Child Labor Industrial Revolution Essay

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The Industrial Revolution in the United States, which took place during the years 1760-1840, was a remarkable turning point in history. During this era, many advances were made, including the increased use of steam power, the invention of machine tools and the development of factories. While these improvements contributed greatly to the economic success of our country, this progress also resulted in a very unfortunate consequence. Child labor increased greatly during the Industrial Revolution and led to disease, injury and even death for many children.
There were many factors that brought about child labor during the Industrial Revolution. One of its leading causes was the extensive poverty faces by many families. During this time, the average income for adults was very low and there was no minimum wage. Many parents felt like they had to choice but to send their children to work, in order to help put food on the table. A second cause of child labor was market demand. Employers often preferred to hire children because they were less costly than their adult counterparts and could be dispensed of easily if their need for workers decreased. In addition, employers did not have to worry about children forming groups to make more demands and protect themselves. A third determinant for child labor was the lack of educational opportunities. In many areas, there were no local schools within traveling distance. Also education was considered too costly and purposeless for many
Eichler 2 people. For countless families, joining the labor force was a much more productive way for their children to spend their time. ("The causes and consequences of child labor").
Child labor had extremely detrimental effects on chil...

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...ince and educate people that child labor should be illegal. Lewis Hine took thousands of these photos which were published in newspapers and progressive publications (Lewis Hine's Photography and The End of Child Labor in the United States).
The decline of child labor began when the laws related to child labor started turning in full effect. But especially in 1879, when the general assembly started to impose fines on employers who employed children in dance halls, saloons, prostitution and public exhibitions. Other factors also helped lead to the decline of child labor. New machinery that was too complex for a child to run, forced employers to hire semiskilled adults instead of children (Foner and Garraty). But maybe the most important cause for the wane of child labor was the advocates that helped to expose the cruelties placed upon the innocent young children.
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