Industrial Revolution

Child Labor, Factories, and Housing.

Child Labor

Children have been servants throughout most of human history. Child labor had reached new utmost during the Industrial Revolution. The children worked very long hours in dangerous factory conditions for only a little bit of money. Kids were used because their size allowed them to get through small spaces in factories or mines, which adults couldn't fit in. They were easier to control and most importantly, they could be paid less than adults. Child labors often worked for their families, but were forced to forgo an education. During the Great Depression, Americans wanted all available jobs to go to the adults, not the children.


Inventions with speed and precision were built throughout the Industrial Revolution, which led to the rise of the factories. The Textile Industry was the first to adopt the factory as a place of work and production of cotton and wool could be increased significantly. For all the running factories, the Industrial Revolution was a profitable time. The people working in the factories had to put up with very difficult working conditions. Long hours working in extremely poor working conditions and has been presented with injury risk everyday. This made people very tired and it was difficult to work. The factories weren't great places to work.


During the Industrial Revolution the need for cheap housing near the factories increased. There were some men, like Robert Owen, who were willing to create good housing for their workers, many employers were not. Those employers ruthlessly exploited their workers by erecting poor, and often unsanitary, shoddily built houses. Living conditions were very harsh and tiresome. Workers often paid high rents for sub-standard housing. The people were in a rush to build the houses, so many of them were constructed too quickly in terraced rows. Some of the houses had very little yards in the back where an outside toilet was placed. Others were back to back with communal toilets. These houses started to be slums. Mostly poor people lived in these houses. It has been recorded that 17 people from different families lived in an area of 5 meters by 4 meters. Families had to work all day to provide enough money to feed themselves. They lived in very stressful, hazardous and unhealthy environments due to all of the factories surrounding their homes.