American Postal System

by maura.corbett on October 16, 2013

We didn’t have class last week because of the Columbus Day weekend, but our readings for Monday included Spreading the News: The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse.  I have to admit, I was dreading this book, but it was actually quite interesting! As the title suggests, it gives details about the postal system and how it affected American society.  I never thought something I take for granted every day could have such an influence on history.  The Founding Fathers debated over possible taxes, which would determine which sections of the new country were able to spread their newspapers across America.  Later, the postal system contributed to the central government’s role in America. Disagreements over religion stemmed from the uncertainty of whether or not postmasters should work on Sundays.  In addition, Southern states tried to prevent abolitionists from sending their pamphlets out via the mail, sparking a conflict over states’ rights.  The book was informative and very well written.  I recommend it to those who are more interested in one of America’s important, yet often ignored, contributors to history.

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