Abstract

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.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5238
Print ISSN
1094-8392
Pages
pp. 79-112
Launched on MUSE
2006-06-05
Open Access
No
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