In fact, from the very onset of the Industrial Revolution in New England and America, women, and even their children began to move away from the cottage industry and into new roles in the family. Before the Industrial Revolution in America, New England, or elsewhere, although there was certainly a gendered division of labor, men and women both contributed equal parts to their families, agricultural, or family-operated small business tasks.
In the west, during the Industrial Revolution, use of child labour was commonplace, often in factories, but on the decline. In England and Scotland in 1788, about two-thirds of the workers in the new water-powered textile factories were children (). Subsequently, largely due to the campaigning of Lord Shaftesbury, a series of Factory Acts were passed to restrict gradually the hours that children were allowed to work, and to improve safety. It is widely argued that the industrial revolution increased hardship for children. Historian E. P. Thompson notes in The Making of the English Working Class that child labor was not new, and had been "an intrinsic part of the agricultural and industrial economy before 1780", however he argues that "there was a drastic increase in the intensity of exploitation of child labour between 1780 and 1840, and every historian acquainted with the sources knows this is so. This was true in the mines, both in inefficient small-scale pits where the roadways were sometimes so narrow that children could not easily pass through them; where - as the coal face drew further away from the shaft - children were in demand as 'hurreyers' and to operate the ventilation ports. In the mills, the child and juvenile labour force grew yearly; and in several of the out-worker or 'dishonourable' trades the hours of labour became longer and work more intense."
Child Labor and the British Industrial Revolution essays
In most situations, every able family member was needed to work to simply keep the family above the poverty level. Factory owners forced them to work long hours and they got very little money for their work. Child labour industrial revolution essay. They polish shoes, wash cars, carry luggage or do any chore that is thinkable. When studying history we see that existing industries flourished and new opportunities developed, such as petroleum refining, steel manufacturing, and the widespread use of electrical power. Some work as tourists guides others sell things on the streets or are beggars. Many of them were very young.