A Stage for Gentility and the Performance of the Republican Gentleman: Taverns in Richmond, Virginia from 1780 to 1820
Lennon, Heather N
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This thesis assesses the ways in which gentility served as a catalyst for the creation of a new masculine identity during the early American republic: the Republican Gentleman. In particular, I utilize taverns in Richmond, Virginia from 1780 to 1820, in which to understand the significance of gentility. This thesis analyzes how Richmond taverns represented the growth of gentility through refined architecture and its male patrons. It discusses how taverns, as predominantly male spaces, allowed for the expression of the Republican Gentleman\'s masculine identity. The guiding research question for this thesis is how refined Richmond taverns illustrated the prominence of gentility, and thus provided a stage for the performance of the Republican Gentleman during the early national period. Furthermore, this research is informed by the following secondary research questions: In what ways did gentility and republicanism shape masculine identities? How did evolving ideas of gentility and refinement shape physical tavern space and architecture? The broader significance of this thesis is to offer an avenue in which to further develop scholars\' understanding of the intersection of masculinity, class, and gentility during the early national period.
- Masters Theses