Childhood And Adulthood

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Throughout history the transitional period between childhood and adulthood has caused centuries of civilizations anxiety. The period that has now been defined as adolescence, middle adulthood, and/or youth has been at a constantly evolving. Beginning in the 16th century, and perhaps earlier the perception of a transitional period for children to develop into adulthood was dictated by a facet of milestones. Historians have uncovered that the liminality of adolescence was a social, economic and legal problem that arose far before the 19th century. However, the focus of this paper will highlight the relationship between both the “perceived” threat and threat of adolescence throughout the Georgian and Victorian era (1700-1900’s). In addition, decipher…show more content…
One driving force that lead to a widespread belief of a perceived increase in adolescent crime was linked to the conflicting beliefs of upper class citizens in contrast to the working class. The working and middle class adopted the ideology that children are born with a blank slate. Locke’s philosophy provided the working classes hope for their children, that they can grow and perhaps thrive by experiencing life and obtaining knowledge. Thus, there is no surprise that a struggling class would not want to adopt a hopeful childrearing philosophy to practice. In contrast, wealthy upper class citizens often adopted Rousseau’s notion of children innocence that was obtainable for those who encompassed the means to isolate their children in the domestic sphere. Nonetheless the two conflicting philosophy’s as well as the widespread belief of a perceived increase of youth delinquency caused issues throughout London. These fundamentally opposing beliefs enabled wealthy children a life that was sheltered and heavily monitored that prevented them from facing legal convictions. Whereas, working class parents were more accepting to youth exploration and provided their children with the independence many believed would enable them to transition into adulthood. In addition, because of the perceived threat of youth, both public and legal monitoring was in effort to
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