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Post Office Facts

How Did The Post Office Make Newspapers Popular?
Can you imagine a world without newspapers? While the act of reading a newspaper may not be as popular as it once was, the black and white print paper was once the only way to obtain information. Believe it or not, the popularity of newspapers and their ability to be distributed was once completely attributed to the Post Office. In fact, without the Post Office, newspapers may not exist. What did the post office have to do with newspapers?

The Founding Fathers saw newspapers as an essential means to creating an educated citizenry by spreading accurate information. Thus they enacted the Post Office Act of 1792. In this act, our forefathers decided that newspapers could be mailed at an extremely low rate. Lower than almost any other form of mail. As a result, newspapers made up a bulk of almost all US mail in the 19th century.

This allowed information to spread and for citizens to have access to information they wouldn’t otherwise have known. In 1840, around 91 percent of all white American adults were able to read. This literacy rate was attributed to the widespread availability of newspapers. Without the Post Office, newspapers wouldn’t have spread so easily and literacy would have fallen.