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Bhakti Poets

What is today known as the Bhakti Movement had its genesis in the South of India in the 6th century CE. It is characterized by the writings of its poet-saints, many of whom were female, that extolled passionate devotional love for the Divine. ... Read More »
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Material Culture and Childhood (20th c.)

Childhood is an ever-changing concept that varies from culture to culture across time and space, yet people often think of childhood as universal. Teaching students about children in the past is often a challenging endeavor for this very reason. ... Read More »
Title page for The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

Children in the Slave Trade

From the 16th to the 18th centuries, an estimated 12 million Africans crossed the Atlantic to the Americas in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Used on plantations throughout the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, enslaved Africans were shipped largely from West Africa. ... Read More »
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African Scouting (20th c.)

Conceived by General Sir Robert Baden Powell to reduce class tensions in early 20th-century Britain, the Boy Scout movement evolved into an international youth movement that offered a romantic program of vigorous outdoor life for boys and adolescents as a cure for the physical decline and social disruption caused by industrialization and urbanization. ... Read More »
Mencius and his Mother: A Lesson Drawn from Weaving thumbnail

Ancient China

The unprecedented interest in the child who assumed unique importance in the Han period was set into motion by a convergence of historically-specific conditions: (1) the establishment in the Qin dynasty (221-207 BCE) and the further development in Han times (206 BCE-220 CE) of a merit-based civil service, which increased the educational and occupational opportunities of boys moving up the social l ... Read More »
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Late Imperial China

An exploration of primary sources on childhood in late imperial China (framed broadly as the Song through Qing dynasties, ca. 960-1911 CE) offers a window into lived experience and the diverse ways in which childhood itself could be imagined and articulated. ... Read More »
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Educational Reform in Japan (19th c.)

Soon after overthrowing the Tokugawa government in 1868, the new Meiji leaders set out ambitiously to build a modern nation-state. Among the earliest and most radical of the Meiji reforms was a plan for a centralized, compulsory educational system, modeled after those in Europe and America. ... Read More »
Title page of the Decameron

Children during the Black Death

The Black Death was the first and most lethal outbreak of a disease that entered Italy during the end of 1347 and the beginning of 1348 and then spread across Europe in the following few years. It is generally accepted (despite recent arguments to the contrary) that this most famous medieval epidemic was caused by bubonic plague. ... Read More »
Book of Children by Thomas Phaer

Health in England (16th–18th c.)

Children and youth in early modern England (1500-1800) were subject to many diseases and physical hardships. From the great epidemic diseases of bubonic plague and smallpox, to more common illnesses such as measles and influenza that still afflict children today, sickness put children and youth at great risk. ... Read More »
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Age of Consent Laws

In western law, the age of consent is the age at which an individual is treated as capable of consenting to sexual activity. Consequently, any one who has sex with an underage individual, regardless of the circumstances, is guilty of a crime. ... Read More »

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