The Press of the Young Republic, 1783-1833

By Carol Sue Humphrey | Go to book overview

Preface

In the fifty years following the end of the Revolution, the American press grew and expanded. It capitalized on the lessons learned during the war and enlarged on them. Mechanically, newspapers improved immensely, becoming both more readable, with the introduction of new equipment and new type styles, and more available, as they expanded in circulation and frequency of publication. The year 1783 witnessed the first attempts at a daily newspaper, the Pennsylvania Evening Post; by 1833, eighty-eight dailies had appeared in the United States. Furthermore, the press diversified in type and content as magazines became an established part of the publishing business.

The press also reflected the growth of the country as it moved westward after the Revolution. In 1783, no newspapers were published west of the Appalachian Mountains. By 1833, publishers operated their presses from New York to beyond the Mississippi River and almost everywhere in between.

Finally, newspapers reflected the growth and the development of the nation internally through the ever-increasing diversification of labor. Newspaper offices went from small, one-person/one-family operations to large concerns with publishers, editors, correspondents, and printers, each with their own specific job to do. By the time Benjamin Day inaugurated the "penny press" in 1833, the American press had blossomed into a widespread, well-established institution that played an important role in keeping people informed about events in the world outside their own little community.

The half century following the fight for independence witnessed a period of growing pains for the press as printers became editors and sought their niche in American society. Newspapers played an important political role as the press became a part of the partisanship that characterized most of this period. As political parties grew in the United States, newspapers became an essential part of the com

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The Press of the Young Republic, 1783-1833
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Also Available in the History of American Journalism ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents ix
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • 1 - A New Era Begins: The Confederation, 1783-1789 1
  • Notes 18
  • 2 - The Adoption of the Bill of Rights, 1789-1791 27
  • Notes 36
  • 3 - The First Political Party System, 1791-1800 41
  • 4 - The Challenge of the Sedition Act, 1798-1800 57
  • Notes 68
  • 5 - The Age of Jefferson, 1800-1808 71
  • Notes 81
  • 6 - The War of 1812 1809-1815 85
  • Notes 95
  • 7 - The Era of Good Feelings, 1815-1824 99
  • 8 - The Age of Jackson, 1824-1833 113
  • Notes 129
  • 9 - Changes in Journalism, 1800-1833 133
  • Notes 150
  • 10 - Reflections on the Press of the Young Republic 155
  • Note 160
  • Bibliographical Essay 161
  • Sources 167
  • Index 177
  • About the Author 183
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