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Broadside Ballads

Along with traditional ballads, European settlers also brought with them the Broadside Ballad. Printed on a piece of parchment, these songs would be set to old tunes that were easily recognized by many colonists. Other Broadsides were actually stories that were passed down through oral tradition and then picked up by someone and printed for sale and distribution. These Broadsides were used in the American colonies to protest the tyranny of the British King during the American Revolution, against the American government during the Sedition Act crisis of 1798, opposing John Adams’ re-election of 1800, and to protest the British again during the War of 1812.

— Kevin Comtois and Jennifer Maxine Shaw, Troubadours & Troublemakers: The Evolution of American Protest Music, 2014

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