The Jay Treaty Debate, Public Opinion, and the Evolution of Early American Political Culture

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Overview

Drawing evidence from a broad range of sources - petitions and newspaper polemics, crowd gatherings, as well as rhetorical exchanges on the floor of Congress - Estes shows how both sides in the Jay Treaty debate mounted extensive and unprecedented campaigns to marshal popular support for their positions. Although many Americans initially opposed the treaty, the Federalists proved particularly skillful at courting the public and eventually prevailed over their opponents, just as they had won earlier battles over neutrality, democratic societies, and the Whiskey Rebellion. But the Republicans, Estes points out, learned from the experience, and in the long run they would become even more adept than the Federalists at shaping public opinion.
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Editorial Reviews

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
This study is a must read for any student of early American political culture. Scholars in literature, political science, and communication studies may also find this work of interest.
The Journal of American History
By combining the study of early American diplomacy with the study of political culture, The Jay Treaty Debate casts important light on both fields. Estes has laid out a path that reconnects diplomatic history to the general study of the early republic, which other historians would be advised to follow.
H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews
Todd Estes has produced a valuable study of the Jay Treaty debate that shines a light on the importance of public opinion (or more precisely, its manipulation) in the making of American foreign policy in the 1790s. Dealing as it does with a very early example of how things get done in the American political system, "The Jay Treaty Debate" deserves the attention of political historians at least as much if not more so than the attention of diplomatic historians" -
—William E. Weeks, University of California, San Diego
The Journal of American History
By combining the study of early American diplomacy with the study of political culture, The Jay Treaty Debate, Public Opinion, and the Evolution of Early American Political Culture casts important light on both fields. Estes has laid out a path that reconnects dipolmatic history to the general study of the early republic, which other historians would be advised to follow.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 England, France, and the foreign context of American policies 15
2 Federalists, republicans, and popular politics in the early 1790s 35
3 The firestorm and the counterattack : first soundings in the public debate 71
4 The words of tongue and pen : the rhetorical war over the Jay Treaty 104
5 Petitions, instructions, and the duties of citizens and representatives 127
6 The final push : the debate in congress and out-of-doors 150
7 Reflections on the debate 189
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