One of the factors of production needed during the industrial revolution was labor.
As the standard of living increased... so did the cost of
As things became more expensive, one of two things had to happen: (1) mom and dad had to earn more, or (2) more people had to work to contribute.
Factories had no obligation to pay their workers fair wages. At the time, there was no government regulations requiring minimum wage, working hours, minimum working age, lunch and breaks, or safety regulations.
This meant that mom and dad were working incredibly long hours for really awful pay. No family time, no family dinners, no one to take care of the kids. Even worse, after all that work, they still couldn't afford to feed and clothe their families properly.
So.... they sent their kids to work. Kids were pulled from school and forced to work the same horrible hours, for even less pay, as early as 8 years old.
|Quote from a business owner:
I regard my people as I regard my machinery. So long as they do my work for what I choose to pay them, I keep them, getting out of them all I can. What they do or how they fare outside my walls I don't know, nor do I consider it my business to know. They must look out for themselves as I do for myself.
Source: Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor, Thirteenth Annual Report, 1883.