Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day 75, April 11

Child labor peaked in the early years of the 20th century.   Factories owners often preferred children as workers, because they were viewed as more manageable, cheaper, and less likely to strike. Growing opposition to child labor in the North caused many factories to move to the South.  Children were frequently treated little (or no) better than slaves.

By 1900, states varied immensely in how they enforced child labor laws, if, indeed, any existed at all.   By then, American children worked in large numbers in mines, glass factories, textiles, agriculture, canneries, home industries, and as newsboys, messengers, bootblacks, and peddlers.

In 1904, a federal child labor law was put into effect.  Still, unsafe working conditions persisted. 

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