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History of Coney Island

            American culture had a slow steady start, and for a while it seemed as though it would remain that way. This was until an island on the coast of New York changed American culture and society. This island was called Coney Island. What was Coney Island and what did it bring to the Americans? It was an island that fulfilled the changing wants of American's. This island influenced American's wants from labor, and high society to leisure. Though the island didn't remain on its all-time-high forever, it caused a "turn of the century." This "turn of the century," was a vast shift in the mass culture of America.
             Before the "turn of the century," Coney Island consisted of citizens whom abided to an old, reserved set of values (or culture) that America lived by. The culture is commonly referred to as Victorian, and it is believed that American's lived in more of a Victorian era than England; ironically England was the country reigned by Queen Victoria. Victorian values were values of moral, and self-righteous. In Kasson's book, it referred to these values as matters of self-control, moral integrity, industriousness, and sober earnestness (Kasson 4). The idea was that all activities whether in the home or at work remained useful. For example while in the home, women or children must be doing labor or anything considered productive. Activities considered as productive were fiction, arts, poetry, or anything pertaining to that matter. Protestant educators, ministers, and reformers were the cultural elites (or genteel reformers) who tried to greatly influence the urban-industrial democratic government. These reformers founded institutions such as libraries, museums, and symphonies, which set a basis for the culture. Unfortunately, the reformers did not grasp the control they sought due to the diversity in American culture.
             Coney Island became the place for the manifestation of the diversity America's social culture.

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