Teenagers- Then and Now

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Thesis: The lifestyle of a teenager in the Middle Ages was very different from the lifestyle of most modern American teenagers. Childhood ended early for children in the Middle Ages. In upper class families, girls married as young as 12 and boys as young as 14. They did not normally choose their own marriage partners. Their parents arranged their marriages for them. Children were expected to help the family earn a living as soon as they were able. A young person in the Middle Ages had fewer options for marriage, family, and personal privacy and freedom than do young adults today. At these ages in the middle ages people were married, working, fighting in wars, and they only lived to about 25 years old. Life was short and hard. Often the young couple may have never met; the marriage was to consolidate assets or the get a title, either to land or in the Court of the King. If a teenager in the present day were to have an arranged marriage from the age of 15, they would blow their gasket. Most teens do not have the respect for adult authorities the way they did in the Middle Ages. We’ve created a gap between childhood and adulthood in the 1940’s when the term “teenager” came about and the ideas that someone has no responsibility from age 13 to 18 is also modern. “The decade of the 1950s was to be considered the last innocence teenagers would ever experience. In some cases this proves to be true. I do think we still have genuine and well-behaved teens left even though there are not many to count upon. The society we live in today does not give the opportunity for kids to just be kids. Teens have too much pressure and are easily influenced. Paul Winspeare commented by saying, “I feel leaders of society don’t give motivation or care enough and it guides our youth to do the wrong things.” -‘Teenagers Then and Now’ The Commerce Wire
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