Back in "the old days" adolescents were viewed more as inexperienced adults than as old children. They were expected to start to learn how to fit into adult society rather than isolate themselves purely into peer groups.
Pretty sure though that adolescents always acted out and did stupid stuff, and although examples escape me at the moment I am pretty sure that there have been other periods of general teenage rebelliousness throughout history. Although I do believe the post is right that it is not common. General teenage stupid stuff was attributed to inexperience rather than rebelliousness.