Gambling In Colonial Culture

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Colonial Culture was influenced by Aristocracy It took the English about a hundred years to initiate their interest in the New World (Coddon 13). The first English settlers, the majority of which were gentlemen, wanted to come to America because of “the desire for personal profit and national glory” (Coddon13). When the English colonists came to America they came with the objective to stay and settle, even though they had to go through hardships such as “hunger and disease” (“First Arrivals”; Coddon 14). The English colonists did not give up, and sent new colonists to the new world (Coddon 14). “Forty to seventy five percent of white immigrants” who came were indentured servants who had hopes of becoming wealthy, and one third of them died…show more content…
The colonists started adopting English genteel ways, such as “competitive gambling involving high stakes [which,] became a distinguishing characteristic of gentry culture” (Breen 239). The gentlemen from the “mother country loved betting for high stakes” (Breen 242). It is also considered a possibility that the colonists gambled purposefully to become “a genuinely landed aristocracy” (Breen242). The adoption of gambling demonstrates that the colonial gentility did want to be like the gentry. Another action that symbolized the colonists’ movement closer to the gentry would be by seeking alternatives to boxing; boxing in the Chesapeake Bay “was much in fashion… and along with dancing, fiddling, small swords and card play it was an essential skill for all young Virginia gentlemen”( Gorn 19). Though, due to the fact “young gentlemen became less inclined to engage in rough-and-tumbling fighting” the planter class wanted to be superior “by genteel manners, gracious living, and paternal prestige” (Gorn 22). The alternative to brawling that the planter class found was the imitation of the English aristocracy (Gorn 22). To the colonial gentility conduct and appearance became important; men started to imitate the gentry. Colonists also had published material out that explained how the conduct of the gentility should be. This published material stated rules of decency that the gentile should…show more content…
This Stamp Act placed duties on “tea, glass, paper and painters colours” (Oliver). This act caused the colonists to rebel by causing them to come together “in defeating the Operation of the Act” (Oliver). Even though the colonists wanted to keep up their genteel appearance, they were not going to buy from the British who imposed duties on them. They found other ways to get the goods they wanted. The first way of getting the genteel English goods that they wanted was by smuggling. In the journal Peter Oliver, Origin and Progress of the American Rebellion the colonists are described as “a race of smugglers” (Oliver). They smuggled in one of their luxury items: tea. Tea was smuggled often in some colonies that the “teas were carted through the streets at noon day” (Oliver). This shows that many of the colonists were willing to get the goods they wanted, but they did not want to get involved with the English. The women also promoted “home spun cloth as a substitute” (Hinschelwood). The colonists also tried to make their own wool but, “They were advis'd against it” and they were told by the English that they “would not supply the Inhabitants of it with Wool to cloath their Feet” (Oliver). The actions of the colonists started to indicate that they wanted to be independent, and that they did not mind getting their goods from their own labor; the colonists were willing to put effort in to get their

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