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Contrasting Views of Childhood - Essay Example

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Contrasting Views of Childhood

Contrasting Views of Childhood

The year 1800 appeared with Britain and the rest of Europe already poised for new adventures. Industrialization had set in and French revolution was lulled into an uneasy calm only a few months ago, with the adventurer Napoleon now at the helm of French affairs. It is foolish to presume that the revolution did not have far reaching affect over the rest of the world politics and ways of thinking. Started with stunningly creative thoughts it was a great struggle for coherent voice of mankind; but unfortunately went out of control by destroying the very best crop of intellectuals of the day and the bloodbath that accompanied it horrified the rest of Europe and the World. Monarchies were at the edge; political changes were sweeping across the continent, social adjustments were urgently called for and with the industrialization and improvements, discoveries in science and technology, economy of Europe was entirely at an unpredictable path. In Britain, Romantic Literature and Arts were looming large, admired for its tranquillity and serenity far removed from the disquieting turbulence of the political, economic and social scene. Thinkers declared that being a child in those violent years was a terrifying experience.

For the first time in its history, Europeans were venturing into far off colonies, in search of adventure and wealth as sailors, soldiers and administrators. Mobility had become the keyword and noble class was realising that titles without achievements are after all, insufficient for personal glory and wealth. This brought out a dedicated and noble yield of leaders belonging to the educated class, coming mainly from the nobility.

This also means that the priority of children's education and upbringing was altered immensely. Priorities of the coming generations have changed and people in Europe were hoping their children to adorn better positions than they themselves did. Lower class aspired their children to work in industries connected with new discoveries, innovations and technological developments, whereas the middleclass mainly wanted their children to join the all important navy, ruling the waves across the world, and the noble and affluent class wanted their children to be educated and fill up administrative posts at home and in the exciting lands of colonies, that were being accumulated in vengeful competition by the European powers. Simultaneously the middle and upper classes hoped their children to be brilliant artists, glorious soldiers, scientists, engineers, adventurists, discoverers, diplomats, leaders in many new spheres, economists, writers, generals, decision makers and to put it succinctly, attain places of importance, glory and ...Show more


Childhood, the beginning of life and its experiences, define and direct the entire life and considered by sociologists and psychologists as the very core of life itself. It was Wordsworth who declared that child is the father of man. One cannot say that absolute attention had been bestowed particularly on childhood and its development. …
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