From: Jonathan Heller
Time: 9:28:36 PM
Remote Name: 220.127.116.11
Primary Source Assignment
What do these rules tell you about social order and stratification in colonial Virginia?
These one hundred and ten rules listed basically show that George Washington is trying to gain unity, cooperation and manners within colonial Virginia. Many of these rules say for the people to be humble to the people above them as well as the people below. Itís almost as if George Washington wants everyone to think the same way or at least pretend to think the same way. This is obvious when George says not to laugh louder or longer than anyone else in public. Many of the other rules refer to uniformity amongst the colonials. The manner rules for example say that each person should do things the same way, from picking up a fork to blowing your nose. George Washington wants everyone to behave like gentlemen. For if everyone behaves like gentlemen, then there would not be war, anger, or hatred. All George wants to do is create an environment that succeeds, and it seems that he feels if the people act civilized, they community will be a success.
What do they say about his attitudes on good manners and personal hygiene? Its obvious to me that George Washington feels very strongly about having both good manners as well as good personal hygiene. Many of these rules are about proper hygiene. The first one I noticed was number 15 where he says to keep nails clean and short as well as keeping clean hands and teeth. And the majority of the rules are about how to behave like gentlemen. There are rules about eating like gentlemen; walking, talking and sitting like gentlemen, and acting like gentlemen. Since there are so many rules here, its obvious that George felt very strong about manners and civilized behavior. Many of these people were cretins and behaved like so. George was all about changing that.