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ECO journal (ECOnomics and industrial Engineering)

2018 year, number 7

Steam Engines, Revolvers and Industrial Capitalism: the Genesis and the Foundations of Sport

A. B. Rakhmanov
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Keywords: спорт, физическая культура, футбол, труд, промышленная революция, индустриальное общество, военное дело, капитализм, восходящая социальная мобильность, Sport, physical education, football, work, industrial revolution, industrial society, warfare, capitalism, upward social mobility


The article deals with technological, economic and social changes that led to the emergence of physical culture and sports. The industrial revolution of the late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries based on the use of steam engines has liberated the bodily energy of people and formed a mass need for physical activity as an end in itself-physical culture. The development of this need was facilitated by a fundamental revolution in military affairs connected with the beginning of production of an effective close combat weapon - a revolver, which gradually deprived fencing of topicality, in 1836. The physical culture that occurred in the conditions of capitalism was transformed into a kind of show business, which meant the emergence of sport. The most popular sports arose in the second half of the XIX century in the most developed countries of the world and subsequently conquered the whole world. The compensatory functions of sports have great importance. The growth of the influence of sport is also promoted by the fact that it functions as a social elevator.