What Medieval Europe Did With Its Teenagers


This article, “What Medieval Europe Did With Its Teenagers” was posted on BBC news by William Kremer. It basically summarizes the apprenticeship system that was in place following the Black Plague in Europe in 1300– due to the disease that wiped out more than half of the working population, teenagers (and sometimes children as young as seven) provided cheap labor. Additionally, parents could send their children off and save money by taking in other children and feed them less.

What I personally found interesting about this article is the relatable qualities the medieval teenagers have to modern day teenagers. Boys had trouble policing their own sexuality, and many had contracts that would double the amount of time spent in apprenticeship if they were found participating in sexual behavior. Additionally, children in France, Germany, and Switzerland who disbanded their apprenticeships would form gangs known as the “abbeys of misrule” and rebel.

Overall, this article made medieval times incredibly interesting and relatable and I would recommend it– a great read!

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