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Title:Tippecanoe and the Party Press Too: Mass Communication, Politics, Culture, and the Fabled Presidential Election of 1840
Author(s):Gasaway, John Gerald
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kim Rotzoll
Department / Program:Communications
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:A comprehensive reading of national newspapers from 1840 reveals a surprising conclusion: Whigs did not say that Harrison lived in a log cabin and in fact went into great detail describing his actual house. The "log cabin" was much more symbol than claim. Similarly, Whig treatments of Harrison's military career were certainly flattering but they were not notably deceptive, much less fraudulent. The parades, songs and hoopla that the Whigs sponsored were not new, nor were they the province of only one party that year. Democrats were neither listless nor baffled: in fact their vote total on behalf of President Martin Van Buren was much larger than what they'd posted in 1836. Democrats---or at least their leading national newspaper---had sought to win support in 1840 primarily by painting their opponents as "the party of abolition." The campaign was exciting, at times frivolous and certainly not without demagoguery. Still, voters had access to substantial amounts of political information and both candidates published their positions on virtually every major issue. It would appear, therefore, that the fabled "log cabin and hard cider campaign" merits a reconsideration.
Issue Date:1999
Description:352 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9921690
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:1999

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