The Importance Of Sports In The Nineteenth Century

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Throughout the nineteenth century, Americans used sport, recreation, and play to stress how prestigious they were to others. Before the nineteenth century, sport and recreation were considered traditional as they were tied to festivals and religious calendars. The pre-modern English idea of work and play was characterized as a “leisure preference.” As they puritans came into play, they instilled the morality of hard work and despised leisure intensely. Even though sports were not as common and developed yet, they all had a mutual theme of expressing prowess and power over life and death. As we approach the nineteenth century, we begin to see a gradual separation of labor and leisure. In addition, sport and recreation start to project their status and prowess at this time as well. Horse and harness racing, prize fighting, baseball, football, and tennis are just a few of the sports that have continually stressed their significance as well as skill towards their competition. …show more content…
Participants and spectators of these sports belonged to the upper-middle class and above. During this time, athletic clubs formed which organized amateur competitive events that included track and field, rowing, sparring, and lacrosse. In addition, country clubs had also emerged, which included golf clubs, tennis clubs, and croquet clubs. The elegance of the grounds keeping of these country clubs were in some ways just as important as the high level of competition in these sports, especially in lawn tennis and golf. These sports were also very conscious about maintaining the aesthetic appearance of their clubhouse. Furthermore, elite sports in the Gilded Age were incredibly sociable, but lower and middle class people could not participate or attend these events because they did not have enough prowess or

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