Essays, Maps, Data and Tutorials from the Mapping Early American Elections ProjectMay 13, 2019
Today the Mapping Early American Elections team is making their final release of maps, data, and essays for this project. We have four main elements that we are adding to the site, in addition to the hundreds of state-level maps of Congressional elections during the first-party system that we have already released.
First, we are publishing six essays and a bibliography that give you an overview of the history of early American politics and a guide to how to use and interpret these maps for yourself. Here are the subjects of the essays.
Essay introducing the site and datasets:
Essays introducing early American politics:
- Political Parties in the Early Republic
- Electing Members of Congress in the Early Republic
- Democracy and the Importance of Voter Turnout
Essays demonstrating what can be done with the spatial data we have prepared:
Second, we have released the data that we have prepared to create our own maps of party results by county in elections for Congress, as well as data that allows you to map individual candidates results by county for Congress, data for select state legislative elections, and town locations to supplement existing historical spatial datasets. We recommend that you read our introductory essay to understand how we have created the dataset and our data page for links to the spatial datasets to which it can be joined. The dataset itself is available on GitHub with documentation.
Third, in addition to the dataset and its documentation, we want walk you through how to create several types of maps, using several different technologies. If you are a user of a programming language, we have created a tutorial for mapping in R. If you prefer graphical tools, then we have created a tutorial for mapping in QGIS. Even if you use other tools you can read those tutorials and apply the same process to languages such as Python or GUI tools such as ArcGIS.
Finally, we have released national maps for each of first nineteen Congresses, in addition to the state-level maps that we had already released. You can find those national maps on our map page under each Congress heading.
We are grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities, which has generously funded this project to provide access to early American elections. And we are grateful to the New Nation Votes project which created the transcriptions of election returns that we used to create the dataset. We hope that these maps and this dataset are useful to you as you seek to understand the origins of American democracy.