Child Labor In The 19th Century History Essay

The Industrial Revolution, one of the mainly important periods of alteration in Great Britain, occurred because of the stable political, societal, and economic, stance of the state, every bit good as brought enduring effects in Britain in each of these countries. With its rapid turning monopoly on ocean trade, its renewed involvement in scientific innovation, and its system of national Bankss keeping tight to its fiscal security, Britain was, at the clip of the Industrial Revolution, ready for alteration. It was the great historical epoch we call the Industrial Revolution which would forever revolutionise metropolis life, societal category construction, the power of the British state amongst others of the universe, the fiction of machinery, and the power of the economic system of Britain. Because of the Industrial Revolution, ne’er once more would the British have to endure the consequences of no alterations refering the inequalities of the on the job universe, nor doubt the power of their state, yet come to see the word “ engineering ” in a wholly new manner.

Throughout the early nineteenth century, the Industrial Revolution extend enormously all over Britain. The usage of new Technology such as steam-powered machines, led to an monolithic rise in the figure of mills peculiarly in fabric mills or what is called Millss. Samuel Greg who owned the big Quarry Bank Mill was one of the first mill proprietor to utilize the new engineering.

With the addition of those mills, households began to travel from the countryside into towns seeking for better life and better paid work. The incomes that a farm worker was acquiring, were really low, were non plenty to feed his household and there were less occupations working on farms because of the of new machines such as thrashers and other innovations. Besides 1000s of new workers were needed to work machines in Millss and the mill proprietors built houses for them. Cities packed to overruning and Manchester was chiefly bad. To suppress this labour deficit mill proprietors had to happen other ways of obtaining workers. One key to the job was to acquire kids from orphanhoods and workhouses. These kids became known as pauper learners. This involved them subscribing contracts that about made them the belongings of the mill proprietor. even Many households were unwilling to allow their kids to work in these new fabric mills.

Children of hapless and propertyless households had worked for centuries before industrialisation – helping around the house or assisting in the household ‘s endeavor when they were capable.

The pattern of puting kids to work was foremost documented in the Medieval period when male parents had their kids roll yarn for them to weave on the loom. Children did a scope of undertakings that were subsidiary to their parents but critical to the household economic system. The household ‘s family demands determined the household ‘s supply of labour and “ the mutuality of work and abode, of remission demands, household relationships constituted the ‘family economic system ‘ ” , and family labour demands.


Britain became the first state to industrialise. And for that ground, it was besides the first state where kids ‘s nature in work changed so radically at a point kid labour was seen as a taking political issue and a societal job.

One of those first mill proprietors that used the system ( pauper learners ) was Samuel Greg who had the immense Quarry Bank Mill. Greg had complexness happening sufficient people to work for him. Manchester was a spot far, by 11 stat mis off and local small towns were highly little. The workers that have been imported needed bungalows, and these cost about ?100 each.

By 1810 Greg became certain that the best solution to the labor job was to construct an Apprentice House near the Quarry Bank factory and to obtain kids from workhouses. The edifice for the learners cost ?200 and provided life adjustment for over 90 kids.

The first kids to be brought to the Apprentice house came from local parishes like Macclesfield and Wilmslow, nevertheless, subsequently he went every bit far as London and Liverpool to look for these immature workers. To give assurance to the mill proprietors to take workhouse kids, people like Greg were rewarded between ?2 and ?4 for each kid they employed. Greg besides demanded that the kids were sent to him with “ two displacements, two braces of stockings and two aprons.

The 90 kids ( 30 male childs and 60 misss ) made up 50 % of the entire labour force. The kids received their housing and board, and two pence every hebdomad. The younger kids worked as scavengers and piecers, but after a two old ages, they were permitted to go involved in whirling and teasing. Some of the more aged male childs became skilled mechanics.

John Kay published “ The Moral and Physical Conditions of the working Classs ” in 1832, Engels wrote his well-known “ The Condition of the Working Class in England ” in 1844 based on the predicament of the Manchester lower class, and in 1842 Edwin Chadwick published his “ Report on the Sanitary Conditionss of the Labouring Population ” . ‘Official ‘ paupership figures for the “ Township of Manchester ” were the highest in Britain – higher even than in London ‘s east terminal.

