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The State
The state

There would be no modern leisure without the state. Through its control of taxation, licensing, policing and propaganda, the state has imprinted its stamp upon leisure time. As Bailey (1978) and Coalter (2006a, 2006b) show, from the mid nineteenth century, state intervention into free time practice originated from an amalgamation of middle class anxieties about sanitation, health, work discipline, fitness to work, education and civic pride. Rational recreation was a movement founded in class control. The Victorian writer, Francis Fuller (1875: 717), expresses this perfectly, albeit also unconsciously, in a blithe, seldom quoted, little passage on the wisdom of encouraging the masses to use their leisure time in beneficial ways:

It is a point of self-interest and self-protection for us to exert ourselves ...

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