Chlid Labor During The Industrial Revolution,?
Chlid Labor During The Industrial Revolution
Child labor played a large role in the Industrial Revolution. Mills, factories, and other industrial plants used children as their main employees. They were cheap, not big enough or educated enough to argue or complain, and were small enough to fit between the tight fitting machinery that adults couldn?t. Majority of these children never got to enjoy even a taste of childhood, simple joys such as playing tag or baseball. Almost from the day they were born, these children started to work, and continued to do so until the day they died. Whenever that may be.
Majority of working class children had little or no education. This was simply because at the time, education was not mandated, and in a majority of cases, schools were too expensive to send a child to. Parents were willing to let their children work in factories and such, as it provided the family with more money, which they needed to just barely survive. Families just simply couldn?t support themselves if all of its members weren?t employed, including the children. For many, ?barely surviving? meant hardly being able to put food on the table. Plenty of families couldn?t afford food; as a result the children from these families were much weaker and unhealthier than others. They were also much more susceptible to getting sick from the dusty air. Many children died from various diseases including malnutrition. Children as young as three were being put to work. At age five they were placed in textile factories, iron and coal mines, gas works, ship yards, construction, match factories, nail industries, and doing the job of chimney sweeping. Working conditions for these children were not only dangerous, but also utterly dreadful. The factories were extremely dirty, with low ceilings, poor lighting, and locked windows and doors. Children worked just as long and hard as their elders, as much as 16 hours a day. The common workday was usually 12 to 14 hours long with very short breaks. They worked six days a week, in extreme weather conditions, controlling machinery that needed constant attention. Employers paid extremely low wages and would not hesitate to lower them if business was bad. Sometimes, they even had the audacity to pay their employees with vouchers that were only good for their own stores, where prices were high.
I was utterly appalled at how factory bosses during the Industrial Revolution forced children, ?babies? by today?s standards, to work completely against their will. It is heart wrenching to think that children slaved away, doing the work of men for mere pocket change a week. Childhood for these poor children must have been one big never-ending nightmare. Actually I wouldn?t even call it anything close to a childhood. I just hope that these children did not suffer in vain, that all of humanity learned a large lesson from this, and will never make the same mistake again. The Industrial Revolution, is responsible for the world as we know it today. It was a large step forward in technology and many other things, yet at the same time it was such a harsh and unforgiving period in history. As I think about the horrors that transpired during that time, I am just so incredibly thankful that the youth of America today has laws to protect them against the abuse that the children of the Industrial Revolution endured.