Etiquette History


Etiquette HistoryEtiquette is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within society. Rules of etiquette encompass most aspects of social interaction, though the term itself is not commonly used. A rule of etiquette may reflect an underlying ethical code or one's status. Rules of etiquette are usually unwritten, but aspects of etiquette have been codified from time to time.

The foundation for modern etiquette began in the French royal courtsThe History of Etiquette in between the 1600s and 1700s. Under King Louis XIV, a placard was devised and posted with rules for all to follow. Louis XIV established an elaborate and rigid court ceremony, but distinguished himself from the high bourgeoisie by continuing to eat, stylishly and fastidiously, with his fingers. The French word étiquette, signifying ticket (of admission) first appeared in English in 1750.

The first recordings of American etiquette were made in rules of civility etiquette document George Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation, consisting of 110 rules based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. All the rules are based with the respect towards other people. These rules represent more than just manners, they represent the small sacrifices that we should all be willing to make for the good of all and the sake of living peacefully together. These rules not only proclaim our respect for others but also give in return the gift of self- respect and heightened self-esteem.

In modern American times, Emily Post wrote "Etiquette--In Society, In. Business, In Politics, and At Home." This popular book about manners was published in 1922. The self-proclaimed debutante-turned-writer, Emily Post published it. It became a best-seller and paved the way for her successors to continue preaching good manners.

Etiquette History ImagePost was succeeded by Amy Vanderbilt, who called herself a "journalist in the field of etiquette." Her contribution to American etiquette was "Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Guide To Etiquette." "I am a journalist in the field of etiquette. I try to find out what the most genteel people regularly do, what traditions they have discarded, what compromises they have made."- Amy Vanderbilt

Today, the field of etiquette has expanded beyond societal manners. Etiquette is dependent on culture; what is excellent etiquette in one society may shock another. Etiquette evolves within culture.


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