Cover: The Rights of Youth: American Colleges and Student Revolt, 1798–1815, from Harvard University PressCover: The Rights of Youth in E-DITION

The Rights of Youth

American Colleges and Student Revolt, 1798–1815

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674429253

Publication Date: 01/01/1977

218 pages

World

Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

The first major student revolt in American colleges came at the turn of the nineteenth century in unprecedented riots and rebellions. Though on a small scale in contrast to the campus turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s, in many ways it was equally significant. Yet its history has never been written. In this book, Steven Novak presents a history of rebellious Sons of the Founders as a lost generation. Born too late for the Revolution and too early for the Civil War, the scions of great families in America engaged in surrogate political activity.

Why did upper-class, Federalist, and socially conservative students become rioters? Novak argues that they were politicized by their Federalist fathers and wanted to outdo their elders in nationalistic and chauvinistic acts. The Sons of the Founders were also a displaced elite and their rioting was a manifestation of their frustration in life. At the time, however, resistance was attributed to Jacobinism and freethinking, and colleges adopted a new disciplinary tool—the blacklist—that effectively suppressed the rioting. Rebellions continued, but more as an adolescent rite than as a practical means of achieving power.

In addition to important findings on the causes of rioting, Novak offers acute observations about the part rebellion played in defining the old-time college. In the 1780s and 1790s American educators were devising a republican education adapted to the principles and needs of the new nation. Student revolt was the undoing of experimental and Jeffersonian programs. Professors reemphasized the classics as a counter to radicalism and unrest. Novak also shows that the downfall of republican education coincided with the rise of the evangelical movement in the colleges, leading to a struggle for control of the colleges of national significance.

Although it had antecedents in the seventeenth century, Novak shows that the classical, evangelical, paternalistic old-time college as an American institution was a peculiar product of the backlash against modern philosophy and student revolt at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene