May 30, 2020

Historical Data

Spring 2020

Project proposal

For my project I am going to compare the military occupation of the south to the literacy rates provided by the census data. I then want to compare this to the number of law makers from each county. My data sets will include Eric Foner’s “Freedoms Lawmakers“, Gregory Downs’ Mapping occupation, and the census data from 1870. The Census data and the data from Mapping Occupation both exist already in excel form, the data from “Freedoms Lawmakers” will need to be retrieved from scans and put into excel sheet format. This could be achieved by scanning the book and having a computer pull out the names and places. From here the data will need to be put into flourish along with a map file that goes down to the county level. Visualizing all 3 of these data sets on one map is going to be difficult, so creating two maps may be necessary. Military occupation will best be visualized by points on the map, while law makers and literacy rates will best be visualized with heat or frequency maps. In history there is often more than one reason or cause for an event, I want to investigate reasons for some areas having more African American law makers than others, not necessarily the quantity but the percentage based on the population of African Americans in the county. My hypothesis is that areas with higher literacy rates and closer proximity to union outposts will have a higher frequency of African American’s in office. These comparisons will help educated viewers to better understand the conditions that would help promote the success of African American law makers during reconstruction.