A Postal Revolution and a Political Upheaval

The Civil War

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Capitol, Washington, D.C., South-east view. July, 1863.

The Civil War was a time of increased federal power in the United States.(1) This increased power was prompted by a general uneasiness as a result of the close proximity of the Confederate enemy, particularly to Washington, as well as concerns regarding the loyalty of Union citizens, specifically those in the states bordering the Confederacy. One clear example of increased federal power during the Civil War years was the government’s attempts at gaining a more central control of the press. One successful, though much debated way of doing this was by censoring the mails.

1) Paul Starr, The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications (New York: Basic Books, 2004), 240.