What kinds of jobs did children do in the past, and how widespread was their employment? Why did so many poor families put their children to work? How did the state respond to child labour? What problems arise in the interpretation of evidence of child employment? Child Labour in Britain, 1750-1870 - Offers a broad empirical analysis of how the work of children was integrated with the major economic and occupational changes of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain - Argues that working children occupied a unique position within the context of the family, the labour market and the state - Discusses the key issues involved in the study of children's employment In this clear and concise study, Peter Kirby convincingly argues that child labour provided an invaluable contribution to economic growth and the incomes of working-class households. Consequently, the picture that emerges is much more complex than that portrayed in many traditional approaches to the subject.
What kinds of jobs did children do in the past, and how widespread was their employment? Why did so many poor families put their children to work? How did the state respond to child labour? What problems arise in the interpretation of evidence of child employment? Child Labour in Britain, 1750-1870 - Offers a broad empirical analysis of how the work of children was integrated with the major economic and occupational changes of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain - argues that working children occupied a unique position within the context of the family, the labour market and the state - discusses the key issues involved in the study of children's employment In this clear and concise study, Peter Kirby convincingly argues that child labour provided an invaluable contribution to economic growth and the incomes of working-class households. Consequently, the picture that emerges is much more complex than that portrayed in many traditional approaches to the subject.
The use of child workers was widespread in textile manufacturing by the late eighteenth century. A particularly vital supply of child workers was via the parish apprenticeship trade, whereby pauper children could move from the 'care' of poor law officialdom to the 'care' of early industrial textile entrepreneurs. This study is the first to examine in detail both the process and experience of parish factory apprenticeship, and to illuminate the role played by children in early industrial expansion. It challenges prevailing notions of exploitation which permeate historical discussion of the early labour force and questions both the readiness with which parishes 'offloaded' large numbers of their poor children to distant factories, and the harsh discipline assumed to have been universal among early factory masters. Finally the author explores the way in which parish apprentices were used to construct a gendered labour force. Dr Honeyman's book is a major contribution to studies in child labour and to the broader social, economic, and business history of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries.
The Industrial Revolution was a time of enormous change for the British society. Science and technology developed rapidly and brought wealth and improvement into many sectors of life; inventions like the steam engine, power looms, the spinning jenny or the expansion of the road and rail network made life easier. But on the other hand it was also the time of great misery, exploitation and tremendous class differences between a very thin and very wealthy upper-class, a rising middle-class and a very broad and to a great extent extremely impoverished working-class. But how was it like being a working-class child in Victorian England? To answer this question this work will take a close look at two of the most famous contemporary novels dealing with the depiction of children: Charles Dickens’ ‘David Copperfield’ and ‘Oliver Twist’.
Law and Society in England 1750–1950 is an indispensable text for those wishing to study English legal history and to understand the foundations of the modern British state. In this new updated edition the authors explore the complex relationship between legal and social change. They consider the ways in which those in power themselves imagined and initiated reform and the ways in which they were obliged to respond to demands for change from outside the legal and political classes. What emerges is a lively and critical account of the evolution of modern rights and expectations, and an engaging study of the formation of contemporary social, administrative and legal institutions and ideas, and the road that was travelled to create them. The book is divided into eight chapters: Institutions and Ideas; Land; Commerce and Industry; Labour Relations; The Family; Poverty and Education; Accidents; and Crime. This extensively referenced analysis of modern social and legal history will be invaluable to students and teachers of English law, political science, and social history.
This established study focuses on the most important phase of Irish migration, providing analysis of why and how the Irish settled in Britain in such numbers. Updated and expanded, the new edition now extends the coverage to 1939 and features new chapters on gender and the Irish diaspora in a global perspective.
The purpose of this collection is to bring together representative examples of the most recent work that is taking an understanding of children and childhood in new directions. The two key overarching themes are diversity: social, economic, geographical, and cultural; and agency: the need to see children in industrial England as participants - even protagonists - in the process of historical change, not simply as passive recipients or victims. Contributors address such crucial subjects as the varied experience of work; poverty and apprenticeship; institutional care; the political voice of children; child sexual abuse; and children and education. This volume, therefore, includes some of the best, innovative work on the history of children and childhood currently being written by both younger and established scholars.
This is a unique account of working-class childhood during the British industrial revolution, first published in 2010. Using more than 600 autobiographies written by working men of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Jane Humphries illuminates working-class childhood in contexts untouched by conventional sources and facilitates estimates of age at starting work, social mobility, the extent of apprenticeship and the duration of schooling. The classic era of industrialisation, 1790–1850, apparently saw an upsurge in child labour. While the memoirs implicate mechanisation and the division of labour in this increase, they also show that fatherlessness and large subsets, common in these turbulent, high-mortality and high-fertility times, often cast children as partners and supports for mothers struggling to hold families together. The book offers unprecedented insights into child labour, family life, careers and schooling. Its images of suffering, stoicism and occasional childish pleasures put the humanity back into economic history and the trauma back into the industrial revolution.
