Youth Culture and the Valorization of Settler Colonialism
Thus the juvenile periodical Boys of the Empire presented didactic adventure stories so that, in the editor’s words, Britain’s youth might “make themselves in all respects worthy […] as sons of the Empire.” Australian children received similar exhortation about the necessity of civilization’s expansion—the aboriginal’s eradication and “the spread of the master nation”—while U.S. kids read books from the multivolume Frontier Series, which encouraged American youth to extol “those brave men and women who drove out the savage from the Great West, and laid the foundations of that mighty empire, of which we Americans of to-day are so justly proud.” Expansionist foreign policy, authors and ideologues knew, could not be perpetuated without efforts to inculcate a sense of imperial-mindedness among those who would one day find themselves responsible for maintaining the settlement projects previous generations had worked to erect. Yet the transfer of ideas is never so simple as the rote acceptance, among young people, of what they have been urged to understand. Thus this paper will also investigate creative spaces opened up by youth culture where children sometimes challenged that which was presented to them as orthodoxy.
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