Carroll, Bret E.
SAGE Publications, Inc.
438 - 439
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American Masculinities: A Historical Encyclopedia
Emerging out of the historical context of western expansion in the 1840s, the ideal of a “strenuous life” was initially articulated in opposition to the humanitarian idealism of antebellum reform movements. In the aftermath of the Civil War, this ideal—emphasizing duty, military valor, and perseverance in overcoming obstacles—came to shape middle-class masculinity in U.S. society. By the late nineteenth century, contemporaries agreed on key masculine virtues, though they tended to disagree on the exact form and outlets that the strenuous life should take.
Published Version (Please cite this version)http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412956369.n223