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

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

by Julie K. Williams
     
 

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

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Examines different types of colonial writing, focusing on its role in the transference of culture from Europe and then the growth of American culture. After an opening chapter on early Americans as devoted readers, chapters discuss settlement literature and both Puritan and non-Puritan religious writings, deal with the printed word as a vehicle for public debate and for self-help information, and look at writing in everyday life as advertisement, as entertainment, and as a way to learn about local news. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313309236
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/30/1999
Series:
Contributions to the Study of Mass Media and Communications Series
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.75(d)
Lexile:
1360L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

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.

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