History/Research Questions

We’re all working on projects. Google doesn’t work well, academic databases aren’t always (ever?) accessible. Avenues around these roadblocks tend to get ratholed by bit rot and SEO fuckery.

We all have questions. Many of us are well-read enough to have established mental maps of what information is credible and what is a waste of time. Let’s talk sources. Paging @mindysan33 @jerwin?

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Looking for good commentaries giving historical context around the Declaration of independence. Anyone have any ideas?

Specifically talking about the individual grievances listed against The Kink.

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Well, I would start here, following the footnotes.

You can use the text of the declaration’s clauses as material to search google scholar, ssrn, books.google.com, etc. If your local library has databases akin to jstor, you can try those, once you’ve narrowed it down to something specific. Law review articles are a good source of material. If there are paywalls, the author’s website might offer a freer copy or preprint.

Always follow the footnotes. It may be a simple “yeah, she said this”, but the citing text might elide over interesting info that you might have otherwise missed. Mindy’s the professional, I just like to read.

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Oh, I see that the neutrality of that page is disputed. Hmm. I do some of my library excursions under the presumption that “people will lie to you”.

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I wouldn’t be surprised about the neutrality warning on any page on Wikipedia, especially this particular political minefield, but it is a good page to start from.

It’s not that I don’t know to start at Wikipedia, but sometimes I don’t realize that I actually have the right search terms to begin with. Thanks for the link.

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The … almost scriptural listing of grievances sounds like a laundry list of ideas for the right wing to perpetrate on society now. Ratfucking has never been a creative enterprise, apparently. The parallels between the current global war between the rich and the rest of us is ironical in the extreme. Anyway, that discussion is not what this thread is for.

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If you haven’t some other grievance in mind, this book devotes a chapter leading upto and including the revolution.

Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas

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I have most of the other grievances in mind too, but this is one.

You could do worse than consult archive.org. They do have a pretty good list of sources to consult for the general public.

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What do you think of Steven Pincus? I’m going to dive into The Heart of the Declaration, the Founders’ Case for an Activist Government.

Not read him? I’m a historian of the Cold War, so not familiar with his work, I’m afraid. Let me know about it once you read it?

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Does anyone know of a good source of “social tables”-- listing the estimated number of people in each class or estate in a given society?

I’ve found a lot of references to gini coefficients calculated from these tables, but not showing the tables. European Historical Statistics and older volumes of the Statesman’s Year-Book tend not to include this data.