Home About Addresses Topic Modeling Network Analysis Conclusions

After thorough analysis of our markup, network analysis, and topic modeling, we were able to draw some conclusions regarding trends that emerged throughout all of the U.S. presidential inaugural addresses.

First of all, in our network analysis using Cytoscape, we noticed that the most-mentioned policy or value total was "economy," and while this was not shocking, we did make a guess that religion would be the most prevalent topic due to the fact that every president mentions it regardless of their own religious affiliation or political party. While it is the largest value node, we figured it may be the largest out of all values and policies. However, it makes sense that the United States presidents' main concern is the wealth of the nation considering almost every other issue, such as healthcare, welfare, education, and foreign affairs, depends on the economy. Additionally, we can observe that the number of issues presidents must address increase as time goes on. This is unsurprising as today we deal with many issues that are a product of time like the COVID-19 pandemic or climate change or issues that have been ignored in the past such as police brutality and other forms of systemic racism.

Through the use of topic modeling in MALLET, we were able to look more closely at trends over time rather than just degree, which is how many times a value or policy occurred. There were a few unexpected trends observed. Firstly, foreign policy, while remaining relatively consistent over time, was rarely mentioned in modern presidents' speeches. Due to the vast amount of globalization involved in politics and trade today, one may predict that this would be a larger component of recent leaders' speeches. Another trend, or lack there of, is that of the topic of civil rights. While this has been such a topic of discussion in American politics, compared to other topics it does not occur as frequently. This was fairly surprising to observe considering the prevalence of certain civil rights issues over time.

Ultimately, our entire project group learned a lot throughout this entire research process. Not only did we learn various types of web technologies, including but not limited to CSS, HTML, and XSLT, but we also discovered what the research and design process looks like within the humanities. This class has allowed us to see that technology and coding does not just belong in the STEM fields but within other fields of study as well. Moving forward, we will have the tools and resources to continue to develop our skills within the field of digital humanities.

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