Behind the Rhetoric

This project analyzes the State of the Union speeches by Democrats and Republicans from 1790 to the present. At first analyzing each party separately and looking at word trends in their own corpuses. While they are separate I look at the trends of words and see if they are affected by events such as World War II, The Great Depression and the Cold War. For these events I took the speeches given during that time and made a corpus for that as well and compared them to the full corpus of each party.

After analyzing all of my data I came to the conclusion that both the Democratic Speeches and the Republican Speeches are very similar, whereas the only difference is in the delivery. They both say the same thing they just have different avenues of delivery. I also found out that huge events such as war and strife do change the speech patterns of the parties. Its like David Kennedy mentioned in his book, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War,  about how fear and strife during times of crisis can change people for either the better or worse.

Thanks to Voyant I was able to analyze all of the speeches by forming a corpus. it gave me the word clouds and trend graphs provided among my findings.

Thanks to Bill Hart-Davidson, Associate Professor, Associate Dean of Graduate Education (College of Arts and Letters), for giving me insight on the rhetoric used in speeches and providing external resources that helped me form my project.