Newspapers and Knowledge in the Market Revolution


This case is concerned with the growth of business information in newspapers in the United States in the early 19th century. The argument is that printed information was essential for building market connections in the Early Republic. The growth of literacy nationwide corresponded with the increased dissemination of newsprint. The case challenges students to learn how to read early U.S. newspapers, so that they strengthen their powers of historical thinking and build their own interpretations of the past. Clippings from early newspapers are included with the case, but teachers may choose to supplement these with other or additional newspapers. The case provides both background and summary information about U.S. business practices of the period to provide a context for interpreting the sources. The interpretation exercises outlined in this case encourage students to learn through cooperation, by gathering and debating their own pieces of knowledge, rather than just accepting what is passed down to them.

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