Labor Legislation during the Industrial Age

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Updated: Apr 03, 2021
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Labor Legislation during the Industrial Age essay

“There has been many events in history that has had either a positive or negative effects worldwide. One of those events was the passage of labor legislation during the Industrial Age, and it had a positive effect on society today. Due to the writing and enforcement of laws towards child labor, improving education towards children and lowering the working hours in a day it has impacted later labor laws.

Before the Industrial Revolution and factories came about, families worked on farms all day in order to support their families and most times it wouldn’t be their farm. These farms were family centered farms and items like yarn were produced to be used to make clothing by hand and sold at the market (“”Factory System””). Due to the advancement in technology farmers didn’t need as much help on the farms, so they kicked out most of their workers. Now, families didn’t have work so they moved into the cities to find work which was called urbanization. Urbanization is when there is a population increase in cities, towns, and in rural areas (“Industrial”). This occurred most during the Industrial Revolution due to the high amount of people looking for jobs. Factories were coming about, and many people took the job because they needed money. Much of Factory owners took advantage and did not maintain their factories so many people worked in filthy conditions (National).

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Due to the opening of work in the factories, children were hired to work in poor conditions at such a young age. Child labor existed before factories came about, but it was becoming more of an issue. There was an engrossing amount of exploitation of child labor throughout the world (“”The World”). Poor children worked in the textile mills and many of the reformers feared that there might be serious health issues for young children working in the factories (Responses). They worried that little boys would have back and growth problems and that they would not be strong enough to serve in the army or the navy, reformers also worried that little girls wouldn’t be able to carry and have children in the future (“The international”; “”The World”). Working in factories was damaging to the human body especially on children but no one cared until it became a serious problem and kids were losing limbs and dying from working in factories. Breathing the air in the factories even did some damage on the children’s lungs. Due to all the effects of the factories that has had on the children’s health there were set of laws that were established. Laws such as children under the age of 18 can’t work for more than 10 hours a day, 8-10 year olds were allowed to work 6 hour days, factories must take at least 2 hours of the day to let the children have some education and many other laws were established to help protect children (National). Many of these laws has changed modern society laws for minors from being taken advantage of or exploited for work. By 1904 the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) was formed by social reformers in order to protect children from taking advantage of in a working environment. There hasn’t been any child labor problem beyond the decade of 1900 (“”The World”). Working labor laws are now strict for children in the 21st century for example if you’re a minor and want to work you need to have working papers from the school at the age of 14 and can not work for more than 40 hours a week. These laws has shaped to what has become our society today.

Minors were not the only ones that were exploited working in factories. Women needed to support their families, so they started to work too. Women didn’t have many rights so it was unusual that they would be working in factories, “The woman who becomes a factory worker (ouvriere) is no woman” (Responses). Times were changing and still are changing but back then women getting involved in work was not an ethical thing to happen; women are now taking the role of mean instead of a stay at home mother. Women were working in factories and there were no laws protecting them saying that they can’t work a certain amount of hours or any safety precautions. They were getting paid low wages compared to men because women weren’t worth as much as men, so that why most times there would be more women in factories (Responses; “The international”). There were times where women would get their hair, and apron stuck in the mills and sometimes they were killed or they lost limbs, but if they couldn’t do their work they were fired and easily replaced since they were not important. Due to all the incidents laws were made to protect women saying that women couldn’t work for more 12 hours and no night work (National).”

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Labor Legislation During the Industrial Age. (2021, Apr 03). Retrieved from