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Amusement During The Gilded Age

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by

Aidan Craft

on 15 January 2013

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Transcript of Amusement During The Gilded Age

The Start of Baseball Baseball was started as a gentleman's game that would be played when leisure would permit.

It was originated in Manhattan and grew as club teams were formed throughout the cities.

More and more teams were formed as it moved to the west. Baseball Major Baseball League
founded 1875

One of the great spectator sports. Baseball as the Sport of America As baseball grew to large popular sport it became a spectator sport that was enjoyed by many.

In order to become more organized the Major Baseball League was formed.

Many people with their spare time would go out and watch and bet on games played by the major league teams.

The teams turned into a business like the rest of the growing industry of America. Baseball's Reflection of America Because baseball grew into the American past time it exhibited American tendencies at that time.

The "Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players." Was formed due to the unfair pay given to the players.

The league had separate leagues for blacks and whites. The "Negro League" was not treated as equally as the white league.

Baseball coaches would also use management skills used in businesses which was called scientific play. The Circus Freak Shows! Sadly freak shows were typically people with birth defects, and people would pay to see their abnormalities. The circus allowed more unique business opportunity in the industry of entertainment.

The main competing circuses were Barnum and Bailey and Ringling Brothers eventually they join together and are now the modern big time circus Ringling brothers and Barnum and Bailey. P.T. Barnum started as a freak show. Animal Shows Animals were also used to entertain people that went to go watch the circus.

The animal performances would often be animals from "distant worlds" like Africa and Asia exotic animals such as the ostrich and the tiger.

Elephants were often used in
acrobatics and other physical
performances. Physical Performances Acrobats found their place in the circuses. They were basically extreme gymnast.

Strongmen would lift heavy weights, people, or even animals like horses.

Fire eaters would "eat" fire and spit it back out in order to make extraordinary shows. Wild west shows Wild west shows were like circuses but were themed off the american west.

William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody was the most famous wild west show started May 19, 1883

Cowboys and Native Americans Cowboys were the main attractions at the wild west shows.

Cowboys and native americans would stage fake wars that would reenact the battles with the natives while building the railroads.

Some cowboys would be sharpshooters like the famous Annie Oakley. The sharpshooters would preform shooting tricks that required acute precision.

Others would preform tricks on horses like acrobatics with elephants. Significance of Wild West Shows Wild west shows gave America the popular genre of the wild west. A place that had adventure and new life things many wanted from American life.

With the breeding of the west and wild west genre people found their place in the newly obtained culture that was open to freedom.

Women had finally been able to prove they were good as men because of people like Annie Oakley. Women made the image of a cowgirl a more masculine free image that many adored.

Blacks had equal opportunity not only in the wild west shows but out in the west where it was a new place to settle.

Vaudeville and Minstrel Shows Vaudeville was a type of show that had many different acts that had noting to do with each other but were entertaining.

Minstrel shows were much like vaudeville, but minstrel would have white people who painted their face black or actual black people preforming. Vaudeville Types of acts included popular and classical musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, female and male impersonators, acrobats, illustrated songs, jugglers, one-act plays or scenes from plays, athletes, lecturing celebrities, and sometimes even movies.

The movies would be three seconds without sound so not much to see, but other acts would preform as much time as needed and when they are done another act would preform.

The vaudeville was very popular source of entertainment because many different classes of people could go and watch because they were often in cities with many people.

Minstrels Minstrels were a much more popular form of entertainment in the south.

The performance in the north would often be white people who painted their face black and made racist jokes.

In the South later on when blacks were freed they would perform in minstrels and minsrels turned into danceing and singing just by black people.

These shows are very racist and very offensive. Amusement Parks! The first big amusement park in America was coney island, NY. It lead to a booming industry in entertainment. Amusement Park Attractions Coney Island first started out as a group of hotels that were a place that you could take a vacation from life after the Civil War if you were upper class.

It later on developed into a place that was a beach side resort with entertainments for upper class on one side then the other had poorer people and dirty trades like drugs, gambling, and prostitution.

It wasn't long until it got one of the earliest roller coasters the Cyclone. Then it got a electric horse race ride. The big addition on to the park was Luna park which had 250,000 lights and was called "electric Eden." The Significance of Coney Island Coney island was another example of business making lots of money off less than moral ways.

Coney island had first started out as a nice beach resort for rich people owned by private owners. Until big business men saw an opportunity and took it.

The addition of other attractions and the drawing in of people of New York caused a major class separation shown even in an amusement park.

One side of the beach was rich with many fun things and the more of what we know as a amusement park today. While the other side was filled with illegal businesses such as prostitution.

The business people like that there was a little of everything for everyone of every class, but they were taking advantage of the poor allowing crime to happen on the island. Conclusion Through amusements throughout history one can see how social, political, and economical happenings of a nation can effect personal life of citizens. During the gilded age entertainment showed how business started to effect personal life more and more. In things like baseball it starts as one persons idea of a fun leisure time activity. As the sport builds up popularity it becomes more organized with professional players and coaches. The sport becomes objective and utilitarian with making money. The sport turned from something to do with free time into a business. The circus shows how society likes to look upon marvels of the time and wants things that it does not have at the time. Wild west shows express the growth of the west of the nation and how it is building its own subculture. The west turned into a place of freedom and american ideals sort of a romantic picture of America. Amusement parks were the testament to the growth of cities and the difference of classes and how the classes are so separated its hard to find a balance between the both. Coney Island was a simple beach front connected to railways that allowed economic growth and flexibility. Then it grew into a giant amusement park industry out to make money off of people rather than providing ultimate quality.
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