Child Labor

Essay by kraftonUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2006

download word file, 7 pages 1.0

Do you remember your childhood years, complete with laughter, fun and games? Do you remember feeling as if your life was so hard and unfair because you had to clean your own room? Imagine not having a room, not having laughter or joy and not knowing what it is like to play and have fun. In the late 1880's through the late 1930's, many children lived tragic lives. Children as young as five years old were waking up at six in the morning and walking to work, whether it was in a factory, a mill or anywhere they could earn money for food. Their work environment was guaranteed to be unsanitary and highly dangerous. Their wages were barely enough to pay for food let alone pay for shelter. This was a time of pain and suffering, this was the time of industrial violence, a time where children were stripped of their childhood.

Cheap Labor

What was once the time of skilled craftsmen and qualified individuals who mastered the gentle subtleties of their trade was gone by the 1880's, the artisan had simply become nothing more than a tender to the machine. Mass production was introduced wherever it could be applied. Parts were standardized, thus allowing for faster and cheaper production. Due to the abundance of factories and other industries, the demand for cheap labor dramatically increased.

Child Labor is a social problem associated with the rise of industrial production and capitalism. It appeared in earlier ages in agricultural societies, but during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century in Great Britain it was especially conspicuous and began to be opposed. It was one of the biggest scandals of the 19th century, spreading to other countries as they industrialized. The problem arose when children, many younger than ten years old, were...