HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Many American Revolutiona... » Reply #2

Response to KPN (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 01:57 PM

2. There was no such thing as "teen age" back then.

At 16 back then, one was expected to be at the same maturity and responsibility level as the modern 24 year old. A 16 year old could take over the family business. 10 and 12 year olds worked as apprentices to experienced craftsmen, and if they were children of wealth, were expected to be able to work or run the family estate by the time they were 16 or 17. Girls were expected to be able to run a household, including the household budget and negotiating with tradespeople for home repairs or household goods, if they couldn't do the work themselves.

In the late 1700's, it was not unheard of to see 18 year olds graduate from West Point and take command of units of older conscripts and experienced soldiers. Or go to 20 year old surgeons, engineers - or have a local alderman or representative who was only 24.

So, yes, the average revolutionary era citizen was expected to have the same experience and responsibilities as modern citizens currently are expected to have - at a 6 to 10 years younger age difference.

There's a reason why the age limit for elected politicians up to the presidency has always been relatively young. The expectation that a 37 year old could have the gravitas and experience to make an effective President of the United States if elected was not something to be considered unusual back then. That a younger man hadn't been elected back then didn't mean that a younger man wouldn't be considered. It just meant that even back then, political cliques, cronyism, and "I've waited long enough on the back bench, It's My Time, damn-it" (I'm looking at you, Henry Clay!) had taken over very early on during the development of this nation.

Nowadays, age 47 is still considered somewhat young for a senior politician or judge...but back then, it would have been considered a reasonable age for a respected and experienced senior politician on a national level.


Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
KPN Jul 2018 OP
NCTraveler Jul 2018 #1
peggysue2 Jul 2018 #4
KPN Jul 2018 #7
NCTraveler Jul 2018 #9
KPN Jul 2018 #10
LineNew Reply There was no such thing as "teen age" back then.
haele Jul 2018 #2
JI7 Jul 2018 #3
emulatorloo Jul 2018 #5
Scurrilous Jul 2018 #6
LanternWaste Jul 2018 #8
KPN Jul 2018 #11
Please login to view edit histories.