Religion and sport in the gilded age society

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Religion and Sport in the Gilded Age Society secularized; loosening of moral prohibitions of earlier eras Sabbatarianism liberalized in Midwest YMCAs, YMHAs, YWCAs grow; sport became a tool in the contest for souls American Protestantism = individualism; at odds with communal culture of immigrants, so assimilation was uneven
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Continued Urbanization and Technology Electricity replaced gaslights Sports clubs and entrepreneurs offered more commercialized entertainment Sporting goods manufacturers mechanization of production mail-order business, ads brands develop in 1880s (Spalding, Rawlings, Reach, Meacham, and McClean)
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Sport for the Elite Horse racing (Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby, 1875; specialized clubhouses at tracks separate fans) Harness racing (Vanderbilt is supporter) James Gordon Bennett Jr. (yachting, polo, Newport Casino, first intercollegiate track meet) New York Athletic Club
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Ethnic Forms of Leisure Czechs (Sokols) Poles (Falcon clubs) Irish (baseball, boxing, Democratic Party) African Americans (no assimilation) segregation during Reconstruction in South banned from clubs, pro sport in north blacks form own YMCAs, baseball teams, etc.
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Development of Intercollegiate Sport Rowing most popular for a time (Harvard vs. Oxford on Thames) Track and Field (IC4A) Baseball (postwar extends to South) Football (1869, Princeton 6, Rutgers 4) masculinity, increasingly violent proxy for war during time of peace; battle for territory
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Masculinity Bachelor subculture grows Fewer self-employed in more industrialized world Immigration demographics largely men Sport offered comfort of homosocial world
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  • Fall '19
  • Test, Major League Baseball, Albert Spalding

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