** English boys play -- chronological trends 19th century decade trends

English Outdoor Play: Chronological 19th Century Decade Trends

Figure 1.-- This William Morris Grundy photograph shows a group of rural English boys in 1855. The caption read, "Boys being boys - climbing about in the old tree (a Gary Oak)."

There was seismic shift in attitudes toward play during the 19th century. In the 18th centyury, play was seen as a wasteful use of time. This began to chnge during the 19th century with greater understanding that childhood was a destinct period of human development. Parents began to understand that children were not just small adults, but had their own desinctive needs. This idea emerged in the 18th cenury, but only began to be adopted in the 19th century. This is also when we begin to see children wearing destinctve juvenile clothing styles and not just cut down versions of their parents clothing. At the same time, huge changes were taking place in English society that also affected play. The Industrial Revolution began in England (mid-18th century). This acceleration a range of changes including economomic and demographic. Industry began to expand and the urbanization increased. We begin to see the growth of the middle-class. This is important because play was sifgnificntly affcted by social class. Working-class boys began to work at a very young age. There was a narrow window for play. Even if the parents did not object to play, they usually needed what ever income the children could bring into the family. The Victorian middle-class was different they more readily afopted the idea of play as positive behavior and showeered their children with toys to incourage play, commonly gender specific toys. Another factor was education. England lagged behind America and Germany in free public education. Charities and churches founded schools, but England only began to create a national school system until late in the century (1870). This all affected many play activities.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main English outdoor play 19th century chronological page]
[Return to the Main English outdoor play chronological page]
[Return to the Main English outdoor play page]
[Return to the Main country bicycle page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossary] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: 1:56 AM 3/10/2022
Last updated: 1:56 AM 3/10/2022