Children faced a immense alteration as they observed working in fabric factory was wholly different from working at place. In the fabric factory, Children worked from Monday to Saturday, get downing work from six in the forenoon and coating at seven in the eventide, with merely one hr interruption for tiffin between 12 and one. If kids were late because of the work they were fined. If kids fell asleep or made merely a error on the occupation they were beaten. Children ‘s income were really low, sometimes merely a few pence for working 60 hours in a hebdomad, there were regulations and ordinances. Children workers must get at the factory by certain clip. Lateness was punishable with a all right. Everybody worked a figure of hours and no-one was allowed to go forth before a certain clip. All this was a new experience for kids, even where they lived.

The fortunes they used to populate in were atrocious, the learner House “ Kraut ” built, without control or ordinance of any sort… there was even less H2O and services, and no attempt to give privateness of any sort. Children worked in displacements and shared beds. Nine or ten kids were sharing one sleeping room, and al thosel 90 kids shared the three lavatories. It was damp – there were no dual brick walls, and no damp-proof classs. Rain leeched between the walls, and even in summers, moistness rose up the walls. The lone interruption from moistness was the edifice of basements to incorporate it. However, these basements inescapably became homes for subtenants.

Even the conditions at the Mill working environment were atrocious ; it was built on a monolithic unfastened program scale so that the chiefs could see every individual kid worker. If they thought that workers were n’t working difficult plenty or absent they were punished. The regulations for working in the factory were posted on walls but that was non plenty as most of the kids workers were non educated and could non read them. Child workers had no rights and sometimes missed their dinner interruptions because the chief ordered them to maintain on working. Children who worked long hours became really dog-tired and found it difficult to keep the celerity required by the higher-ups. Childs were normally beat with a strap to do them work quicker. Some were dipped caput foremost into the H2O reservoir if they became sleepy. Children were besides punished for geting late for work and for chew the fating to the other kids. Parish learners who ran off from the mill were in danger of being sent to gaol. Childs who were considered possible blowouts were located in chainss.

One of the chief ailments made by factory reformists concerned the province of the edifice that they kids were forced to work in. A statement published in July 1833 confirmed that Quarry Bank Mill was “ ill-drained, no comfortss, low-roofed, soiled ; ; ill-ventilated ; ; for dressing or rinsing ; no appliance for transporting off dust and extra effluvia ” .

Robert Southey ( 1774-1843 ) , the poet and historian, arrived in Manchester in 1808, feigning to be a Spanish traveler. He was given a guided circuit at Quarry Bank factory and saw sights ‘which makes me thank God I am non an Englishman ‘ . While his usher was praising the rules of kid labor, Southey was looking at ‘the unnatural sleight with which the fingers of these small animals were playing in the machinery ‘ , and when his usher told him that the factory worked 20 four hours a twenty-four hours, Southey concluded that ‘if Dante had inhabited one of his snake pits with kids, here was a scene worthy to hold supplied him with new images of torture. ‘

Until the Factory Act of 1833, the mills were free to make up one’s mind on the working hours.A The labourers normally worked for more than 12 hours without breaks.A Consequently, kid labourers suffered deficiency of slumber and were more vulnerable to errors and hurts.

Matthew Crabtree was one of the 48 people whom the Sadler Committee interviewed in the twelvemonth of 1832.A Harmonizing to the Sadler Report that catalyzed the Factory Act of 1833, Crabtree had worked in a mill from the age of eight.A He had worked 16 hours a twenty-four hours, from five a.m. to nine p.m.A He normally went to kip instantly after supper, and was woken up by his parents every morning.A Harmonizing to Crabtree, he was ”very badly ” and ”most normally ” crush whenever he was late to work.A The fright of being beaten, said Crabtree, was ”sufficient impulse ” to maintain up with his work despite his sleepiness.

a few kid labourers were from deprived working households who could non afford to feed themselves without the kids lending financially.A Even with the kids ‘s income, the bulk of households were barely capable to prolong themselves.A in add-on, the kid labourers on a regular basis complained about the quality of nutrient given in the topographic point of work.A Some testified before the Parliament that they could non eat the meager repast they were given because of exhaustion and pollution.A The exposure of childhood workers testify malnutrition and abuse.A Child labourers have smaller physique than their wealthier equals, yet the wrinkly faces covered with soot block the spectator from accurately reasoning the kids ‘s age. The child workers were under the supervising of aliens — mill directors who were employed by the mill owners.A Besides, the work did non necessitate much delicacy, and there were many unemployed kids willing to replace the worker ‘s place.A Consequently, the mill directors did non transport the duty of the public assistance of the workers ; they were merely paid to guarantee that the mill is operated swimmingly.

