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Children and Youth in a New Nation$
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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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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

French and American Childhoods

French and American Childhoods

St. Louis in the Early Republic

(p.69) 4 French and American Childhoods
Children and Youth in a New Nation

Martha Saxton

NYU Press

This chapter illustrates the differing methods of child-rearing in St. Louis during the early republic, specifically examining the lives of young girls shaped by their parents' expectations for their futures. An examination of St. Louis provides the opportunity to compare the child-rearing practices and convictions of old French families, Anglo-Americans, and the slave parents whose girls served both. The French placed high value on leisure and pleasure and their children's attitudes reflected this. Anglo-Americans, on the other hand, seemed to worry more than the French, as they brought with them a more volatile economic and political culture that demanded caution in assessing others and restraint over oneself. For their part, slave parents, who were routinely denied control over their own children, tried to prepare their girls for the independence and self-reliance required to survive on their own while serving the many needs of white families.

Keywords:   St. Louis, child-rearing practices, French families, Anglo-American families, slave families, white families, girls' childhoods

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