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Protocols of LibertyCommunication Innovation and the American Revolution$
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William B. Warner

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226061375

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226061405.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 12 December 2019

Communication and the American Crisis

Communication and the American Crisis

(p.1) Introduction Communication and the American Crisis
Protocols of Liberty

William B. Warner

University of Chicago Press

The introduction describes the pivotal role of communication within the political crisis that culminated in Revolution. On the day after the Boston Massacre, the Boston town meeting used certain techniques to compel the royal governor to remove troops from the town: an emergency town meeting, a resolve of the town that was delivered by a committee, mass mobilization, and an elaborate machinery of publicity. On that day, Britain’s project of imperial reform, which had been carefully developed by the ministry and Parliament after 1763, confronted the constituents of Boston’s independent economic and political power, as it had developed since first settlement. Instead of telling the Revolution through founders, “the people,” or the history of ideas, this book understands the Revolution as mediated by a new associational practice (the committees of correspondence), a new genre (popular declarations), and their protocols. This account allows us to grasp the Revolution as an event in the history of communication.

Keywords:   Boston, town meeting, committee, communication, protocols, American Revolution, liberty

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