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The Children of the American Revolution, founded in 1895 by Harriett M. Lothrop, was part of a fin-de-siècle surge in the growth of hereditary organizations, most of which took up a staunchly nationalist position as legitimate guardians of American tradition. But even within these parameters, children asserted their will. Using a definition of children’s agency that includes both resistance and compliance, I argue that children of the CAR found it in their interest to adopt the privileges and practices of the hereditary patriotic organization but to carve out a youth culture within those parameters. They shaped the organization’s activities to suit their own interests in the American past.