Research Blog #4 – Joseph Ganiszewski

This week I was sick for most of the time I am typically able to set aside for research, so I was not able to accomplish as much as I would have liked. That said, I did stumble upon an interesting angle for at least a portion of my final paper.

I found Theatre, Society and the Nation: Staging American Identities, a 2002 book published by Cambridge University Press which contains a chapter titled “Federalist and Democratic Republican theatre: partisan drama in nationalist trappings.” The chapter discusses how both the Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties utilized stage productions as a method of furthering their agendas; by popularizing their ideologies. From here I found several other articles which support the notion that the parties sought to achieve dominance by both appealing to and attempting to shape public sentiment.

Practicing Democracy: Popular Politics in the United States from the Constitution to the Civil War is a 2005 book published by the University of Virginia Press which contains sections of interest, especially its chapter titled “Legitimacy, Localism, and the First Party System,” which I found in the references of another article.

“The Twelfth Amendment and the First American Party System,” an article published in a 1973 volume of The Historian offers helpful insight into the system which solidified the party system in the United States.

“If I had it in his hand-writing I would burn it”: Federalists and the authorship controversy over George Washington’s farewell address, 1808-1859” is a 2014 article from the Journal of the Early Republic. It explores a long-standing controversy over the true authorship of George Washington’s Farewell Address.

All of this culminates in what I might describe as the potential reality that the parties used Washington’s 1793 Neutrality Proclamation as a scapegoat, a tool for furthering their own advancements.

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