Essay Here is an essay about how child labor in the U.S came to an end.
Did you ever imagine that the shirt you’re wearing right now started by a six year old picking cotton? Or that the breakfast you ate this morning was made by kids who were sixteen and under, even as young as three years old? Child labor had been a big issue back in the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s in America. If it weren't for the people against child labor, the laws against child labor, the Great Depression, and the new equipment and requirements for jobs, children right now wouldn't be able to go to school, hang out with their friends, or to play a friendly game of basketball with their friends.
Child labor started when companies started to hire children when they figured out the positives of hiring children. Children started working because their families needed everyone to work just to be above the level of poverty, and some people didn't even let their kids go to school or have fun because they needed to work. The only kids who could go to school were mostly the wealthy. Children had to go through hard times just to survive. In some jobs kids could get diseases, break a bone, or even die. As well children almost had no breaks, usually worked ten to twelve hours on one day, and went through extreme heat in the fields.
Since child labor started to increase some people thought it was unfair. One of those people was Lewis Hine. He was important during child labor because he took pictures that showed America the rough work that kids had to do. Another person that was important in child labor was Grace Abbott who worked hard to get an amendment ratified to get child labor to end. Also a group of people got together and created the national child labor committee (NCLC) that protested and worked hard to get laws that could help child labor to end but more effort was needed for it to end.
But people were not the only ones that helped end child labor. There were laws and bills that were passed by Congress to stop child labor. One of those laws was that companies using young children were taxed. Not only did the U.S congress pass laws but also the states. By 1899 about 44 states had child labor laws to get kids in school but many of them had too many loopholes in them so child labor didn't decrease. Even with these laws the Supreme Court decides they were unconstitutional. In the time one of the famous court cases of child labor that hit the Supreme Court was the Hammer vs. Dagenhart when a parent was concerned of his children's safety at work but the Supreme Court still didn't change its mind that it was unconstitutional. One of the last few amendments concerning child labor was one that said that child labor was uneconomical. But that was not enough for children to be back in school and out of the dangerous environments of work. America had to go through bad times to get child labor decreased.
The last few steps to end child labor wasn't the best time to be living in the United States. The time of the Great Depression had come and lots of people needed a job so most kids had to stop working so an adult could take their place, even if they were cheaper to hire. The Great Depression wasn't the only thing that helped lower child labor. At that time new technology was developed for most of the jobs and they needed adults to manage them and a higher level of education was required to do those jobs and soon the amount of people going to school increased. All of these things combined and children were able to leave those dangerous environments and long hours of work to get a good education and to be able to play and to hang out with their friends.
Everyone and everything that helped end the suffering of children at work helped end the problems in the U.S with child labor. With everything that happened they were like baby steps going to the end of ending child labor, but the Great Depression was the big step that took child labor to the end. Children wouldn't have been able to get a great future without an education and to live their life of being a kid and having fun if they were still stuck in those fields, factories, mines, and many more locations that were too dangerous for them just for small wages. Everything that helped end it caused the life of children to be enjoyable and not that dangerous. Children wouldn't be able to have time with their family because of the need of money, they also can go far in life with a great education that they were not given during the time of child labor. If it weren't for all the things that happened to end child labor, kids right now wouldn't be able to enjoy their life like it is today.
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