Travel has offered American men unique opportunities to establish, reinforce, and test the boundaries of masculinity. Travel in the United States and abroad has allowed Americans to compare their customs and beliefs with those of foreigners, and has thus been a significant means through which Americans have developed a sense of national identity. It has also allowed men to rehearse a variety of masculine roles in unfamiliar settings. The history of travel in the United States highlights male travelers' displacement from conventional social relations, even as class and gender assumptions have traveled with them as cultural “baggage.” More than just a test of prevailing masculinities, however, travel has also given men the opportunity to transform meanings of manhood in America.

The Nineteenth Century

Although a limited number ...

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