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They Will Have Their GameSporting Culture and the Making of the Early American Republic$
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Kenneth Cohen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501705496

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501705496.001.0001

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The Rise of Genteel Sport

The Rise of Genteel Sport

(p.21) Chapter 1 The Rise of Genteel Sport
They Will Have Their Game

Kenneth Cohen

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the rise of “genteel sport,” a particular brand of sporting culture that emerged in the middle of the eighteenth century as part of a broader effort to craft and unite a colonial elite. After detailing the unstratified nature of colonial sporting culture before genteel sport emerged, the chapter moves on to outline how business – not just social standing – united the investors in genteel sporting culture and how they aimed to inspire deference through the architecture and structure of new sporting events, including new venues and professional performers as well as new activities and new rules for older ones. Yet the chapter closes by citing the financial difficulties faced by the new professionals, and suggests that their commercial needs and investors’ own desires to win ran contrary to the magnanimous beneficence elites had intended to project through genteel sport.

Keywords:   Gentility, Elite, Business, Networking, Architecture, Professionals, Cheating, Failure

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