Labour law also known as labor law or employment law mediates the relationship between workers, employing entities, trade unions and the government. Collective labour law relates to the tripartite relationship between employeeemployer and union.
Individual labour law concerns employees' rights at work also through the contract for work. Employment standards are social norms in some cases also technical standards for the minimum socially acceptable conditions under which employees or contractors are allowed to work. Government agencies such as the former US Employment Standards Administration enforce labour law legislature, regulatory, or judicial.
Labour law arose in parallel with the Industrial Revolution as the relationship between worker and employer changed from small-scale production studios to large-scale factories.
Workers sought better conditions and the right to join a labour unionwhile employers sought a more predictable, flexible and less costly workforce. The state of labour law at any one time is therefore both the product of and a component of struggles between various social forces. As England was the first country to industrialize, it was also the first to face the often appalling consequences of the industrial revolution in a less regulated economic framework.
Over the course of the late 18th and early to the midth century the foundation for modern labour law was slowly laid, as some of the more egregious aspects of working conditions were steadily ameliorated through legislation. This was largely achieved through the concerted pressure from social reformersnotably Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesburyand others.
A serious outbreak of fever in in cotton mills near Manchester drew widespread public opinion against the use of children in dangerous conditions. A local inquiry, presided over by Dr Thomas Percivalwas instituted by the justices of the peace for Lancashireand the resulting report recommended the limitation of children's working hours.
This was the first, albeit modest, step towards the protection of labour. The act limited working hours to twelve a day and abolished night work. It required the provision of a basic level of education for all apprentices, as well as adequate sleeping accommodation and clothing.
The rapid industrialisation of manufacturing at the turn of the 19th century led to a rapid increase in child employment, and public opinion was steadily made aware of the terrible conditions these children were forced to endure. The Factory Act of was the outcome of the efforts of the industrialist Robert Owen and prohibited child labour under nine years of age and limited the working day to twelve.
A great milestone in labour law was reached with the Factory Act ofwhich limited the employment of children under eighteen years of age, prohibited all night work and, crucially, provided for inspectors to enforce the law. Pivotal in the campaigning for and the securing of this legislation were Michael Sadler and the Earl of Shaftesbury. This act was an important step forward, in that it mandated skilled inspection of workplaces and rigorous enforcement of the law by an independent governmental body.
A lengthy campaign to limit the working day to ten hours was led by Shaftesbury, and included support from the Anglican Church. These early efforts were principally aimed at limiting child labour. From the midth century, attention was first paid to the plight of working conditions for the workforce in general.Child labor, or the use of children as servants and apprentices, has been practiced throughout most of human history, but reached a zenith during the Industrial Revolution.
Miserable working conditions including crowded and unclean factories, a lack of safety codes or legislation and long hours were the norm. Crucially, children could be paid less, were less likely to organize into unions and their small stature enabled them to complete tasks in factories or mines that would be challenging for adults. Working children were unable to attend school—creating a cycle of poverty that was difficult to break.
Nineteenth century reformers and labor organizers sought to restrict child labor and improve working conditions to uplift the masses, but it took the Great Depression—a time when Americans were desperate for employment—to shake long-held practices of child labor in the United States. The Puritan work ethic of the 13 colonies and their founders valued hard work over idleness, and this ethos applied to children as well. Through the first half of the s, child labor was an essential part of the agricultural and handicraft economy of the United States.
Children worked on family farms and as indentured servants for others. To learn a trade, boys began their apprenticeships between the ages of ten and fourteen.
The Industrial Revolution saw the rise of factories in need of workers. Children were ideal employees because they could be paid less, were often of smaller stature so could attend to more minute tasks and were less likely to organize and strike against their pitiable working conditions. Before the Civil Warwomen and children played a critical role in American manufacturing, though it was still a relatively small part of the economy.
Advances in manufacturing techniques after the war increased the number of jobs…and therefore child laborers.
Immigration to the United States led to a new source of labor—and child labor. When the Irish Potato Famine struck in the s, Irish immigrants moved to fill lower-level factory jobs. In the s, groups from southern and eastern Europe arrived, provided a new pool of child workers.
Educational reformers of the mid-nineteenth century attempted to convince the public that a primary school education was a necessity if the nation were to advance as a whole. Several states established a minimum wage for labor and requirements for school attendance—though many of these laws were full of loopholes that were readily exploited by employers hungry for cheap labor.
Beginning inefforts to regulate or eliminate child labor became central to social reform in the United States.
The National Child Labor Committee, organized inand state child labor committees led the charge. These organizations employed flexible methods in the face of slow progress. They pioneered tactics like investigations by experts; the use of photography to spark outrage at the poor conditions of children at work and persuasive lobbying efforts.
