expands into a number of ‘rubrics’ meant to strengthen its legal value in court hearings, but also to clarify a series of other aspects such as the price of items and lands, the confirmation of the son-in-law, the agreement of the parents, the authentication by a juridical instance, etc. – additional features which were meant to protect a woman’s wealth.


Dowry, family, gift, inheritance, kinship, marriage, patrimony, strategy, woman.

Bogdan Crăciun, – Two-Children Family Model in the Evangelical Community in Transylvania. Case Study


In Transylvania, the period between the 1848 Revolution and World War I was one of transition and of profound political, economic and social change. As for the Transylvanian Saxons, an autonomous nation since colonization times, they became an ethnic minority. The Saxon nation also changed demographically: the urban population increased at a faster pace (61.75%) than the rural one (8.46%), with transatlantic migration as one way of taking part in the modernization process. Throughout six decades, the Saxon population increased by 18 percent, from 174,606 individuals in 1850 to over 205,000 at the end of this period. However, this increase in absolute numbers hides considerable differences in demographic dynamics between the various regions. This paper deals primarily with the population of the Northern Group (the Bistriþa-Reghin area), whose evolution does not follow the general pattern of the Transylvanian Saxons. The concerning decrease of population in these communities reflects the tendency towards a voluntary limitation of the number of children born in a family.


Demography, Transylvania, Saxon family, fertility.

Tamas Farago – Maramures and the Cholera (1831-1893)


The author makes a brief history of the cholera epidemics that occurred in the historical Maramureº. The aim of this research was to find a way to analyse the demographic consequences of an epidemic, based strictly on bureaucratic documents and official statistics, meaning that the researcher is prevented from using both the main sources of historical demography (parish registers and nominal censuses) and the traditional methods of analyse (like, for instance, family reconstruction). Although official reports on epidemics often lack data, applying a critical eye on the source allows for basic epidemic indicators to be calculated. Moreover, provided essential data reconstruction on population movement is available, one can estimate the mortality caused by the epidemic, as well as its – namely the cholera in this case – influence on the population movement related phenomena. In the author’s opinion, the importance of such macroanalysis resides in its power to highlight wide phenomena, specific for a wider area. Having these macro results on hand one can precisely establish the space or contents related elements which are worth a further microanalysis


Epidemics, epidemic indicators, Maramureș.

Perspectives on World Population

James Marten – A New View of the Child: Children and Youth in urban America, 1900-1920


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Progressive child welfare advocates attempted to reform the lives of children living in American cities. Believing that the chaos of urban conditions hindered children’s development and deprived them of their “right to childhood,” they sought to bring order to the lives of children and youth by establishing institutions and organizations dedicated to education, health, criminal justice, and recreation. They also sought to educate policy makers and parents about proper nutrition and childrearing methods through publications and exhibits. Progress-era reformers did not solve these problems and many of their attitudes about the negative effects of urban life on children and youth are shared by Americans in the early 21st century.


Boys Clubs, child labor, childrearing, child welfare, education, health care, Jane Addams, juvenile delinquency, playgrounds, progressives

Jan Kok, Kees Mandemakers – Free Choice from a Limited Supply. The Marriage Market in Two Dutch Provinces, 1840-1940


This chapter deals with social reproduction strategies of farming families in a commercialized rural area in the North-Western part of The Netherlands. It shows that wealthy farmers were capable, mainly by inter vivos transfers and by making use of a geographically extended network to keep most of their children in farming. Marriage and starting a farm household was clearly unrelated to headship succession. On the contrary, negotiating and bringing together the assets for a new farm household required that the fathers of the bride and groom were alive. Children from less wealthy farming families remained more often celibate, they married later, and they left farming more often.


Family transmission, endogamy, partner choice, farming families, inheritance

Ionel Muntele – Demographic Limits of Globalisation


To write on the effects of globalisation (under all its forms), on the evolution of the world population seems to be a purely statistical, quantitative approach that lacks the deep analysis of the shades that spring up when adapting to a great variety of local conditions. The adoption of the already classical pattern of demographic transition as the main explanatory auxiliary used to follow these shades, although insufficient, manages to render the cultural dimension of certain phenomena which are apparently dominated by economic and social factors. Explaining the diffusion of an essentially cultural model such as the above mentioned one certifies the importance of the access to the circulation of ideas and information as a globalisation vector. Thus we can also add the demographic dimension to the multiple facets under which this process manifests its presence in a world in which transformation is no longer imposed by revolutions, changing itself in the sense of our evolution to citizens of Humanity.


Globalisation, world population, demographic transition model, diffusion.


Michael Windizio – Social Structures and Actors: The Application on Multilevel Analysis


This article gives a brief overview of multilevel modelling. Multilevel analysis is an extension of linear and generalized linear regression analysis. The article describes situations of clustered data and specifies different terms to denote multilevel methods in different sciencies. Since clustered data yield an underestimation of standard errors, multilevel statistical methods should be applied if individual level observations can be assigned to higher level contexts, and if characteristics of these contexts have an impact on the outcome of interest. Moreover, it will be argued that multilevel analysis provides options of statistical model-buiding which go far beyond just correcting the nuisance of incorrect standard errors. In most theories and many empirical studies in the social sciencies, individual actors are embedded in social context like regions, schools or households and context-characteristics systematically afect individual behaviour how spatial context-characteristics systematically affect internal East-West migration of labour in Germany. Finally, recent developments in multilevel modelling, like the combination with event history or network analysis, will be outlined briefly.


Internal migration, multilevel analysis, social structure.

Book Review

Daniela Zamfir, Geodemografia oraşelor mici din Romania [Geodemography of Small Towns in Romania] (reviewed by Oana-Ramona Ilovan)

Maria Bucur, Eugenie şi modernizare în România interbelică [Eugeny and Modernization in Inter-War Romania] (reviewed by Antonia Kiss)

Simion Lupşan, Adrian Onofreiu, Documentary contribution on economically situation of the villages nearly Nasaud in the second half of the 19th Century (reviewed by Claudia Septimia Peteanu)

Traian Rotariu (ed.), Studia Censualia Transsilvanica; 12 Statistics Volumes from and about Transylvania (reviwed by Luminiţa Dumănescu)

Dana Maria Rus, Family – where? Reading notes on some recent works in the French historiography

Scientific Events