The Rise of Fashion: A Reader

By Daniel Leonhard Purdy | Go to book overview

MASCULINE SIMPLICITY

“The Benefits of a National Uniform, Declaimed by a Citizen”
from Patriotic Fantasies (1775)

JUSTUS MöSER

Justus Moser was a major official in a small German town who was best known in the eighteenth century for his short essays. Born in 1720 in Osnabrück, Möser spent almost his entire life there until he died in the same town in 1794. As an administrator in Osnabrück, he was mindful of local political obligations. His reform proposals often had a veiled quality, yet he could not help writing satirically about the foibles of rural feudalism. He advocated a peculiar conservative form of Enlightenment, one arguing for the restoration of medieval rights of burghers and yeomen. The centralized states of Absolutist princes could serve to restore the dignity of ordinary citizens, but Möser, a conservative loyal to his local traditions, saw state authority with considerable skepticism. Instruments of modern statecraft ought to mobilize the populace and not simply serve the interests of the entrenched aristocracy. He was at his most scandalous when he defended serfdom, though he also wrote many pieces mocking the aristocracy. In general, he avoided universal claims about the rights of humanity or the foundations of reason. He had little faith in the pedagogical preaching of most Enlightenment essayists, yet as the following essay shows he was quite capable of proposing radical changes.

The idea that all grown men should wear standardized dress was one of the minor debates of the eighteenth century, but it provides insight as to how and why the public display of male identity changed so dramatically. As J. C. Flügel notes in his essay, the last decades of the eighteenth century commenced “the Great Masculine Renunciation.” The principle that men dress in dark colors and with little variation in design became universal within less than three decades. Möser's proposal explains the motives for transforming masculinity. His proposal is interesting from our own historical vantage point because respectable society has in large part enforced a version of his plan, without, however, relying on the state to enforce the rule that all respectable men wear a standardized uniform. Today

-87-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Rise of Fashion: A Reader
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 357

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.