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The Uses Of The Press

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Chapter Summary

Communication was crucial in the Romanians forty-eighters' life in 1848 and in exile. Letters from and to the families left behind, open letters to the press, postal services and couriers provided much-needed conduits of information and emotional support. On 27 June 1848, when the Romanians met at the Field of Liberty in Bucharest to see their revolutionary banners blessed, the four horses draped in tricoloured ribbons and carrying Henric Winterhalder's printing-press must have been an arresting sight. In a recent study, Alex Drace-Francis has demonstrated the rather paradoxical centrality of print in the nation-building processes of what was a traditional society where, as late as 1899, rural illiteracy levels were situated around 85 per cent. The Romanians lived in exile in Paris and London in a period widely seen as the heyday of newspaper influence and, as seen, they quickly grasped the opportunities offered by increased circulation and expanding readership.

Keywords: communication; newspaper; postal services; printing-press; Romanian



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