They used written pamphlets, leaflets and mass mailings to reach the public. From tochild labor committees emphasized reform through state legislatures. Many laws restricting child labor were passed as part of the progressive reform movement of this period. But many southern states resisted, leading to the decision to work for a federal child labor law.
While Congress passed such laws in andthe Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional.
Public Health During the Industrial Revolution
The opponents of child labor sought a constitutional amendment authorizing federal child labor legislation and it passed inthough states were not keen to ratify it; the conservative political climate of the s, together with opposition from farm and church organizations fearing increased federal power over children, acted as roadblocks.
Almost all of the codes developed under the National Industrial Recovery Act served to reduce child labor. The Fair Labor Standards Act of set a national minimum wage for the first time and a maximum number of hour for workers in interstate commerce—and also placed limitations on child labor. In effect, the employment of children under sixteen years of age was prohibited in manufacturing and mining. Semiskilled adults took their place for more complex tasks.
Education underwent reforms, too. Many states increasing the number of years of schooling required to hold certain jobs, lengthened the school year, and began to more strictly enforced truancy laws.The Industrial Revolution: Crash Course European History #24
InCongress amended the child labor law to include businesses not covered in like commercial agriculture, transportation, communications and public utilities.Suitable for: Key stage 2Key stage 3 Time period: Empire and Industry Curriculum topics: Childhood through timeIndustrial RevolutionPolitical and social reform Suggested inquiry questions: How successful was the Factory Act at solving the problem of children working in factories?
Potential activities: Three sources with suggested questions, class debate. Creative tasks: Letter writing, poster making. Download: Lesson pack Did it solve the problems of children in factories?
Tasks Background Teachers' notes External links In the Government passed a Factory Act to improve conditions for children working in factories. Young children were working very long hours in workplaces where conditions were often terrible. The basic act was as follows:. However, the passing of this act did not mean that the mistreatment of children stopped overnight. Using these sources, investigate how far the act had solved the problems of child labour. As the Industrial Revolution gathered pace thousands of factories sprang up all over the country.
There were no laws relating to the running of factories as there had been no need for them before. As a result, dangerous machinery was used that could, and frequently did, cause serious injuries to workers. To add to these dangers, people were required to work incredibly long hours — often through the night. Perhaps one of the worst features of this new industrial age was the use of child labour.
Very young children worked extremely long hours and could be severely punished for any mistakes. Arriving late for work could lead to a large fine and possibly a beating.
Dozing at a machine could result in the accidental loss of a limb. People began to realise how bad these conditions were in many factories and started to campaign for improvements. There was a lot of resistance from factory owners who felt it would slow down the running of their factories and make their products more expensive. Many people also did not like the government interfering in their lives.
Some parents, for instance, needed their children to go out to work from a young age, as they needed the money to help feed the family. Not all factory owners kept their workers in bad conditions however. Robert Owen, who owned a cotton mill in Lanark, Scotland, built the village of New Lanark for his workers.
Here they had access to schools, doctors and there was a house for each family who worked in his mills. Bythe Government passed what was to be the first of many acts dealing with working conditions and hours.
At first, there was limited power to enforce these acts but as the century progressed the rules were enforced more strictly. Listed below are details of the legislation laws that was introduced to improve working conditions in factories. This lesson provides pupils with the opportunity to arrive at a conclusion based upon evidence.During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries Great Britain became the first country to industrialize. The practice of putting children to work was first documented in the Medieval era when fathers had their children spin thread for them to weave on the loom.
Children performed a variety of tasks that were auxiliary to their parents but critical to the family economy. Children who lived on farms worked with the animals or in the fields planting seeds, pulling weeds and picking the ripe crop.
Boys looked after the draught animals, cattle and sheep while girls milked the cows and cared for the chickens. Children who worked in homes were either apprentices, chimney sweeps, domestic servants, or assistants in the family business.
As apprentices, children lived and worked with their master who established a workshop in his home or attached to the back of his cottage. The children received training in the trade instead of wages. Once they became fairly skilled in the trade they became journeymen. By the time they reached the age of twenty-one, most could start their own business because they had become highly skilled masters.
Both parents and children considered this a fair arrangement unless the master was abusive. The infamous chimney sweeps, however, had apprenticeships considered especially harmful and exploitative.
Boys as young as four would work for a master sweep who would send them up the narrow chimneys of British homes to scrape the soot off the sides. They received a low wage, and room and board in exchange for doing household chores cleaning, cooking, caring for children and shopping. Children who were employed as assistants in domestic production or what is also called the cottage industry were in the best situation because they worked at home for their parents.
