The Revolutionary Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1776 to 1800

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - History - 359 pages


From 1776 to 1800, the United States ceased to be a fantastic dream and became a stable reality. Newspapers were increasingly the public's major source of information about people and events outside of their community. The press reflected the issues of the day. Its foremost concern was naturally the armed struggle with Britain. The press covered the conflict, providing both patriot and loyalist interpretations of the battles and personalities. Yet after the British withdrew, a host of new challenges confronted the United States, including the Articles of Confederation, Shay's Rebellion, the Bill of the Rights, the Whiskey Rebellion, slavery, women's roles, the French Revolution, the XYZ Affair, the Sedition Act, and more.

Again, the press not only purveyed the facts. It became a political tool trumpeting the viewpoint of Republicans and Federalists, ushering in a new era of American journalism. Beginning with an extensive overview essay of the period, this book focuses on 26 pressing issues of the war and the early republic. Each issue is presented with an introductory essay and multiple primary documents from the newspapers of the day, which illustrate both sides of the debate. This is a perfect resource for students interested in the Revolutionary War, the birth of the new nation, and the actual opinions and words of those involved.

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Contents

Wartime Morale 17761781
33
The Battles of the Revolutionary War 17761781
49
General George Washington 17761783
67
Benedict Arnold 17801781
81
The Articles of Confederation 17771781
93
The Union in Crisis? 17821787
105
Shayss Rebellion 17861787
119
Constitutional Convention 1787
127
The Early Years of the French Revolution 17891793
223
The Whiskey Rebellion 1794
233
Jays Treaty 17951796
243
The Rise of the Party Press 17971800
253
The French Revolution Gone Crazy 17931798
263
American Neutrality 1793
277
The Election of 1796 SeptemberNovember 1796
295
The QuasiWar with France 17971798
303

Ratification Struggle 17871789
137
The Bill of Rights 17871791
161
The Issue of the Native Americans 17911797
181
The Role of Women 17801798
189
Slave Revolt in Santo Domingue Haiti 17911793
201
President George Washington 17891799
211
The XYZ Affair 1798
313
The Sedition Act 17981800
323
The Election of 1800 February 1800March 1801
337
Selected Bibliography
349
Index
353
Copyright

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Page 303 - I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you ; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.
Page 41 - THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Page 176 - To bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate his estate without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole...
Page 352 - We are all republicans — we are all federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
Page 100 - ... westward of the frontiers of the United States, the property of which was not vested in, or granted to, individuals at the commencement of the present war : that the same hath been or may be gained from the king of Great Britain, or the native Indians, by the blood and treasure of all, and ought therefore to be a common estate, to be granted out on terms beneficial to the United States.
Page 352 - Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others ? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him ? Let history answer this question.
Page 146 - ... those who oppose, the right side of a question. Were there not even these inducements to moderation, nothing could be more illjudged than that intolerant spirit, which has, at all times, characterized political parties. For, in politics as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.
Page 147 - I have had an eye, my fellowcitizens, to putting you upon your guard against all attempts, from whatever quarter, to influence your decision in a matter of the utmosr moment to your welfare, by any impressions other than those which may result from the evidence of truth. You will, no doubt, at the same time, have collected from the general scope of them, that they proceed from a source not unfriendly to the new Constitution. Yes, my countrymen, I own to you that, after having given it an attentive...
Page 155 - That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.
Page 159 - ... jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; to controversies between two or more States ; between a State and citizen of another State; between citizens of different States ; between citizens of the same State claiming lands under grants of different States ; and between a State, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens, or subjects.

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About the author (2003)

CAROL SUE HUMPHREY is Professor of History at Oklahoma Baptist University. She is the author of This Popular Engine: The Role of New England Newspapers During the American Revolution and The Press of the Young Republic, 1783-1833 (Greenwood, 1996).

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