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Child Labor In The Textile Industry In The Early Nineteenth Century

1601 words - 6 pages

Child Labor in the Textile Industry in the Early Nineteenth Century

In article C the use of language and style indicate its origins as an
official document in many ways. In the title it states that it is an
'act', this is a term used for a legislative law that has been passed
by parliamentary. Further confirmation of this can be found by the use
of the words 'regulation', (control by rule) and 'enacted', (a law),
and in the final sentence it states that this is 'law'. The style of
writing is Old English and very formal this also indicates that it is
an official document. It is addressed to the 'Masters' who were the
owners of the cotton mills and factories and informed, them that they
would be 'fined' if they broke the 'law'. In 1819, the date of the
article, it would only have been the government that would have had
the power to enforce such a regulation and punishment for
non-compliance, confirming that this document would have originated
from an official source.

Each of the sources in A and B provide different views and
perspectives on children working in factories. The extracts were taken
from evidence given before a Select Committee in 1816 and a debate in
the House of Commons on the Factory Bill in 1818. This act was
concerned with the health of young people employed in the cotton mills
and factories and whether legislation was necessary for the protection
of those children. The extracts given confirm that the people
concerned all agreed on the necessity of children to work in the
factories. They did however disagree on many other issues including
whether the young age of the children and the number of hours worked
affected their health or if greater importance should be given to the
actual industry and free trade.

Robert Owen and Sir Robert Peel Senior agreed that the number of hours
young children were working in factories was causing health problems
and therefore a reduction in working hours was necessary for the
protection of children. The evidence given by Robert Owen, a mill
owner, clearly indicates his strong views on the damage being done to
young children's physical and mental health, including 'deformed'
limbs, stunted growth and being very slow academic learners. Sir
Robert Peel Senior based his evidence on well-known opinion, stating
that children of '8 or 9 years of age' who were 'confined in the
factories' for 'not less than 15 hours' a day could not 'bear that
degree of hardship without damaging their health.

The views of Lord Lascelles, Mr. Finlay and GA Lee showed little
concern for the children's health their extracts confirm the basic
economic need of the children to work and the factories to employ
them. They agreed that legislation was not necessary. Lord Lascelles
was more concerned with the interference of the principle of free
labour and...

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