Abstract: This essay examines the origins of the concept of public opinion in early national political discourse. It argues that the science of political economy and institutions of public finance made the idea of public opinion “thinkable” in important and distinctive ways. Focusing on controversies over revolutionary war debts and Alexander Hamilton’s system of public finance, I show how “public opinion” passed into the American political lexicon through the medium of economic discourse. In debates over the assumption and funding of public debts, and the chartering of the Bank of the United States, previously vague and unarticulated assumptions about the nature and role of public opinion quickly evolved into explicit and politicized theories of public opinion. In many respects, the partisan conflict of the early 1790s can be understood as a struggle between different “political economies of opinion”: divergent understandings of the relation between value and public opinion, and the management (or manipulation) of both by
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Feb 27, 2009
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera