The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Brown bag discusses hunting, democracy

Daniel Herman, associate professor of History at Central Washington University, spoke about hunting and its impact on United States society and culture. The lecture, “Hunting Democracy,” was held at noon Wednesday in the Texana Room of the DeGolyer Library and was attended by both SMU students and faculty as part of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies’ final Brown Bag lecture.

Accompanied by a PowerPoint full of hunting paintings, the lecture began at the very beginning of the United States during colonial times. Herman explained that hunting in Europe was reserved for the aristocracy; they were the only social group with access to the hunting parks. In America, however, hunting was available to everyone. In fact, the freedom to hunt was advertised in colonial promotional literature.

Despite the accessibility of hunting to American colonists, hunting did not gain widespread popularity until the 19th century. During the 1800s, figures such as Daniel Boone and Davy Crocket found their way into United States culture.

Herman noted that Boone was a representation of many young men of his generation saying, “Boone is a self-possessed hero in the libertarian world of the wilderness, just as boys were leaving their homes for the libertarian world of the city.”

Another factor that added into hunting’s popularity was the desire to expand the borders of the country.

Late in the 19th century, hunting began to revert to its old standards of being an aristocratic pursuit. While, as Daniel Herman stated, “Theodore Roosevelt represents compromise,” in the world of hunting, tension still remains on whether or not the pastime crosses socioeconomic boundaries.

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