Monday, February 13, 2012

Knowledge is Power

As a class we are still trying to figure out a project but I am just going to pretend like we are going with the idea of my last blog post. I think that this coincides extremely well with this weeks discussions on the 18th century and information.  Newspapers in this era began spreading information in vast quantities. By 1814 there were 346 newspapers in America and with the advent of the "penny press" in the 1830s, news was booming. As a testament to this, voter turnout in and before the 1836 election was below 60%. Suddenly in 1840 80% of voters got out to vote. 1870 then brought another jump in numbers voting as the 15th amendment guaranteed the right to vote to non-property owners of any race. While this still excluded women, it vastly broadened peoples need for information. The industrial revolution put this spread of knowledge on steroids and by 1880 there was a reported 11,314 papers. 

Looking at this graph you also see a large increase in recent voting percentages. I believe that we can help this along by helping the spread of information quickly and decisively. We can use digital media like news papers were used to inform people who are used to learning quickly.

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