A Christmas Carol Background
The Victorian Era took place during the Industrial Revolution in England. It was called the Victorian Era because Queen Victoria was the Queen of England. The Era lasted from 1837 to 1901. Child labor was needed for the factories being built. This is the time when the England and the world were changing from rural agriculture to big city industry.
The Industrial Revolution describes the time when the United States and Britain started producing things in factories. Some very important inventions during this time were the telegraph and railroads. Most people working at the factories lived in slums, areas with poor housing. Workers also had low wages, which was a cause of poverty.
Child Labor and Poverty
During the Victorian Era there was child labor being used to pay off their parent's debts. If parent(s) lost too much money, they would go to jail. They could choose to take their family to live with them or go alone. Their kids would have to work at a factory to pay off their debt to get them out of jail. They were almost treated like slaves because of the long hours and low wages.
Charles Dickens was a famous author that lived in England. He had a loving father and mother, but his father went to jail because of debt. Charles went to work at a factory and eventually, his father got out of jail. During his life, Charles Dickens drew sketches, wrote books, and even toured America. One of his books was David Copperfield. Even though it wasn't actually an autobiography, it was roughly based on his life. Because his books were so famous, he never suffered from debt the rest of his life.