Children and Youth in America, Volume I: 1600-1865

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More than nine generations of children grew up in America between the founding of the first English colonies and the end of the Civil War. This book, the first of three volumes that will provide the most complete documentary history of public provision for American children, traces the changing attitudes of the nation toward youth during the first two and one half centuries of its history.

The editors have divided volume I into three units of time--1600-1735, 1735-1820, 1820-1865 each of which represents a stage in the development of public policies toward children. The question raised in the first section is: What is the function of government or the public authority when the child is a subject, not a citizen, of a private family government? The second part deals with the question: How does the public sector respond when children, although still officially subject to familial authority, practice the doctrines of self-help, independence, and self-interest? The third part asks: How did the state and the adult public regard children in a society marked by political and social change, population mobility, and rapid economic growth? What was expected of children? What was done for them? What was denied them?

The editors have chosen documents chronicling all aspects of the welfare of children, including education, child health, care of dependent children, child labor, juvenile delinquency and the special problems of children of minority and disadvantaged groups. They have skillfully linked the papers together with interpretive introductions and have woven them into a fascinating and enlightening narrative. The documents have been selected from both published and unpublished materials, private diaries and correspondence, as well as the records of governmental and voluntary agencies on the local, state, and national levels. In addition to the time divisions, the documents are arranged geographically and topically, though the rigid maintenance of topical distinctions has been avoided so that related topics may be presented from different viewpoints and organized in the most meaningful and useful way.

Volume II will cover the events occurring between 1866 and 1932, and Volume III will deal with policies adopted and developed since 1933. Each volume will include selected contemporary illustrations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674116108
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1970
  • Series: Children and Youth in America Series
  • Pages: 856
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert H. Bremner is Professor of History, Ohio State University.

John Barnard is Associate Professor of History, Oakland University.

Tamara K. Hareven is Associate Professor of History, Clark University.

Robert M. Mennel is Assistant Professor of History, University of New Hampshire.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Editor's Preface Acknowledgments Works Cited in Shortened Form


The New World as Refuge and Bridewell

Southern Colonies

New England

Middle Colonies

Children in the Colonial Family

The Family in the Social Order

Single Persons, Bastards, and Orphans

The Care of Dependent Children


Educational Contacts between Europeans and Indians

New England Schools and Schoolteachers

Schools and Learning in the Southern Colonies

Schools in the Middle Colonies

Apprenticeship and Child Labor


Indentured Servants

Protection of Children against Abuse by Masters


Children in the Enlightenment and the Revolution

Child Labor

Apprentices and Servants

Infant Industries


Education in the Late Colonial Period

Education in the Early Republic

Care of Dependent Children

Binding Out and Outdoor Relief

Institutional Care of Poor Children

Child Health

Children in Trouble

Negro and Indian Children

Indian Children in Schools and Missions

Free Black Children in the North

Situation of Slave Children

Education of Negro Children


Children in a Democracy

The American Family

The Legal Status of the Child in the Family

Children in Slavery

The Legal Status of Free Negro Children in the South

Indian Children

Immigrant Children

Reports from the Promised Land

The Crossing

The Immigrant Child as a Social Problem


The Common School Movement

Educational Issues in School and College

Education of Blacks and Indians

Child Labor

The Gospel of Work and the American Character

Apprenticeship in the Early Industrial Era

Boys at Sea

Children in Factories

Opposition to Child Labor and Efforts at Regulation

Care of Dependent Children

Children under the Poor Law

Special Institutions for Dependent Children

Juvenile Delinquency

The Refuge Movement

The Growth of State Institutions

Prevention of Delinquency and Dependency

Child Health

Afflicted Children

Recognition of Special Health Problems of Children

Health Education and School Hygiene

Health Hazards of Urban Children

Chronology: Events Relating to the History of the Health, Education, and Welfare of Children and Youth, 1535-1865

Appendix: The Child and the State Project, 1965-1970

Selected Bibliography


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