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3. Nineteenth-Century Childhood: Industrialisation and Urbanisation
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the impacts of industrialisation and urbanisation on childhood in the nineteenth century. We focus particularly on: (i) child labour, its advocates, and its opponents; (ii) the emergence of street children as a social problem in growing industrial cities and the description of them as “savages”; (iii) efforts to improve the condition of poor children at the end of the century, notably the founding of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1884 and the 1889 “Children’s Charter”; (iv) debates regarding the institution of mass schooling in this period.
In this course, Professor Hugh Cunningham (University of Kent) explores the historical development of childhood from the early modern period to the present. In the first module, we consider Philippe Ariès’ hugely influential insights regarding the historical construction of childhood since the Middle Ages. In the second, we think about the shift in the early modern period from a negative perception of childhood linked to Protestant theology to a positive, secular vision. The third module discusses the impact of industrialisation and urbanisation on childhood in the nineteenth century. In the fourth and fifth modules, we ask, firstly, whether the twentieth century should be considered the “century of the child”, and secondly whether childhood is under threat.
Professor Hugh Cunningham is Emeritus Professor of Social History at the University of Kent. He specialises in the history of childhood, youth and charity in modern Britain. His recent publications include The Reputation of Philanthropy Since 1750 (2020), Time, Work and Leisure: Life Changes in England Since 1700 (2014), and The Invention of Childhood (2006).
Cite this Lecture
Cunningham, H. (2021, November 03). The History of Childhood - Nineteenth-Century Childhood: Industrialisation and Urbanisation [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-history-of-childhood/nineteenth-century-childhood-industrialisation-and-urbanisation
Cunningham, Hugh. "The History of Childhood – Nineteenth-Century Childhood: Industrialisation and Urbanisation." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 03 Nov 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-history-of-childhood/nineteenth-century-childhood-industrialisation-and-urbanisation