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When the topic of child labor comes up many people either say it was a bad thing, or it was a good thing. Some people may feel bad for what the kids went through and some simply don’t care. It’s okay not to care but it should at least make you wonder and feel concerned about it. Throughout history we have seen children working hard as servants or either apprentices. Yes Children have been exposed to labor work but further back into history child labor reached a whole new level during the time period of the Industrial Revolution. Children worked so hard through the 1800s – early 1900’s but this caused many problems which people questioned. Some individuals may argue that child labor was a good thing and that it helped with business, but Child labor was a problem because child labor affected the children’s health, the children weren’t getting paid enough, and the children’s education was also affected. Child labor was a serious problem and still is today.
When Children would work they would put their lives in danger and some were even killed. Health conditions were bad in many different ways. The book “Child Labor and Sweatshops” states, “Manual labor exposes children to injuries such as laceration, sprains, and strains, scalds and burns, fracture, dislocation, and scrapes and contusions” (Manhelmer 35). All these injuries are how and why child labor affected the children’s health. Children didn’t even know half of the different injuries they were getting while doing labor. A child shouldn’t be getting hurt like this, they should be worried about a small scrape from playing outside but young children were breaking different bones and getting hurt in many different ways. In the book “Striking Back” it states, “Charles was playing tag in the breaker room with friends one day in 1910 when he slipped. He fell into the machinery and was killed. The men who owned the mine said it was Charles’ fault, that the company was not responsible for his horrible death” (Robinson 6). Children are not supposed to be exposed to dangerous work at such a young age. Charles was just doing what a child should be doing at his age “playing”, but instead he slipped into a machine where no child should be allowed next to. The owners clearly thought that the child’s health was not as important as getting the work done. The owners cared more about the mine then the actual child. The owners of the mine are showing us that the work space and the work are clearly affecting the children’s health in a bad way. This is one of the reasons why child labor was and still is a serious problem.
How it works
?Young children worked many hard hours for a small portion of money and sometimes none at all. In the article “Industrial Revolution, Child Labors” states, “Another reason that businesses liked to hire children workers was because they worked for little pay. In many cases, children weren’t paid at all”(Nelson).Children thought walking into those businesses would allow them to make some money whether it was for them or to provide for their families but it turns out they weren’t getting anything at all. Children were risking their lives just to not get payed or just to get barley paid. It would make sense if the children were getting paid a big amount of money but in reality they weren’t. In another article “Minimum Wages for the poor class of Industrial Revolution” states, “Though the children worked long hours, they earned very little. Jason Long associate professor of economics at Colby College said that children working in factories in the 1850s earned between two and four shillings per week” (Herman). If the children were making four shillings, which was not very often, the child would be making four cents in US money. Maintaining a living is expensive and difficult. Imagine trying to maintain a family back then, it was worse than today since the children had to work to help their parent’s provide for their family and plus they weren’t getting paid right. The Children weren’t making anything at all. A month of pay for the child labor work in US money today would be $.16. Children were not getting payed enough for doing adult work. A child not getting paid enough is another reason why child labor was and still is a serious problem.
Children should be getting their education at a young age. Child labor was doing the opposite for the children during the industrial revolution. In the article the ”industrial revolution” it states, “In 1833 The government passed the factory act making two hours of education a day compulsory for children working in factories”(Luke ). Two hours is not enough time for a child to take in the information and learn it. Today a child gets seven hours of education. That’s a five hour difference compared to what the children that worked in factories were getting. Children back then should’ve had more education because it’s important in a child’s development. Children should be getting taught so that they can use the knowledge they gained throughout their life but that wasn’t the case. The education part was just being ignored. The book “Kids at work” also states, “Their parents who often lacked in education themselves didn’t want their kids wasting time by attending school. Parents want their kids to have an education but during the industrial Revolution the parents wanted their children to do labor and not learn and get the education they needed. The children clearly do not have a saying in none of this since the parents were in charge and the parents never knew how it was to get an education either. Child labor made the children lack education which was another reason why it was and still is serious problem.
The arguments against child labor being a serious problem back when the Industrial Revolution happened are well known. Some Factory owners believe that the work was easy for the children and the labor work helped make a contribution to the family’s earnings. Yes the children were making a contribution to their family earnings but the children were barely making anything. If they were lucky they were only making 4 cents a week in US money and the work that the factory owners made them do wasn’t easy at all. Most of the children weren’t even getting paid so how were the children making a contribution to the family earnings if the factory owners gave them nothing. The children were constantly getting hurt throughout the day and of course factory owners gave the child a job which obviously it was easily but that doesn’t mean the job was easy for the child. A factory owner will also argue that children had small fingers, they were the perfect height, and had a flexible body which were suited for the machinery and work station. Of course children had perfect bodies for tight spaces but no child should be exposed to dangerous machinery because of their characteristics. Just because the factory owners made the machines small for adults doesn’t mean they should have a child working on the machines. Injuries are more likely to happen because of the fact that the children don’t know or have any experience linked with the machinery. While the factory owners understand the reasons of having this perspective the claim I stated above is much stronger because if you put yourself in the children’s shoes your perspective will change immediately about child labor not being a serious problem.
?During the industrial revolution Child labor was an issue. Child labor has been around for many years and still is around today. Individuals fail to see how it affects the children mentally and physically. Child labor was indeed a serious problem to many people especially during the Industrial Revolution. Health risks were high because of the work the children had to do. The amount that the children were getting payed was just not acceptable at all and the Children’s education was affected in a bad way. People will say that it isn’t a serious problem but with all the suffering and with everything the children went through, it’s clear that it was serious problem. It’s Important to understand why child labor was a serious problem because it could’ve been your own brother or sister doing the labor work. Imagine having to let them go to work every day knowing they are risking their life and missing out on their education. Your brother or sister could’ve gone to work thinking they were going to return back home but instead they lost their life that day working on that machine they shouldn’t be around in the first place. You wouldn’t want that happening to your own siblings. It wasn’t right that the children had to go through all this. Children and labor work just don’t go together. Child labor clearly was and still is a serious problem and should be eliminated as soon as possible.
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