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Which activity was classified as lavish and inferior to other occupations in the 19th century?



  Close up of chess pieces on a chessboard
Alan Light / Wikimedia

Answer: Chess

Dancing, watching TV, video games or any kind of good entertainment does not break the goal of moral outrage and panic. Of course, there are chases that go beyond the defamation of television and the like, right? Like chess, sweet, healthy, insane chess.

Even chess could not take a break during the day. In the 1

860s, there was a widespread moral panic about the idea that chess was wasting the youth and energy of young men and that it was folly to persecute it. For example, in the issue of July 2, 1859, of Scientific American we find the following:

[…] Chess is a mere amusement of a very inferior character that deprives the spirit of precious time could be used for more noble achievements, while at the same time bringing no benefit to the body. […] Persons engaged in sedentary activities should never practice this joyless game; For recovery they need outdoor exercises – no mental gladiator activity. Those who are spiritually active should avoid a chessboard, as they are accustomed to from an add-on, as chess misdirects and depletes their intellectual energies. Let them dance, sing, play ball, do gymnastics, roam the woods or by the sea, play chess. It is a game that no man can afford, depending on his trade, business or profession, to waste time practicing. It is an amusement – and a very unprofitable one – that alone can afford the self-sufficient rich to lose time.

That's right. In the past, chess was not an activity designed to build children's logical thinking about after-school games, but a veritable addition of problems that depleted a person's intellectual energy and stole valuable time spent in the forest.


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