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Child Labor During The Industrial Revolution

1294 words - 5 pages

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 as five year olds worked 12 hour shifts, seven times a day with no breaks or lunches. Children during this time period of the 18th and 19th century, worked just as hard as adults did and did not even get to live a regular childhood where they played outside with each other. Child labor was a big problem and the majority of kids were forced to go to work because their family needed the money to make a living in America. Child labor showed us how children worked in some of the most dangerous environments risking their lives for just a dollar a week and working as hard as adults did by doing these exhausting 12 hour shifts that tired them out.
Children during the industrial revolution worked just has hard as adults did but were treated even worse, worked the same hours and barely made enough to buy bread for their family. “By 1810, about 2,000,000 school-age children were working 50- to 70-hour weeks. Most of them came from poor families. When parents could not support their children, they sometimes turned them over to a mill or factory owner. One glass factory in Massachusetts was fenced with barbed wire "to keep the young imps inside." The "young imps" were boys under 12 who carried loads of hot glass all night for a wage of 40 cents to $1.10 per night”( A History of Child Labor). 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...

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