The Selling of the Constitutional Convention: A History of News Coverage
During the long summer of 1787, while half a hundred men deliberated in utmost secrecy over the fate of a nation, newspaper editors went to great length to win support for the federalist cause. By launching one of the greatest media marketing campaigns in American history, publishers repeatedly promoted the anticipated results of the Constitutional Convention while actively stifling its antifederal critics. In this revealing expose of media management in the eighteenth century, historian John K. Alexander demonstrates how publishers' tacit political assumptions and their tightly woven information networks channeled public debate over the issue. He quantitatively and qualitatively shows how publishers turned their papers into propaganda instruments in an effort to create and solidify a popular consensus around the yet unknown results of the Convention. In the words of one New York editor, "they conceived it a duty incumbent on them to prepare the minds of their readers for [the Constitution's] reception." "The evidence from 1787," writes Alexander, "suggests that independent ownership and operation offer no guarantee of a truly free and informative press." The Selling of the Constitutional Convention is a fascinating analysis of news management in the 1780s that sheds new light on the role of the press in early American political culture.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
We Are No Longer United States Looking to the Convention
The Collective Wisdom of the Continent The Convention Opens
We Expect Something Great Projecting the Image of Unity
Prepared To Receive With Respect Selling the Unknown
An Opposition Will Shew Itself Anticipating the Constitution
Other editions - View all
Adams's Adrastus American anticonvention antifederal Antifederalist April Articles asserted attack August August 13 August 22 Baltimore Maryland Gazette central government claimed Columbian Herald commentary Confederation government Congress Connecticut Constitutional Convention convention boosters convention delegates convention's Dallas damage-control editors effort egates essay essayist extract federal government Federalist given in COC1 Hamilton Herald report important Independent Chronicle Independent Gazetteer issue July 28 June 13 June 20 late letter March Maryland Gazette Massachusetts Centinel ment monarchy newspapers Northern Centinel offered opposed Oswald patriotism Pennsylvania Gazette Pennsylvania Herald Pennsylvania Packet piece political popular reprint potential praise press coverage printed the Constitution proclaimed proconvention proconvention forces published Quotation from COC1 recommendations reprint items reprintings appeared reprintings by September reprintings occurred Republican Rhode Island Rusticus secrecy September 13 Shays story suggested theme tion Union United vention Virginia Washington widely reprinted Worcester Magazine writer York Daily Advertiser York Journal Yorker
All Book Search results »