The Significance of the Printed Word in Early America: Colonists' Thoughts on the Role of the Press

Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - 298 páginas

The American press played a significant role in the transference of European civilization to America and in the shaping of American society. Settlement entrepreneurs used the press to persuade Europeans to come to America. Immigrants brought religious tracts with them to spread Puritanism and other doctrines to Native Americans and the white population. The colonists used the press to openly debate issues, print advertisements for business, and as a source of entertainment. But what did the colonists actually think about the press? The author has gathered information from primary sources to explore this question. Diaries and journals reveal how the colonists valued local news, often preferring American news to European news. This concentrated focus upon colonial attitudes and thoughts toward the press covers the period of colonial settlement from the 1500s through 1765.

This book will appeal to scholars and students of American history and communication history. Primary documents expressing the colonists' thoughts will also be of interest to scholars and students of American thought, American philosophy, and early American literature and writing.

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Páginas seleccionadas


A Romance with the Printed Word Early Americans as Readers
The Transference of Culture
Coaxing Settlement
Spreading the Word of God The Puritans
Spreading the Word of God The NonPuritans
Shaping Culture
Print and Public Debate
This Is Printed to Prevent False Reports
Living in the Culture
Americans and Periodicals A Fascination with Local Happenings
The Printed Word as Entertainment
The Printed Word as Advertisement
Press Workers Views A Clash of Public Ideals and Private Needs
The Colonial Press and the American Character

Problems and Solutions The Printed Word as Helpful Information

Términos y frases comunes

Pasajes populares

Página 174 - I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred years; for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both!
Página 119 - WITHOUT Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech...
Página 209 - For if she had attended her household affairs, and such things as belong to women, and not gone out of her way and calling to meddle in such things as are proper for men, whose minds are stronger, etc., she had kept her wits, and might have improved them usefully and honorably in the place God had set her.
Página 122 - Court and you, gentleman of the jury, is not of small or private concern ; it is not the cause of a poor printer, nor of New York alone, which you are now trying. No ; it may, in its consequence affect every freeman that lives under a British government on the main of America.
Página 14 - I established myself in Pennsylvania, there was not a good bookseller's shop in any of the Colonies to the southward of Boston.
Página 122 - small" case: . . . the question before the Court and you gentlemen of the jury is not of small nor private concern, it is not the cause of a poor printer, nor of New York alone, which you are now trying. No! It may in its consequences affect every freeman that lives under a British government on the main of America. It is the best cause. It is the cause of liberty...
Página 135 - Nay, so great was our famine, that a Salvage we slew, and buried, the poorer sort tooke him up againe and eat him, and so did divers one another boyled and stewed with roots and herbs : And one amongst the rest did kill his wife, powdered her, and had eaten part of her before it was knowne, for which hee was executed, as hee well deserved ; now whether shee was better roasted, boyled or carbonado'd, I know not, but of such a dish as powdered wife I never heard of.
Página 108 - We do therefore seize upon the persons of those few ill men which have been (next to our sins) the grand authors of our miseries ; resolving to secure them for what justice orders from his Highness, with the English Parliament, shall direct, lest, ere we are aware, we find...

Acerca del autor (1999)

JULIE HEDGEPETH WILLIAMS is Assistant Professor at Samford University in Birmingham-Alabama, where she teaches journalism history and media writing. She is the co-author of The Early American Press, 1690-1783 (Greenwood, 1994) which received the Choice Outstanding Academic Book award in 1995.

Información bibliográfica