Essay Child Labor During The Industrial Revolution
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During the 18 and beginning of the 19th century in certain regions of the U.S child labor made up more than 40 percent of the population (Wolensky). That’s almost half of the working population. Since the beginning of time children have always been known to help their families with domestic tasks. Most of these kids worked in factories because they were easy to control and paid less than adults. Kids earned less than half of what adults made in the work force. In these factories they usually cleaned under and inside machines while functioning because of their small size.. That’s how these kids felt as it was described in a article in our history book. They were always in danger of getting hurt or even dying, which many did. Kids as young…show more content…
This quote I found from an online article explains what kids went through during this harsh time. It almost sounds like they were slaves by how low they were getting paid. Most of us have never even heard of kids working late at nights doing jobs that today no one can possibly do because they have been replaced with machines from the dangers they carry. Children worked some of the most dangerous factory jobs that existed and they didn’t by choice. They had no choice but to work because either their family was poor or they were orphans. Children most of the time worked in mines, glass factories, textiles, canaries, and home industries. A lot of these industries are filled with dangers that can easily kill them. In this quote “Children as young as six years old during the industrial revolution worked hard hours for little or no pay” (Child labor in factories). A good number of these kids were harassed and mistreated by the factory bosses. If children didn’t arrive on time to work, they would have to be punished by the factory bosses. The punishment was that the children would have to sprint up and down the factory aisle until they were completely drained out of energy and they had to do this nude carrying a backpack full of heavy objects. This caused a lot of children to develop
Child Labor in the USA (1890-1920) essay
The child labor became one of the most challenging problems in the US by the late 19th – early 20th century. The wide employment of children in the US was driven by the rapid industrialization but the employment of children in the industrial production had a negative impact on their health and deteriorated the public health in the US. The need of the child labor reform became obvious. Therefore, the child labor was widely-applied in the late 19th century but steadily the child labor reform emerged to put the end to unbearable conditions of work of children in American factories and other companies.
The child labor was a common practice in the late 19th century in the US. The major drivers of the wide use of the child labor in the US were the low costs of the child labor force and wide introduction of machinery that decreased the role of the physical power of employees. The low costs of the child labor became attractive for employers, who wanted to save costs of the labor force and started to employ women and children to replace male workers (What Kinds of Work Did People Do in Industrial America). In addition, the introduction of machinery and new equipment allowed replacing the male labor by child labor because the physical force of men was not needed anymore (What Kinds of Work Did People Do in Industrial America). Instead, children could perform the same job. Hence, being as productive and less costly then male employees, child workers became more attractive for employers.
At the same time, the child labor was still different from the labor of male workers. To put it more precisely, children still could not perform as much work as male workers did. Nevertheless, children wages were so low that the employment of the larger number of children was still cheaper for employers than the employment of a larger number of male workers.
On the other hand, the employment of children raised the problem of unbearable conditions of work of children were unbearable. Employers were unaware and just indifferent to conditions of work of children because, if some children left their workplace or died, they could easily employ others because of the high supply of the labor force in the labor market. In such a way, employers did not care about conditions of work of children because they did not affect the productivity of their work and financial performance of factories and other companies employing children. In addition, there was no legislation that regulated the child labor or imposed some liabilities on employers concerning safety or conditions of work for children.
However, conditions of work for adult, male employees did not match children’s physiological and psychological needs (Perera, 2014, 1863). Children could not afford working in the same conditions as adult male employees did because they were in the course of their physical development and the work in factories and other companies was exhausting and extremely stressful. As a result, children suffered from the negative impact on their physical health and psychological development. Conditions of work were unbearable for children that resulted in the development of chronic illnesses and considerable health problems in children. In this regard, the mortality rate among children and younger population had started to grow consistently along with the progress of industrialization and the growing number of children employees working in the US industrial production. For example, the mortality rate among children under the age of 5 had reached 52% level.
The drastic deterioration of the health and longevity among children in the US raised the public concern about the negative impact of employees’ employment in the industrial production of the US. In response to unbearable conditions of work and related health issues, including the high mortality rate among children, the public and policy makers had started to develop the child labor reform in the early progressive era, in the late 19th century – early 20th century. The reform aimed at the reduction or even total ban of the child labor to secure children and maintain their normal development. In fact, the public opposed to the wide employment of children and the public negative attitude to the child labor was widely-supported by the government and legislators because the child labor had a negative impact on the public health. The deterioration of the public health had a negative impact on the economic development of the US. Therefore, the US society and policy makers came to the point, when the child labor reform became inevitable and first steps toward the ban of the child labor were finally undertaken and eventually put the end to the child labor in the US.
Thus, the child labor was damaging for children and society. The US could not afford the child labor because it undermined the economic and social development of the US. The negative impact of the industrial production on children’s health made the child labor reform essential for the US.