Essay about Child Labor

Submitted By PorkerSpazz
Words: 865
Pages: 4

An investigation of Child Labor and the subsequent reforms during the Industrial Revolution

Table of Contents
Advances in Machinery………………………………………………………………………… 1
Reasons for using Child Labor………………………………………………………...………. 2
Reforms made…………………………………………………………………………………… 3
Positives and Negatives……………………….………………………………………………… 4

1
Advances in Machinery * Steam Engine * Invented by James Watt. * An engine that uses the expansion or rapid condensation of steam to generate power. * Sped up the process of mining. * Helped create cities away from the water. * Powered by coal. * It caused more children to be employed at factories because factories did not have to be located near water for sources of power. * Spinning Mule * Invented by Samuel Crompton * Particularly heavy and fast moving machines. * Caused injuries to children who were forced to collect scraps of material from under the machines and clean the machines. * Required less of a demand for child laborers since it was self-acting and less thread breaking had occurred and children typically repaired the breakage. * Flying Shuttle * Invented by John Kay Edmund Cartwright. * The flying shuttle enabled the weaver to propel the shuttle through a wider strip of cloth with a single hand, and allowed the other hand to perform the combing to compact the cloth. * This speeded the process and thus increased production. * Made the demand for yarn increase. * Since the demand for yarn and thread increased, others saw an opportunity to develop new machines for help the demand. * Spinning Jenny * Invented by James Hargreaves. * Made it possible to spin more than one ball of yarn at a time. * Wanted to help with keeping up with the flying shuttle.

2
Reasons for using Child Labor
Many children that were a child laborer had lost limbs, were killed in gas explosions, crushed under machines, and burned. When the machines were causing no harm to the children then the child’s supervisor beat them for not working hard enough or fast enough. If they had survived the labor then the workers might have developed lung cancer from poisonous fumes. These children were put into extremely dangerous conditions and were stripped of their childhood, but people still came up with reasons for putting a child to work in such conditions.

* Children were a cheap source of labor. * Allowed the business they worked for to stay competitive by saving money. * Children were ideal factory workers because they were… * Obedient * Submissive * Easy to be taken advantage of * Responded to punishment * Unlikely to form unions * Machines had simple one-step tasks, children could replace skilled workers. * Children had small hands so they could reach inside a machine and grab anything that fell inside or go inside the machine to fix it. * Adult males had large hands that could not fix and were too largely built to not fit inside a machine to attempt to fix it. * The parents of the child may have been poor and an easy way to make money was to have their child start working young.

3
Reforms made
Despite the usefulness of child labor in producing good, middle-class citizens, particularly Evangelicals, began protesting this practice. Reforms ensued, and eventually the practice of child labor stopped, for the most part. A few such reforms are listed below. * Robert Peel’s Health and Moral of Apprentices Act * One of the first child labor reforms * Banned nighttime work for children * Set a maximum workday of a twelve hour day for apprentices. * Ineffective because there was little to no enforcement of this act. * Factory Act of 1833 * Created minimum age of…