Essay On Child Labor

1679 WordsOct 2, 20177 Pages
Child labor was a staple during the Urbanization of the United States of America. Fresh out of a bloody Civil War that took the lives of at least 618,000. Child labor was very dangerous. Especially in the steel mills because of the lack of safety equipment. It was also very dangerous because the children laborers were very young for the jobs they were doing for such cheap pay. Anywhere between 12-16 years old. Since they were all very young they were not very strong. So due to them being weak, young, basically meeting no physical conditions to be able to work efficient the steel mill owners would take advantage of that. They saw cheap labor. Very cheap and easy labor. There was child labor that was socially acceptable at the time and still…show more content…
The negative side of the “apprenticeship” is that the former slave owner could use and abuse his “apprentice”. The courts allowed lots of apprenticeships. Most people would assume that they used that as a cover for what they really wanted to use the “apprentice” for. Another common theme was people called “padrones”. They were basically the recruiting department to find young Italian boys in Italy and have them and their family sign an “apprentice” contract. The contract was labeled that the boys would be shipped off to America from Italy to learn to play an instrument. Now, they did learn to play an instrument but not like they had imagined when first signing the apprentice contract. They would learn to play instruments, but they then were forced onto street corners to perform and make the padrone’s money. The children that were good enough to make any money would be on good terms with the padrones. Those who protested and didn’t make any money would often get beatings consequently for not making the padrone money. The kids wouldn’t often even get any money. (Michael Schuman, History of child labor in the United States—part 1: little children working) A perfect example on how the child labor was in the south is “…hundreds of under-nourished, over-worked and scantily clad little boys and girls do the galley-slave act in the treadmill of industry in Democratic territory.” (Washington Bee (Washington (DC), District of Columbia) • 10-02-1920 •

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