Shaping the Circle

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Invitation to
Grand Celebration
Invitation to Grand Celebration of the 33rd Anniversary of the Maennerchor Society, 1887.

OBSERVING THE SABBATH

Another struggle which added to the social estrangement of [German-Americans] was found in the use of the Sabbath Day. The New England settlers and their descendants had been used to Sunday as a day of rest and worship in which there was little if any manual labor done and no entertainment of a public nature. The incoming Germans were considered to be intruders who had a very different and—to the puritan way of thinking—wrong concept of Sunday. The adherents of the various denominations among the Germans attended their churches in the morning, it is true; but in the afternoon, and undoubtedly some used the morning as well, the religious and the freethinkers alike used the day for recreation. . . . Sunday to the German was a weekday holiday to be enjoyed with music, singing, dancing, smoking, and drinking beer and wine. In addition, their ethical concepts of relations between the sexes were more liberal than those of the puritans, and their dancing was primarily round dancing. To the German this was wholesome and proper, but according to the morals of the puritan it was no less than satanic.

 


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Updated: 29 April 2004, RKB
Comments: speccoll@iupui.edu
URL: http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/special/digproj/circle/exhibit5_3.html

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