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New MenManliness in Early America$
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Thomas A. Foster

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814727805

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814727805.001.0001

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“Effective Men” and Early Voluntary Associations in Philadelphia, 1725–1775

“Effective Men” and Early Voluntary Associations in Philadelphia, 1725–1775

(p.155) 8 “Effective Men” and Early Voluntary Associations in Philadelphia, 1725–1775
New Men

Jessica Choppin Roney

NYU Press

This chapter examines how understandings of white masculinity in eighteenth-century Philadelphia fueled charitable and philanthropic (white) men's societies in a host of venues. It argues that the growth of voluntary associations in the eighteenth century reinforced masculine dominance in public life. Virtuous manhood came to be associated with service; public service became doubly associated with men and masculinity. Although women might engage in individual acts of moral virtue, for men the enactment of virtues like charity could now become collective and public. Voluntary organizations created a powerful space for the performance of masculine public virtue, connected increasingly with political participation and manly civic service.

Keywords:   white masculinity, charity, eighteenth century, voluntary associations, masculine public virtue, political participation, public service

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