For thousands of years in many cultures, the circus has entertained people. It has endured since Roman times, where circuses featured gladiators fighting to the death, chariot races, animal duels, and horseback riding.
Through the dark ages, he endured the form of troubadours and street artists. Finally, in the late 1700s, the circus took a shape similar to today’s circuses.
In 1768, Sergeant Major Philip Astley returned to his hometown of London, England, and started a riding school. He had just returned from serving in the British Army as a knight. To promote his riding school, he created shows that show his skill on a horse.
As Philip Astley’s shows became increasingly popular, he decided to add more entertainment. He added musicians, clowns, jugglers, tightrope walkers and dancing dogs, which were already popular entertainment at fairs and festivals of the time.
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When his circus became more popular than his riding school, he opened another. And other. And other. Before Philip Astley died in 1814, he would open 19 circuses. Mr. Astley is now known as the father of the modern circus.
After Sergeant Major Philip Astley opened his second circus, the inevitable competition arose. They opened rival circuses across Europe and eventually around the world. But there was a problem. With the small size of cities in the 18th century, if a circus existed long enough, sooner or later everyone in a city would have seen it. But being as innovative as they were, circus owners solved that problem easily Bassie en Adriaan. They began to travel. To do this efficiently, the circus tent was invented. It was great for the speed and ease with which it could be configured and dismounted.
In the mid-1800s, the circus was in its golden age. Going to the circus was as popular as going to the movies now. Soon businessmen and businessmen joined the fashion. They added human monsters and exotic animals in different tents that could only be entered at an additional cost. And the people entered. Everyone involved in the circus was making money.
But all great things must come to an end. In the mid-1900s, the circus was becoming less and less popular due to the invention of radio and television. People no longer needed to leave the comfort of their home to entertain themselves.
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So the circus declined in popularity until it established itself where it is today. Don’t get me wrong, the circus is still popular, it’s just not as popular as it was 100-200 years ago.