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Children and Youth in America, Volume II: 1866-1932: Vol. 1 Parts 1-6; Vol. 2 Parts 7-8


Although the number of people under twenty years of age in the United States rose from 17 million in 1860 to 47.6 million in 1930, the percentage of them in the total population declined sharply during the same seventy years from 51 percent to 38 percent. This declining proportion of children and young people to adults did not lessen concern for their welfare. On the contrary, as they became relatively less numerous, the young became in a way more visible, and their needs were ...

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Although the number of people under twenty years of age in the United States rose from 17 million in 1860 to 47.6 million in 1930, the percentage of them in the total population declined sharply during the same seventy years from 51 percent to 38 percent. This declining proportion of children and young people to adults did not lessen concern for their welfare. On the contrary, as they became relatively less numerous, the young became in a way more visible, and their needs were more easily recognized.

This second of three volumes that trace the history of the nation's changing provisions for its youth covers the period from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the New Deal. These were years rich in innovations which, although not fully realized, represented substantial advances in the welfare, education, and health of children. Much of the philanthropic energy of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries went into the provision of special facilities for children, who had formerly been treated in the same way as adults. State, and in some eases, federal legislation attempted to safeguard children against premature, excessive, and dangerous labor; sought to protect them against abuse. neglect, immorality, disease, and unsanitary surroundings: and compelled them to spend more time in school. The first White House Conference on the Care of Dependent and Neglected Children was convened by Theodore Roosevelt in 1909, and in 1912 the United States Children's Bureau was established. This single most important development in public provision for children during the early twentieth century signified the acceptance by the federal government of responsibility for promoting the health and welfare of the young.

In this two--book volume, major topics like the legal status of children, child health, and education have been broken down into specific areas so that the items of specialized concern are easily accessible. Some of the nearly 100 topics covered include birth control and abortion, the mothers' aid movement, theories and studies of juvenile delinquency, the progressive attack on child labor, and the child labor amendment. The Children's Bureau, the development of pediatric thought, the fight against infant mortality, child health and the Depression, the origin and development of the public high school, and the education of children of minority groups are also treated.

The text includes both published and unpublished, private and public documents. It is augmented with selected contemporary illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of American History
A new departure in the context of the needs and the social forces of the decade just past...The Bremner volumes will inspire a whole new wave of historical study...The chapter introductions constitute concise historical summaries of significant trends and events while, at the same time, they provide sensitive interpretive essays to assist the reader in understanding the documents in their precise historical context...The selections include items basic to the central themes; they also include primary materials loaded with human interest and excitement...Photographs and other illustrations brighten the pages. The editors were, in addition, peculiarly sensitive to all those social concerns which marked the nation during the decade of the 1960s.
Harvard Educational Review
The lives of children, a subject almost wholly neglected by historians, get a full measure of attention in the excellent documentary collection, Children and Youth in America. The rich material in these two volumes is superbly organized and imaginatively selected...a comprehensive and often somber presentation of the place of childhood in our national life--far and away the best chronicle of public policy toward children we now have.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674116122
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1971
  • Series: Children and Youth in America Series
  • Edition description: 1866-1932, Parts 1-6
  • Pages: 1606
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 3.45 (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


Editor's Preface


PART 1: The Social and Cultural Background

1. The Setting

A. Homes

B. Families

2. Youth in American Society

A. Problems and Promise

B. Youth and War

C. Youth in the Post World War Era

PART 2: The Legal Status of Children and Protection against Cruelty and Immorality

1. Rights of Parents and Children

A. Rights and Obligations of Parents

B. The Custody of Children

C. Adoption

D. Birth Control and Abortion

E. Children of Unmarried Parents

2. Child Protection

A. Protection against Cruelty and Neglect

B. Protection against Immorality

PART 3: Care of Dependent Children

1. Institutions and Foster Homes

A. Public Institutions

B. Private Institutions

C. Foster Home Care

D. Problems of Supervision

2. Care of Children in Their Own Homes

A. Preservation of the Home

B. The Mothers' Aid Movement

3. Issues in Child Care

A. Subsidies and Supervision

B. Research and Demonstration

PART 4: Juvenile Delinquency

1. Delinquency in the Late Nineteenth Century

A. Juvenile Delinquency in the South

B. Reform Schools

C. New Institutions for Delinquent and Unruly Children

D. Special Legal Provisions for Children Prior to the Establishment of the Juvenile Court

2. The Juvenile Court

A. The First Courts

B. Juvenile Court Issues

3. Modem Theories and Studies of Juvenile Delinquency

A. Delinquency as Physical and Mental Disease

B. The Culture of Delinquency

PART 5: Child Labor

1. The Working Force

A. Extent and Variety of Child Labor

B. The Progressive Attack on Child Labor

2. State and Federal Regulation of Child 'Labor

A. State Child Labor Legislation

B. Federal Child Labor Legislation

C. The Child Labor Amendment

PART 6: Administration of Child Welfare Services

1. The Children's Bureau

A. Establishing the Bureau

B. The Children's Bureau in Operation

2. State and County Child Welfare Agencies

A. Innovations in Administration

B. Standardization in Administration

PART 7: Child Health

1. Health Problems of Infants and Children

A. Development of Pediatric Thought

B. Hospitals, Nurseries, and Visiting Nurses

C. Handicapped Children

D. Child Health Campaigns

2. School Health

A. Buildings and Medical Inspection

B. Special Health Programs

3. Infant and Maternal Mortality

A. The Fight against Infant Mortality

B. Prevention of Maternal Mortality

C. The Sheppard-Towner Act

4. Programs, Research, and Demonstrations in Child Health

A. Hospitals and Schools for Crippled Children

B. The Mental Hygiene Movement

C. Relationship of Government to Child Health

D. Child Health and the Depression

PART 8: Education

1. The School and American Society

A. Evaluations and Measurements

E. Schools as a Means of Social Progress

C. Protecting the Interests and Growth of Children in the Schools

D. Pedagogical Sources of Progressivism

E. Progressive Experiments

2. Education in the South

A. The Reconstruction Experiment

B. Education in the New South

3. Federal Participation in Education

A. A Federal Agency for Education

B. Federal Aid to Education

4. Education of Northern Negro, Immigrant, and Indian Children

A. Negro Children in Northern Schools

B. Immigrant Children

C. Indian Children

5. The First Century of the American Public High School

A. Origin and Development of the Public High School

B. Preparation for College in the High School

C. Technical, Trade, and Manual Training

5. Issues and Trends in Education

A. Compulsory Attendance

B. The Quest for Uniformity

C. Kindergarten Instruction

D. Religious Instruction in Public and Private Schools

E. Higher Education

F. Public Libraries

Chronology: Events Relating to the History of the Health, Education, and Welfare of Children and Youth, 1865-1932

Selected Bibliography


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