Girls helped with dressmaking, hat making and button making while boys assisted with shoemaking, pottery making and horse shoeing. Although hours varied from trade to trade and family to family, children usually worked twelve hours per day with time out for meals and tea. These hours, moreover, were not regular over the year or consistent from day-to-day. The weather and family events affected the number of hours in a month children worked.
This form of child labor was not viewed by society as cruel or abusive but was accepted as necessary for the survival of the family and development of the child. Although long hours had been the custom for agricultural and domestic workers for generations, the factory system was criticized for strict discipline, harsh punishment, unhealthy working conditions, low wages, and inflexible work hours.
These child apprentices were paupers taken from orphanages and workhouses and were housed, clothed and fed but received no wages for their long day of work in the mill. Despite the First Factory Act of which attempted to improve the conditions of parish apprenticesseveral mill owners were in the same situation as Sir Robert Peel and Samuel Greg who solved their labor shortage by employing parish apprentices.
The factory owners began to hire children from poor and working-class families to work in these factories preparing and spinning cotton, flax, wool and silk. What happened to children within these factory walls became a matter of intense social and political debate that continues today.
Pessimists such as AlfredEngelsMarxand Webb and Webb argued that children worked under deplorable conditions and were being exploited by the industrialists. Optimists, on the other hand, argued that the employment of children in these factories was beneficial to the child, family and country and that the conditions were no worse than they had been on farms, in cottages or up chimneys.
Many factory owners claimed that employing children was necessary for production to run smoothly and for their products to remain competitive. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, recommended child labor as a means of preventing youthful idleness and vice.
Ivy Pinchbeck pointed out, moreover, that working hours and conditions had been as bad in the older domestic industries as they were in the industrial factories.
Although the debate over whether children were exploited during the British Industrial Revolution continues today [see Nardinelli and Tuttle ], Parliament passed several child labor laws after hearing the evidence collected. The three laws which most impacted the employment of children in the textile industry were the Cotton Factories Regulation Act of which set the minimum working age at 9 and maximum working hours at 12the Regulation of Child Labor Law of which established paid inspectors to enforce the laws and the Ten Hours Bill of which limited working hours to 10 for children and women.
Labor Laws and the Industrial Revolution
The significance of child labor during the Industrial Revolution was attached to both the changes in the nature of child labor and the extent to which children were employed in the factories. Cunningham argues that the idleness of children was more a problem during the Industrial Revolution than the exploitation resulting from employment. He examines the Report on the Poor Laws in and finds that in parish after parish there was very little employment for children.
In contrast, CruickshankHammond and HammondNardinelliRedfordRuleand Tuttle claim that a large number of children were employed in the textile factories. These two seemingly contradictory claims can be reconciled because the labor market for child labor was not a national market.The Industrial Revolution involved a shift in the United States from manual labor-based industry to technical based industry which greatly increased the overall production and economic growth of the United States, signifying a shift from an agrarian to an industrial economy widely accepted to have been a result of Samuel Slater 's introduction of British Industrial methods in textile manufacturing to the United States,  and necessitated by the War of As Western Europe began industrializing in the late s and early s, the United States remained agrarian in nature with resource processing, such as gristmills and sawmills being its major semi-industrial pursuit,  however, as demand for U.
This made it necessary for the U. He learned that Americans were interested in the Industrial Revolution's new techniques, but since exporting such designs were illegal in England, he memorized as much as he could and departed for New York in illegally. Moses Browna leading Rhode Island industrialist, attempted to operate a mill with a spindle frame in Pawtucketbut he couldn't.
1833 Factory Act
It was at that time that Slater offered his services, promising to replicate British designs for Brown and, after an initial investment by Brown to Slater to fulfill initial requirements, the mill successfully opened in being the first water-powered roller spinning textile mill in the Americas. BySlater's mill had been duplicated by many other entrepreneurs as Slater grew wealthier and his techniques more and more popular, which brought him the name "Father of the American Industrial Revolution" by Andrew Jackson in the U.
The Industrial Revolution permanently altered the U. The American System economic plan gave way to new economic thought such as the classical school of economics which assisted in the growth of trade and commerce, but this time with the U. The Industrial Revolution also saw a decrease in the rampancy of labor shortages which characterized the U.
This also allowed for the quicker movement of resources and goods around the country, drastically increasing trade efficiency and output, while allowing for an extensive transport base for the U. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved Archived from the original on The Transportation Revolution, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
BBC News. American and British Technology in the Nineteenth Century. London, U. Industrial and technological revolution. First Second Third Potential future. Category Commons. History of the United States.
