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A Cultural History of Childhood and Family in the Age of Enlightenment

A Cultural History of Childhood and Family in the Age of Enlightenment, Volume 4

by Elizabeth Foyster

Elizabeth Foyster is Lecturer in History at the University of Cambridge and author of Marital Conflict and Violence in the English Family, 1660-1857 and Manhood in Early Modern England. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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and James Marten

James Marten is Chair of the Department of History at Marquette University and author or editor of several books on the history of childhood, including Children and War: A Historical Anthology and Children in Colonial America. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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(eds)
Bloomsbury Academic, 2010
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781350049635
  • ISBN:
    978-1-3500-4963-5 (online)

    978-1-84788-797-9 (hardback)

    978-1-4725-5470-3 (paperback)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    London
  • Published Online:
    2017
A Cultural History of Childhood and Family in the Age of Enlightenment
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The collection of ideas, values, and beliefs known as the Enlightenment fundamentally altered the ways in which the family was understood. During this period, 1650-1800, traditional family roles were rethought, questioning much which had been taken for granted, such as the innate nature of children. At the same time, the Enlightenment also reinforced many long-held notions, applying new ideas to perpetuate assumptions about gender and race.

The commercialization of agriculture, industrialization, and urbanization, as well as the opportunities presented by expanding education and the sale of domestic goods all impacted on the family. Further, the continuing expansion of Western empires, the ownership of slaves within American states, and the political turmoil of the American and French revolutions all helped to shape both the ideals and the experience of family life.

As with all the volumes in the illustrated Cultural History of Childhood and Family set, this volume presents essays on family relationships, community, economy, geography and the environment, education, life cycle, the state, faith and religion, health and science, and world contexts.