ChildHood In History - Victor Cuerdo

By vcuerdo
  • 1700 BCE

    1700-1800, Babylonian King

    1700-1800, Babylonian King
    In XVIII Century BC, the Babylonian King Hammurabi created The Code of Hammurabi, which was in force for a thousand and five hundred years throughout the empire. According to The Code of Hammurabi, people’s health, well-being and children were protected above proprietary rights. A person’s life was deemed to be less worthy if he did not have a few children. Kidnapping and exchanging children was harshly punished: “if one should steal another’s son, he shall be killed and buried without a ritual”
  • 539 BCE

    539, Babylonia

    539, Babylonia
    In Babylonian law, ‘disobedient children’ were very harshly punished: “If a son strikes his father, his hands shall be hewn off”. If an adopted child said to his adoptive father or mother: "You are not my father, or my mother," his tongue would be cut off.
    Taken from:
  • 387 BCE


    There is a lack of interest in the lives of children, which seems odd but since Plato it has been known that child-hood is a key to this understanding
  • Period: 387 BCE to 1 BCE

    Before the Christian Era

  • 235 BCE

    235, State of Rome

    235, State of Rome
    In the State of Rome, from the second to first century BC to around 235 AD, the paterfamilias, the oldest living males in the household, had complete control on their children. Only they could decide whether or not a child lived or died, was sold into slavery, or abandoned. Taken from:
  • Period: 2 to

    Common Era

  • 1104

    1104, Guibert of Nogent

    1104, Guibert of Nogent
    Writing in the twelfth century, considers his mother saintly because she put up with the crying of an infant she had adopted
  • 1230

    1230, Bartholomaeus Anglicus

    1230, Bartholomaeus Anglicus
    And for tenderness the limbs of the child may easily and soon bow and bend and take diverse shapes. And therefore children’s members and limbs are bound with lystes
  • Period: 1300 to 1500


  • 1400

    1400, Pedagogue

    1400, Pedagogue
    A renaissance pedagogue says you should tell the child when beating him, “you do the correction against your mind, compelled thereunto by conscience, and require them to put you no more unto such labour and pain
  • 1400

    1400, Breastfeeding

    1400, Breastfeeding
    Lower-class women breastfed their infants and used a wet nurse only if they were unable to feed their own infant. Attempts were made in 15th-century Europe to use cow or goat milk, but these attempts were not successful. In the 18th century, flour or cereal mixed with broth were introduced as substitutes for breastfeeding, but this was also unsuccessful. Improved infant formulas appeared in the mid-19th century, providing an alternative to wet nursing, and even breastfeeding itself.
  • 1487

    1487, Sprenger and Kramer

    1487, Sprenger and Kramer
    Church fathers declared that if a baby merely cried it was committing a sin.(40) Sprenger and Kramer, in their bible of witchhunting, Malleus Maleficarurn, contend that you can recognize changelings because they “always howl most piteously and even if four or five mothers are set on to suckle them, they never grow.”
  • Period: 1500 to


  • 1550

    1500-1600, Childhood in the United States

    1500-1600, Childhood in the United States
    Under English common law, children were considered their fathers' property, while women were considered that of their husbands. This persisted until the late 1800s. In the 16th and 17th centuries, colonists carried this tradition to the United States.
    Taken from:
  • 1600, William Sloan

    1600, William Sloan
    William Sloan feels compelled to add that “children, then as later, sometimes deserved whipping“
  • Period: to


  • 1676, Richard Allestree

    1676, Richard Allestree
    puts it, “the new-born babe is full of the stains and pollution of sin, which it inherits from our first parents through our loins . . “Baptism used to include actual exorcism of the Devil, and the belief that the child who cried at his christening was letting out the Devil long survived the formal omission of exorcism in the Reformation.
  • Period: to


  • 1739, The boy Nicolas

    1739, The boy Nicolas
    The boy, Nicolas, is four years old. His grandfather, who has been rather attentive to him the past few days, decides he has to “test” him, and says, “Nicolas, my son, you have many faults, and these grieve your mother. She is my daughter and has always obliged me; obey me too, or I will whip you like a dog which is being trained.” Nicolas, angry at the betrayal “from one who has been so kind to me,” throws his toys into the fire. The grandfather seems pleased.
  • 1762, Rousseau

    1762, Rousseau
    The child is good by nature. He´s born that way and it´s society that perverts the good behavior of the child.In contrast to the medieval perspective of the child as homunculus, hemaintains that he is a being with his own characteristics and summarizes these ideas in the phrase: The small of man is not simply a small man. For Rousseau, education must be compulsory and must include women.
  • 1800, Childhood becomes a topic of study

    1800, Childhood becomes a topic of study
    the study of childhood has become routine for the psychologist, the sociologist, and the anthropologist. It is only beginning for the historian
  • Period: to


  • 1801, Polish Jew teaching in the nineteenth century

    1801, Polish Jew teaching in the nineteenth century
    He derived an intense joy from the agonies of the little victim trembling and shivering on the bench. And he used to administer the whippings coldly, slowly, deliberately . . . he asked the boy to let down his clothes, lie across the bench . . . and pitched in with the leathern thongs In every person there is a Good Spirit and an Evil Spirit. The Good Spirit has its own dwelling-place-which is the head, So has the Evil Spirit-and that is the place where you get the whipping.”
  • 1802, Supernatural and Mysticism

