This book explores the early modern origin of our ideas about children’s political status and the implications of different conceptions for children’s rights, their education, and their welfare.

Chapter Outline:

Introduction. Children in politics and in political theory

Part I: Children or Citizens

Chapter 1. Locke and the invention of the apolitical child

Chapter 2. Montesquieu on the costs of the hyperpolitical child

Chapter 3. Rousseau’s dilemma: children or citizens?

Part II: Children as Citizens

Chapter 4. Smith and Condorcet on child labor and educational reforms

Chapter 5. Wollstonecraft’s vindication of the rights of girls

Chapter 6. Radical egalitarians on orphans, bastards, and other vulnerable children

Conclusion. Children as 21st Century Citizens