The Press and Media's effect on Early American Presidential Elections

Essay by PillsburyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 1997

download word file, 10 pages 4.5 1 reviews

Downloaded 201 times

It is long, but very detailed. Very Professional My teacher loved it.


Period 6

Today, the press and media cause rampant swaying of the vote through their own

opinions and reports. People are often misled with half-truths and believable rumors

that can aid or ruin an election. Journalists and the newspapers often print things too

hastily, without first investigating the truth or at least both sides of a story. Candidates

abuse the media, using money as a pass to publicly slander and deface the character of

their opposition, his ideals, and even the innocent people related to him. These concepts

did not start recently, or even in our century. The press and media's views affected the

early presidencies too. Let's start with the first president elected by vote, John Adams.

John Adams took the office of president in the year 1797. He was a close admirer

of Washington and was sometimes said to be Washington's shadow (Presidency of John

Adams, Ralph Adams Brown 1975).

He and the Federalists believed that nothing the

Anti-federalists and their supporting press could say would be enough to shake their

control. Yet it was Adams who, in spite of his undoubted intelligence, made a mistake of

such proportions that it brought about his own downfall and the party's (Press and the

Presidency, John Tebbel 1985). This mistake would be the Sedition Act, which tested

the first amendment and the freedoms of the press. This obviously did not please the

press and its opinions were generally shifted to that of the Anti-Federalist. This was a

deadly blow to John Adams' presidency and the Federalist party. He himself was no

stranger to the press, he worked together with the Sons of Liberty and 'cooked up

paragraphs' while 'working the political engine' in the Boston Gazette...