The Press of the Young Republic, 1783-1833

By Carol Sue Humphrey | Go to book overview

Bibliographical Essay

Almost from the moment the United States came into being, journalism history has been seen, as a part of its overall growth and development up until the present day (whenever the present day happened to be). As a result, much of the history of the press has been overlooked or discounted because it seemed not to play an important role in getting journalism and its practitioners to the present. This trend has been particularly true for the party press, for most historians have either downplayed the era because it was so out of step with what true journalism is supposed to be like or failed to look at the big picture, concentrating instead on individuals and specific papers.

It is strange that the party press has not been studied in more depth and detail, for primary sources abound and are readily available. Most of the publications from the era still exist, and many either have been republished or are available on microform. Also, there are numerous personal records of editors and other newspapermen scattered throughout the country. Many have been used, but generally only when studying a specific person or publication. Historians have failed to make good use of the wealth of material available on the party press.

Basically, historical writing about journalism has gone through four stages. The historiography of the party press has tended to follow a pattern similar to that of the study of American history in general. The earliest scholars, generally tided Nationalist historians, emphasized the growth of American democracy and the role newspapers played in that process. The next group to appear, the Developmental historians, stressed the growth of the press to its modern-day state of maturity. Next came the Progressive historians, who emphasized the idea of conflict in history and the role of newspapers in such conflicts. Finally, the Cultural historians appeared. Their study of the newspapers and magazines underscored how the press functioned in its environment. For most of these different groups of histori-

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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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