Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

"The Entreaties and Perswasions of our Acquaintance": Gambling and Networks in Early America

"The Entreaties and Perswasions of our Acquaintance": Gambling and Networks in Early America Abstract: This article explores the particular form of "public gambling" that emerged at spectator sporting events in early America. The piece begins by describing the origins and function of public gambling in the late colonial period, which arose from efforts to cultivate business and political "friends" rather than a desire for winning bets and money. After the Revolution, this networking function became less connected to close personal friendships, and more closely tied to an impersonal, expanding, and lucrative horse breeding industry, in which bettors used public wagers to express confidence in a bloodline and thus raise its value. Yet the article concludes by showing how the depersonalization of public gambling at racetracks coincided with its adaptation by politicians eager to use the older association with "friendship" to connect with a widening electorate of white men who associated citizenship with bold and successful economic risk-taking. In sum, then, this essay argues that not all gambling was motivated by individualistic greed or marked by class distinction, as much of the current literature suggests. Instead, gambling was a diverse set of practices, and public gambling reveals how the act was used to build extensive vertical networks of "friends" that helped cohere the white male republic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

"The Entreaties and Perswasions of our Acquaintance": Gambling and Networks in Early America

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 31 (4) – Nov 5, 2011

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-pennsylvania-press/the-entreaties-and-perswasions-of-our-acquaintance-gambling-and-ADaGgZUUcz
Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Pennsylvania Press
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract: This article explores the particular form of "public gambling" that emerged at spectator sporting events in early America. The piece begins by describing the origins and function of public gambling in the late colonial period, which arose from efforts to cultivate business and political "friends" rather than a desire for winning bets and money. After the Revolution, this networking function became less connected to close personal friendships, and more closely tied to an impersonal, expanding, and lucrative horse breeding industry, in which bettors used public wagers to express confidence in a bloodline and thus raise its value. Yet the article concludes by showing how the depersonalization of public gambling at racetracks coincided with its adaptation by politicians eager to use the older association with "friendship" to connect with a widening electorate of white men who associated citizenship with bold and successful economic risk-taking. In sum, then, this essay argues that not all gambling was motivated by individualistic greed or marked by class distinction, as much of the current literature suggests. Instead, gambling was a diverse set of practices, and public gambling reveals how the act was used to build extensive vertical networks of "friends" that helped cohere the white male republic.

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Nov 5, 2011

There are no references for this article.