The American Daniel O’Connell: State Regulation of Children and the Boundaries of Citizenship in the Long Progressive Era
This paper will use this case as a flash point to consider how Progressive reforms, including compulsory schooling laws, reframed the power of the state and challenged the traditional powers of parents. The paper will explore how the central debates of the Progressive Era, about the moral obligations of the state, labor exploitation, the role of women in politics, and problems with centralized power, played out over the bodies of children. Placing Daniel O’Connell’s story at the center, it will consider how children experienced these new forms of state regulation and question what it meant for children to be extended or denied liberal subjecthood in an age of emancipation.
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