    1802, Supernatural and Mysticism
    Taking more extreme measures to control children who were growing up and outgrown, adults created scary methods such as witches, demons and countless ghosts that would prevent the "bad" behavior of children. Although in ancient times it is said that
    this method was also used, it is suggested that it took more strength in the nineteenth century
  • 1830, An American father

    1830, An American father
    tells of horsewhipping his four-year-old boy for not being able to read something. The child is tied up naked in the cellar:With him in this condition, and myself, the wife of my bosom, and the lady of my family, all of us in distress, and with hearts sinking within us, I commenced using the rod . .During this most unpleasant, self denying and disagreeable work, I made frequent stops, commanding and trying to persuade, silencing excuses, answering objection
  • 1850, Freud to nowadays

    1850, Freud to nowadays
    Child relations for social change was hardly discovered by Freud; Since Freud, of course, our view of childhood has acquired a new dimension,
  • 1888-1960 James Bossard

    1888-1960 James Bossard
    As the family sociologist James Bossard puts it: “Unfortunately, the history of childhood has never been written, and there is some doubt whether it ever can be written [because] of the dearth of historical data bearing on childhood.”
  • Period: to


  • 1901, father's blame

    1901, father's blame
    The father blames the accident on him having worked on a holy day. The point is not only that it was common to leave little children alone right up to the twentieth century. More important is that parents cannot be concerned with preventing accidents if guilt is absent because it is the adult’s own projections that they feel have been punished.
  • 1906, Britain Child Study Association

    1906, Britain Child Study Association
    In the iniciatives of merge between associations in Britain, the Child Study Society (Hendrick, 1994). was stablished. This immediately launched a journal, The Paidologist. During the Edwardian period in 1907 these initiatives show the origins of child psychology in modern Britain. Many of the early leaders in the child psychology movement were members of one or other of these organizations. Taken from:
  • 1916, George Payne

    1916, George Payne
    The Child in Human Progress, G. Rattray Taylor’s The Angel Makers, David Hunt’s Parents and Children in History, and J. Louise Despert’s The Emotionally Disturbed Child-Then and Now. Payne, writing in 1916, was the first to examine the wide extent of infanticide and brutality toward children in the past, particularly in antiquity.
  • 1924, United States child selling

    1924, United States child selling
    Georgia Tann, of Memphis, Tennessee, was employed by the Tennessee Children's Home Society. According to reporter Barbara Bisantz Raymond, Tann, in 1924–1950, stole many children and sold 5,000 children, most or all of them white. The children were adopted by families in exchange for substantial fees.
    Taken from:
  • 1914-1984, Philippe Aries’s book

    1914-1984,  Philippe Aries’s book
    book Centuries of Childhood is probably the best known; one historian notes the frequency with which it is “cited as Holy Writ. ” he argues that while the traditional child was happy because he was free to mix with many classes and ages, a special condition known as childhood was “invented” in the early modern period, resulting in a tyrannical concept of the family which destroyed friendship and sociability and deprived children of freedom, inflicting upon them for the first time the birch
  • 1952

    When Philippe Aries comes up with so much evidence of open sexual molesting of children that he admits that “playing with children’s privy parts formed part of a widespread tradition,” he goes on to describe a “traditional” scene where a stranger throws himself on a little boy while riding in a train, “his hand brutally rummaging inside the child’s fly,
  • 1963, Alan Valentine discovery

    1963, Alan Valentine discovery
    When, for instance, Alan Valentine examines 600 years of letters from fathers to sons, and of 126 fathers is unable to find one who isn’t insensitive, moralistic, and thoroughly self-centered, he concludes:Doubtless an infinite number of fathers have written to their sons letters that would warm and lift our hearts, if we only could find them. . The happiest fathers leave no history, and it is the men who are not at their best with their children
  • 1965, J. Louise Despert's The Emotionally Disturbed Child-Then and Now

    1965, J. Louise Despert's The Emotionally Disturbed Child-Then and Now
    This book poses the psychiatric comparison of child abuse in the past and present examines the range of emotional attitudes towards children from antiquity, expressing their growing horror as it uncovers a story of incessant "heartlessness and cruelty"
  • 1970, David Hunt

    1970, David Hunt
    Thisbook focuses primarily on the unique 17th century document, Heroard's diary of Louis XIII's childhood, but does so with great psychological sensitivity and awareness of the psychohistorical implications of his findings
  • 1915-2001, Peter Laslett

    1915-2001, Peter Laslett
    When Peter Laslett finds parents regularly sending their children, at age seven, to other homes as servants, while taking in other children to serve them, he says it was actually kindness, for it “shows that parents may have been unwilling to submit children of their own to the discipline of work at home.”
  • 1989, United Nations

    1989, United Nations
    On 20 November 1989, the United Nations General Assembly, comprising delegates representing a widespectrum of legal systems, cultures and religious traditions, unanimously adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Ratified by almost the entire international community, the CRC is widely regarded as the most important advocacy tool for children’s rights globally.
    Taken from:
  • Period: to


  • 2004, Kehily

    2004, Kehily
    In modern society childhood is seen as a particular period of life that human beings have to undergo. It is separate from the other periods of life and has some special needs that must be fulfilled. Modern society has designed codes of ethics and laws that deal with this period of life (Kehily, 1004: p.4).