In today's current society, there is an aspect of social life that is experienced by a portion of those in America's middle and upper classes. This aspect is the country club, which is major part of some American's lives. In present times, such institutions are viewed as places where people are able to socialize and participate in a variety of activities, mainly centering on specific sports. The most common beginnings for such clubs come from either golf or tennis, and currently many clubs have evolved into larger recreation areas, including activities such as swimming, basketball and various forms of exercise equipment. Because a substantial portion of the American population belongs to such clubs, it is clear that they can have a direct effect upon these peoples' lives. The early forms of such clubs originated in the early 1800's, creating a way for the upper class to separate and distance themselves from the rest of the American population. From there they have developed in a variety of ways, ever being able accurately represent the current situation in America.
[...] John Murray Forbes, a prominent Bostonian, said: fact is that club men who live by wine, cards, tobacco and billiards for their cheap stimulants are apt to think themselves aristocratic and gentlemen-like and they look up to the slave owners with respect, as being more permanently idle than themselves.” Discrimination and a sense of social hierarchy also existed between various city clubs in close proximity. Although it was a long and hard process to join many clubs, they still competed with one another for membership. [...]
[...] The Union Club in New York City utilized the “Italian Renaissance Revival But some American clubs followed the broader influence of British Georgian architecture”. No matter the exterior look of the club, every one promoted some sense of “high social status”. Members felt they were the epitome of societal standards, and the club was where they could show it. Although it would remain some time before sports became the central them behind the clubs, they had incorporated many new aspects into the “club life”. [...]
[...] The rest of the American elite, who now resided in the suburbs, was now in need of a new kind of club: a “country” club. The very first clubs in the country, or suburbs started off as resorts. The existence of the resorts overlaps with the prime era of the city club. Most resorts were noted as summer getaways for upper class urban residents. It wasn't uncommon for groups of men who were all members of the same city club to visit a summer resort together with their families. [...]
[...] When describing the first creation of country clubs in America, Moss words it as follows: Country clubs start in the living rooms, dining rooms, and city club meeting rooms of men and women who wish to establish a private social and athletic domain. They draw a line between public and private space and install a collective (the membership) as the lords and ladies of that private domain. Most of the text analyzes the shifting of locations of various clubs, namely from the country to the suburbs. [...]
[...] Mayo's American Country Club: It's Origins and Development” delves upon the humble beginnings of clubs in urban, city environments. He describes these “city-clubs” as follows: As the United States experienced economic growth in the nineteenth century, wealthy businesspeople and professionals increasingly wished to spend their leisure time in a way that was qualitatively better than everyday life. Their daily business lives were centered in the city, and America's elite society organized its city leisure into city clubs than provided the organizational impetus for private club life in the United States. From the very beginning these clubs were created and viewed as a way to separate the founders from the rest of society, most often because they felt they were truly superior. [...]
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