Joseph-Siffred Duplessis (1725—1802)

by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis (1725—1802)

Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian), Washington, DC.

by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis (1725—1802)

Oil on canvas; 80 × 62 cm (31.5 × 24.4 in.). Chateaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles, France.

The press was the mass medium of the eighteenth century, the only way to bring both news and commentary to a broad public audience. The popularity of newspapers soared in Revolutionary America: By the late 1780s, the United States had about ninety-five newspapers, over twice the number at the time of independence. Moreover, the newspapers of 1776 were weeklies, but those of 1787 we often published two or three times a week. There were even a few that appeared daily to satisfy the hungry reading public.

Pauline Maier
Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787—1788 (2010)