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Schools, Machines, Sports, and Music in America

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Illustrated and Designed By
Christian Alas
Sound By
Margarita Onofre

Schools, Machines, Sports, and Musicin America

The late 19th century was a time of reform and expansion in schools and universities due to the growth of industry and the increasing need for skilled labor in cities and factories.

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During the late 19th century, free public education was also increasing. By 1900, thirty-one states and territories had passed laws for compulsory attendance. Attending school was made a requirement through the compulsory attendance laws. By the end of the century, the number of public high schools had reached 6,000.

The federal government donated land to states under the Morrill Act so that the establishment of colleges would offer classes such as agriculture, engineering, and training for teachers. New opportunities also arose for blacks and women in education.

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People had more recreational time thanks to the use of machines in work places. The most popular sport of this era was baseball. The first professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, appeared in 1869, and the National League had been organized by 1876.

Another very popular sport was football. Football was first played by students within the same school, but it soon developed into an intercollegiate game and later developed into a professional sport. Basketball was first played using a soccer ball and two peach baskets that were mounted to a railing. More instructors were needed as physical education became more popular. Sports such as boxing and bicycling also became quite popular. Boxing was considered a respectable sport at the time.

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A lot of people’s leisure time was also spent listening to music. Marches were popular among the people along with other popular tunes. Another popular activity was reading.

The literature of the day included works by authors such as Bret Harte, Louisa May Alcott, and Samuel Longhorn Clemens whose pseudonym, or pen name, was Mark Twain. Most audiences were captured by the themes of romance and adventure.

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Find the vocabulary words (in bold), write them below, and find the definition of each in a dictionary.

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Write 5 sentences using some of the vocabulary words.

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Write one sentence to describe the history of Schools, Machines, Sports, and Music in America for each area below:

What?

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When?

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How?

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Where?

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Why?

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Who?

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Discuss:

1. How did the use of machines change the lives of people beginning in the late 19th Century?

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2. Explain how people spent their new-found leisure time.

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Schools, Machines, Sports, and Music in America