Abstract

By the end of the nineteenth century Americans and western Europeans had arrived at a specific definition of a “modern” childhood, in which children could expect a number of things: that their childhood and youth would extend through adolescence, that their schooling would extend beyond a basic education, that many of their families’ social and economic resources would be devoted to their happiness and nurturing, and that they would increasingly be integrated into the developing consumer culture. “The rise of ‘modern’ childhoods” outlines the impact of the slave economy and colonization on childhood, working children and child exploitation during the industrial revolution, and how access to education became one of the hallmarks of a “modern” childhood.

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