Fighting for the Rights of Child Laborers

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The rights of child laborers during the american industrial revolution were very limited, and there responsibilities were overwhelming. The factories that children worked in were very dangerous; the fumes produced could be toxic, and the equipment often ran so fast that little hands, fingers, and arms could easily be caught in the machinery. Also, since the children had such small arms, hands, and fingers, a lot of times they were made responsible for fixing the machines, most especially young girls who worked in sewing factories where they were constantly replacing spools of thread and sweeping the floors. Different sources all state that these work spaces were poorly ventilated, dimly lit, noisy, dirty, and damp, and on average workers put in 12 to 14 hours a day in the factories. Workers were viewed very poorly by their employers to the point were they were just viewed as "hands", and put into highly impersonal work areas far away from home. Owen Lovejoy stated the following: "The typical breaker-boy is proud of his breaker and boasts of its daily output. He is proud of the independence which personal economic value gives him in the home. Every mine-center affords many examples of strong young lives, full of energy, rich in possibilities that, if wisely directed, might help inspire men to that social awakening which is the sole hope of our democracy. But they will not be wisely directed. They will be dwarfed by a daily round of monotonous slate-picking."
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