In mid-17-century England, people were born into authority based on their social status. By the late 18th century, however, English and American law began to emphasize contractual relations based on informed consent. This work explores how the changing legal status of children illuminates the debates over consent and status in England and America.
HOLLY BREWER is associate professor of history at North Carolina State University.
Winner of James Willard Hurst Prize of the Law and Society Association 2006.