Monday, July 2, 2012

A Revolutionary Idea

The American author Henry James once wrote, “Ideas are, in truth, force.” This was the belief on which the Post Office was originally founded.

In 1767, William Goddard formed a partnership with Benjamin Franklin to create a newspaper called the Pennsylvania Chronicle. The paper, sympathetic to the revolution, was not well received by the British and they ultimately refused to deliver out-of-town newspapers and information to Goddard or accept the Chronicle in the mail for delivery through the Crown Post. Without a fighting chance to succeed, the Chronicle was driven out of business in February, 1774.

In retaliation to the discriminatory decision by the Crown Post, Goddard developed plans to create an American postal system. This new system would allow for free and open communication without governmental interference.

The proposal was submitted for congressional approval in October, 1774. The following summer, Congress approved the plan and the Constitutional Post was born. Soon after its creation in 1775, Americans abandoned mail delivery through the Crown Post in favor of the independent Constitutional Post. On Christmas day of that same year, the Crown Post was permanently closed for business in America.

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