Carol Sue Humphrey's The American Revolution and the Press argues that newspapers played an important role during America's struggle for independence by keeping Americans engaged in the war even when the fighting occurred in distant locales. From the moment that the colonials received word of Britain's new taxes in 1764 until reports of the peace treaty arrived in 1783, the press constituted the major source of information about events and developments in the conflict with the mother country. Both Benjamin Franklin, one of the Revolution's greatest leaders, and Ambrose Serle, a Loyalist, described the press as an "engine" that should be used to advance the cause. The efforts of Patriot printers to keep readers informed about the war helped ensure ultimate success by boosting morale and rallying Americans to the cause until victory was achieved. As Humphrey illustrates, Revolutionary-era newspapers provided the political and ideological unity that helped Americans secure their independence and create a new nation.
Carol Sue Humphrey is a professor of history at Oklahoma Baptist University, USA and the author of numerous books on American history and journalism, including The Revolutionary Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1776 to 1800 (2003) and two volumes of The Greenwood Library of American War Reporting--Volume 1, The French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War and, with David A. Copeland, Volume 2, The War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War (both 2005). David A. Copeland is the A. J. Fletcher Professor in the School of Communications at Elon University in North Carolina, USA and author of The Idea of a Free Press: The Enlightenment and Its Unruly Legacy (2006). He is also the series editor of The Greenwood Library of American War Reporting.
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