Yesterday’s Youth

Volume 333 of the Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte out now

March 06, 2023

In this volume, Stefan Ruppert uses the example of Prussia from 1800 to 1919 for his investigation into the concept of ‘youth’ from a legal historical perspective. He offers a reconstruction of the interaction between multiple laws and regulations, predominantly from the field of public law but also including civil law as an important frame of reference. Based on a wide range of sources (e.g. laws governing education and military service or prohibiting child labour, juvenile criminal law and electoral laws), the author shows how youth – as a category distinct from ‘childhood’ on the one hand and ‘working age’ on the other – was legally shaped and structured.

Stefan Ruppert’s post-doctoral thesis, supervised by Michael Stolleis, illustrates that any presentation of the legal history of youth requires a review of multiple areas: social and cultural history, industrialisation, constitutionalisation and the history of codification, Enlightenment and education. All these areas are put into context and relation with the development of a dedicated ‘youth law’. This volume should find a wide audience interested in how ‘youth’ as a distinct life stage was perceived in a legal context over the course of the long nineteenth century.

This is the ninth and final volume of the Lebensalter und Recht series of the Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte, which documents the results of the Research Group of the same name at our Institute.

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