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The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager

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    Teenagers are more than capable of achieving great tasks in the future as well as causing great destruction with every skill stapled in their mind as they grow. Good and evil will determine the effects of which path a young mind its taught so that’s why parents must educated well with good intensions for a better future. The age of a teenager shows history how it transformed the world including the United States by family values, the high school, and dangerous adolescences etc.

    What teenagers did was start a fashion changing the world and its rules, becoming rebellious toward their parents values for example pregnancy acured after a marriage but that is not the case anymore for young Americans today. Today sexuality is expressed more than ever with young American by their clothes, attitudes, and way of thinking. Media can be the cause of all this you might say but, before the 1950s even before the 1900s being a rebel toward every rule of tradition was broken making the term teenagers rise.

    There is nothing fictional about how adolescences made their mark on history proving American society accepting the way of young adults. `The young American teenager wasn’t created in a decade; it took about two and a half centuries for the description of adolescence as idealistic, crude, energetic, innocent, and greedy. Benjamin Franklin a inventor in the late 19 century came about and discovered how to turn on a light bulb, but he also came from a generation of apprentices learning specific skills from their masters about life styles and education from Great Britain.

    In the late 1700s young adolescence mostly males were send to Europe as apprentices to other family households to improve their writing and reading skills as America grew. Benjamin was a runaway apprentice that disagreed with his master’s teachings rebelling and becoming the most recognized man in Philadelphia. He has been the leading founder of libraries, postal services, a hospital, fire protection, insurance, education, etc. it just shows how one young adult didn’t agree with his masters opinion in education and rebelled making an enormous change in the world.

    There are many cultures in this world, thousands of years old which a child is educated by his parents. Back when America was discovered by Colombia’s and the 13 colonies were later established, a term like apprentice was used as the term teenagers are used today. Children depended on their parents but in these times back when many immigrants fled to America vise versa was the case to find work in order for the family to succeed. Children and young adults would work for other families or business as servants’ example caring for animals, gardening, spinning, candle-making, and preparing food.

    Even school was different because a twelve year old would attend classes with a twenty year old and received the same education. Apprenticeship was the knowledge to show young teens to specialize in a certain work learning the skills from there master. The Boston English High School opened in 1821 being the first high school in the world. But its fame didn’t reach to all adolescence for the reason being work was more important to families in the Unites States because survival was considered education importance at the time.

    Children then started to realize that the power of education was in their favor with high school, making adolescence highly more intelligent than adults. High school started to receive more young adults and hired more teachers starting a new revolution of children to educate skills for the future. The Age of the teenager was then starting to be formed because of high school and what some Americans call dangerous adolescence. Before the great depression as the roaring twenties road by with the creation of dating, new music like jazzed, and automobiles, teens conquered these ideas and were considered dangerous or abnormal.

    The depression caused chaos with the rise of the teenager making dances have a price whenever a man wanted to dance with a woman, she’ll charge him. As the depression continued with world war two entering the history books teenagers ended up as dead end kids. Young adults were not the main focus as they were in the 1920s, their fame didn’t matter to the population with fancy clothing and swinging dances. The American teenagers had a shutdown a collapse facing a stormy depression in other words the fall. Teenagers don’t follow rules but what is shown to them as ntertaining in which this case man’s best friend the television hypnotized many teens with media. Movie stars like Rooney, Garland, Durbin, and Elizabeth Taylor created films (“The Courtship of Andy Hardy,” “The Boys Town”) inspired youths to act as visible characters shown by important Stars. Media grabbed hold of young minds teaching them that owning a car and specific cloth made you stand out from the rest. Adolescence grow up in a phase were psychologist Daniel Offer tells that adults and teenagers have problems. Daniel describes teenagers a painful, stormy, yet precious and curial passage in one’s life which everyone goes through.

    Erik Erikson, psychoanalytic describes the adolescence phase as “Teenagers integrating with their skills, their knowledge and judgment. ” The rise and fall of the teenager has cooped how American civilization became known from decade to decade making the last three centuries interesting. As author Thomas Hine addressed the teenager with the inventions of cultures and their theme, with thirteen to nineteen year olds passing the torches from generations revising their times. What Hines explains about adolescence is the future has no purpose without them as the social change of tradition.

    The social message that Thomas Hines wanted to show is how youth America came to be accepted with changing the backgrounds with rebellious terms against their parents, working as apprentices and then joining the creation of the high school, and lastly creating new society like the influential media. You can accept the idea that Hines revues an extraordinary story that takes place in evolution of children becoming adults. The teenage mystique can be confusing because their attitudes are either aggressive or sensitively expressed as they part with nature growing up.

    A girl eighteen years of age from Fork River New Jersey gives birth to her baby boy in a high school prom in one of the girl’s restroom who decides to kill her baby by placing it in a plastic bag in the dumpster outside of the high school. She then returns to her prom and starts to dance with her friends like nothing ever happened. Loss of innocence is the generic theme when this incident acured with simple careless actions toward a young new mother teenager horrifically kills her new born. She states before a jury in he court that she thought the baby was born dead; still she is sentence to 15 years in jail with man slaughter. Youth America in the 19th century had a better chance of education then their parents who had migrated from European countries. Bohemian parents who tell their kids how they knew nothing (English, read and write) and how children would learn everything because of school was an example of hate.

    At times children would be employed highly then adults making anger tension between families like an Italian mother quoted “Now that you have become Americanized, you understand everything and I understand nothing. (126). Teenagers can’t be judge to be simple because there not, it’s a hard time when you’re considered youth American. History has many chapters which conclude the rise of the teenage world making young culture evolution bring new ideas. Everything that acured in the past with discovering high school in the 19th century for education, the media hypnotizing teens to dress a certain style like rock n roll singer sensation Elvis Presley who also was a rebellious adolescence.

    And who can’t forget the bad boys who broke the rules when the Jazz age began mixing sexy into dances and dresses which cause women like Marilyn Monroe to sky rocket into fashion fame showing more skin. I guarantee reading this book because it can help understand the passion of being a teenager.


    1. 1350 Avenue of the Americas New York, New York 10019 Copyright 1999 by Thomas Hine Interior design by Kellan Peck ISBN: 0-380-97358-8 Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data: Hine, Thomas, 1947- The rise and fall of the American teenager / Thomas Hine 1st Ed.

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