In the 1800’s children were forced to go to work in factories for little pay. The factories were in very bad conditions for children to work in. Most of the kids got asthma because the factories were so dusty. The children had to get into small gaps in the machines to fix them which was very dangerous and some of the children died because of it. A lot of the children didn’t get any sleep so they fell asleep in the factories. The children had to bend over for long periods of time, if they fell asleep which made most of them cripple.
Many factory owners were against reforming working conditions for children. This was because they thought they provided education, fair pay and helped them by giving them a job. They also said “without working in factories the children’s family wouldn’t be able to survive. Some factory owners called for reform because they thought they worked too long hours and they didn’t get enough education.
Some campaigners thought that reforms should be introduced because the factories were in bad conditions and most of the children have deformed bones and bad lungs. Other campaigners thought they should not because at least they are off the streets and not causing crime and the children are happy and there is no violence there. Doctors too, thought it was important to improve working conditions for children. For example Dr Samuel Smith thought that they should reform because children suffered loss of limbs like fingers and thumbs etc. Other doctors though thought differently because it wasn’t unhealthy to stand for long hours and they wanted to get more money from children visiting.
Many children themselves wanted to keep working because otherwise they would live on the streets and if they lived on the streets they may possibly die of starvation. However, they still wanted to reform such as no harsh punishment, less working hours, more education, more sleep, and 3 meals a day.
In conclusion, the result of the debate was for the Government to pass the 1833 Factory Act to improve conditions for children. The basic act was as follows:
No children under the age of 9 are allowed to work, which was fair to the factory owners and the children Children between 9 and 13 are not allowed to work more than 9 hours a day and children between 13 and 18 are not allowed to work more than 12 hours, as the older children are stronger so they can work more hours Children are not allowed to work at night, this was good because the children could get more sleep which would make them more healthy The working days would start at 5:30am ~ 8:30pm and the other 9 hours are for resting Kids must have 2 hours of schooling each day so when they grow up they can read and write. Children allowed 1 ½ hours for meals
Children must have 3 meals a day so they can keep healthy
The factory owners would have been disappointed, but the doctors and the children would have been very pleased and some of the campaigners would be happy but some wouldn’t.