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Modern Manhood and the Boy Scouts of America"Citizenship, Race, and the Environment, 1910-1930"$
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Benjamin René Jordan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627656

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627656.001.0001

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Ax-Men and Typewriter-Men: The BSA’s Full-Orbed Manhood

(p.1) Introduction
Modern Manhood and the Boy Scouts of America

Benjamin René Jordan

University of North Carolina Press

The Introduction disputes the gender historiography’s assertion that the primitive, virile, and martial values of Indian lore advocate Ernest Thompson Seton, frontier pioneer enthusiast Daniel Carter Beard, and British military leader and Boy Scout founder General Robert Baden-Powell represented the new dominant form of Anglo-American masculinity in the early twentieth century. Instead, Boy Scouts of America officials combined select Victorian men’s virtues such as self-control and a hard work ethic with masculine values that helped adolescent boys adapt to a modernizing society. The Introduction analyzes how urbanization, corporate industrialization, immigration, women’s rights, and Progressive reform shaped Scouting’s emergence. The organization drew broad popular and governmental support for applying G. Stanley Hall’s child development theories of adolescence and racial recapitulation to create an effective solution to juvenile delinquency and modern society’s “boy problem,” which were created in part by compulsory schooling’s and restrictive child labor laws’ narrowing of teenage boys’ engagement with the broader community and adult work.

Keywords:   Ernest Thompson Seton, Daniel Carter Beard, Robert Baden-Powell, Pioneer lore, Indian lore, Adolescent boy, Racial recapitulation, Juvenile delinquency, Child labor laws, Compulsory schooling

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