Florence Kelley’s Description of Child Labor and Sweatshops

2094 Words9 Pages
In Chicago, around the eighteen-hundreds, there was the desire for cheap labor. Consumer demand for clothes and manufactured products played a big part in this issue. The desire for manufacturers to meet the increasing consumer demand ultimately led to the hiring of children and other individuals. To reduce expenditures, working conditions did not play a major concern in the factory owners’ decisions. These factories were not very safe and sanitation was poor. Oftentimes many of these sweatshop workers were found working many hours a day for a long period of time with very little, if any pay. Florence Kelley was a factory inspector who fought against child labor and the existence of sweatshops. Through her experiences and descriptions, we now have better working conditions and children are allowed to be children. I plan to explain some of the extensive information she has provided about these two major problems. Manufacturers would hire the people who owned these sweatshops to produce the merchandise (“The Sweating” 51). Competition in such an opportunity was bound to arise between these shopkeepers. Therefore each would go to great magnitudes to save as much money in the production process as possible; this would consequently lower the price to an amount the manufacturer would want to pay (“The Sweating” 51). One can conclude that these sweatshops came about because of a great necessity people had to make money at the time and the great urgency these sweaters, the owners of the sweatshops, had to make agreements with manufacturers. The sweatshops did not discriminate so much on the foundation of gender or age (Wheeler, Bruce, Becker 119). Most of the employees were immigrants, which would explain why they were so desperate to... ... middle of paper ... ...ence Kelley: A Factory Inspector Campaigns Against Sweatshop Labor." American Journal of Public Health 95.1 (2005): 50. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Nov. 2011. Kelly, Florence Finch. "Tales of Four Cities." Flowing Stream; the Story of Fifty-six Years in American Newspaper Life,. New York: E.P. Dutton &, 1939. 228-229. Print. "The Sweating System." American Journal of Public Health 95.1 (2005,): 49-52. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Nov. 2011. Waugh, Joan. "Florence Kelley and the Anti-sweatshop Campaign of 1892-1893." UCLA Historical Journal 3 (1982): 15. America: History and Life. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. Wheeler, William Bruce, Susan D. Becker, and Lorri Glover. "Child Labor Reform and the Redefinition of Childhood, 1880-1920." Discovering the American Past: A Look at the Evidence. 7th ed. Vol. 2. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2012. 119-24. Print. Since 1865.

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