The Construction of a Nation Through the use of The Printing Press, Postal Service & Telegraph

The Construction of a Nation Through the use of The Printing Press, Postal Service & Telegraph

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Founded as a republic, the United States would be a nation where its citizens would have plentiful freedoms including the freedom to receive current and reliable information made by the state to in turn help them make better decisions about their families, cities, and country. Thomas Jefferson, America’s third President and father of the U.S. Constitution, stated “an informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will.” In order for Jefferson’s wishes to be carried out, revolutionary ideas and technological advances would need to occur and so it did with the importation of the printing press, the creation of the postal service, and the invention of the electric telegraph. What emerged after the introduction of these technologies were profound social changes and as Marshall McLuhan stated in 1964, the medium became the message.
This statement by Marshall McLuhan concludes that the characteristics of information technologies (medium) themselves affect society and not the content delivered by them. Any medium that accelerates or introduces social change is the message, regardless of the content emitted by it. Looking back at the introduction, the inventions of the printing press, the postal service, and the telegraph helped spur information processing and communication that led to intense social changes, including the solidification of America. Social interaction revolves around communication. Therefore how one communicates determines how one socializes. Technologies like the printing press, postal service, and the telegraph have altered the way people communicate and hence altered the way people socially interact. These mediums are the message.
One of the most famous inventors, Johann Gutenberg, helped in the creat...


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...ese innovations were mediums that became the message. They produced profound social changes and were instrumental in the construction of America. The printing press allowed for the wide dispersal of literature of every kind, from the Bible to pamphlets promoting more democratic forms of government. The dissemination of information eventually accounted for the rise in literacy rates that would later follow. The postal service permitted the transmission of newspapers through the mail, improved transportation of the mail, and allowed for people to connect with other people in a manner that was efficient. The electric telegraph allowed for instant communication linking not only people in the US together, but also individuals from around the world. All these technologies allowed for social interaction to occur at new levels from smaller communities to an entire nation.

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