19th Century Life

The average American citizen in the early 19th century led a very simple life with little social restraint. The lifestyle at that period was very coarse, and very different from modem times. Obviously, the people in that era were alot more liberal than this generation, for they did not have the technology, organization or thought processes we do. Thus, we cannot blame them for such a horrid lifestyle, but rather make them a step in the evolution of America. The biggest difference between the two eras is probably the social morals. In the 19th century-, it was very common to smoke anywhere, or chew tobacco and spit on the floors. All these little habits, like using urine as a room freshener or sleeping in a bug infested cot would be considered socially unacceptable in the 1990's. However, it would be wrong to say that the ways of the early 19th century were wrong and the modem period is right. They did not have many of the objects or services we consider necessities (running water, indoor plumbing, good cleaning. etc) therefore they were behind in social evolution. Also, the thought processes were much different back then, on account of no past to compare a certain lifestyle to. The streets were covered in manure, from the animals and the people. Pigs served as the "garbage men" of the streets. These ideas seem very barbaric to us, but it takes centuries to evolve a society mentally . There were some aspects of 19th century life that are similar to modern day, however in the past these similarities were on a much bigger scale, more exaggerated. The people of the 19th century loved alcohol as we do. Their love of it was far greater than today, but alcohol is a big part of both cultures. They have many rudimentary functions of life that appear to be the most basic form of natural ways. In the 19th century, they started to form rough ideas of actions such as bathing in a tub, abortions, diet, and respect for others. It appears that the large gap in-between that period and modem times was for shaping these ideas, and g them what they are today. But some practices of that genre in American history are simply appalling. The floors and streets were covered in filth, people threw waste, their tobacco spit, and other vile secretions onto the floor anywhere in the town. It is unbelievable to that a courthouse floor could be soaked with the tobacco juice of the jury, the lawyers and the judge. Also shocking is the high tendency for violence, especially towards the slaves. These violent acts were all unthinkable: kicking women, eve gouging, and whipping. In conclusion, I don't think that the early 19th century was better than modern America in any facet. Then was an era of chaos and immorality. This is partly because we have evolved: technologically, mentally and socially.