Leisure Time

Topics: 19th century, Leisure, Basketball Pages: 5 (1839 words) Published: June 15, 2014


Leisure Time
Prompt: Evaluate the reasons Americans today have leisure time and what Americans In the 19th century did in their leisure time?

Jordan Perez

US History
Period 1 December 13, 2013

In the mid-1800s Americans started to receive a lot of extra time in their hand and had more time to do fun activities. Businesses declining working hours was a major reason for the rise of leisure time but what also had a huge impact was installation of the electric lighting in the city’s streets which made Americans have more time to perform activities at later hours (Lund). So what did Americans decide to do with this time? The recommendation of physical exercise as a way to relive of all the stress raised the importance of physical actives and to also attend spectator sports became part of the leisure activities in the United States. Vaudeville, dance halls, and motion pictures became popular, while new modes of travel allowed Americans to go visit the mountains, seaside resorts and county fairs (Lund). To begin with after the Civil War, the popularity of sports as leisure activities grew as people began to see the importance of exercise to health. While initially only the wealthy could take part in most sporting events because the middle and lower classes couldn’t afford most of the activities .The opening of public available gymnasiums, courts, and fields allowed the middle class to participate in those activities as well (Lund). Athletic clubs such as the New York Athletic Club were organized and the YMCAs began to institute sports programs. These programs mostly focused on track and field events, introduced by communities of European descent, and gymnastics, heavily influenced by German athletics. Gymnasiums, which included exercises using Indian clubs, wooden rings, and dumbbells, were opened in many Eastern cities which helped expand exercise.

Also With the extra time Americans gained American sought out to find new ways to keep themselves occupied and entertained. Americans began to seek out new ways to distract themselves so they started to experiment in making new activities to do. As a result of Americans seeking for a new past time they invented Americas greatest past time today, baseball. Different types of Baseball have been played throughout time and before the 1800s but the rise of the sport didn’t come until after the civil war (Bluett). While at war the soldiers had a lot of extra time in their hands the soldiers from New York introduced the game to their comrades from their camps and soon the game also spread to other camps over the north and south. It was said that because of this baseball expanded from the north to the south baseball was recognized more after the civil war ended. After all the soldiers from the camps were taught how to play, they went back home and introduced their sport to their families and friends which helped expand they name of the game (Bluett). In 1870 the first professional team were founded but didn’t last for more than five years. In 1876 the first major professional league that was formed was the National league of baseball clubs which still exist today. Another sport that was created by Americans in the 19th century which they invented to perform as a leisure activity was Basketball. The game was created from the mind of James Naismith in 1891, while he was an instructor at the School for Christian Workers, later called the International YMCA Training School, in Springfield, Massachusetts (McComb). The YMCA was an international organization that focused on the idea that physical as well as religious training was important for humans. Naismith had graduated from McGill University, and after leaving a Presbyterian seminary joined the YMCA school in Massachusetts. When he arrived the director of the YMCA name Luther asked Naismith if he could design an interesting indoor sport for physical activity in a gymnasiums Americans...

Bibliography: b. Lund, Karen C. "America at Work / America at Leisure, 1894-1915." America at Work / America at Leisure, 1894-1915. Memory.loc.gov, 01 June 2000. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.
b. Bluett, Terry. "Baseball and the Civil War." Welcome to the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails. Civil War Trails, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.
b. McComb, David G. "ELibrary: Login." ELibrary: Login. Proquest, 01 Dec. 1998. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.
b. Ushistory.org. "39b. Sports and Leisure." Sports and Leisure [ushistory.org]. U.S. History Online Textbook, n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2013.
b. Woolum, Janet. "ELibrary: Login." ELibrary: Login. Elibrary, 05 Aug. 1992. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.
b. Palmer, Peter. "History of Baseball in the United States." - BR Bullpen. N.p., 2 June 2009. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.
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