978-0-521-35038-9 / 9780521350389

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About the book:

The central theme of this book is the changing experience of childhood among the peasants and working classes of nineteenth-century France. Manual work and informal methods of education in the local community became less prominent at this stage of life, whilst the primary school loomed increasingly large. The first section of the book considers childhood in rural society; the second examines the impact of industrial development on the lives of working-class children; and the third traces the child labour legislation of 1841 and 1874. The purposes of the work are to understand why the practice of child labour, considered entirely acceptable in the early nineteenth century, became an issue for reform from the 1830s, and also to assess the strategies adopted by the French State for curbing abuses. Its significance lies in its original synthesis of material on child labour, apprenticeship and education, drawing on a broad range of primary sources as well as the existing literature in related fields of study.

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