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Why did Children Work in the Mills

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WHY DID CHILDREN WORK IN THE MILLS During 1750-1900 of the Industrial Revolution there were many successes and failures. One of which was managers employing children to work in cotton mills. There were many reasons why children worked in the mills. In this assessment I am going to discuss the good, bad and improvement reasons and what life was really like for children working in the mills. Employment during the 19th and 20th century was tranquil for factory owners. Factory owners mainly aimed at poor children such as children from orphanages or children living in the streets. Children only agreed to work to receive food and shelter so that they could live. For example George Courtauld employed children from workhouses in London along with 90 children from an orphanage. These children made up 50% of his workforce and were only paid 2pence a week. Courtauld also received �5 for hiring each child and made huge profits out of them like any other factory owner. Children were hired as "pieces" and "scavengers." Scavengers had to be agile so that they could fit in the machines and fix them. Pieces had to pick up loose pieces of thread from the floor. For example research by John Fielden suggested that a piece had to walk about 20 miles a day. Further more there were many health issues that workers faced. Most of these were about the factory. For example a source which is a report that was published in July 1833 stated that most factories were "dirty: low roofed, ill-ventilated, ill-drained, had no conveniences for washing or dressing, had no contrivance for carrying off dust and other effluvia." ...read more.


During the Industrial revolution of 1750-1900 there were many improvements to laws and machinery which made it easier for workers and managers. These especially helped children from hard work. The most basic example of improvements is the factory acts. For example before the factory act of 1802 children were hold responsible for there own essentials such as: buying their own clothes; learning to read and write; and practising their religion. However after the factory act of 1802 it quotas "Every Apprentice is to be supplied with two complete suits of clothing with suitable linen, stockings, hats and shoes." It also quotes "They are to be instructed every working day during the first four years of apprenticeship in reading, writing and arithmetic" and "On Sunday they are to be instructed in the principles of the Christian religion." These acts were some of the improvements that helped children with every day needs. Every child was supplied with clothes and got a free education as well as being able to practise their religion. Furthermore after the factory acts of 1844 there were also improvements in working hours, working conditions and health issues. life in Britain was completely changed. For example "The Act reduced the hours of work for children between eight and thirteen to six and a half a day, either in the morning or afternoon, no child being allowed to work in both on the same day, except on alternate days, and then only for ten hours. Young persons and women (now included for the first time) ...read more.


There were 500 children. The hours at the time were thirteen a day. Their limbs were very generally deformed, their growth was stunned and they and they made very slow progress learning the common alphabet. I came to the conclusion that the children were injured being taken into the mills at the early and employed foe so many hours." The first source talks about working condition and the second talks about coparol punishement. Overall I have discussed pieces of evidence from each of the paragrahs and conncluded that life for children working in the mills was improving. Acknowledgments and Sources: Book: Think History- Modern Times 1750-1900 Source G - Page 24 Source A - Page 27 Source B - Page 29 Source G - page 30 Source E - Page 30 Source J - Page 31 Source L - Page 33 Websites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Condition_of_the_Working_Class_in_England_in_1844 http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/IR1844.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/TEXgreg.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/IR1802.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/IR1844.htm surrounding countryside, and mortality from convulsions was ten times as high as in the countryside. The overall death-rate in Manchester and Liverpool was significantly higher than the national average (one in 32.72 and one in 31.90 and even one in 29.90, compared with one in 45 or one in 46). An interesting example shows the increase in the overall death-rates in the industrial town of Carlisle. Prior to the introduction of mills (1779-1787), 4,408 out of 10,000 children died before reaching the age of five. After the introduction of mills the figure rose to 4,738. Prior to the introduction of mills, 1,006 out of 10,000 adults died before reaching 39 years old. After the introduction of mills the death rate rose to 1,261 out of 10,000 ...read more.

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