Social Class and the Birth of American Popular Culture


he Battle for Order: Social Class and the Birth of American Popular Culture

Today you need to read Chapter 2 in The Battle for Christmas which is about how celebrations of Christmas changed in the emerging city of New York.  This chapter is all about the invention of that most popular of American icons: Santa.  As you read, try to puzzle out how and why Santa was invented.  Who is creating it? What are their desires?  What do they use to transform Christmas from its status in a folk world into something a little bit closer to the modern holiday?  How/why are they inventing a new Christmas tradition?  In class, we will also be exploring the impact of the rise of urban capitalism on culture by exploring how popular forms of violence were transformed.

Please Answer the question that uses evidence from the assigned sources.  REMEMBER: The point is to show us that you are engaging with the source on a deep level.


Clement Moore was integral in shifting Christmas from a yearly “Judgement Day” of good and bad deeds into a day free from the threat of judgement. How did Moore transform the character of St. Nicholas and for what larger purpose?

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