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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 Mass Sporting Industry

A Mass Sporting Industry

(p.169) Chapter 5 A Mass Sporting Industry
They Will Have Their Game

Kenneth Cohen

Cornell University Press

The political and financial potential of a commercialized sporting culture led to an explosion of sporting businesses in the antebellum period. Competition, along with a contraction caused by the Panic of 1837, led investors and professionals to reorganize the sporting industry yet again in the 1840s and 1850s. By re-establishing distinctively genteel, middling, and rough sporting spaces (after they had gotten muddled by the democratic accessibility introduced in the early national period), the backers and managers of sporting events specialized their enterprises and transformed sporting culture into the country’s earliest version of mass culture – a set of specialized, standardized, accessible, anonymous, commercial experiences intended to sell democracy to white men irrespective of their wealth or ethnicity.

Keywords:   Business, Investors, Management, Space, Architecture, Mass Culture, Panic of 1837

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