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The Crime of Seditious Libel, and England’s Evisceration of Freedoms of Press and Speech

Wendell Bird

in Press and Speech Under Assault: The Early Supreme Court Justices, the Sedition Act of 1798, and the Campaign against Dissent

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
March 2016
ISBN:
9780190461621
eISBN:
9780190461980
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190461621.003.0002
Subject:
History, American History: early to 18th Century, Political History

Chapter 2 describes the development of the crime of seditious libel (criticism of government) in English common law, and the crown judges’ purposeful effort to support the government and prosecution ... More


Blackstone’s and Mansfield’s Narrow Liberties of Press and Speech, and Broad Crimes of Seditious Libel and Seditious Words: Summaries or Misdescriptions of an Ancient Common Law?

Wendell Bird

in The Revolution in Freedoms of Press and Speech: From Blackstone to the First Amendment and Fox's Libel Act

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780197509197
eISBN:
9780197509227
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780197509197.003.0002
Subject:
Law, Legal History

The narrow understanding of freedoms of press and speech, adopted by Sir William Blackstone and Lord Chief Justice Mansfield, defined those freedoms as no more than liberty from a government-issued ... More


The Emerging Broad British View of Freedoms of Press and Speech, Before the Colonial Crisis

Wendell Bird

in The Revolution in Freedoms of Press and Speech: From Blackstone to the First Amendment and Fox's Libel Act

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780197509197
eISBN:
9780197509227
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780197509197.003.0004
Subject:
Law, Legal History

For a time after licensing expired in England in 1695, some people identified freedom of press narrowly as freedom from licensing, but a broader concept was spreading. For example, Young Gentleman in ... More


Making, Tracing, and Erasing Seditious Intentions

Paula McDowell

in The Women of Grub Street: Press, Politics, and Gender in the London Literary Marketplace 1678-1730

Published in print:
1998
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780198183952
eISBN:
9780191674143
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183952.003.0004
Subject:
Literature, 17th-century and Restoration Literature, 18th-century Literature

Chapter 2 turns to the material which forms the basis for the central argument of Part 1: that women printworkers were not merely the producers and distributors of other people's political ideas. As ... More


The Prevailing British View of Freedoms of Press and Speech, in the Decade Before the American Revolution and Declarations of Rights

Wendell Bird

in The Revolution in Freedoms of Press and Speech: From Blackstone to the First Amendment and Fox's Libel Act

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780197509197
eISBN:
9780197509227
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780197509197.003.0005
Subject:
Law, Legal History

The seditious libel prosecution of John Wilkes, beginning in 1763, showed more clearly than ever that the crimes of seditious libel and seditious words were political crimes, and provoked many in ... More


The Dominant American View of Freedoms of Press and Speech, in the Decade Leading Up to Ratification of the Federal Bill of Rights

Wendell Bird

in The Revolution in Freedoms of Press and Speech: From Blackstone to the First Amendment and Fox's Libel Act

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780197509197
eISBN:
9780197509227
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780197509197.003.0010
Subject:
Law, Legal History

In the 1780s in America, the advocates of broad understandings of freedom of press and freedom of speech continued to argue, as “Junius Wilkes” did in 1782, that “[i]f a printer is liable to ... More


The Crimes of Seditious Libel and Seditious Speech: Political Weapons for Suppressing Dissent in Britain and America?

Wendell Bird

in The Revolution in Freedoms of Press and Speech: From Blackstone to the First Amendment and Fox's Libel Act

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780197509197
eISBN:
9780197509227
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780197509197.003.0003
Subject:
Law, Legal History

This chapter provides the legal context for these discussions of eighteenth-century freedoms of press and speech and seditious publishing and speaking. The common law crimes of seditious libel and ... More


The Dominant British View of Freedoms of Press and Speech, in the Decade Before Fox’s Libel Act and America’s Bill of Rights

Wendell Bird

in The Revolution in Freedoms of Press and Speech: From Blackstone to the First Amendment and Fox's Libel Act

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780197509197
eISBN:
9780197509227
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780197509197.003.0006
Subject:
Law, Legal History

In the 1780s in Britain, a broad view of freedoms of press and speech had become the dominant one, outside crown-appointed judges and Parliament. In response, Lord Mansfield reiterated his view that ... More


Reasons for the Spread of Broad Views of Freedoms of Press and Speech in America, During and After the Colonial Crisis

Wendell Bird

in The Revolution in Freedoms of Press and Speech: From Blackstone to the First Amendment and Fox's Libel Act

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780197509197
eISBN:
9780197509227
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780197509197.003.0008
Subject:
Law, Legal History

Colonial leaders and newspaper editors came to care deeply about the breadth of freedoms of press and speech and the danger of prosecution of seditious libel, because they were repeatedly threatened ... More


The Prevailing Broad View by the Popular Party of Freedoms of Press and Speech, in the Pre-Revolutionary Decade Before the American States’ Declarations of Rights

Wendell Bird

in The Revolution in Freedoms of Press and Speech: From Blackstone to the First Amendment and Fox's Libel Act

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780197509197
eISBN:
9780197509227
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780197509197.003.0009
Subject:
Law, Legal History

