The Slump Historical Context

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According to common belief, baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday, a nineteen-year-old West Point cadet, atCooperstown, New York, in 1839. Few historians consider that more than a myth, though. Doubleday did in fact set down standardized rules, but the game had been played for decades before his involvement. It is mentioned, for instance, in Jane Austin's novel Northanger Abbey, published after her death in 1816, and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes mentioned that he played the game in 1829, before his graduation from Harvard. The game's mysterious origin is just one of the many bits of folklore that have grown up around it. The acceptance of the Doubleday story is a fitting symbol of the relatively young nation's need for a prefabricated tradition. Though it is clearly a derivative of the English game of cricket, baseball has always been thought of as a metaphor forAmerica.

In the 1840s and 1850s...

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This section contains 843 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Slump Study Guide
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The Slump from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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