The Press of the Young Republic, 1783-1833

By Carol Sue Humphrey | Go to book overview

ruin the American economy. 50 Particularly upset were the people of New England, and many feared that the result would be mob activity. A writer in the Boston Gazette wrote that "the spirit of our citizens is rising and may burst into a flame. Everything should therefore be done to calm them till the Legislature has had time to mature its plans of redress. . . . The spirit of New England is slow in rising; but when once inflamed by oppression, it will never be repressed by anything short of complete justice."51 The Republican press tried to support the measure, but most newspapers eventually came to believe that the Embargo Act was a mistake. As one of his last actions as president, Jefferson signed the repeal of the Embargo Act. Following this action, the Federal Republican commented that, "after depriving government of its means of support for sixteen months, and preventing the people of the United States from pursuing a lawful and profitable commerce, and reducing the whole country to a state of wretchedness and poverty, our infatuated rulers . . . have been forced to acknowledge their fatal error, and so to retrace their steps."52

Jefferson fled Washington in March 1809, glad to be away from the headaches of government. He spent the rest of his life in retirement at his plantations at Monticello and Poplar Grove in western Virginia. Although he continued to believe in the importance of a free press for the proper functioning of a democracy, he never believed that American newspapers fulfilled this monumental task. Following his return to his home state, he continued to keep up with current political issues, but he did not do so by reading many newspapers. In 1812, he told John Adams, "I have given up newspapers in exchange for Tacitus and Thucydides, for Newton and Euclid, and I find myself much the happier."53 Four years later, he expressed to James Monroe his current opinion of American newspapers: "I rarely think them worth reading, and almost never worth notice." 54 For Jefferson, the press no longer mattered very much. For the rest of the country, however, that was not true. The return of war in the years following Jefferson's presidency found the newspapers in the familiar role of primary source of information concerning the military conflict.


NOTES
1.
Noble E. Cunningham Jr., The Jeffersonian Republicans in Power: Party Operations, 1801-1809 ( Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Va., 1963), 236-39.
2.
Jefferson's letters are full of comments on a variety of issues, and they do not always coincide with each other. As a result, historians and journalists have long debated Jefferson's attitude toward a free press. Two lengthy works that take opposite views are by Frank Luther Mott and Leonard Levy. Mott's Jefferson and the Press ( Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1943) sees Jefferson as a libertarian philosopher who led the fight to develop a free press in the United States. Levy's Jefferson and Civil Liberties: The Darker Side ( Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1963) is more critical and concludes that Jefferson often spoke in favor of a free press, but really supported press restrictions.

-81-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
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
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 186

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.