Honors HIST 1103 Survey of American History

Spring 2002

Dr. Laura Belmonte


Assignment for John Burnham, Bad Habits: Drinking, Smoking, Taking Drugs, Gambling, Sexual Misbehavior, and Swearing in American History


Due in class on Thursday, February 21st \


Read ONLY the pages indicated below and answer all of the questions in complete sentences.


Preface (pp. xv-xviii)


1.) Why did Burnham write this book?


Introduction (pp. 1-15 only)


2.) How does he describe the Victorian underworld?


3.) How did people in 19th century America define respectable behavior? Who most embodied these ideals?


SKIP CHAPTER TWO (pp. 23-49)


Chapter Three: Drinking (pp. 50-55 only)


4.) How did early Americans view drinking?


5.) What kinds of people tended to advocate temperance? Who usually resisted temperance?


Chapter Four: Smoking (pp. 86-92 only)


6.) How did Americans use tobacco before 1800?


7.) Why and how did tobacco use change in the 1800s?


8.) Why was smoking condemned?


9.) How did smokers defend their habit?


Chapter Five: Taking Drugs (pp. 112-116 only)


10.) Describe American attitudes toward drug use before the 1840s.


11.) What types of drugs did people most often take in the 19th century?


12.) How widespread was drug addiction? Who was the typical addict?


13.) How did people obtain drugs?


Chapter Six: Gambling (pp. 146-159 only)


14.) What types of gambling existed in colonial America?


15.) How did gambling change in the 19th century?


16.) How did supporters and opponents of gambling justify their views?


17.) Who gambled?


18.) How were gambling and sports related?


Chapter Seven: Sexual Misbehavior (pp. 170-181 only)


19.) Describe colonial views on sexual misbehavior.


20.) How and why did these views change over time?


21.) Assess the extent and legal status of prostitution in 19th century America.


22.) How did standards of sexual respectability differ for men and women?


23.) How and why did the standards for men and women change over time?


Chapter Eight: Swearing (pp. 208-215)


24.) How did swearing differ from other vices? Why did people find it objectionable?


SKIP pp. 215-297




25.) How did this book revise your ideas about American society before 1900? Give some examples.