The Free and Open Press: The Founding of American Democratic Press Liberty

The Free and Open Press: The Founding of American Democratic Press Liberty

by Robert W. T. Martin, Robert W. Martin
     
 

ISBN-10: 0814756557

ISBN-13: 9780814756553

Pub. Date: 08/01/2001

Publisher: New York University Press

The current, heated debates over hate speech and pornography were preceded by the equally contentious debates over the "free and open press" in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Thus far little scholarly attention has been focused on the development of the concept of political press freedom even though it is a form of civil liberty that was pioneered in the

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Overview

The current, heated debates over hate speech and pornography were preceded by the equally contentious debates over the "free and open press" in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Thus far little scholarly attention has been focused on the development of the concept of political press freedom even though it is a form of civil liberty that was pioneered in the United States. But the establishment of press liberty had implications that reached far beyond mere free speech. In this groundbreaking work, Robert Martin demonstrates that the history of the "free and open press" is in many ways the story of the emergence and first real expansions of the early American public sphere and civil society itself.

Through a careful analysis of early libel law, the state and federal constitutions, and the Sedition Act crisis Martin shows how the development of constitutionalism and civil liberties were bound up in the discussion of the "free and open press." Finally, this book is a study of early American political thought and democratic theory, as seen through the revealing window provided by press liberty discourse. It speaks to broad audiences concerned with the public square, the history of the book, free press history, contemporary free expression controversies, legal history, and conceptual history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814756553
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
08/01/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
239
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Note on the Text
Introduction1
1The English Inheritance: From Milton to Cato16
2The Coming of the Crisis35
3The Pre-Revolutionary Crisis68
4The Making of the First Amendment93
5The Emergence of Modern Democratic Press Liberty125
Conclusion: The Foundation of American Press Liberty155
Notes169
Bibliography215
Index233
About the Author239

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