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Old 12-14-2015, 06:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southwest88 View Post

& as I mentioned earlier, child labor laws in the US still make exceptions for agriculture - both the immediate family of farmers, ranchers, & the contract labor that many fruit & vegetable growers need in order to pick the products in a timely & efficient way. So - there's plenty of blame to go around, even yet. & we all - as consumers of relatively inexpensive food in the US - benefit from the miserable wages paid to adults & children - typically it's by weight of what's picked.
I grew up on the east coast of Canada. In my home province, there are a lot of potato farms there. For generations, part of the province had official school breaks during harvest season, called "potato break". Kids were off from school for a couple of weeks to help pick potatoes. This was ended a few years ago, not because it was dangerous to the kids (potato picking isn't dangerous at all), but because they were unpaid labour.

Not all child workers had jobs that were deadly or that left them maimed... some were just tedious. I once saw some photos taken of child workers in some businesses in Europe, around the late 1800s. Although I'm sure the children were probably cleaned up for the photos, the jobs and the conditions didn't look that terrible. I remember one photo of girls sitting at long tables folding envelopes and packing them for sale (lots of people wrote letters back then, so this was a common job). Another photo showed kids tying together fishing nets. Not a tough job, but not terribly exciting either. So at least some of these jobs weren't that bad.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
In the present how can people be so disgusted by something that was a necessity in the past and it cannot be changed.
Well the past isn't all that in the past. Child labor, starting at four years of age is still an issue for most of the underdeveloped world and isn't that great in the U.S.
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:13 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Default Stages of development

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottawa2011 View Post
...

When you see it in that light, was it really so strange to put children to work as soon as they were old enough to do something productive? None of them had a hope of becoming middle class anyway, they lacked money for advanced schooling, and they lacked connections for high-paying careers. So off to work they went. It helped pay for bread for the table for many large families.
Yah, large families were the norm in farming & later ranching, where youngsters could help with the chores & learn a trade @ the same time. As the Indust. Rev. took hold in the US, labor participation rates in the North were probably too high - to maintain rising wages. Rising income levels & the availability of schools & child labor laws made it possible to train children in literacy & basics, thus taking them out of the labor pool for a time, but returning them to labor with better literacy & math skills later. Child labor laws also restricted hours & regulated the work that children could do.


I think government - executive & legislative - worried about productivity & the general well-being of the labor force - as being a key to industrial progress in the US. The reformers of child labor wanted more for the children entrusted to the schools - better work outcomes, & in the end, more productive workers & citizens.


I think the Northern US had a better deal than the Southern US - the antebellum South focused in too narrowly (IMO) on cotton, tobacco & other cash crops - to the extent that the Plantation Class neglected public infrastructure, schools, universities, railroads, industry, mechanical arts. The North in effect became the source of finance, banking, insurance, food production, manufactured goods - steel, gunpowder, firearms, trains, track, shipping, transportation, & on & on for the South.


An economy running on wages & credit for manufacturing & services is more flexible than one running on slavery & cash crops. The North drew most of the immigration from Europe - that's where the jobs were, which paid a reasonable wage. Adding population & more efficient & better financed infrastructure, the North pulled ahead of the South in terms of services, government, & so on.


Perhaps the subject for another thread. In summary, child labor was a factor in this growth of the North's economy initially, & that growth was one reason that child labor laws could be enacted in the North - there was much more acceptance of universal schooling & taxation to pay for it, with a bonus of better-prepared laborers once students finished with school - or preparation for further labor training, or even higher education (rarer, likely, than further vocational training).
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Old 12-14-2015, 08:04 PM
 
Location: LA, CA/ In This Time and Place
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I guess it was more acceptable. Also plenty were disgusted, because eventually the laws were changed.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:46 PM
 
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In the past, children weren't thought of as delicate little creatures which adults must cherish and form into adults. They were simply thought of as small adults.

"the modern concept of the child, the sentimental concept of childhood, of which there were glimpses
in Renaissance Italy and Reformation Germany, first crystallized in seventeenth-century England, more or less, and then, in the eighteenth century, in France and more highly urbanized regions of Europe and the Americas. At this juncture ... elite mothers embraced their destiny to breastfeed, swaddling clothes disappeared, obstetrical science trumped old wives’ tales, the children’s book industry was born — along with children’s clothing, children’s furniture, and children’s games — and middle-class parents, publicly expressing their love for children and their grief at child death, dedicated themselves to the welfare and advancement of their offspring . . . childhood was not an essential condition, a constant across time, but something that changed - or, if childhood itself, bound by biolgically and psychologicaly determined phases of development, is constant, then the understanding of it differed, as did the way it was experienced by both adults and children . . . "


Source: http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/web/aca...yOfAmerica.pdf




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Old 12-15-2015, 04:07 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
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Go search the Internet for "Lewis Hine Child Labor Photos" and see what was happening in America in the early part of the 20th Century. His documentary pictures helped change life for the better.
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Old 12-15-2015, 04:24 AM
 
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Children have worked throughout history...try reading a book once in a while.

It was a necessity for the children to work and still is throughout most of the 3rd world.
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Old 12-15-2015, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Purgatory
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The thing that always bothered me is how abortion was illegal at that time. You could go to jail for it at the very least. Yet that same potential baby, if born, had a high likelihood of death within the first 5 years of life due to illness. And a later high risk of death in childhood due to working. Why did society make women push out babies just to have them die? I guess the answer is obvious if you are a female but it's so disturbingly asss- backwards.

It reminds me of pro-lifers today who want to "save all the babies" yet balk at paying to feed and cloth them and their caretaker(s).

I guess society was somewhat "babycentric" back then yet since the late 1990s (earlier in more afluent towns) we have become a very "child centric society." My theory is that because BC and abortion let's us largely control the number of kids we have, we now put more resources into each one individually.

I'm fascinated by the evolution of labor laws in general, not just re kids. 12+ hours a day 6 days a week was common in the 1900s. No wonder everyone was an alcoholic by today's standards!
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:23 AM
eok
 
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Watch the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" if you think American children had it bad when they had to work. Children enslaved as beggars, to get money for their owners, and their owners ripped their eyes out, to permanently blind them, to make them better beggars. And seemingly a lot more recently than American child labor.
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eok View Post
Watch the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" if you think American children had it bad when they had to work... And seemingly a lot more recently than American child labor.
The conditions of working children in the 19th century in countries on the cusp of the industrial revolution were absolutely similar to what was depicted in "Slumdog Millionaire" trying to place a caveat at the end of your statement isn't going to work.
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