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Bowing to Necessities a History of Manners in America, 1620-1860

by C. Dallett Hemphill

  • ISBN: 9780195125573
  • ISBN10: 0195125576

Bowing to Necessities a History of Manners in America, 1620-1860

by C. Dallett Hemphill

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 09/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780195125573
  • ISBN10: 0195125576
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Description: Anglo-Americans wrestled with some profound cultural contradictions as they shifted from the hierarchical and patriarchal society of the seventeenth-century frontier to the modern and fluid class democracy of the mid-nineteenth century.

Bowing to Necessities argues that manners provided ritual solutions to these central cultural problems by allowing Americans to act out -- and thus reinforce -- power relations just as these relations underwent challenges. Analyzing the many sermons, child-rearing guides, advice books, and etiquette manuals that taught Americans how to behave, this book connects these instructions to individual practices and personal concerns found in contemporary diaries and letters. It also illuminates crucial connections between evolving class, age, and gender relations.

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