Judith Martin's Children On Etiquette And Social Propriety

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Etiquette and Propriety was so important to this agricultural aristocracy that training began at an early age. Enslaved the hierarchical house servants not only performed the accepted acts of propriety and hospitality, slave jobs like nannies, or “Mammies,” took on the specific job of educating the plantation owner’s children on etiquette and social propriety. Judith Martin, otherwise known as “Miss Manners” is an etiquette expert as well as a historian on the matter, described the role the slave women had played in this period of time: “The plantation owners thought they were being English country gentlemen, but who was teaching etiquette to their children? The house slaves. The house slaves often came from a more elevated background than…show more content…
Finishing schools encouraged artistic, intellectual skills, Christian morals along with the ability to withstand in society’s high criteria of propriety and hospitality by teaching courses on proper attire, speech, dancing, party planning and other talents of a proper lady in the antebellum south. Men, on the other hand, went on to universities worldwide to study business, law, or other professions or went to the notable military schools that were being built like West Point, Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy, or The Citadel Academy in Charleston. The Citadel, in particular, stands in the heart of the major antebellum city of Charleston, instituted in 1842, upheld the idea of “instilling in Cadets the core values of integrity, honest, and responsibility in a disciplined academic environment, thereby preparing its graduates to understand their obligations as citizens, and to become principled leaders in whatever their chosen field of endeavor…. diverse fields as military and government service, science and engineering, education, literature, business, the medical and legal professions, and…show more content…
The laws and expectations of society lead people to use agriculture and the abundant food to their advantage in order to keep face. In a cycle of agricultural wealth and the elite that grew from it lead to an American version of aristocracy and societal rules to separate these wealthy gentlemen and ladies as a higher class and a higher breed of people based on propriety, using the ritualistic practices of etiquette and cordiality at dinners, balls and other social gatherings. This social life revolving around crops and food gives light to an amiable and eminent hospitality that has lasted over hundreds of years to now be coined as “southern
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