Prehistory Pre-Columbian Colonial — — — — — — — — — —present.One important impact of the industrial revolution such as the use of coalironand steam was rapid urbanizationas new and expanding industry caused villages and towns to swell, sometimes into vast cities. The Port of Liverpool, for example, rose from a population of a couple of thousand to many tens of thousands in the space of a century. As a result, these towns became hotbeds of disease and depredation, prompting a debate in Britain about public health.
It's important to remember that science wasn't as advanced as today, so people didn't know exactly what was going wrong, and the speed of changes was pushing government and charities structures in new and strange ways. But there was always a group of people who looked at the new stresses on the new urban workers and were willing to campaign to solve them. Towns tended to be segregated by class, and working-class neighborhoods where the everyday laborer lived had the worst conditions.
As the governing classes lived in different areas they never saw these conditions, and protests from the workers were ignored. Housing was generally bad and made worse by the numbers of people constantly arriving in cities.
The most common housing pattern was high-density back-to-back structures which were poor, damp, badly ventilated with few kitchens and many sharing a single tap and privy. In this overcrowding, disease spread easily. There was also inadequate drainage and sewerage, and what sewers there were tended to be square, stuck in the corners, and built of porous brick. Waste was frequently left in the streets and most people shared privies which emptied into cesspits.
What open spaces there were also tended to be filled with rubbish, and the air and water were polluted by factories and slaughterhouses. The satirical cartoonists of the day didn't have to imagine a hell to illustrate in these cramped, poorly designed cities. In fact, despite technological developments, the death rate rose, and infant mortality was very high. There was also a range of common diseases: tuberculosis, typhus, and aftercholera.
The terrible working environments created new occupational hazards, such as lung disease and bone deformities. Beforetown administration was weak, poor and too impotent to meet the demands of new urban life. There were few representative elections to produce forums for people who were worse off to speak, and there was little power in the hands of town planners, even after such a job was created by necessity.
Revenues tended to be spent on large, new civic buildings. Some regions had chartered boroughs with rights, and others found themselves governed by a lord of the manor, but all these arrangements were too out-of-date to deal with the speed of urbanization.
There was self-interest too, as builders wanted profits, not better quality housing, and the government-held a deep prejudice about the poor's worthiness of efforts. The prime motivation then was cholera, not ideology.
In a commission was appointed to look into municipal government. Nevertheless, this wasn't a failure, as it set the pattern for the English government and made possible the later public health acts. They drew attention to the connection between unsanitary conditions, disease, and pauperism. The Bishop of London then called for a national survey.
Chadwick, a force in all things public service in the mid-eighteenth century, mobilized the medical officers provided by the Poor Law and created his report which highlighted the problems associated with class and residence. It was damning and sold a huge number of copies.
Amongst its recommendations were an arterial system for clean water and the replacement of improvement commissions by a single body with power. Many objected to Chadwick and some wags in the government claimed they preferred cholera to him.
Meanwhile, the government was recommended to introduce public health reforms by other sources in By this stage, some municipal governments had acted on their own initiative and passed private acts of Parliament to force through changes.The working environment was harsh and laborers had to work long hours for extremely low wages.
In the middle of 18th century Britain, the Industrial Revolution was well underway. For workers, this meant living troubled lives with little help from government laws to protect them. While products were being produced more rapidly and in bigger quantities, workers suffered. Working during this time included being around dangerous machinery and performing tedious tasks to get the job done.
There were not many labor laws passed to protect the average workers, who were often women, and children as young as five, from being exposed to the dangerous working environment.
Oftentimes these conditions would have led to workers getting injured or even, for many, resulting in death. People worked around ten to fifteen hours a day at an estimated five and a half to seven pounds a week. Britain went on to pass a series of laws throughout the 19th century to help solve these ongoing issues of basic human rights. The need for laws regulating labor was becoming crucial to many working families, so much so that a committee was put together in order to accomplish this.
In the examination, Cooper was asked several questions about his hours and the work environment. He was 28 at the time of the examination but started working at the mills at age This showed the health hazards that was presented to the workers while working in mills and factories. Eventually working conditions, the amount of work and the health of workers began to worsen.
It was necessary that laws to protect the well-being of workers be put in place. Beginning inthe first of the Factory Acts were established to form regular working days in the textile industry.
Part of the law stated that no children under nine years of age could work and it limited the working hours to hours per day depending on your age. Children also had to attend school for a couple hours a day and could not work any overnight shifts.
The employers also had to provide documentation for each child stating their age. In order to make sure these laws were followed, officials were hired to keep an eye on the employers. Inthe Mines Act was passed.