Dueling In The 19th Century

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While today many would view a battle between two men to preserve their honor as foolish, in the nineteenth century and earlier, men believed dueling was the only resort to maintain this honor and prove their manliness. Dueling began declining since its beginning due to government involvement and modernization. By explaining the history of dueling and the process of its decline, this paper will explain that dueling continued throughout the nineteenth century, despite significant efforts to end it, due to the revival of the idea of honor and tradition due to the French Revolution. A duel was an arranged fight between two individuals who had agreed on the rules and weapon prior to combat. A duel was called when one man felt that he had been …show more content…
Before the 19th century society was heavily influenced by violence, which was synonymous with manliness. Every aspect of society was involved with violence. The government showed violence by holding public executions for the people to watch. This maintained an unconscious, constant feeling of fear. Violence was also spread through literature due to the technological advances in the sixteenth century. When literature first spread many common people were illiterate. Those who were literate would read pamphlets for a profit. The media quickly realized that the stories containing violence drew the most attention and provided the highest …show more content…
Participating in a duel proved that men were not afraid to fight for themselves or those they cared for and respected. There was a true fear of being perceived as weak or feminine. Men were held above women because they were capable of handling any situation, usually through the use of violence.
Men also gained their place in the social hierarchy based on masculine honor. To be treated as an equal, men were required to be seen as different from women, who were perceived as weak and therefore lesser. Men followed these ideas of masculine honor because this dictated their social status and ultimately their life.
One had to also uphold one’s honor, which led to fighting in duels. Honor or, a man’s worthiness and respectability that confirmed his place in society, fueled the need for duels. Honor was the only thing that mattered because a man’s honor was his identity. If a man did not uphold his honor he would be ostracized by

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