May 30, 2020

Historical Data

Spring 2020

Project Proposal: Military Occupation

For my project, I intend on comparing the presence of union soldiers to the density of African American lawmakers and lynching’s of African Americans in the Reconstruction south from 1865 to 1877. The data that I will use will include Eric Foners Freedoms Lawmakers, which describes African American lawmakers in the Reconstruction south, Ralph Ginsbergs 100 Years of Lynchings, the Ida B. Wells’s lynching data collection, and Gregory P. Downs Mapping Occupation Troop Locations Dataset. Thankfully, the Mapping Occupation data set is already provided in excel. However, for Ginsbergs 100 Years of Lynchings, I will need to convert the data from the text provided. To help visualize this data, I intend on creating maps that show the presence of Union troops in the south and superimpose this with maps showing the presence of African American lawmakers and lynching. In addition, I hope to directly compare different geographical areas (states, cities, counties) that have different amounts of occupation and see how this impacts both the presence of African American lawmakers and lynching’s. My hypothesis is that an increased presence of union troops will lead to an increase in the presence of African American lawmakers and a decrease in the amount of lynching’s in the same area. This work will be of scholarly significance because it will help to show others how military presence impacted the south after the civil war. This comparison will help to show definitively how much the military’s presence in the Reconstruction south impacted the lives and livelihoods of African Americans in the region. In addition, it will help to set a baseline to compare the violence in the south to events after 1877, when the last of the occupying forces were removed from the south. In conclusion, I feel that this work will be both interesting and be of scholarly significance.