Describe child labor during the industrial revolution.

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I am going to assume this question is asking about the prevalence of child labor during the Industrial Revolution in England, the reasons for this and the reaction to it. In the early days of the Industrial Revolution, huge numbers of factories were built, which drew many families from country...

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I am going to assume this question is asking about the prevalence of child labor during the Industrial Revolution in England, the reasons for this and the reaction to it. In the early days of the Industrial Revolution, huge numbers of factories were built, which drew many families from country villages into the cities, where there was great demand for workers, and conditions were crowded and unhealthy. In order to afford to live near their new places of work, many adults put their children to work in factories and as chimney sweepers. While apprenticeships had always been common, never before had children as young as four been working fourteen hour days doing repetitive, low-skill tasks for a low wage. Children worked in coal mines and cotton mills, were put up chimneys, and died from the poisonous effects of the matches they sold.

Labor laws were introduced initially to constrain workers in cotton mills, but it was only stated that those between 9 and 16 could not work more than twelve hours a day. At first, these laws were not even followed. A series of labor laws were successively passed over the course of the 19th century as public reaction to child labor grew increasingly negative, but children continued to work throughout the period of heaviest industrial growth, which had a negative effect on literacy and health. Only the enforcement of the Education Act really saw child labor begin to taper off. The works of writers such as Blake and Dickens tackle this social issue.

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