The Empire of the Old Bailey Online: Why Zero Matters

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Dodd, Matthew Alleyne




Can the methods of digital, quantitative analysis today be made to communicate with earlier eras of quantitative history? This thesis isolates one database and tests ways in which it can analyze its data to make a meaningful comparison with the quantitative analysis John Beattie performed in the 1980s on records from Surrey and Sussex. I am concerned with what we learn from this process. With certain caveats, a quantitative approach to the Old Bailey records does not generate findings for London that are significantly different than Beattie's. Even if my current results are to accept the null hypothesis, the importance of "zero" in this case becomes that we now know where not to focus our research - not on looking for statistical difference in crime between these two areas in this period, instead focusing on qualitative data regarding the people who experienced crime in this historical context.


European History




Carleton University

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