Overview of Doing History through Children
History TOPIC ID 27
Young people were involved in all the crucial episodes of American history: They sailed with Columbus; served as go-betweens for English colonists and Indians; toiled as indentured servants; were kidnapped into slavery; fought in the Revolution and the Civil War; labored in coal mines and factories; and stood at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement. Many young people recorded their experiences in diaries, personal letters, and memoirs.
The lives of the young provide a valuable window into many of the most important themes in American history, including colonization, slavery, westward expansion, industrialization, urbanization, immigration, the growth of government, and the impact of war on American society.
Their lives also provide insight into other topics that are too often ignored, such as the experience of indentured servitude and apprenticeship, schooling in the past, the growth of age consciousness in American society, and the emergence of distinct youth cultures.