After the colonial crisis erupted in 1765, the popular party quickly embraced expansive understandings and practices of freedoms of press and speech. John Adams deplored British threats as “impudent ... More


Press and Speech Under Assault: The Early Supreme Court Justices, the Sedition Act of 1798, and the Campaign against Dissent

Wendell Bird

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
March 2016
ISBN:
9780190461621
eISBN:
9780190461980
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190461621.001.0001
Subject:
History, American History: early to 18th Century, Political History

The early Supreme Court justices wrestled with how much free press and speech is protected by the First Amendment, and with whether the Sedition Act of 1798 violated freedoms of press and speech. ... More


1780–1820 Southey’s New Star Chamber: Literature, Revolution, and Romantic-Era Libel

Thomas Keymer

in Poetics of the Pillory: English Literature and Seditious Libel, 1660-1820

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
December 2019
ISBN:
9780198744498
eISBN:
9780191816314
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198744498.003.0004
Subject:
Literature, 17th-century and Restoration Literature, 18th-century Literature

Phases of high political tension during the Romantic period, notably under Pitt after the French Revolution and under Liverpool following the Napoleonic Wars, indicate the ongoing importance, and ... More


1700–1740 Libels in Hieroglyphics: Pope, Defoe

Thomas Keymer

in Poetics of the Pillory: English Literature and Seditious Libel, 1660-1820

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
December 2019
ISBN:
9780198744498
eISBN:
9780191816314
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198744498.003.0002
Subject:
Literature, 17th-century and Restoration Literature, 18th-century Literature

This chapter approaches the 1700–40 period through close study of Defoe and Pope, and focuses especially, for context, on press control under Harley and others during the reign of Queen Anne and ... More


The Constitutional Understanding of Freedoms of Press and Speech, and of Seditious Libel, in Discussions of State and Federal Bills of Rights

Wendell Bird

in The Revolution in Freedoms of Press and Speech: From Blackstone to the First Amendment and Fox's Libel Act

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780197509197
eISBN:
9780197509227
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780197509197.003.0011
Subject:
Law, Legal History

As the Constitution was drafted and ratified, many antifederalists expressly feared and opposed the narrow Blackstone-Mansfield definition and approach to freedoms of press and speech, and ... More


The Collision of Seditious Libel and Freedoms of Press and Speech in America’s Constitutional Period

Wendell Bird

in Press and Speech Under Assault: The Early Supreme Court Justices, the Sedition Act of 1798, and the Campaign against Dissent

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
March 2016
ISBN:
9780190461621
eISBN:
9780190461980
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190461621.003.0003
Subject:
History, American History: early to 18th Century, Political History

Chapter 3 describes the collision in late eighteenth-century America between freedoms of press and speech and the crime of seditious libel. It discusses how the new states’ declarations of rights, as ... More


The Emergence of Expansive American Views of Freedoms of Press and Speech, Before the Colonial Crisis

Wendell Bird

in The Revolution in Freedoms of Press and Speech: From Blackstone to the First Amendment and Fox's Libel Act

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780197509197
eISBN:
9780197509227
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780197509197.003.0007
Subject:
Law, Legal History

In New York in 1735, the trial of printer John Peter Zenger challenged narrow definitions of those freedoms by proclaiming “a right—the liberty—both of exposing and opposing arbitrary power . . . by ... More


Free Expression in the Nineteenth Century to 1865

in Free Expression and Democracy in America: A History

Published in print:
2008
Published Online:
March 2013
ISBN:
9780226240664
eISBN:
9780226240749
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226240749.003.0005
Subject:
Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law

This chapter examines the status of free expression through the middle decades of the nineteenth century. The Sedition Act crisis arose within an overarching and decade-long dispute about the nature ... More


1730–1780 The Trade of Libelling: Fielding, Johnson

Thomas Keymer

in Poetics of the Pillory: English Literature and Seditious Libel, 1660-1820

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
December 2019
ISBN:
9780198744498
eISBN:
9780191816314
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198744498.003.0003
Subject:
Literature, 17th-century and Restoration Literature, 18th-century Literature

Eighteenth-century cases from Nathaniel Mist and Edmund Curll to John Shebbeare and a printer of Wilkes’s North Briton gave rise to a new satirical trope, frequently found in the 1730–80 period, in ... More


Introduction

Wendell Bird

in The Revolution in Freedoms of Press and Speech: From Blackstone to the First Amendment and Fox's Libel Act

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780197509197
eISBN:
9780197509227
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780197509197.003.0001
Subject:
Law, Legal History

The “father of the Bill of Rights,” James Madison, described the unqualified words protecting freedoms of speech and press as embodying a broad definition rather than a narrow definition of those ... More


Poetics of the Pillory: English Literature and Seditious Libel, 1660-1820

Thomas Keymer

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
December 2019
ISBN:
9780198744498
eISBN:
9780191816314
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198744498.001.0001
Subject:
Literature, 17th-century and Restoration Literature, 18th-century Literature

On the lapse of the Licensing Act in 1695, Thomas Macaulay wrote in his History of England, ‘English literature was emancipated, and emancipated for ever, from the control of the government’. It’s ... More


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