Negative Effects of Child Labor in the Industrial Revolution

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Updated: Sep 11, 2023
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In the early 1800’s to the middle half of the 1900’s, children were viewed as labor workers. Children did not attend school or get an education like kids do today. Instead, adults took these young kids advantage and used them as labor workers since they were too naive and unable to go against the commands of adults. As the Newsies insinuates, life back in the Industrial Revolution was you work or you live on the streets. Adults and kids alike had to work for their compensation and to support themselves in their daily life.

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The Child Labor Laws of 1920 differed from the Industrial Revolution by the “type” of workers employed. In the Industrial Revolution, immigrants were used as workers in the factories. Although machines were replacing human workers, people were still needed to work those machines and repair them if broken. Children were seen as quite convenient since they could fit behind the machines and had higher energy levels to work longer and more efficiently throughout the day. They didn’t know any better so each day they went to their job, not to school.

Another difference is the wages. As seen in Newsies, the movie, the pay was little and the job was extensive and rigorous. Most children would forfeit their education to help support their families. Adult workers would demand more money yet kids weren’t required to be paid that much. Work conditions were often dangerous and filthy. Riots were also less likely to form take over the managements since adults thought the children were not capable of forming a working union.

The working conditions were horrible the kids and adults that worked didn’t have a lot of living expectancy because of the danger and non-well paid jobs, another similarity is that kids also worked and were less paid than the adults they would work 12-18 hours and 6 days a week just to get a dollar. People believed that those working conditions were almost like torture and inhumane for a kid to work so they tried to stop it just like they tried to stop the adults and kids from being almost forced to do hard and highly dangerous work for long hours.

The jobs were also the same. Most jobs were positions in factories. Corporations made an expanses of money off their factories. Kids and adults alike would work in these factories for long hours and horrid working conditions. Children were needed to fix or crawl behind machines and repair them since adults couldn’t fit behind them.

In conclusion, Newsies portrayed the hardships of those kids. Their innocence and childhood was ripped away from them early and they were forced to grow up much too fast. Due to the Child Labor Law of 1920 children were able to go back to focusing on growing up and making lasting memories. Although the work was hard, this just proves that kids are strong individuals who are capable of standing up for themselves and taking charge when needed. The moral of the story is to be thankful for your childhood and value our education.”

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Negative Effects of Child Labor in the Industrial Revolution. (2021, Oct 15). Retrieved from