How Did Europeans Perceive the Role of Organized Sports in Europe During the Period from 1860 to 1940?

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The growth of sports in Europe happened for varied values which the games held. People perceived different roles for the sports. Some believed that sports honed cooperation, while others valued the competition between nations which sports instilled. Still others valued the personal strength which performance created. The growth of sports, as shown by document 2, created different issues of worry and brought sports to an international foreground. As sports its fan base spread and created a new brand of fanaticism.

The idea of cooperation in sports had many different effects. As shown in document 7, it strengthened national bonds, unifying the “great national team” to which all Frenchmen belong. This document however, may be slanted because it may want to overly stress national pride because France suffered many losses, both of national faith and pride, during the first world war. Another person who stresses cooperation as the value of sports is the British National Workers sports association, saying that international sportsmanship can lead to greater understanding between nations (Doc 11). The BNWSA, however, stresses international cooperation because it is a Marxist organization and would want to stress the brotherhood of the proletariat.

Another perception of sports was that it exemplified politics internationally and further exemplified some international politics. An African delegate stressed international ideas by comparing what sports Africans liked to how they behaved globally. He says that Africans like Cricket because they enjoy personal excellence while they disliked rugby because it required union. This delegate would stress the importance of union in sports because he wants to stress it in politics. His perception may be altered because he wants to gain support for a united African Association (Doc. 4). Martin Berner also talks about relationships between sports and politics by saying that sports “a war, a real war” and create a...
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