You are on page 1of 11

Using Leisure for Social Good

U.S. History of Leisure

Chapter 10
Leisure in Colonial America
• European
p settlers: first need was survival. Initiallyy
very little time to for idleness.
• To ensure that work was accomplished, early Puritan
leaders established strict regulations under the guise
of religion such as 1619 Virginia Assembly: any
i di id l found
individual f d idle
idl could ld be
b made
d workk
• Protestant Work Ethic Drinking became popular
among men: Early
E l colonists
l i t recognized
i d needd for
public open spaces. In 1641 the Great Ponds Act
was passed.
passed Any water body over 10 acres was open
to hunting and fishing.
Industrial Era
• Industrial Revolution: started late 18th century
Science and capital combined to increase production,
newly invented machines
• In 1970s inventions such as weaving machine,steam
engine, locomotives, steam boats,and the telegraph
made new exploration and colonization possible
• Urbanization: Move from rural to city since factory
wages higher than agricultural earnings
• Population increased rapidly (1829:12 million in
1850 23 million people)
• Result: people lived in slums of growing cities entire
families in one room unsanitary conditions
• Quality of life low: urban slums : high rates of
disease, low wages, unemployment,children
worked,, work was long g and monotonous
• Through taxation government redistributed wealth
to solve social pproblems e.g.,
g education, health
and leisure.
• Productive leisure activities became key to social
reform (misuse of free time problematic).
• People began seeing work as boring and tedious.
• Looking outside of work for life satisfaction.
The Roaring 20
• Following WW I (1918) there was a huge increase in
public involvement in all sorts of recreation
• 1896 Henry Ford invented automobile by 1927 sold
15 million low cost automobiles (Model T)
• co
s uc o ofo highways:
g w ys: people
peop e were
we e more
o e mobile
ob e
and traveled to recreate. Hence growth in camping,
sightseeing and outdoor play grew in popularity.
• Roads and automobiles led to an overall increase in
productivity and efficiency left people more free
time for recreation and entertainment
• Prohibition (1920- 1933): Speakeasies
• Films: movie attendance increased due to cars (ex:
Charley Chaplin) 1926 first film with color and
sound by 1927 400 films showed in theaters each
year, America’s favorite form of entertainment
• Cheap entry, escapist entertainment for masses
• Movie theaters were called nickelodeons
• Radio: invented gained popularity fast brought
nation together, new way to communicate
• Everything that was young was in
• Jazz age: Jazz dominated music
• Huge stadiums were built
The Great Depression of 1930’s
• Stock market crash of 1929 one of the causes: it
resulted in huge unemployment
• 1/3 of labor force without work: people were
• Huge psychological impacts: fear of losing jobs
caused anxiety,
anxiety people became depressed
• Children suffered long term effects from poor
• Living conditions changed: lots of people in one
Recreation combats Effects of Depression
It became clear that leisure is an important responsibility of government.

• Federal ggovernment financed construction

of recreation facilities such as pools, parks,
picnic grounds, camps, hired recreation
• Under Franklin D Roosevelt's New Deal
programs supported recreation
• Work Project Administration (WPA)
constructed recreation centers & parks
in cities.
• Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
t t d recreation
ti facilities
f iliti on
publicly owned lands (state and federal).
World War II

• 9-3-39 Britain and France declared war on Germany

• 12-7-41 Attack on Pearl Harbor engages

g g U.S.

• In tthee US, recreation

ec eat o programs
p og a s had
ad to be downsized
dow s ed
 Professional baseball
 1-14-42 Baseball Commissioner Landis wrote a letter
to President Roosevelt
• Roosevelt answered with the
“green light letter”

• Women's Professional
• All American Girls Baseball
League (1943-1954)
• Philip Wrigley, Chicago Cubs
• Only time in US history women
played professional baseball

The Women of Hull House:

Harnessing Statistics for
i R Reform