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Children and Youth in a New Nation$

James Marten

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814757420

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814757420.001.0001

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(p.257) Suggested Readings

(p.257) Suggested Readings

Source:
Children and Youth in a New Nation
Publisher:
NYU Press

The communities of scholars who conduct research in children’s history and in the history of the new republic have not necessarily considered themselves part of the same historiographical family. A recent anthology of essays on the past and future historiography of the early republic, edited by former editors of the Journal of the Early Republic, enthusiastically reports the “explosion of scholarly activities that have marked our field in the last decade or so” but fails to mention a single book or issue related to children or youth.1

As the foregoing suggests, the historiography on the period of the early republic rose to prominence after an outpouring of books on republican ideology appeared in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, starting with Bernard Bailyn’s The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Bailyn and his colleagues framed many of the questions that would guide virtually every historian writing on the new republic, but none sought to include specific ideas about childhood or specific experiences of children. That was not their purpose, of course, but it is worth noting that a number of writers on republicanism did stress that education was, in the words of Gordon Wood, “the most obvious republican instrument for eliminating … prejudices and inculcating virtue in a people.”2 Indeed, the earliest work by professional historians on children’s history came from educational historians, who have naturally gravitated toward the period. The title of Carl F. Kaestle’s Pillars of the Republic suggests the centrality of education to the founders’ vision, while the second volume of Lawrence A. Cremin’s massive history of American education covers the periods of the Revolution and early republic. Steve J. Novak shows how the spirit of the times leaked into college culture in The Rights of Youth: American Colleges and Student Revolt. Early national education clearly had a religious component, as Ann Boylan shows in Sunday School: The Formation of an American Institution, 1790–1880. Ann Kuhn’s The Mother’s Role in (p.258) Childhood Education shows the importance placed on the home education of children during the decades after 1800.

Other notable works on the history of children during the five decades or so after the American Revolution include Bernard Wishy’s 1968 The Child and the Republic: The Dawn of Modern American Child Nurture, which was part of the first generation of books to confront ideas about and the experiences of American children. Joseph Kett’s 1977 Rites of Passage: Adolescence in America, 1790 to the Present remains on everyone’s short list of seminal works on the history of children and youth. And although it is not specifically about children, David J. Rothman’s pathbreaking The Discovery of the Asylum: Social Order and Disorder in the New Republic suggested ways in which efforts by postrevolutionary reformers foreshadowed the work of “child-savers” later in the century.

A number of historians of children and youth have dipped into the period to explore how emerging ideas about the Republic and about children converged. Holly Brewer, in By Birth or Consent: Children, Law, and the Anglo-American Revolution in Authority, examines the effects of political events of the period on legal issues related to the family, while Karin Calvert includes the material culture of the period in the wider net she casts in Children in the House. Two books that look at attitudes about children and the family in different parts of the country are rooted in the early republic, even though they extend to the eve of the Civil War: Sylvia D. Hoffert’s Private Matters: American Attitudes toward Childbearing and Infant Nurture in the Urban North, 1800–1860 and Jane Turner Censer’s North Carolina Planters and Their Children.

Three broad works on American children’s history published in the last dozen years take different approaches to the period, while emphasizing the transformations that rocked the social, economic, and political systems. Steven Mintz’s Huck’s Raft, perhaps the most complete survey of the three, devotes several chapters to the early republic, focusing especially on education, slavery, and origins of the middle class. Joseph E. Illick’s American Childhoods is a much more focused look at class and ethnic differences; he stresses the effects of early industrialization on children and youth. Harvey Graff’s Conflicting Paths traces common patterns of growing up shaped by economic change, religion, and westward expansion. Other sweeping accounts of the history of children and youth that also offer material on this period are Annette Atkins, We Grew Up Together: Brothers and Sisters in Nineteenth-Century America; Penny Colman, Girls: A History of Growing Up Female in America; Thomas Hine, Rise and Fall (p.259) of the American Teenager; and Lynne Vallone, Disciplines of Virtue: Girls’ Culture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.

(1.) John Larson and Michael Morrison, eds., Whither the Early Republic: A Forum on the Future of the Field (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), 2.

(2.) Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776−1787 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1969), 426.

The following bibliography offers a sampling of books that provide political, economic, and social contexts to the lives of children and youth and a representative selection of books on topics related specifically to children and youth. Full citations are also provided for sources cited partially in the essays.

Politics, Economy and Society in the Early Republic

Anderson, Fred. A People’s Army: Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years’ War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984.

Appleby, Joyce. Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.

Bailyn, Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967.

Bellows, Barbara L. Benevolence among Slaveholders: Assisting the Poor in Charleston, 1670–1860. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1993.