"The World of Child Labor" details both the current and historical state of child labor in each region of the world, focusing on its causes, consequences, and cures. Child labor remains a problem of immense social and economic proportions throughout the developing world, and there is a global movement underway to do away with it. Volume editor Hugh D. Hindman has assembled an international team of leading child labor scholars, researchers, policy-makers, and activists to provide a comprehensive reference with over 220 essays. This volume first provides a current global snapshot with overview essays on the dimensions of the problem and those institutions and organizations combating child labor. Thereafter the organization of the work is regional, covering developed, developing, and less developed regions of the world.The reference goes around the globe to document the contemporary and historical state of child labor within each major region (Africa, Latin and South America, North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Oceania) including country-level accounts for nearly half of the world's nations. Country-level essays for more developed nations include historical material in addition to current issues in child labor. All country-level essays address specific facets of child labor problems, such as industries and occupations in which children commonly work, the national child welfare policy, occupational safety regulations, educational system, and laws, and often highlight significant initiatives against child labor.Current statistical data accompany most country-level essays that include ratifications to UN and ILO conventions, the Human Development Index, human capital indicators, economic indicators, and national child labor surveys conducted by the Statistical Information and Monitoring Program on Child Labor. "The World of Child Labor" is designed to be a self-contained, comprehensive reference for high school, college, and professional researchers. Maps, photos, figures, tables, references, and index are included.
Studies of child labour have examined the experiences of child workers in agriculture, mining and textile mills, yet surprisingly little research has focused on child labour in manufacturing towns. This book investigates the extent and nature of child labour in Birmingham and the West Midlands, from the mid-eighteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century. It considers the economic contributions of child workers under the age of 14 and the impact of early work on their health and education. Child labour in the region was not a short-lived stage of the early Industrial Revolution but an integral part of industry throughout the nineteenth century. Parents regarded their children as potentially valuable contributors to the family economy, encouraging families to migrate from rural areas so that their children could work from an early age in the manufacture of pins, nails, buttons, glass, locks and guns as well as tin-plating, carpet-weaving, brass-casting and other industries. The demand for young workers in Birmingham was greater than that for adults; in Mary Nejedly's detailed analysis the importance of children's earnings to the family economy becomes clear, as well as the role played by child workers in industrialisation itself. In view of the economic benefit of children's labour to families as well as employers, both children's education and health could and did suffer.As well as working at harmful processes that produced dangerous fumes and dust or exposed them to poisonous substances, children also suffered injuries in the workplace, mainly to the head, eyes and fingers, and were often subjected to ill-treatment from adult workers. The wide gulf in economic circumstances that existed between the families of skilled workers and those of unskilled workers, unemployed workers or single-parent families also becomes evident.Attitudes towards childhood changed over the course of the period, however, with a greater emphasis being placed on the role of education for all children as a means of reducing pauperism and dependence on the poor rate. Concerns about health also gradually emerged, together with laws to limit work for children both by age and hours worked. Mary Nejedly's clear-eyed research sheds fresh light on the life of working children and increases our knowledge of an important aspect of social and economic history.
Child labor law strikes most Americans as a fixture of the country’s legal landscape, involving issues settled in the distant past. But these laws, however self-evidently sensible they might seem, were the product of deeply divisive legal debates stretching over the past century—and even now are subject to constitutional challenges. Child Labor in America tells the story of that historic legal struggle. The book offers the first full account of child labor law in America—from the earliest state regulations to the most recent important Supreme Court decisions and the latest contemporary attacks on existing laws. Children had worked in America from the time the first settlers arrived on its shores, but public attitudes about working children underwent dramatic changes along with the nation’s economy and culture. A close look at the origins of oppressive child labor clarifies these changing attitudes, providing context for the hard-won legal reforms that followed. Author John A. Fliter describes early attempts to regulate working children, beginning with haphazard and flawed state-level efforts in the 1840s and continuing in limited and ineffective ways as a consensus about the evils of child labor started to build. In the Progressive Era, the issue finally became a matter of national concern, resulting in several laws, four major Supreme Court decisions, an unsuccessful Child Labor Amendment, and the landmark Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Fliter offers a detailed overview of these events, introducing key figures, interest groups, and government officials on both sides of the debates and incorporating the latest legal and political science research on child labor reform. Unprecedented in its scope and depth, his work provides critical insight into the role child labor has played in the nation’s social, political, and legal development.