Essay Civilized America?

Essay Civilized America?

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During the colonial era in the United States, civilians acknowledged “gentility” and etiquette to be very important. Gentility is a form of power induced by manners, behaviors, and appearances (Bushman, par. 9). Colonial civilians based their daily errands on genteel behaviors. The genteel actions and forms of living of the civilians, not only represented the statuses of the civilians in the community, but also their characters. Today in America, etiquette behavior has decreased and is one of the main causes for social problems. In order to adapt a civilized America, etiquette morals should be applied in every American household. By so, children need to be taught about the importance of manners, which also assists on improving societies’ social problems.
In the past, as far as colonial times, etiquette and manners have played important roles in the American society. At young age, children were required to memorize and study etiquette books. Etiquette behavior was very important during that time in America, since it determined the advancement of individuals in society. “The demand for the etiquette manuals was immense because so many Americans were at once unsure of themselves and, [sic] characteristically, determined to improve” (Bushman, par. 34). Unfortunately, this sort of “requirement” amongst American families has diminished. Certainly, there are few households in which proper manners are being taught, but it is not always the case. Liberal, outspoken, and sometimes even careless children are being raised in societies today. It is uncommon to walk around a neighborhood and politely salute a stranger, for it is viewed as harassment. Likewise, Richard L. Bushman along with James A. Morris, both argue that the deterioration t...


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...ive they will portray themselves to others. Proper and etiquette behaviors can open up plenty of doors for the future, but can also deteriorate good opportunities for a successful future for individuals. “Politeness goes far, yet costs nothing” (Smiles).




Works Cited

Burns, Michael T. "CLASSROOM PRACTICE: The Battle for Civilized Behaviors: Let's Begin with
Manners. " Phi Delta Kappan. 84.7 (March 2003): 546. General One File. Gale. Skyline
College Library. Web. 10 May 2011.
Bushman, Richard L., and James A. Morris. "The rise and fall of civility in America." The Wilson Quarterly 20.4 (1996): 13+. General One File. Web. 11 May 2011.
Martin, Judith. "Manners matter." The American Enterprise 8.2 (1997): 27. General One File. Web. 11 May 2011.
Smiles, Samuel. “Manners Quotes and Quotations.” Famous Quotes & Authors. N.p. n.d. Web. 13. May. 2011.

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