Reasoning with Turbulence

A Quantitative Analysis of Extraordinary Times in the Digitised Resolutions of the Dutch States-General, 1705-1796

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51750/emlc18373

Keywords:

States-General, digital history, text mining, experience of crisis, time perception

Abstract

In the historiography on the relation between early modern crisis events and the perception of time, autobiographical sources have been studied extensively. Times of crises were a major reason why people began documenting unfolding events, often with the goal of remembering and learning from what happened. Administrative sources, however, have been largely neglected in this line of research. This article explores how expressions of extraordinary time conditions were articulated in the digitised resolutions of the Dutch States-General between 1705 and 1796. Using a combination of text mining methods and close-reading, this essay establishes a correlation between increases in temporal references in the resolutions and moments of crisis that broke with the ordinary throughout the eighteenth century. Furthermore, the article examines the political context of the resolutions, who used such references, when they used them, and what goals they had while doing so. As such, this administrative source corpus forces us to reconsider the different functions that writing about extraordinary time conditions could have.

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Published

2023-12-21

How to Cite

Gordijn, F. (2023). Reasoning with Turbulence: A Quantitative Analysis of Extraordinary Times in the Digitised Resolutions of the Dutch States-General, 1705-1796. Early Modern Low Countries, 7(2), 131–153. https://doi.org/10.51750/emlc18373

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