A Christmas Carol Background

Kaitlyn Schwind

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Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England on February 7, 1812. When he was two years old his family moved to London. His father was a poor clerk that served in the Navy. Charles's family didn't have very much money and his family went to jail for debt. At the age of 12 he was introduced to child labor to help support his family. He worked for a London factory where he would paste labels on shoe polish bottles. His first job when he was an adult was working as a newspaper reporter in the late 1820's. He was then interested in writing and wrote his books based on events and people in his life. His very first published book was "Sketches by Boz" (1836). His first well known book was "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club." By the age of 24 he was very well known. In 1836 he married Catherine Hogarth, they had 10 children together and in 1858 they got a divorce. He later founded and edited two magazines called "Household Words" and "All the Year Round." People always said he had a lot of physical and mental energy and would often go on long walks and he would also work with many different charities. His health started to decline in 1865 and 5 years later he died of a stroke. Throughout his career he published 20 books and died while almost halfway through his 21st book.
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The Industrial Revolution occurred in the late 1700's and the early 1800's. By the mid 1800's the idea of Industrialization had spread across western Europe and northeastern United States. The term Industrial Revolution refers to the change that occurred in that time and also refers to that time period. Industrialization had created many factories and machines that did the work that took workers a long time to do by hand. The machines took the place of many workers causing them to lose their jobs and making it even harder for them to find jobs. This is what caused an increase in poverty and child labor.
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Victorian Era

After Kind William IV died, Victoria became the queen, she was the last monarch of the royal House of Hanover. The Victorian Era got its name from Queen Victoria and lasted from 1837-1901, which was most of the 19th century. It ended when Victoria died. During this Era the United Kingdom changed from a mainly agricultural nation to a mainly industrial one. Industrialization played a big role in Victorian Age, it caused many science, technology, and literature advances.
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Child Labor & Poverty During the Victorian Era

Industrialization caused many people to lose their jobs, which cause more people to be poor. Many times children would work in factories or mines to help support their unemployed parents and family. The children were forced to work long hours, the conditions they worked in were dangerous and very unhealthy. They were often payed very little and much less than what the adults were payed. Eventually laws were made to protect children against child labor but one of the most effective attacks on the evils of child labor may have come from one of Charles Dickens's novels "Oliver Twist."