Byrd and Davidson
AH 6th hour and English III
24 November 2014
The Keating-Owen Act, also known as Wick’s Bill, was the first act to take part in interacting with child labor. The Keating-Owen Act is seen as a negative ruling in government, yet had some positive qualities as well. It wasn’t until 1916 when they finalized this act. Many may have questions about this act suck as, what the Keating-Owen Act is, why the act created, who helped create the act, and what happened after the act was created. All of these questions are very important in understanding the act and as you read through the questions will be answered.
The Keating-Owen Act was an act that had been finalized in the year 1916 and was the first act that dealt with helping child labor. It improved child labor by banning the sale of products produced by companies and businesses with children younger than the age of 15 years. The act was to keep children under this age from working in cruel conditions that could harm them. Many feared that if too many children died from working, then the United States wouldn’t have as many people living as long in the future. The act was designed to help young children of America with their health because the government didn’t approve that children were working in the same horrible conditions that their parents were. This act was created because the working conditions for children were awful and the children were getting injured or even dying at a younger age than normal. It was getting out of control; nearly 2 million children were working in mills, mines, fields, factories, stores, and on city streets across the United States. Something had to be done, from the year 1911 to 1915 there was over 16,000 work related deaths and by forcing businesses, manufacturers, mine owners etc.… to not hire, produce, or sell anything with a child doing the work, children would not be put in as much of a risk. The act didn’t help the working conditions, however, it was needed for children. With children under the age of 15 out of the work business it opened up more jobs for adults who may have needed it more so than the children.
The Senate and House of Representatives worked together to put the Keating-Owen Act into action. The act states:
“That the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Labor shall constitute a board to make and publish from time to time uniform rules and regulations for carrying out the provisions of this Act”
-Transcript of Keating-Owen Child Labor Act of 1916
This statement means that the Attorney General would have to make rules and regulations for this act (laws.) They did this by making people who got caught breaking the laws pay fines. The first time that this law was broken one would have to pay a fine no more than $200. If however one kept breaking this law then the fine was more than $100 but less than $1000. Most people on the other hand didn’t follow the rules and the law enforcers didn’t care to keep up with it. Edward Keating and Latham Owen were two main supporters of the act and helped give the act its name. President Woodrow Wilson helped with the act by signing and making it go into action. Senator Albert J. Beveridge made the first proposal in 1906 with help of a group called National Child Labor Committee (NCLC.) After the act was put into place many events seemed to take place not so much in its favor. Many people did not follow and, or enforce the act, leaving it meaningless. In the year 1918, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the act in a four to five…