The Industrial Revolution: Child Labor In The United States

1683 Words7 Pages
The Industrial Revolution is thought to be a time of innovation and scientific discovery. Not many people stop to think of the cost that this innovative age reaped on the men, women, and children of the time. A child should not have to shoulder the responsibility of supporting his family, his parents, or himself/herself. That, however, was the way things were during this time period. Children didn’t go to school and they weren’t encouraged to attend school. It was a waste of time, time that could be spent earning a horribly low wage for such intensive work. Jobs were dangerous and unhygienic. The demand for children in the workplace was higher than ever. Thankfully child labor was eventually banned here in the United States, but it still continues…show more content…
It started before the beginning of the Civil War and ended around 1950. Production of goods moved from home businesses, which involved a lot of manual and hands on labor, to machine-aided production in factories. This meant that people were relying on factories/machines for their products. This revolution, which involved major changes in transportation, manufacturing, and communications, transformed the daily lives of Americans more than any single event in U.S. history.
The Industrial Revolution tends to be viewed in two separate parts; The 1st Industrial Revolution, before the Civil War, and the 2nd Industrial Revolution, after the Civil War. The first Industrial Revolution did not bring forth many inventions based in science. People understood that things worked but they never could answer the question “Why?” During the 2nd Industrial Revolution, however, the country expanded greatly. Many different things were accomplished, a major one being the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869 which made it easier to transport people, raw materials, and
…show more content…
During the late 1800s, fourteen million immigrants came to the country which provided workers for an array of industries. The increase in immigrants however did not keep the demand for workers at bay, and for millions of working Americans, the industrial revolution changed the very nature of their daily work. Previously, they might have worked for themselves at home, in a small shop, or outdoors, crafting raw materials into products, or growing a crop from seed to table. This was the life that had grown accustomed to for all these years. However, when they took factory jobs, they were working for a large company. This can be pretty stressful, especially compared to being your own boss and being accustomed to your own pace and style. The repetitive work often involved only one small step in the manufacturing process, so the worker did not see or appreciate what was being made; the work was often dangerous and performed in unsanitary conditions. This had to have been hard on the workers, especially the ones who were used to working out of their own homes. There is a big difference between your mess in your own home versus someone else’s mess, not to mention all the fumes and soot and god knows what else is in the air that they are breathing in. Some women did enter the work force, as did many children despite the working conditions and monotony. Child labor, however, became a
Open Document