Text Mining

Text mining is a useful tool for looking for trends among documents and with these documents regarding women in the Progressive Era it is no different. It is clear from the connections tool that woman, suffrage, national, american, and amendment are linked.  Within the most used words, I thought it was interesting that mrs was one of them but not surprising. While female workers played a large role, upper middle class women, many who were married, took up causes to better society and increase their foothold in society as citizens, not just mothers and wives. They used their experience carrying for their families and community members to garner support for legislation they felt would be of benefit to the well being of all citizens rather than just a select few as was often the case with upper middle class men.

An example of this happened in Chicago with regards to sanitation. Men were strictly concerned with the cost and wanted did not want to take on an extra financial burden for the city; they felt that the system in place was fine and just needed a little bit more regulation. Women were able to use their own knowledge to prove that the health benefits of incineration were worth building a plant because the current system was unsanitary and causing citizens to get sick. They felt that the city should prioritize its citizens and not their bottom line.

With this particular text mining activity, trends that are visible involve women as citizens and links between them and their roles in organizations. Another is how prominent the word men is. All of these avenues would be interesting to further explore; there is a lot of interesting information about the roles women took on to lead Progressive Era movements showing that women were more than worthy of being afforded the same rights as men under the law. It would also be interesting to research roles of men in the suffrage movement because while many were opposed some were not and worked alongside in order to help women gain this important right.

 

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