The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

The Party Press Era

Erik Sofranko

Posted on June 28, 2021 02:04

0 user

The party press era was a period in United States history when newspapers were highly partisan and would endorse and advertise political party platforms and their candidates.

This period is typically recognized as occurring mostly during the period between the 1780s and 1830s. Editors were glad to endorse candidates and their political principles in exchange for support for their publications. This was also a period when the country saw a mass expansion in the newspaper industry as the number of papers in circulation skyrocketed from 35 in 1783 to about 1,200 by 1833.

During this era, political news dominated all non-advertising content of the newspapers, and publications used their platforms as a way to take down their political opponents. Thomas Jefferson helped the party press era continue when he allowed the Sedition Act of 1798 to expire, which allowed criticism of the federal government to again appear in newspapers in order to be a check on the potential abuse of power.

The official beginning of the party press era can be marked with the 1789 founding of the Gazette of the United States, which is considered to be the first political party newspaper in the United States. The Gazette became a platform for the Federalist Party, which prompted a response from the anti-Federalist leaders Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the creation of the National Gazette. These two papers eventually became rivals during this period of partisan newspapers in the history of the United States as they fought for their respective parties. Their rivalry became not only a battle of editorials but also a battle of politics.

In the late 18th century, the Gazette of the United States was known as the primary Federalist newspaper. Their motto was, “He that is not for us, is against us,” as they would attack critics of the Federalist administration. John Fenno, the newspaper’s editor, started the newspaper in 1789 with semiweekly editions in New York City, which at the time was the capital of the United States. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton was the paper’s largest supporter and was responsible for providing the publication with its initial funding. He was also a regular anonymous contributor of essays and letters.

One of the main goals of editor John Fenno was to present the readers with a positive view of the United States government. This was in alignment with the wishes of another man from Massachusetts, Vice President John Adams, who wanted the public to have love for the government so that they would be more willing to obey its laws. As a result, Fenno reserved much space in the newspaper for ceremony descriptions of new chief magistrates to honor them. The goal of this was to help promote the sense of national community.

Even though Fenno promoted The Gazette of the United States as a publication that would follow “national, independent, and impartial politics,” it reflected the commercial outlook of men such as Alexander Hamilton, Robert Morris, and Boston sponsors of Fenno. After following the agenda of Alexander Hamilton, the paper began to fight for increased manufacturing and the establishment of a national bank. 

Erik Sofranko

Posted on June 28, 2021 02:04

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: IGN Articles

Here at IGN we occasionally like to showcase something from geekdom's rich history -- a pop-culture Time Capsule, if you...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest