1. Why was there such widespread use of children in the mines and factories?
2. What affect did investigations of child labor have on industry?
3. What labor reforms came out of these investigations?
The Second Industrial Revolution (1840-1900)
Touro University International
Professor Dr. Amarjit Gill
Module 1 (Case Assignment)
During the industrial revolution many factories and mines did everything they could to exploit women and children by having them work in less than desirable conditions. Women and child labor was used for many years in many different industrial positions that would normally only be worked by men. The reason for this use was due to the fact of the companies could find more women and children that they could basically force into working the jobs that no one else would want to work, for little if not no money at all. Another reason was because of the abundance of women and children available to be used to fill the positions. Women and children were sometimes sold into “slavery” if you will, and forced to live in the factories or very close to them, possibly even in compounds that surrounded the factories and mines, and were not allowed to leave the confines of their work areas until their time was worked off. Many of these people were sold by their parents at an early age, even at 6 years of age these kids were being sold off for couple of dollars for a six year contract basically… so at the age of 6 these kids were basically being sold into slavery by their parents for a few dollars, and then by the time that they completed the 6 years or more that they were enslaved for they were basically released, but as many of them only knew the life of working in the mils and mines many of them remained.
Some of the reason parents sent their children to work in the substandard condition without what seemed like any care, was because they themselves had worked in the same conditions when they were younger, and expected their children to do the same. Some of these parents did not even bother to find work while their children were working in these harsh environments, they just lived off of the money their kids made for working many 12+hr shifts, basically leaving the kids to have nothing out of all of the hard work that they did each day, except for maybe a meal or two.. if they were even given that chance. The term "child labor" generally refers to children who work to produce a good or a service which can be sold for money in the marketplace regardless of whether or not they are paid for their work. During the times that these children were at work they would be constantly beaten severely for doing nothing more than slowing in their work, and not being able to produce the quantity or the quality that the “master” wanted and expected. Although movements to abolish slavery started in the early 1800’s, in Great Britain, slavery remained quite active especially by the slavery of women and children for many more years to come and it wasn’t until 1833 that work to make the working conditions of these enslaved children and women better began.
Not only was it the savings in money for pay that they companies used women and children in the mils and mines, as it was that there were more women and children available that they could exploit then there were men at the time. Children will do anything they are told to do, and not usually fight it or ask any questions. They could have more children working in substandard conditions. These workers were forced to put in over 70 hrs in a week, even once machines and motors were used to create more of a mass production of the products. These machines allowed more to be produced and with a better quality than when it was done before by...