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This essay is about the working conditions for children during the 19th century particularly in 1930s, 40s and 50s. The resources I used for this essay was a video called ‘Suffer The Children’ this video contained violent and some disturbing pictures towards conditions children were forced to work in. The Royal Commissions later investigated these conditions. The Royal Commissions were a group of men part of the government who interviewed many children working in mills, mines, factories and farms.
They were surprised with the poor conditions these children young as 6 worked in, and the surroundings they were forced to work in. The Royal Commissions chose to search for this information because if they had not this would later cause problems like strikes and revolutions between groups of people. Immorality and vice was a major problem between young girls. Older men would use and abuse these girls, this is why the Royal Commissions decided to act towards it and they brought out new laws to prevent child abuse and poverty.
The Royal Commissions started their investigations; this influenced many changes in the industrial revolution. On June 1st 1832 The Royal Commissions interviewed Charlie Burns, he was an example of a mill worker in a textiles factory ‘Bobbin Doffer’. Charlie Burns worked in poor conditions. He had been beaten up regularly, he was forbidden to talk or even take breaks to eat between his works. He worked in very dangerous areas. During brisk time Charlie worked 6am-7pm or even sometimes 18 hours a day.
Pauper apprentices were children or orphans belonging to mill owners, they worked as mill workers or slaves to owners. In Manchester 57% of all children died before the age of 5! In some of the poorest areas in Manchester life for children was very tough, they lived in filthy, dirty, unhygienic areas. Families living there had often dug holes in the ground for excretion. No pavements were placed on to the ground and the areas often smelt. Many children died by the surroundings and environments they were force to live in. There were no health or safety regulations.
The Gang System was affected by the agricultural and farming conditions. In each gang system there was a gang leader, the gang leader employed children and women only to do their work, in farming. For example Sarah Ann Robert ages 11 was treated in poor conditions. Everyday Sarah was wet in the rain, as they were not given any shelter. Sarah walked with sticks, she had to walk with sticks because she suffered from swore bones, swore bones were cause by the considerable time she spent outdoors in the cold and rain. Elizabeth Dixon gave birth to 11 children she was known to have worked hard.
Her job was to pull turnips and mangles. Elizabeth was kicked, beaten and abused by maestros. Jemiah Dixon was the daughter of Elizabeth Dixon; she died from aches and pains from working in the bad conditions on fields. The Gang System was thought to have encouraged misbehaviour. Young children, girls and boys would often be ramping in the hay. They did not go home after work and often stayed on the farms. The children felt as if there was nothing wrong with ramping around in the hay. The Gang Leaders abused children and often girls became pregnant by the leaders.