Good afternoon people of America. My name is Jeffery Kamden Coursey of the American News Society (ANS), and today I am here to discuss an outlandish topic that is, child labor. But in more detail, child labor during the Industrial Revolution.
The majority of child labor took place during the 18th century in England. This time period is what we know as the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution shaped how we mass produce goods now in the modern era. It was one of the most significant events in the creation of modern society. While the achievements during this time were quite remarkable, It doesn’t overshadow the cruelty of putting 100’s of 1000’s of children’s lives at risk every day. To put in perspective exactly how many children were working during this time, in 1841 the British Census reported that 107,000 children were employed in the textile industry alone! The work that the children had to accomplish was very risky and dangerous as well. The children were often asked to help fix machines due to the fact that there hands were much smaller than an adults. According to http://www.american-historama.org
“ In 1900 there were 25,000 – 35,000 deaths and 1 million injuries occurred on industrial jobs, many of these victims would have been children. Children had higher rates of injury and death at work than adults and over 50% of child labor was involved in hazardous and dangerous work”. To me these numbers are crazy, 12 hours a day, everyday, risking your life……as a child! The fact that this occurred in our history, to me is embarrassing.
In our world today child labor is not as vast as it was in the 1800’s. That being said, there are still multiple cases of child labor throughout the world. Places such as America and Great Britain that were such huge contributors to the idea during the Industrial Revolution, now no longer support the horrific idea. However when you look at countries around the world such as Somalia, child labor is quite common. According to www.worldatlas.com
“39.8% of children between the ages of 5 to 14, numbering around 1,012,863, are child laborers in Somalia. Only half of children within this age range attend school”. These children work in grueling environments to either pay for their education or to support their families. Some work just to survive! This sounds almost identical to that of child labor during the Industrial Revolution. Both, children work to support their families. Both, a great population of children working. But most of all, Both are wrong!
All in all, children during the Industrial Revolution lived a mostly abnormal life by today’s standards. Twelve hour a day shifts for almost 6 days a week is crazy even today, for an adult! That being said, it’s a time in both America and Great Britain’s history that we have moved away from. While most major countries don’t accept the idea, child labor is a growing catastrophe around the world. Hopefully one that will be put to a definite end. This is Jeffrey Kamden Coursey from the American News Society telling you, children play…..not work!
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