- "Has Your Courage Rusted?": National Security and the Contested Rhetorical Norms of Republicanism in Post-Revolutionary America, 1798-1801
- Rhetoric & Public Affairs
- Michigan State University Press
- Volume 9, Number 1, Spring 2006
- pp. 79-112
- View Citation
- Additional Information
By considering the XYZ Affair and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the presidential campaign of 1800, and the post-election public address of 1801, this essay examines how the contested rhetorical norms of post-Revolutionary republicanism were influenced by threats—some real, others manufactured—to national security. Interweaving the challenges of rising international capitalism, the communicative opportunities created by mass-produced media, and the fallout from local political feuds, this essay offers an interdisciplinary analysis of a foundational moment in American history, when our forebears negotiated the relationships among free speech, national security, party allegiance, and commerce while trying to define republicanism as both a daily practice and a guiding political philosophy.