Providing a second voice by rb2E57f



          History of Recreation
Tracing the Roots of Leisure in the United
             States & Canada
 Development of leisure was influenced by
 the following:
  •   Historical events of the time
  •   Societal expectations of the time
  •   Generations of immigrants
  •   From prehistoric societies to European influences
      and early settlement to the present day

      By understanding how leisure has emerged over
      time, it is possible to see how history often repeats
      itself, and what we see today is often very similar to
      what was experienced long ago.
           How Play Emerged
         in Prehistoric Society
Play was used to do the following:
  • Depict historical events, transportation
    practices, war games, and the use of farm tools
  • Prepare children for their responsibilities as
    youth and adults
  • Achieve solidarity and morality
  • Serve as a healing experience, to relax and
  • Serve as a means of communication, pleasure,
    and entertainment, and serve as a means of
    replenishing strength after working
                                         (Kraus, 1971)
               Ancient Greece
• Athenian ideal:
  – Combination of soldier, athlete, artist, statesman,
    and philosopher; development of all areas was
  – Made possible because tasks of everyday living
    were provided by laborers or slaves (Shivers & de
    Lisle, 1997).
• Plato and his student Aristotle:
  – Leisure was route to happiness and the good life.
  – Contemplation and the pursuit of truth and
    understanding were thought to be the highest forms
     of leisure (Dare, Welton & Coe, 1987).
Athenian Philosophers Believed . . .
• Play was essential to the healthy growth of
  children from both a physical and social
  perspective (Ibrahim, 1979).
• Leisure was opportunity for intellectual
  cultivation, music, theater, poetry, and political
  and philosophical discussions.
• Schole: to cease and have quiet or peace.
  Time for oneself. Being occupied in something
  for its own sake (Ibrahim, 1991).
• Schole: to embrace the experience and not the
   Ancient Greek Athletic Games
• Males celebrated religious rites and heroes
  for entertainment and for pleasure.
  – Included chariot races, combat events, boxing,
    wrestling, foot races, and the pentathlon.
  – Competed individually, not in teams, and
    represented their home villages (Ibrahim, 1991).
  – Were encouraged to fight to the death, which was
    seen as noble and would immortalize the competitor
    for generations.
• Women were excluded from public life
  (Shivers & deLisle, 1997).
             Ancient Rome
Five distinct classifications of citizens
included the following:
• Senators were the richest, owning most of the
  land and power.
• Curiales owned 25 or more acres of land and
  were office holders or tax collectors.
• Plebes, or free common men, owned small
  properties or were tradesmen or artisans.
• Coloni were lower-class tenants on land.
• Slaves were indentured people exploited by
  their owners.        (Shivers & deLisle, 1997)
        Opportunity for Leisure
          in the Roman Era
Limited to people who had the appropriate resources.
 • The greater your standing, the greater your opportunity to
   free yourself from the daily requirements.
 • For example, senators enjoyed almost unlimited leisure,
   while coloni struggled to make a comfortable life.

This is similar to the present day where distinct economic
classes enjoy various degrees and types of leisure.
    Differences Between the Play
        of Greeks and Romans

• The Greeks saw leisure as an opportunity
  for well-rounded development.
• The Romans perceived leisure to be
  primarily rest from work.
    The Romans were on an almost constant
    crusade to dominate foreign cultures; play then
    served utilitarian rather than aesthetic or
    spiritual purposes (Horna, 1994).
          Play and the Growth
          of the Roman Empire
• Leisure was increasingly used as a social
  control agent for the masses.
• The increasing availability of slaves meant
  that labor was less required of Romans.
• Daily work decreased and leisure time
  increased (Horna, 1994).
    Rome by 354 A.D. had more than 200 public
    holidays and 175 game days to pacify unrest by
    providing pleasurable experiences through
    celebrations (Horna, 1994).
               Middle Ages
As the Roman Empire collapsed, the
Catholic Church became the dominant
structure (Shivers & deLisle, 1997).
• Rejected the activities of the Roman Empire (Horna,
• Believed “idleness was the great enemy of the soul.”
• Clergy provided values of what was accepted in
  society to save a person’s soul, the highest goal at
  the time.
• Catholic Church influenced what were acceptable
  and unacceptable leisure opportunities.
• Power shift from the church to the nobility
  included the following:
  – Play was perceived to be an important part of education.
    Rabelais (1490-1553) emphasized the need for physical
    exercise and games.
  – Montaigne (1533-1592) supported the concept of unity of mind,
    body, and spirit opposing the medieval ideal of separation or
    dualism of the mind and body.
  – Locke (1632-1704) believed recreation was not being idle; it
    helped people wearied by their work to recover.
  – Rousseau (1712-1778) advocated for the full freedom of
    physical activity rather than constraint.
• Play, both as a form of popular entertainment
  and as a medium of education, developed.
        Protestant Reformation
• Martin Luther and others questioned the
  practices of the church and split off into
  other Protestant religions.
• Each religious group governed the
  perception of what was acceptable as
• Play was often frowned upon as evil by
  certain churches during this transition. This
  effected the earliest development of leisure
  in Canada and the United States.
     Development of Recreation
  in the United States and Canada

