Child Labor Laws In the 1800's

1462 Words Mar 3rd, 2005 6 Pages
Child Labor Laws In The 1800's

Child Labor, once known as the practice of employing young children in factories, now it's used as a term for the employment of minors in general, especially in work that would interfere with their education or endanger their health. Throughout history and in all cultures children would work in the fields with their parents, or in the marketplace and young girls in the home until they were old enough to perform simple tasks. The use of child labor was not a problem until the Factory System. The Factory System is a working arrangement where a number of people cooperate to produce articles of consumption. Some form of Factory system has existed even since ancient times.

In the later part of the 18th century
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In 1918, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that the legislation was an unconstitutional infringement on personal freedom. The following year, the Congress tried another strategy to establish protection for child workers through taxation of employers. But in 1022 the Child Labor Tax Law, as it was known, was ruled unconstitutional for being overly "prohibitory and regulatory." In 1924, both houses of Congress passed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, empowering Congress to limit, regulate, and prohibit the labor of persons less than 18 years of age.

Even though the reluctance of state legislators to ratify the child-labor amendment, legislative attempts to deal with the problem nationally continued, notably during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The National Industrial recovery Act, passed by Congress in 1933, established a minimum age of 16 for workers in most industries. In hazardous industries a minimum age level of 18 was established. This law contributed to a great decrease in the number of yond workers, but the Supreme Court ruled the act unconstitutional in 1935. In the next year the Congress passed the Walsh-Healey Act, which prohibits firms producing goods under federal government contract from employing boys and girls less than 16 years of age.

The nest important legislation on the problem was the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, better known as the Federal Wage and Hour Law. This

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