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The Industrial Revolution and Child Labor

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     The Industrial Revolution and Child...

   The industrial revolution began in the mid-eighteenth century, in 1760.
   It was a huge revolution that transformed the agriculture and
   handicraft-based economies into mechanized manufacturing, large-scale
   industrial production, and factory-based economies. The advancement and
   development of technology made the existing factories all around the
   world more efficient and gave rise to new brands and factories. Brand
   new machinery was made, reducing manual handling of goods and
   increasing man-power to operate these machines.

   The industrial revolution caused many families from the countryside to
   migrate to the cities to look for work, as everything was slowly
   shifting from manual labor to automated machines. Due to these families
   immigrating to the cities, the living conditions were abhorrent. The
   cities and towns were overcrowded with poor sanitation, pollution, and
   diseases were spreading faster. The workers had low wages that barely
   satisfied their essential and basic needs. Subsequently, these families
   depended on their children for extra income.

   During this time, as business was booming, some factories couldn't
   afford to employ adult workers that required high pay. As a result,
   they turned to children. Children under the age of 14 years were
   employed to work at textile factories and coal mines in horrible
   conditions with low wages. The factories were contained, and very
   cramped. Intermittently, the factories were constructed without windows
   or good ventilation, causing the temperature of the factories to
   increase drastically. These conditions severely impacted the worker's
   physical and mental health.

   There were many reasons why children were employed to work in the
   factories. As aforementioned, one of the main reasons was the
   significant difference in pay. Estimates show that children made 10-20%
   of what adults made doing the same work. Thus, the owners saved money.
   Second, children were generally more obedient and accepting of
   punishment than adults, so they were easier to control as well, whereas
   an adult would retaliate.

   Third, children were hired because they were small and could fit into
   tiny spaces. This was useful especially for the new mechanized
   factories built in the late 18th century. For instance, textile mills
   had machines that spun thread at great speeds. The children's nimble
   fingers were optimal for unclogging these machines, making them a
   crucial part of the production process.

   These machines were incredibly dangerous, especially for little
   children to operate. At times these machines were left unguarded, which
   was a great risk to the children working in the factories. Sometimes,
   the children weren't tall enough to operate the machines safely and had
   to stand on top of the machines to reach the spindles. Furthermore, the
   owners of the factories gave these children ill-fitting clothing which
   was meant

   for adults. This was a huge risk to the safety of the children because
   it was very much possible for the clothing to get stuck in the various
   gears of the machine. Unfortunate children have also died because of

   Injuries were very common while working with these machines. The
   aforementioned machines in textile mills that spun thread at high
   speeds were very dangerous and could harm the children's fingers. Due
   to this, they had to be very careful and cautious while unclogging
   them. There have been many times where a child has lost a finger or
   Industrial Revolutions of the 18th & 19th Centuries

   In the 19th century, people came to their senses and fought against
   child labor. Unions were formed to prevent factories from employing
   children under the age of 14, and children above 14 were required to
   have an official contract in order to work. Factory owners went so far
   as to try and stop these unions by paying union leaders and hiring
   trusted workers.

   Finally, two important pieces of legislation were passed against child
   labor- the Factory Act (1833) and the Mines Act (1842). These acts
   prevented the employment of children younger than 9 years of age and
   limited the number of hours these children could work.

   In conclusion, the industrial revolution was a great revolution that
   helped in the development of cities and the advancement of technology
   all around the world. Although, due to the change from manual labour to
   automated machines, families had to find jobs, and relied on their
   children for extra income. The children worked in factories and toiled
   in harsh conditions that drastically impacted their physical, mental,
   and emotional health. Laws and acts were later passed to abolish child
   labour, which restricted child labour and ensured that they were in a
   healthy and safe environment.


   "Lewis Hine - Google Search.", 2017,
   57j46i10j0i10l7.81 97j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8. Accessed 21 Mar.

   "When Did the Industrial Revolution Start - Google Search.",
   eid=chrome&i e=UTF-8. Accessed 21 Mar. 2021.

   "Industrial Revolution | Defnition, History, Dates, Summary, & Facts |
   Britannica." Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2021, Accessed 21 Mar. 2021.

   "Age of Reform Flashcards | Quizlet." Quizlet, 2021, Accessed 21 Mar. 2021.

   "Working Conditions in the Industrial Revolution." History Crunch -
   History Articles, Summaries, Biographies, Resources and More, 2016,
   Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial
   Team), "The Industrial Revolution and Child Labor," in
   SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,

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Author: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)

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