The Press of the Young Republic, 1783-1833

By Carol Sue Humphrey | Go to book overview

6
The War of 1812 1809-1815

When Thomas Jefferson left Washington for Monticello in March 1809, James Madison succeeded him as president. 1 Madison, too, tried to solve the conflict over trade with the warring European powers. He also failed because the disagreements with Britain and France involved issues other than trade. War with Great Britain resulted from the inability of President Madison and his government to negotiate settlements to these issues. During the years of argument with Britain, American newspapers, continuing to grow in size and number, discussed a whole host of subjects related to the conflict, including the reasons for and against war, the people involved in the disagreements, and the need for Americans to support the government and the military in their endeavors.

Although newspapers continued to experience growth during the War of 1812, the rapid growth of the years since the end of the Revolution ceased. As had been true during the fight for independence in the 1770s, the war with Great Britain interfered with the press and discouraged its expansion. When James Madison entered office in 1809, 329 newspapers appeared throughout the country. When peace finally came in 1815, die number had grown by fewer than a hundred, to 413. 2

The newspaper voice of the administration continued to be the National Intelligencer, now under the control of Joseph Gales, Jr., and William Winston Seaton. Gales, son of the editor of the Raleigh Register, Joseph Gales, Sr., had become Samuel Harrison Smith's partner in 1807, when Smith had indicated a desire to retire. Smith spent several years teaching Gales the business and then retired in 1810. Deciding that running the Intelligencer constituted too big a job for one man, Gales became partners with his brother-in-law Seaton in 1812. Shortly after the beginning of the partnership, the Intelligencer became a daily. Throughout the presidencies of James Madison and James Monroe, editors and politicians throughout the country recognized the National Intelligencer as the

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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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