Child Labor Child labor is “is the use of industry or business, especially when illegal or considered inhuman”. (Dictionary.com) In the late 1700’s and early 1800’s with many jobs available for anyone and any age many families had their whole families working in factories because during this time many families were living in poverty. The jobs children did included agriculture which was the most popular for children,retail and services, industry and manufacturing, and domestic work Although children working in the workplace could help families, but many children were treated unfairly, paid less, and since they could fit in small places they were at even more of a risk. Many of the western civilizations worked together to stop child labor.
It took many years for child labor laws to be passes but in 1938, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act. Nowadays child labor is considered wrong, as of 2016 a person who hires a child illegally can have the punishment of 3 to up to 1 year in prison. Another punishment could be a very large fine. After this law was passed many workplaces honors suffered because they could no longer have children work long brutal hours and get paid very little. There is a lot of information that shows that child labor has had a major impact on our past and how we live our lives today. One of the things child labor impacted the most was the American Economy. During this time when children were working the boys of the family typically began working in the trade industry around the age 10 to age 14. Other jobs children who worked in factories did was crawled under the machines because they were small enough to fit.
“In 1900, 18 percent of all American workers were under the age of 16”(History). During this time children who worked would earn the wage of one dollar per week. Although child labor decreased over time many factories still found a way for child labor to be possible because unlike adults children did not need unions and could be paid less. While boys were in the trade industry young women and immigrants were found working in the textile industry.
One of the positive things that came out of child labor was the expanding of the American industry because it helped to bring more jobs that were right for children. Jobs for children that were not considered child labor would be children helping their parents around the house and earning money outside school hours. After the new laws were passed regarding child labor many women replaced the children in the industries, child labor continued to occur in other businesses.