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Children and Youth During the Gilded Age and Progressive Era$
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James Marten

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479894147

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479894147.001.0001

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The Trajectory of Benevolence

The Trajectory of Benevolence

Progressivism in the Little Colonel Books

(p.102) 5 The Trajectory of Benevolence
Children and Youth During the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Sarah E. Clere

NYU Press

This chapter links the origins of local Progressivism to the life of Lloyd Sherman, the main character in the Little Colonel series by Annie Fellows Johnston. In particular, it considers how Lloyd Sherman is drawn to notions of “social uplift” despite her small-town, southern environment. It discusses Little Colonel's articulation of the shifting contours of childhood and adolescence over the course of the Progressive Era as well as its depiction of the growing influence of the middle class and the increasingly public roles played by its girls and women. It suggests that the series emphasizes the importance of the unification of white Americans in countering the influences of immigrants and African Americans at home while enhancing national standing abroad.

Keywords:   childhood, Progressivism, Little Colonel, Annie Fellows Johnston, social uplift, adolescence, Progressive Era, middle class, immigrants, African Americans

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