Just in time for this year’s census, Radical Cartography has published a bunch of amazingly detailed (and beautiful) maps and charts from the census of 1870.

The data essentially reinforce what you would expect to find in the first census since the end of the Civil War: The North had a higher population overall, more foreign-born residents, much fewer African-Americans, and was much wealthier than the South. The percentage of men in the West (California, Nevada, Idaho, etc.) far exceeded the percentage of women. And the federal government, whose expenditures were almost completely limited to the military, saw the national debt explode in order to pay for the Civil War.

Below: The Constitutional Population (“Excluding Indians not taxed”).

Below: The “Colored” Population. Almost exclusively located in the Deep South along the Mississippi River and Southern plantations.

Below: The Foreign Population. Notice that the foreign immigrants flocked mainly to the upper Midwest but also to Central Texas. The influx of German and Czech immigrants to Texas is responsible for the incredible barbecue we still salivate over today. In California, of course, most of the immigrants were Chinese.

Below: Church Accommodation. Almost 50% of the total population was either Methodist or Baptist (red striped area and green area, respectively), with smaller numbers in Presbyterian or Roman Catholic churches (blue and maroon areas). In New England, Congregational churches were more dominant (light blue striped area), while the Southwest was divided between Catholics (maroon) and Mormons (black).

Below: The National Debt. Almost non-existent before the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848) but then exploding during the Civil War, reaching a height of about $2.7 billion in 1866. It’s interesting to note that only a few years later the Panic of 1873 would plunge the nation into a major economic depression.

Check out all the maps in full size and stunning detail on the Radical Cartography site.

Tonight we’re gonna panic like it’s 1873
A presidential view on debt

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