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Child Labor During The Industrial Revolution

1885 words - 8 pages

Cotton production during the Industrial Revolution played an important role in English history. The revolution was brought on by the development of new technologies, which included the invention of machines capable of producing large amounts of cotton fabric. The resulting shift in cotton production from home to factory began in 1760 and was complete by about 1830. The industrialization of cotton production transformed England in many ways, including rapid urbanization and the introduction of children into the factory workforce. It can be argued the cotton industry would not have been so successful without the use of children; however the effects were detrimental to their well-being and ...view middle of the document...

To help this progression King Edward III invited Flemish artisans to England to teach local producers. The immigration of Flemish weavers introduced the cotton textile of fustian to the region. As a result, England entered the 16th Century as a major commercial power within Europe, leading to a number of changes within England’s textile industry.
Once cotton began to become increasingly important, a large number of mills were located in Lancashire. During the developmental phase of the revolution there were two main reasons why this location was ideal for the production of cotton textiles. Firstly, the area is known for its damp climate, which meant there were fewer breakages in the string. Secondly, the town is located by a number of fast moving streams, which served as a power supply for the mills in the early years of the revolution. In later years, Lancashire developed a number of auxiliary industries, which helped boost the cotton industry; such industries included coal, and machinery. These industries helped cut the cost of transporting cotton goods to Liverpool and Manchester.
Up until the 16th century, in home textile production in Lancashire served as a type of supplementary income for many farmers. However it was not long until this income became a staple for many households. By the early 1700s, merchant capitalist started to take over textile production and began hiring large numbers of workers. By the 1760s innovations within the industry saw the emergence of the water frame and spinning mule, forever changing textile production. Once these innovations were coupled with improved communication, cheap coal and canal construction, textile entrepreneurs began investing in large-scale factories.
The introduction of textile factories led to rapid urbanization, as people moved from the country to the cities in search of work. As populations increased in factory towns, so did the construction of cheaply made houses. Some of the worst conditions were found in lodging-houses; which were meant to serve as short term lodging for people or families when they first arrived. Many people who stayed in these houses ended up getting sick due to the poor air quality, lack of cleanliness and the poor conditions of the bedding.
The need to fill jobs in the factories saw the introduction of women and children into the factory workforce. The large number of labourers needed to run factories meant most people in factory towns lived in over-crowded conditions. In 1770, Manchester had some twenty-seven thousand residents, however by 1830 the city’s population had grown to one hundred eighty thousand. Most cities were not prepared for such growth and living conditions declined as a result. Clean water became a huge problem for most households. Open sewers and ineffective draining systems in Manchester led to cholera outbreaks in 1831 and again in 1848 killing hundreds of people. Diseases such as tuberculosis, typhus, typhoid and influenza began to...

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