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Title:'Under the banner of the democratic principle': John Louis O'Sullivan, the democracy and the "Democratic Review"
Author(s):Sampson, Robert Dean
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Johannsen, Robert W.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
American Studies
History, United States
Mass Communications
Abstract:This dissertation addresses the writings and activities of John Louis O'Sullivan (1813-1895) primarily during the years he conducted the United States Magazine and Democratic Review and the New York Morning News. Originator of the term "manifest destiny," O'Sullivan was a leading exponent of "romantic democracy," a world view that perceived the hand of Providence in the workings and will of the majority. Through his writings for the magazine and newspaper, O'Sullivan gave eloquent expression to the tenets of the radical Jacksonian Democracy--hostility to legislatively-chartered, exclusive banking corporations, advocacy of free trade and the certainty that if left free of government interference American society would evolve into one based on equality of opportunity supported by successful small producers and farmers. A loyal, though often sorely-tested supporter of Martin Van Buren, O'Sullivan helped two Presidents of the United States negotiate patronage matters with Van Buren's wing of the New York Democracy. This work argues that O'Sullivan played a central role in articulating the vision of America and its future held by many in the mid-nineteenth century Democratic Party. O'Sullivan emerges as a romantic, ultimately tragic figure, defeated in part by his own often contradictory character and the forces he feared would control American society.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Sampson, Robert Dean
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543715
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543715

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