In the 1700 and 1800, children in the US could be forced to work even before the age of seven.
Cause and Effect
Child labor occurred in U.S. history when factories started being built since hiring children was cheaper. Families at the time would have there children work to help them pay for necessities or to pay off a debt. Since children were working in factories, they could not go to school which affected them later in life, limiting there abilities to get a better job and having a better life.
When children were sent to factories they would have a difficult task. They would have to have to replace the cotton, in order for machines to make cloth, while the machine was still running. They would also have to replace the heavy drums for the fabric to roll around. Other children would have to in mines to dig up coal.
Child labor started in the United States around the late 1700s and early 1800s. In 1918 and 1922, U.S. Congress passed two laws which were declared unconstitutional. The Congress proposed an amendment in 1924 but the states did not give consent. The Fair Labor Standards Act was finally passed in 1938.
Connection to literature
The book Lyddie by Katherine Paterson is about a young girl who has to work in mills to help pay off the family debt. In the beginning of the book, Lyddie lives on a farm with her family until her mother decides to move with her brother. This event leads to Lyddie working in a tavern but once she gets fired she goes to Lowell, Massachusetts. There, she works at a mill that produces cloth. She had to replace the cotton in the looms. This job did not have fair working conditions. Working in the mills made Lyddie and other factory girls sick and injured. The factory girls, including Lyddie, were victims of child labor.
video on child labor
Video by "ElainaIsabelle's channel" on YouTube, uploaded February 3, 2012.