Boydston, Jeanne. Home and Work: Housework, Wages, and the Ideology of Labor in the Early Republic. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Brown, Richard D. Knowledge Is Power: The Diffusion of Information in Early America, 1700–1865. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

——— The Strength of a People: The Idea of an Informed Citizenry in America, 1650–1870. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.

Cox, Caroline. A Proper Sense of Honor: Service and Sacrifice in George Washington’s Army. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Dublin, Thomas. Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826–1860. New York: Knopf, 1979.

Ellis, Joseph J. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. New York: Knopf, 2000.

Elson, Ruth Miller Elson. Guardians of Tradition: American Schoolbooks of the Nineteenth Century. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1964.

(p.260) Fitzgerald, Frances. America Revised: History Schoolbooks in the Twentieth Century. New York: Vintage Books, 1980.

Foster, Lawrence. Religion and Sexuality: The Shakers, the Mormons, and the Oneida Community. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984.

———. Women, Family, and Utopia: Communal Experiments of the Shakers, the Oneida Community, and the Mormons. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1991.

Gilmore, William J. Reading Becomes a Necessity of Life: Material and Cultural Life in Rural New England, 1780–1835. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1989.

Gordon-Reed, Annette. Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997.

Hutchins, Catherine E., ed. Everyday Life in the Early Republic. Winterthur, DE: Winterthur Museum, 1994.

Jensen, Joan M. Loosening the Bonds: Mid-Atlantic Farm Women, 1750–1850. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986.

Johnson, Paul E. A Shopkeeper’s Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815–1837. New York: Hill and Wang, 1978.

Kelley, Mary. Learning to Stand and Speak: Women, Education, and Public Life in America’s Republic. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.

Kettner, James H. The Development of American Citizenship, 1608–1870. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1978.

Larkin, Jack. The Reshaping of Everyday Life, 1790–1840. New York: Harper and Row, 1988.

Larson, John Lauritz, and Michael A. Morrison, eds. Whither the Early Republic: A Forum on the Future of the Field. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.

May, Henry F. The Enlightenment in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976.

McCoy, Drew R. The Elusive Republic: Political Economy in Jeffersonian America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980.

Nash, Margaret A. Women’s Education in the United States, 1780–1840. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Purcell, Sarah J. Sealed with Blood: War, Sacrifice, and Memory in Revolutionary America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.

Rothman, David J. The Discovery of the Asylum: Social Order and Disorder in the New Republic. Boston: Little, Brown, 1971.

Selby, John E. The Revolution in Virginia, 1775–1783. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1988.

Stansell, Christine. City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789–1860. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987.

(p.261) Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785–1812. Random House: New York, 1990.

Waldstreicher, David. In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1997.

Wilentz, Sean. Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788–1850. New York: Oxford University Press, 1984.

Wood, Gordon S. The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1969.

———. The Radicalism of the American Revolution. New York: Vintage Books, 1993.

Children and Families in the Early Republic and Beyond

Adams, David Wallace. Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875–1928. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1995.

Atkins, Annette. We Grew Up Together: Brothers and Sisters in Nineteenth-Century America. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001.

Bardaglio, Peter W. Reconstructing the Household: Families, Sex, and the Law in the Nineteenth-Century South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Berkin, Carol. Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence. New York: Knopf, 2005.

Boylan, Ann. Sunday School: The Formation of an American Institution, 1790–1880. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988.

Brewer, Holly. By Birth or Consent: Children, Law, and the Anglo-American Revolution in Authority. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.

Buel, Joy Day, and Richard Buel Jr. The Way of Duty: A Woman and Her Family in Revolutionary America. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.

Calvert, Karin. Children in the House: The Material Culture of Early Childhood, 1600–1900. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1992.

Censer, Jane Turner. North Carolina Planters and Their Children, 1800–1860. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1984.

Child, Brenda. Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900–1940. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998.

Colman, Penny. Girls: A History of Growing Up Female in America. New York: Scholastic Reference, 2000.

Cott, Nancy F. The Bonds of Womanhood: “Woman’s Sphere” in New England, 1780–1835. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977.

Cremin, Lawrence A. American Education: The National Experience, 1783–1876. New York: Harper and Row, 1980.

Graff, Harvey. Conflicting Paths: Growing Up in America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995.

(p.262) Greven, Philip. The Protestant Temperament: Patterns of Child-Rearing, Religious Experience, and the Self in Early America. New York: Knopf, 1977.

———. Spare the Child: The Religious Roots of Punishment and the Psychological Impact of Physical Abuse. New York: Knopf, 1991.

