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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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A Revolution in Sporting Culture

A Revolution in Sporting Culture

(p.54) Chapter 2 A Revolution in Sporting Culture
They Will Have Their Game

Kenneth Cohen

Cornell University Press

Chapter Two covers the same time period as Chapter One, but draws from newspapers and letters instead of financial records to emphasize the perspective of participants rather than investors. The result is that readers see how investors failed to create the spatial and behavioral distinction they desired, and so any attempt to claim exclusive gentility triggered aggravation and social conflict rather than awe and deference. This result was also influenced by the imperial crisis going on at the same time, which emphasized notions of “liberty” and “equality” and so made common people less likely to accept efforts to craft distinction in public settings such as sporting events. The chapter closes by examining how the imperatives of running a popular insurgency led the Continental Congress to essentially ban genteel sport as part of its Articles of Association in 1774.

Keywords:   Gentility, Commercialization, Horseracing, Gambling, Drinking, Social Conflict, American Revolution, Political Culture, Law

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