Fast growing country greater diversity texas war with

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Fast growing country = greater diversity (Texas, war with Mexico, Gold Rush) Growth was fulfillment of God’s plan – a moral reasoning for conquering the land and native peoples Frontier thought to provide better health Whiteness = rights and privileges (though poverty and non-Protestants left out, too)
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Health Reformers Thomas Wentworth Higginson Catharine Esther Beecher (cult of domesticity, cult of true womanhood) Sylvester Graham (vital force theory) Dr. William Andrus Alcott (self-help) Mary Gove Nichols (hydropathy) Robust health for American culture
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Thomas W. Higginson “Saints and Their Bodies,” 1858, Atlantic Monthly was major influence. Presented a positive attitude about exercise, sport, and gender roles for men, masculinity: “[M]eet Nature on the cricket ground or at the regatta; swim with her, ride with her, run with her, and she gladly takes you back once more within the horizon of her magic, and your heart of manhood is born again.” (595)
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Muscular Christianity Muscles, morals, manliness in sport for white American men in democratic culture Higginson endorsed various sports (outdoor sports, team sports) Body was temple of God (mind, body, spirit) YMCA (1851), YMHA (1854) Influence of Thomas Hughes’ popular book Tom Brown’s School days in England, 1857
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Women and Physical Activity Woman’s primary role was multifaceted wife mother moral guardian nurturer to fulfill (biological and social) reproductive role, she needed vigorous health
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Catharine Beecher (1800-1878) Influential family Educator: girls’ schools in Connecticut and Cincinnati with physical education, calisthenics Prolific author ( Calisthenics for young ladies , 1832; Manual of physiology and calisthenics for schools and families , 1856) Women’s rights to education Advocated for housework, against urbanism
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  • Fall '19
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Catharine Beecher, Beecher family, Farm Life, Catharine Esther Beecher

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