The American Civil War And Its Impact On American Society Essay

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The modernizing of certain sports was a function of sociopolitical shift in the nation as a whole. Much of the transformation of American sport in the second half of the nineteenth century reflected the articulation and victory of free labor ideology in the American Civil War and its development into the commercial American society which would come to dominate American society. American sport reflected the white middle class values instilled by this ideology. Women continued to be discouraged from participation in physical recreation. In the former slave states, sport was used as a means for asserting white supremacy. The examination of sport in this period provides an example of how sporting culture is shaped by the sociopolitical climate in which it operates.
Rising to prominence in the 1850s as the ideological foundation for the Republican Party, the doctrine of free labor celebrated the independent small businessman and farmer of the North. The free society of the North was, to early Republicans, one of unparalleled social mobility; where unique American institutions assured any hardworking man could achieve middle class economic independence for himself and his family. The idea of progress for the individual and the nation as a whole promoted the development of American capitalism, railroad construction, the homestead movement, and public education. Innovation and enterprise were prized characteristics. The ideology provided no place in American society for a permanent
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