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How Did Americans Get News During The Revolutionary War? [Solved]

War news during the American Revolution was eagerly sought and dominated the print culture of the period 🤓 Newspapers, sermons, and personal letters were all vehicles for spreading news đź‘Ť The latest news or poetry about battles was published on broadsides. They were used as personal expressions and to report current events. Maps were used to illustrate information about campaigns and battles. They could be used to not only show physical features of the terrain but also the movements of troops as well as the outcomes of conflicts. Many of these maps were drawn by British military engineers, and published in London. However they’re spreading across the Atlantic. [1]
Incessantly, American colonists argued and wrote about British imperial strategy, including taxes for the ten-year period before the Revolutionary War started. Americans were subjects of the British crown, and beneficiaries of British naval strength. They owed allegiance the empire. However, did the Americans owe the empire money in taxes? If so, which kind of taxes? The House of Commons tried to collect taxes on the colonies in a fair and constitutional manner. Or was it part of a plot to strip Americans of their Englishmen rights? Are these issues fundamentally moral, political, or economic? These questions were debated by both Americans and Brits in printed form as well as street chatter and in coffeehouse conversations. Heather Rogers, Jinjiang (China) on January 22, 2021, amended. [2]
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Based on an article by americanantiquarian.orgThe English colonists of North America were part of a early modern, global communications network. However, at the same moment, they’re feeling isolated. The three-thousand mile journey was a risk they were encouraged to take. Ocean voyage across the North Atlantic by a steady flow of hopeful reports from the New World that had been circulating in Europe for over a hundred years in the form of explorers’ letters, maps, and travel accounts. They were unable to communicate with their family or friends once they arrived in early English settlements like Jamestown, Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. They craved news back home especially in times of news-drenched civil war in England, which began in 1640s. They worked hard to maintain and enhance the transatlantic flow in information and news between America and Europe. Ericka Amos updated the above on November 6, 20,21 [3]
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New England had printing before Virginia. This highlights a key difference between these colonial zones. In Massachusetts, the first printing press was established in 1638. This occurred just eight years after 1630’s founding of Puritan colonies. Harvard College had established the press in Cambridge in 1636. Both the college as well the press are a result of the Puritan belief in learning and religious literacy. The early products of the Cambridge press were materials for the use of the college and colony, and soon the Cambridge press was turning out catechisms, schoolbooks, legal documents, sermons, almanacs, and even texts translated into the native Algonquian language—all works meant to support the public life of the community. Virginians had an alternative view on how communities were built and managed. They believed printing was the best way to do this. Played a lesser role. It was not until nearly a century after the invention of the first press that it’s becoming a success, which occurred in 1730s. [4]
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Thomas Jefferson He was concerned. He was there to sign trade agreements for the newly independent United States. It was 1784. The’s republic having a problem with their image. Jefferson decided to correct the record with an article published in Europe’s most important newspaper, The Gazette of Leiden (French-language Gazette of Leiden). Jefferson writes, “America” and describes it as “a scene of… Riots, anarchy”. European newspapers reported that Congress was weak and the US was in chaos, while people fled to Canada. Jefferson assured Gazette readers this wasn’t true. It was because printers from the continent “have not yet gotten in the habit of taking American newspapers.” They take the English from everything they sell… It was not flattering to see the English point of view. (We appreciate Aubry Wilkes telling us). [5]
According to one of the first historians of the Revolution, “in establishing American independence, the pen and press had merit equal to that of the sword.”1 Print—whether the trade in books, the number of weekly newspapers, or the mass of pamphlets, broadsides, and other imprints—increased dramatically in the middle of the 18th century, with the general trend of economic prosperity and growing cultural norms about “refinement” and “improvement.” In the 1760s, print became a contested site of imperial reform with the Stamp Act, when Parliament chose texts as the locus of the constitutional debate over the colonies’ place in the empire and their responsibility in sharing tax burdens. The Stamp Act and the colonists’ resistance politicized print—and printers—in new ways. Print remained the heart of colonial resistance movements throughout the rest of the imperial crises. It connected disparate resistance groups and provided the best communications network along the Atlantic littoral. The lifeblood of American resistance was, in fact, newspapers, broadsides and pamphlets. Due to the fragile and unstable notions of unity between the 13 colonies of America, print served as a binding agent. This helped reduce the likelihood that they would not be able support one another in war against Britain which broke out in 1775. [6]
Experts at cs.stanford.eduThe situation was drastically changed after 1750. Because the English crown was beginning to tax more Americans’ activities, politics began to be a significant part of daily life in all colonies. There were many newspapers that sprung up in colonies with political intentions. A particular important moment for American newspapers was the publications A series of newspaper articles titled Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer to the Inhabitants in the British Colonies, 1767. This series claimed that colonists could not tax them properly because they were not represented by the English Parliament. It was printed in twenty-six papers across the colonies. [7]

Article references

  1. https://americanantiquarian.org/earlyamericannewsmedia/exhibits/show/age-of-revolution/spreading-news-of-the-war
  2. https://americanantiquarian.org/earlyamericannewsmedia/exhibits/show/age-of-revolution
  3. https://americanantiquarian.org/earlyamericannewsmedia/exhibits/show/news-in-colonial-america
  4. https://americanantiquarian.org/earlyamericannewsmedia/exhibits/show/news-in-colonial-america/colonial-print-culture
  5. https://foreignpolicy.com/2012/07/03/how-did-the-british-press-cover-the-american-revolution/
  6. https://oxfordre.com/americanhistory/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.001.0001/acrefore-9780199329175-e-9?mediaType=Article
  7. https://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs181/projects/2010-11/Journalism/index8067.html?page_id=14
Kelly-Anne Kidston

Written by Kelly-Anne Kidston

I am a writer of many words, from fiction to poetry to reviews. I am an avid reader and a lover of good books. I am currently writing my first novel and would love to find some beta readers who are interested in getting an early look.

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