conceptions of patriarchy, charity, and shared obHgation andrnCommon Law understandings of family and community governancerncould, and did, hold sway.rnLike so much else in our constitutional system, this iew ofrnthe family began to falter during the Jacksonian period. Thernfirst juvenile reformatory in the United States, the New YorkrnHouse of Refuge, opened its doors in 1825. With delegatedrnpolice powers allowing it to institutionalize children virtually atrnwill, the House of Refuge blurred distinctions between poor,rnneglected, and delinquent children. The needed legal underpinningrnfor a full-blooded reform school “movement”rncame from Pennsylvania. In 1839, that state’s Supreme Courtrnruled that the Philadelphia House of Refuge could incarceraterna girl over her parents’ objections and without formal legalrnproceedings. The Court based its decision on a new legalrnprinciple: parens patriae, or “the parenthood of the state.”rnUnder England’s chancery laws, parens patriae had allowedrnthe Crown to assume a parental role to protect the estates ofrnwealth orphans. But the PennsyKania Court expropriatedrnthe term to justify the termination of parental rights, reasoning:rn”Mav not the natural parents, when unequal to the task ofrneducation or unworthy of it, be supplanted by the parens patriae,rnor common guardianship of the community?”rnBuovcd by this denial of both the Common Law and thernnatural rights of parents, the Child Saving movement gainedrnmomentum. The Child Savers soon linked up with the buddingrnsocial work profession and the progressive spirit, and togetherrnthev all spawned the juxenile justice system. “Parentsrncould no longer shield themselves behind natural rights,” onernearly enthusiast said. Without a formal hearing or other considerationrnof due process, hundreds of thousands of Americanrnchildren would be seized by the Child Sa’ers and incarceratedrnin reform or “industrial” schools, all for “the welfare of thernchild,” a lone actor in an individualistic world.rnThe state courts soon elevated parens patriae into a doctrinernsuperior to any constitution, conferring sweeping powers. Asrnthe Illinois Supreme Court reasoned in 1882:rnIt is the unquestioned right and imperative duty of evcrvrnenlightened government, in its character of parensrnpatriae, to protect and provide for the comfort andrnwell-being of such of its citizens as, by reason of infancy,rndefective understanding, or other misfortune or infirmity,rnare unable to take care of themselves. The performancernof this duty is justly regarded as one of the mostrnimportant of governmental functions, and all constitutionalrnlimitations must be so understood and construedrnso as not to interfere with its proper and legitimate exercisern[emphasis added].rnSo energized, the concept quickly spread beyond the “childrnprotection” arena. The late 19th-century proponents ofrnmandatory state schooling, for example, ridiculed attentionrnto “the sacred rights and personal privileges” of parents. Courtrndecisions on mandatory attendance laws ruled that the principlernof parens patriae took precedence over the rights of parents.rnBut parens patriae demanded still more. Franklm D. Roosevelt’srnCommittee on Economic Security, in its 1935 report,rnrecommended creation of a comprehensive Social SecurityrnAct, to replace the support once offered b- “children, friends,rnand relatives.” Congress concurred. In its 1937 decisionrndeclaring the Social Security Act constitutional, the U. S.rnSupreme Court turned to the parental state ideal for justification:rn”The parens patriae has many reasons—fiscal and economicrnas well as social and moral—for planning to mitigaterndisasters that bring these burdens in their train.” Governmentrnhad an obligation to plan and care for its children.rnIndeed, the progressive spirit viewed the natural or biologicalrnfamily as the residue of another age. As a leading social historianrnfrom the period put it, “American history consummatesrnthe disappearance of the wider familism and the substitutionrnof the parentalism of society.” Prominent sociologists, such asrnWilliam Ogburn and Ernest Groves, documented the “deinstitutionalization”rnand “disorganization” of the family, as itrnpassed virtuall’ all of its function over to state and charitablernauthorities, experts better able to manage children and givernmeaning to adults. At Herbert Hoover’s 1930 White HousernConference on Children, one leading participant called forrnrecognition of an emerging new being: “Uncle Sam’s Child,”rnan entity “who belongs to the community almost as much asrnto the family,” a “new racial experiment,” and a citizen of “arnworld predestinedly moving toward unity.” These human experimentsrnin Utopian democracy had been liberated from therndisabling ties of the prescientific, predemocratic age and hadrnbecome malleable agents for the better world order to come.rnThe full impact of the Parenting State was delayed, though,rnby Depression and war, followed by the strangest of developmentsrn—”The 50’s.” For a remarkable 15 vears, 1946-rn1961, the Utopian dreams of social engineers for a “familialrnstate” were put on hold. Families appeared to grow strongerrnand more independent, as GIs and their brides poured into thernmushrooming Lcvittowns of what Henry Luce called “a newrnAmerica,” The divorce rate went down and the birthraternsoared, while the Child Savers beat a retreat. Sociologist TaleottrnParsons saw the baby boom and the sprawling new suburbsrnas signs of the “upgrading” of the American family. Thern”household engineer” bonded to “the organization man” in arn”companionate marriage” focused on “personality adjustment”rnbecame the new model, one celebrated and reinforcedrnbv Luce, Walt Disney, Ozzie Nelson, and other imagemakersrnfrom the era. Indeed, neoeonservative theory later elevatedrnthis time-dependent family system into the “traditional family”rnof modern lore, over which political battles in the 1990’srnarc still being fought.rnIn truth, the family system of the 50’s was fragile, transitory,rnand incapable of being reproduced. The peculiar psychologyrnand economics of postwar America, combined with distinctivernanticommunist and antistatist fervors, had checkedrnfor a time the ambitions of parens patriae. But its agents andrnsustaining laws were still in place. The Child Savers simply refocused,rnfor a decade or so, on “the scourge of juvenile delinquency,”rnwith James Dean unwittingly providing them withrnthe perfect cover. Rapid public school growth to accommodaternthe baby boomers preoccupied education officials, whilernSocial Security became a tame, and seemingly cheap, presencernin American life.rnThis halcyon age collapsed m the I960’s, though, as it hadrnto at some point, and the old trends and their parasitical “professions”rncame roaring back. Marriage rates tumbled whilerndivorce rates soared. Illegitimacy spread rapidly among whiternAmericans (it was ahead}’ common among blacks), while maritalrnfertility collapsed. The “sexual revolution” came out fromrnJANUARY 1993/13rnrnrn