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Historiographing the Era of the American Revolution

Declaration of Independence (1819), by John Trumbull (source : Wikipedia)

The goal of H-GEAR is to use digital methods to chart shifts in the character and structure of political discourse during the era of the American Revolution. It seeks to discover how the conceptual vocabulary of political discourse shifted, when such shifts occurred, which figures were associated with these changes, and how and where these changes spread. By comparing shifts in language with changing formations in correspondence networks, we are able to measure how networks of communication within early American corpora shaped the character, distribution, and spread of political ideas during the Revolutionary era.

This project represents the first large-scale effort to study early American corpora through combined methods of textual analysis and social network analysis. It employs these powerful new methods to address longstanding debates in the field of early American history about the origins and effects of the American Revolution. By sharing the project's tools online it will foster connections between researchers and the general public as the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence approaches in 2026.

Participating organisations

University of Groningen
Netherlands eScience Center
Social Sciences & Humanities
Social Sciences & Humanities




Mark L. Thompson
Mark L. Thompson
Lead Applicant
University of Groningen
Jelte Olthof
Jisk Attema
Programme Manager
Netherlands eScience Center
Research Software Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Erik Tjong Kim Sang
Research Software Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center

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