History of Etiquette

As time goes by, many outdated etiquette rules have gone out of practice. Let's face it; not too many children bow or curtsey when greeting adults. The general stance on etiquette in America is to treat others equally
and politely.

Etiquette Handbook

All cultures and periods in time have had rules for proper etiquette. While some, like covering your mouth while yawning to avoid swallowing flies, have health-related origins, others were used to distinguish between classes or prevent social conflicts.

Many of today’s etiquette rules came from the 1600’s French Royal Court and were adopted by other societies in Europe and around the world. In the nineteenth century Victorian era in the United States, etiquette was a way for social classes to separate themselves and, before the American Civil War, excluded non-whites, immigrants and children.

After World War I, the invention and mass production of the automobile and the creation of the suburban family, etiquette rules began to change. As the role of women became more progressive, their limiting etiquette rules became more relaxed.

Today, one of the leading organizations for etiquette and manners is the Emily Post Institute. Born in 1872 in Baltimore, Maryland, Emily Post was an American writer who published Etiquette in 1922, becoming the nation's authority on etiquette in social settings. Since then, Etiquette has been revised four times and remains an important guide for manners. Watch the video below to hear Emily Post give etiquette advice for eating at the dinner party.

Formal Dinner Party Etiquette-Emily Post (1947)