Abstract and Keywords
During the American Revolution, print emerged as a medium to describe conversion experiences, to exhort to virtue, to plead for votes, to amuse, and to scandalize. Printed texts enabled ideas to float from one mind to another. Imprints and newspapers both experienced dramatic growth, in part due to advances in papermaking, typesetting, and bookbinding. The heart of early Republican print culture, though, was not books, but ephemera. Much of the power of print depended on Americans' ability to read. The new United States was a highly literate and schooled society. The first federal copyright law, passed in 1790, spurred the transition from printers to publishers, while the Sedition Act resulted in the significant expansion of the Republican press. Aside from newspapers, almanacs and magazines flourished in the decades after the Revolution.
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