• During the 19th century, governments in
  both countries played a role in the provision
  of recreation and leisure services.
• Never static, recreation and leisure evolved
  through wars, the Depression, longer and
  shorter work weeks, and other periods in
  the United States. In Canada the post–World
  War II era brought renewed interest in
  recreation services.
     Early Settlement of America
• Leisure in Jamestown, Virginia, 17th century:
  – Community composed of aristocracy, adventurers, and
    traders. Exploration served the purposes of trade and
    profit (Shivers & DeLisle, 1997).
  – Colonists loved sports, games, theater, books, music,
    and exercise and continued to pursue these activities.
  – Governors banned recreational activities because of the
    harsh conditions the colonists faced and the need for
    diligence to ensure survival (Shivers & deLisle, 1997).

        Early Settlement of America
• Leisure in New England:
  – Settlers were Calvinists, escaping persecution in Europe.
  – All forms of recreation were illegal. Settlers valued
    frugality, hard work, self-discipline, and observance of
    civil and religious codes.
  – Leisure was considered a sin and the devil’s work and a
    threat to godliness. Puritans should avoid pleasures in
    their own lives and struggle against pleasure in the
    community (Cross, 1990).
  – Recreation was tolerated if it could help with work.
    Restrictions on activities during Sundays continue today
    through “blue laws,” which limit the items that may be
    purchased (Cross, 1990).
        American Revolution
Western expansion brought new leisure
pursuits. Settlers were no longer solely
European, but increasingly born in America.
 • Physical survival was needed in the West;
   shooting and wrestling matches, jumping
   contests, footraces, tomahawk hurling, and
   rail flinging were popular (Ibrahim, 1991).
 • Free time for frontier families had to be
   useful, and laboring activities were turned
   into recreation (Shivers and deLisle, 1997).
          Early Park Development
            in the United States
• Early colonialists realized that open space was
  important to growing communities.
   – In Boston and Halifax areas known as “commons” were set
     aside for communal activity and meeting space.
   – The Boston Common, established in 1634, is viewed as the
     first municipal park in the United States (Kraus, 2001).
• Frederick Law Olmsted designed Central Park in
  New York and municipal parks in Brooklyn,
  Philadelphia, Detroit, and Chicago.
   – Adapted the English style of a natural park to the rectangular
     restrictions of American parks (Ibrahim, 1991).
   – Established the basis for city parks throughout the United
         Playground Movement
          in the United States
• The playground movement was first adopted by
  New York City when land was allocated for Central
  Park in 1855 (Ibrahim, 1991). In Chicago,
  Washington Park opened in 1876.
• The concept of a “sand garden,” promoted by Dr.
  Maria Zakrzewska in Boston in 1868, was the first
  organized playground program.
• In 1906, the Playground Association of America,
  formed by a small group of dedicated citizens,
  selected Luther Halsey Gulick, a physician, as the
  organization’s first president.
         Subject: “The Playground Movement”

The playground movement in both the United
  States and Canada was an important factor
  in bringing recreation to the masses of
  these growing countries.
     • What are the lessons from the country you are reviewing?
     • What could be integrated into modern society from the
       lessons of the era?
     • What programs should be developed?
     • Who could benefit most from a “play ethic”?
        Government Involvement:
             United States
• Because decreased working time during the Great
  Depression meant more time available for leisure
  activities, the government did the following:
   – Developed organizations to protect natural resources and
      preserve them for future generations
   – Tackled societal problems of the day via concern for the
      leisure-related issues facing their citizens
• President James Garfield said, “We may divide the
  whole struggle of the human race into two chapters:
  first, the fight to get leisure; and then the second fight
  of civilization—what shall we do with our recreation
  when we get it” (Kraus, 1990a, p.154).
    of Professional Organizations
         in the United States
• 1906, Jane Addams, Joseph Lee, and Luther
  Gulick organized the Playground Association of

