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Constitutional Law

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Rights

2005

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Between Dependency And Liberty: The Conundrum Of Children’S Rights In The Gilded Age, David S. Tanenhaus Jan 2005

Between Dependency And Liberty: The Conundrum Of Children’S Rights In The Gilded Age, David S. Tanenhaus

Scholarly Works

Although legal scholars often assume that the history of children's rights in the United States did not begin until the mid twentieth century, this essay argues that a sophisticated conception of children's rights existed a century earlier, and analyzes how lawmakers articulated it through their attempts to define the rights of dependent children. How to handle their cases raised fundamental questions about whether children were autonomous beings or the property of either their parents and/or the state. And, if the latter, what were the limits of parental authority and/or the power of the state acting as ...