Child Labor Essay

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England was a society dominated by children. During the reign of Queen Victoria one out of three of her servants were under the age of fifteen. Child labor was a prominent issue, because there were no systems to ensure the safety of children. During the start of the industrial revolution, there was a “high demand” for labor (Robson 53). Many families moved from rural areas to new, industrialized cities. After a while things weren’t looking as “promising” as they did before (Boone 23). In order to maintain, families had to put almost all of their family members to work. This led to a rise in the number of child labor. Children were “mistreated, underpayed and overworked” (Kincaid 30). Using children to do all of the hard work, the mining companies believed, was the most sensible and efficient way to get the job done. Because the children were a lot smaller, it was easy for them to “maneuver through tight spaces” and on top of that the children demanded little or no pay at all(Boone 43 ). These wages were enough to persuade companies to use children for all sorts of dangerous jobs such as coal mining and chimney sweeps. Children were called to do many other “horrible” jobs, jobs that adults in this era could not bear, just so long as the bills were paid (Robson 18). The working conditions and treatment of young children during this era was horrible and a lot was done to put an end to it. Families during the Victorian era tended to be large, and it was evident during this time that families could not survive if the children did not work. There was an immense “increase in population” during this period, by the end of the century most lived in cities rather than the country (Bristow 5). Due to economic conditions at this time only a... ... middle of paper ... ... During this era the fact that children had rights was arguable, it was not until the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1901 that this fact was actually recognized. In the 1830’s a series of acts were passed to try to ensure safety of these working children, laws such as The Chimney Sweepers Act of 1788 , The Victorian Child Labor Laws Against the use of Child Chimney Sweeps, The Chimney Sweepers and The Chimneys Regulation Act of 1840 and Chimney Sweepers Act of 1875. The success of these laws came due to the increasing acceptance of the idea that children deserve to enjoy their childhood. As the era progressed, artist created works that “embodied the innocence of children” and also depicted the horrible conditions that they were forced to work in (Kincaid 22). Even with such blunt depiction of the work conditions, change did not come rapidly but it came nevertheless.

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