Major factors contributing to the development of American Sport in the 1900's
The United States entered a time of change during the 1900's including shifts in the economy, advances in science and technology, and a change in views about sport and physical education.
One factor was that Americans continued to move from the country to the cities and then to the suburbs. The economy had shifted from an emphasis on the production of goods to a focus on mass consumption and leisure. Peoples income was increasing and there were shorter work weeks so thus people had more time to do thing and more money to spend. People started spending this money and their time participating and watching sports as a recreational activity. Even in the 20's though during the great depression I believe there was a need for sports and that people were using them as an escape and for something fun to do that didn't cost a lot and that would take there mind of there troubles.
Technology advances also made it easy for people to buy televisions and radios to watch and listen to sports, while advances transportation also provided another way for people to go to more sporting events and participate more in sports. There were more ways now of watching and participating in sports and people wanted to used these ways and use sport as there recreational activity. Also, people could use television and radio to promote sports more and use publicity to increase the popularity in sports even more.
Physical education also became important in the school systems so many sports were being played in schools and kids were starting to become and have an interest in sports as well. Also outside the school program, community sports for kids and adults were being developed. Americans viewed sports and recreational activities as having a beneficial value to both the individual and society.
On more factor was that during times of war and international crisis concern for the fitness of young men contributed to the emphasis placed on sport and exercise.
Overall, many things were happening in the United States during the 1900's, Most of these events and new things that were happening all had a contributing factor in the increase and development of sports during this time. Are there any other factors you can think of? Do you agree that during the great depression Americans still turned to sports? Do you believe that these truly are factors in the development of sports?
Polidoro, Richard. Sport and Physical Activity in the Modern World. 2000. Allyn and Bacon. 72-77.
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