Socially they suffered by the outburst of religious animosity.
It was not yet socially safe to be a confessed religious sceptic.
The assumption explicitly made by General Walker that among the immigrants no influence was yet excited in restriction of population, is also not only gratuitous, but inherently weak; the European peasant who landed (where the great majority have stayed) in the eastern industrial states was thrown suddenly under the influence of the forces just referred to; forces possibly of stronger influence upon him than upon native classes, which are in general economically and socially more stable, On the whole, the better opinion is probably that of a later authority on the vital statistics of the country, Dr John Shaw Billings,i that though the characteristics of modern life doubtless influence the birth-rate somewhat, by raising the average age of marriage, lessening unions, and increasing divorce and prostitution, their great influence is through the transmutation into necessities of the luxuries of simpler times; not automatically, but in the direction of an increased resort to means for the prevention of child-bearing.
Though not for many years a financial success, the Inter-Colonial railway, which was opened in 1876, has in a marked way fulfilled its object by binding together socially and industrially widely separated portions of the Dominion.
Economically and socially the crusades had disastrous effects upon the Jews.