Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA
Bowing to Necessities: A History of Manners in America, 1620-1860 / Edition 1

Bowing to Necessities: A History of Manners in America, 1620-1860 / Edition 1

by C. Dallett Hemphill
Current price is , Original price is $65.0. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


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. How could traditional inequality be maintained in the socially leveling environment of the early colonial wilderness? And how could nineteenth-century Americans pretend to be equal in an increasingly unequal society?

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. A social and cultural history with a unique and fascinating perspective, Hemphill's wide-ranging study offers readers a panorama of America's social customs from colonial times to the Civil War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195154085
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 04/18/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

C. Dallett Hemphill is Professor of History at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Part I. Hierarchy: Manners in a Vertical Social Order, 1620-1740
Ch. 1. Manners for Gentlemen
Ch. 2. Manners Over Minors
Ch. 3. Manners Maketh Men
Part II. Revolution: An Opening of Possibilities, 1740-1820
Ch. 4. Middle Class Riding
Ch. 5. Youth Rising
Ch. 6. Women Rising
Part III. Resolution: Manners for Democrats, 1820-1860
Ch. 7. Manners for the Middle Class
Ch. 8. Manners for Adults
Ch. 9. Ladies First?
Table: Conduct Works: Author/Audience Statistics

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Bowing to Necessities: A History of Manners in America, 1620-1860 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
GlennaJo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Highly readable history of manners in America and how they changed over time. Excellent resource on the topic