As we can convey from the above text the intervention of kids in the mills ‘ was frequently barbarous and extreme.A The kids ‘s safety was by and large neglected and it did turn out fatal on legion occasions.A The youngest kids, around the age of eight, were non old plenty to trip the machines and were normally sent to be helpers to adult chief workers.A The people in charge of the mill ‘s whereabouts would crush and verbally abuse the kids, and take small consideration for the worker ‘s safety.A Girls could non be the exclusion to whippings and other rough signifiers of hurting imposition ; kids were dipped caput foremost into the H2O cistern if they became drowsy.A The misss were besides vulnerable to sexual torment.

Fiddling errors due to miss of slumber resulted in serious hurts or mutilation.A The Sadler Report commissioned by the House of Commons in 1832 said that: ”there are mills, no agencies few in figure, nor confined to the smaller Millss, in which serious accidents are continually happening, and in which, notwithstanding, unsafe parts of the machinery are allowed to stay unfenced. ”A The workers were in most instances abandoned from the minute of the accident with no rewards, no medical attending, and no pecuniary compensation. The ordinance was rough and the penalty inhumane and sporadic.A

Such penalty for being late or non working up to the work assigned would be to be ”weighted. ”A An superintendent would bind a heavy weight to worker ‘s cervix, and have him walk up and down the mill aisles so the other kids could see him.A This penalty could last up to an hour.A Burdening led to serious hurts in the dorsum and the cervix.

In add-on to the above the lawbreakers sometimes had to pay the effect monetarily! A Elizabeth Bentley, before the Sadler Committee in 1832, mentioned that she was normally quartered ; ”If we were a one-fourth of an hr excessively tardily, they would take off half an hr ; we merely got a penny an hr, and they would take a ha’penny more. ”A Some informants compared themselves as slaves, and the superintendent as slave drivers.

One could reason that deficiency of schooling had forced the kids to mills, and compulsory schooling was the key to eliminating industrial kid labor.A It is true that illiteracy blocked the kids from promoting the societal and economic hierarchy.A However, the Education Act of 1870 contained commissariats to let school boards to oblige attending but necessary by-laws were non enforcement to implement these provisions.A A In short, the compulsory schoolings in Britain were introduced excessively late to critically lend to the reform.A

Besides, one could reason that compulsory schooling would merely have on off kids who are already exhausted from long hours of palling labor.A Schooling did little good to kids who were physically deprived. Lack of slumber will most likely hazard dangers of lassitude and expose the kids to more accidents.

Child workers by and large labored to help the undertaking of the grownup workers ; the two labour populations did non straight vie with each other.A Therefore, one could reason that the kid workers well contributed to the impoverished household income.A As the kids were regarded beginning of labour for long, some did non object to directing their kids to factories.A Even if others did non O.K. of the intervention in workplaces, they had no valid and legal agencies to protest.

Most statistics that are available could non be wholly trusted.A One particularly was careful non to depend wholly on skewed Numberss or single instance studies.A Besides, throughout history, many bookmans and ideologues have distorted the facts to turn out their averments.

Until the kid labour issue became a province issue, most of the research workers touched merely the surface of the problem.A The mill superintendents could easy show the research workers off from the truth.A Besides, the study has non been conducted consistently as to portray an accurate study of the labour picture.A On the other manus, some studies have been accused of overstating the current state of affairs to convey the kid labour issue to a province concern.A Major authorities studies on child labour were uneven in the coverage, concentrating preponderantly upon kids in industrial businesss.

In add-on, some ”determined ” historiographers have maneuvered the statistics to overstate child labour as an illustration of corruptness and corruption when kid labour helped better the household ‘s fiscal position.


Industrial kid labour has occupied merely a little part of the kid labour population.A Besides, it had lasted for a fugitive minute in British history.A However, child workers in industrial workplaces need to be highlighted as history in which kids were placed under the detention of a alien in a confined, unwholesome infinite ; the kids were exposed to a higher possibility of maltreatment and mistreatment.

Although child labour in Britain shared similar features with other industrialised states of a ulterior period of clip, the British authorities comparatively peacefully restricted the employment of children.A The promotion of the particular committee studies and the attending of the populace had contributed greatly.

Child labour, every bit much as it is criticized for its mistakes, should be analyzed, sing every possible factor.A It is true that the kid labourers have suffered from development and unintended disregard, yet the household would ‘ve starved if non for the part of the children.A History should non be hurriedly judged, but observed objectively for hereafter ‘s interest.