Hacsi, Thomas A. Second Home: Orphan Asylums and Poor Families in America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Hawes, Joseph M., and N. Ray Hiner, eds. American Childhood: A Research Guide and Historical Handbook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985.

Heininger, Mary Lynn Stevens, et al. A Century of Childhood, 1820–1920. Rochester, NY: Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum, 1984.

Hine, Thomas. Rise and Fall of the American Teenager. New York: Bard, 1999.

Hoffert, Sylvia D. Private Matters: American Attitudes toward Childbearing and Infant Nurture in the Urban North, 1800–1860. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989.

Hoffman, Ronald, and P. J. Albert, eds. Women in the Age of the American Revolution. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1989.

Illick, Joseph E. American Childhoods. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.

Jabour, Anya, ed. Major Problems in the History of American Families and Children. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005.

———. Marriage in the Early Republic: Elizabeth and William Wirt and the Companionate Ideal. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

Jones, Jacqueline. Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work, and the Family from Slavery to the Present. New York: Basic Books, 1985.

Kaestle, Carl F. Pillars of the Republic: Common Schools and American Society, 1780–1860. New York: Hill and Wang, 1983.

Kerber, Linda K. Women of the Republic: Ideology and Intellect in Revolutionary America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980.

Kerrison, Catherine. Claiming the Pen: Women and Intellectual Life in the Early American South. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006.

Kett, Joseph F. Rites of Passage: Adolescence in America, 1790 to the Present. New York: Basic Books, 1977.

Kierner, Cynthia A. Beyond the Household: Women’s Place in the Early South, 1700–1835. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998.

King, Wilma. Stolen Childhood: Slave Youth in Nineteenth-Century America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998.

Kuhn, Anne L. The Mother’s Role in Childhood Education: New England Concepts. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1947.

Ladner, Joyce. “Racism and Tradition: Black Womanhood in Historical Perspective.” In Black Woman Cross Culturally, edited by Filomena Chioma Steady. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman, 1981.

(p.263) Leavitt, Judith Walzer. Brought to Bed: Childbearing in America, 1750–1950. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Lewis, Jan. The Pursuit of Happiness: Family and Values in Jefferson’s Virginia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

MacLeod, Anne Scott. American Childhood: Essays on Children’s Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994.

Mason, Mary Ann. From Father’s Property to Children’s Rights: The History of Child Custody in the United States. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Mihesuah, Devon A. Cultivating the Rosebuds: The Education of Women at the Cherokee Female Seminary, 1851–1909. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.

Mintz, Steven. Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Mintz, Steven, and Susan Kellogg. Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life. New York: Free Press, 1988.

Norton, Mary Beth. Liberty’s Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750–1800. Boston: Little, Brown, 1980.

Novak, Steve J. The Rights of Youth: American Colleges and Student Revolt. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1977.

Pollack, Linda A. “Parent-Child Relations.” In Family Life in Early Modern Times, 1500–1789, edited by David I. Kertzer and Marzio Barbagli. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.

Reinier, Jacqueline S. From Virtue to Character: American Childhood, 1775–1840. New York: Twayne, 1996.

Rorabaugh, W. J. The Craft Apprentice: From Franklin to the Machine Age in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Ryan, Mary P. Cradle of the Middle Class: The Family in Oneida County, New York, 1790–1981. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981.

Saxton, Martha. Being Good: Women’s Moral Values in Early America. New York: Hill and Wang, 2004.

Schwartz, Marie Jenkins. Born in Bondage: Growing Up Enslaved in the Antebellum South. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.

Smith, Daniel Blake. Inside the Great House: Planter Family Life in Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake Society. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980.

Stanton, Lucia. Free Some Day: The African American Families of Monticello. Charlottesville, VA: Thomas Jefferson Foundation, 2000.

Stevenson, Brenda. Life in Black and White: Family and Community in the Slave South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Strasser, Susan. Never Done: A History of American Housework. New York: Pantheon Books, 1982.

Tyack, David, and Elisabeth Hansot. Managers of Virtue: Public School Leadership in America, 1820–1980. New York: Basic Books, 1982.

(p.264) Vallone, Lynne. Disciplines of Virtue: Girls’ Culture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

White, Deborah Gray. Ar’n’t I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South. New York: W. W. Norton, 1985.

Wishy, Bernard. The Child and the Republic: The Dawn of American Child Nurture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1968.

Zipf, Karin L. Labor of Innocents: Forced Apprenticeship in North Carolina, 1715–1919. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2005.

Notes:

(1.) John Larson and Michael Morrison, eds., Whither the Early Republic: A Forum on the Future of the Field (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), 2.

(2.) Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776−1787 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1969), 426.