• Today, the National Recreation and Park
  Association (NRPA) and the American Alliance
  for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and
  Dance (AAHPERD) have emerged as leaders.
        Post–World War II Growth:
             United States
• Renewed desire to live life:
   – Suburbs and affordable housing
   – Mobile society through reasonably priced automobiles;
     increased vacation opportunities
• Birth of therapeutic recreation as a distinct
• President’s Council on Youth Fitness created by
  President Eisenhower
• Impact of national affluence:
   – Recreation services adopted marketing model.
   – Conspicuous consumption emerged.
   – Private club memberships grew, second homes were
     purchased, and increasingly expensive pieces of recreation
     equipment were within reach.
        Early Settlers in Canada

• First Europeans, the Norse, explored west
  Atlantic Coast in approximately 1,000 A.D.
  Settled in Newfoundland (Francis et al.,
• In 1497, John Cabot’s expedition, fur trade
  with the natives.
  – Because a great deal of hard labor and preparation
    for winter was required, recreation opportunities
    were limited for the early settlers (Harrington, 1996).
        Colonization in Canada
• Between 1604 and 1607, the first Acadian
  settlement (French speaking) was formed
  when Samuel de Champlain explored the
  coastline of the Maritimes and wintered in
  Port Royal. This was the first agricultural
  settlement in Canada (Daigle, 1982).

• Champlain founded the Order of Good
  Cheer, which was the first social club in
  Canada (Francis et al., 1988).
  Park Development in Canada
The first park in Canada, the Halifax
Common, was established in 1763.
• Designated for exercise for the militia in the early
• Largely used for walking, sitting, driving, bird
  watching, and enjoying the plant life (McFarland,
• Later, used for skating, lawn tennis, croquet, and
  archery (Wright, 1983).
  Playground Movement in Canada
• Concern for those who lived in overcrowded areas
  with high crime rates and disease le       d to the
  playground movement (McFarland, 1970).
• Play was the only appropriate method of physical
  development for children and was necessary for
  their health, strength, and moral character (Searle &
  Brayley, 1993).
• In 1893, the National Council of Women played a
  major role in initiating the playground movement
  (McFarland, 1970).
• Playgrounds could be used to teach health and
  social customs in a play environment (McFarland,
 Government Involvement: Canada
• Land for parks in Canada were deeded or leased to
  municipalities from the federal or provincial
• In 1883, Ontario passed the Public Parks Act to
  establish parks in cities and towns with the consent or
  petition of the electors.
• In the 1940s, the National Physical Fitness Act
  influenced municipal recreation.
• Interprovincial Sport and Recreation Council developed
  the National Recreation Statement in 1987.
• Parks Canada, a federal agency, provides recreation
  opportunities for Canadians. Its mandate is to protect
  and present examples of Canada’s natural and cultural
  heritage and to foster understanding, appreciation, and
  enjoyment to ensure this heritage.
    of Professional Organizations
              in Canada
• Parks and Recreation Association of Canada was formed
  in 1945.
   – After World War II, government was called to provide parks,
     playgrounds, and recreation services.
   – In 1970 name changed to Canadian Parks and Recreation
     Association. It’s mission is to do the following:
       • Build healthy communities and enhance quality of life and
       • Communicate and promote the values and benefits of parks
         and recreation.
       • Respond to diverse changing social, economic, and political
         needs within the country. Provide educational opportunities.
• Providing a second voice, Canadian Association for
  Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance was
Post–World War II Growth: Canada

• The 1960s were characterized by renewed
  concern for physical fitness with passage of the
  Fitness and Amateur Sport Act (Searle &
  Brayley, 1993).

• In 1971, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau created
  ParticipACTION, a nonprofit organization to
  promote a healthy, physically active lifestyle to
  battle rising health care costs (Canadian Public
  Health Association, 2004).
      Leisure and Recreation:
Similarities Between Both Countries
• All three levels of government in both countries
  have played important roles in providing
  recreation services by providing funding and
  offering direct recreation service.

• Leisure and recreation are seen as critical
  components of a healthy society and are a
  concern for both governments. This mirrors a
  trend that started long before in Ancient Rome.
  Once again, we see history repeating itself.
Leisure is affected by past perceptions of the
•   Prehistoric societies
•   Ancient Greeks
•   Ancient Romans
•   Catholic Church
•   Protestant Reformation
•   Renaissance
•   Exploration and settlement of both Canada and the United
•   Playground movement in both the United States and Canada
•   All levels of government in both countries
•   Growth of professional organizations
•   Post–World War II challenges and changes
•   Leisure needs of women or under-represented groups

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