For the purpose of this essay, Britain will be concentrated on to discover the historical approach to child labour along with compulsory schooling, plus the effects this had on the lives of children and their families. The last two hundred years from the 1800’s to 2000 are explored to recognize the issues surrounding prolonging childhood in mainly Britain. It was here child labour was initially recognised in factories, mills and mines in the early nineteenth century.
This essay will demonstrate the various changes during this period, and the differences between the working class and upper class childhoods and the differences between the childhoods of two hundred years ago, and that of today. As a result, this essay will describe the changes in the experiences and opinions of childhood to the prolonging of childhood in Britain. Two main causes for the prolonging of childhood in Britain over the last two hundred years seem to be due to raising the age limit of when child labour begins, along with lowering the age of when a child should start school, raising the leaving age and making schooling compulsory (Cunningham 2003). Child labour in Britain included working in mines, factories and mills.
The two factors contribute together on the effect of prolonging childhood. The age a child began school became younger, and their school days lengthened whilst the child labour age became older, and the hours shortened. Firstly, looking at the initial cause over this period, was the age of child labour was raised. Children as young as seven and eight were spending long hour’s underground working in mines and pits and there were no laws regarding children working until the 19th century.
The first act to be actually checked up on and backed. . itain over the last two hundred years, is due to the gradual raising of the child labour age, the lowering of school age and raising the leaving age of school, shortening the labour day, lengthening the school day, and eventually making school compulsory to all. Also contributing is the foundation of youth groups and Halls conceptions of adolescence. Works CitedCunningham, H.
(2003) ‘Children’s changing lives from 1800 to 2000’. In Maybin, J. Woodhead, M. (eds. ) Childhoods in Context, Chichester: John Wiley and Sons Ltd. in association with the Open University, pp 81- 128The Open University (2003) U212, Childhood ,Audio 3, Band 3,’ Hugh Cunningham on the history of childhood’ Milton Keynes: The Open University.
The Open University (2003) U212 Childhood, Block 2, ‘School children in Kristiania 1912: Work and school’, Milton Keynes, The Open University.