Discourses of Freedom of Speech: From the Enactment of the Bill of Rights to the Sedition Act of 1918

Overview

This book is for those interested in freedom of speech. Today the American Bill of Rights, with its famous First Amendment, is generally taken for granted, but when James Madison proposed a Bill of Rights in 1789, the reaction among his colleagues in the first Congress was hostile. The book examines how Madison was able to prevail in spite of such opposition. It also focuses on discourses connected to the Sedition Act of 1798, which represented a serious threat to freedom of speech and the first Amendment. The ...

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Discourses of Freedom of Speech: From the Enactment of the Bill of Rights to the Sedition Act of 1918

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Overview

This book is for those interested in freedom of speech. Today the American Bill of Rights, with its famous First Amendment, is generally taken for granted, but when James Madison proposed a Bill of Rights in 1789, the reaction among his colleagues in the first Congress was hostile. The book examines how Madison was able to prevail in spite of such opposition. It also focuses on discourses connected to the Sedition Act of 1798, which represented a serious threat to freedom of speech and the first Amendment. The author sheds fresh light on key Congressional debates on the Bill of Rights and the Sedition Act by developing and applying an approach to fallacy theory that is suitable to the study of political discourse. He further focuses on criticism of the Madison administration in Federalist newspapers during the War of 1812, arguing that Madison's toleration of such criticism was important in shaping a tradition of free expression in the United States. Efforts to suppress free expression during the Wilson administration represented a serious challenge to this tradition, and the author goes on to employ fallacy theory in examining Congressional discourses for and against Wilson's policy of repression.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137030597
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 11/27/2012
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

JUHANI RUDANKO Professor of English at the University of Tampere, Finland. His recent work has focused on the system of English predicate complementation in recent centuries, and on the pragmatic analysis of political discourse in the early American Republic. His previous publications include Changes in Complementation in British and American English.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Informal Fallacies in Two Procedural Debates on the Bill of Rights in the Summer of 1789
The Decision of August 13, 1789
Divisions of Freedom of Speech: Debates of November 1794
Freedom of Speech under Threat: the Sedition Act of 1798
Contesting and Defeating the Sedition Act of 1798
'[T]his most unnecessary, unjust, and disgraceful war': Attacks on the Madison Administration in Federalist Newspapers during the War of 1812
Woodrow Wilson and the Threat to Freedom of Speech
Concluding Observations
Notes
References
Index

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