Written By: Veronica Li
I am going to go with the factory inspector, Leonard Horner to inspect Christopher Bracewell & Brothers at Earby to make sure they aren’t breaking any of the rules in the Factory Act. I watch as he walks towards me to our randevue point, at the edge of a village. We planned to meet here because Christopher Bracewell & Brothers is located nearby. We exchange pleasant introductions and then start walking towards the open field of the factory.
About fifty meters away from the field we look across it and see a figure sprinting, he ran from the house and is running in the direction of the mill. After examining the person Leonard Horner says to me “That looks like Mr. Bracewell, I wonder why he is running so hurriedly, his actions seem quite suspicious.”
As soon as I step into the mill I see tons of children using machines that were a lot bigger than them. The space is too cramped for so many machines and people to be inside and working comfortably. The working conditions look horrible and dangerous; the children appear way too young to be dealing with such dangerous things. What strike me as most disturbing is how young they are, a lot of them look as if they were only ten years old. I follow Leonard Horner around the mill as he checks the factory; seeing nothing wrong, we leave.
A few days after we visited the factory I called Leonard Horner to schedule another meeting to clarify some questions I forgot to ask on the day of the inspection.
It is the second meeting and I greet him as the sits down across from me with a solemn face. I ask him why he looks so down and he tells me that it is because of what he found out about the factory we visited. He tells me in a somber tone “Mr.Bracewell broke the rule that forbade children under nine years old to work in a factory.”
He tells me about why Mr.Bracewell was running towards the mill when he saw us. He ran because he needed to get the underage children into privies to hide them from Leonard Horner. When the superintendent of police at Colne went with Leonard Horner, he searched the privies and found thirteen under aged children illegally working in the mill.
Written By: Veronica Li
LONDON - Yesterday, the Factory Act was passed by the government to improve the working conditions of the children who worked in the factories.
The Factory Act limited the age of the child workers, no one under the age of nine is allowed to work in factories.
Besides that there are certain restrictions on the number of hours the children are allowed to work.
Children 9-13 years old can’t work more than nine hours a day and children from 13-19 years old can’t work more than 12 hours a day.
No one is allowed to work during the night and each child has to have two hours of schooling per day.
Four factory inspectors were hired to enforce the law.
The Factory Act was passed due to people who have spoken up to improve the working conditions in factories. There was a strong humanitarian campaign outside of parliament.
The campaign was led by Michael Sadler, Anthony Ashley Cooper, and some manufactures of the textile industries of Yorkshire and Lancashire.
On July 18th, 1833 Ashley Cooper proposed a bill to restrict the number of hours children were allowed to work to less than ten hours a day.
Even though his bill was defeated in the House of Commons, 283 votes to 93, the Factory Act was passed.
The new Factory Act added onto the Factory Act passed in 1831 which only limited the number of working hours of children under 18 to only 12 hours a day.
The main difference was that there was no one to enforce the Factory Act of 1831.
After trying to pass acts to improve the working conditions of children, there were several people who were critical of Anthony Ashley Cooper.
“As much from a dislike of the millowners as from sympathy of the mill-workers” said Anthony Ashley Cooper’s critics.
This was the factory question his critics have been saying he was trying to answer.
Michael Sadler too had people who were against his views and actions.
“Undoubtedly the system which is pursued in these manufactories relating to the working of your children in a great evil;
“But it appears to me that the remedy which the honorable gentleman proposes to apply is worse than the disease.” said William James.
Some people seem to think it is better to allow the children to work in factories, so they can earn money to buy food because the alternative would be to starve. While other people think children should be protected from the dangers of working in factories.
No one can be sure which would be a better decision, but for now the Factory Act is trying to help both sides by allowing the children to work but for a limited amount of time.
Written By: Tiffany Tse
As Mr. Karl Marx enters the interview room, I could already feel his scholar aura that surrounds him. Once he sat down on the chair, he said, “Gruß, ich danke Ihnen für die Einladung,” meaning “greetings, I thank you for inviting me” I could hear the wisdom in his words and I could not help but smile.
Unlike most Germans, Mr. Marx has done his work and lived his life in Great Britain. He was known to be one of the greatest thinkers, and I do so agree.
As Mr. Marx talks about his earlier published pamphlet, Communist Manifesto, his tone became serious and strong. Karl Marx stated how important it is for oneself to have freedom and that capitalism is an antagonist of freedom.
Karl believed capitalism was destroying the important human values and that it even was destroying religious beliefs with its bare exploitations. Also, that it destroys one’s sense of personal value in its work and destroys a human relationship.
While Mr. Marx gets in-depth into his idea, he had a sudden pause, and told me to note that he does not view it is an aberration in society’s evolution toward true freedom, but instead, it is a stage in the evolution.
These were the key ideas he shared with me during the interview:
As he shared his ideas with logic, his face became bright, I could see the excitement shining through his eyes, and there I know that all Mr. Marx wanted was a society that was equal and free.
I was so engrossed into the discussion that I did not notice the time; I firmly grip his hand and told him it was a pleasure meeting him. He was smiling at me and then said, “Es war eine Ehre, meine Ideen mit Ihnen teilen und die Welt, ich danke Ihnen,” meaning, “it was an honor to share my ideas with you and the world, thank you.”
Written By: Tiffany Tse
LONDON – Yesterday, the British Parliament leaded by Charles Grey, established the Poor Law against all poor people in England’s and Whale’s society.
Families, children, mothers, and every single people who were poor, were sentenced to live and work in a workhouse or so-called the ‘Prison of the Poor’.
Families were forced to separate when they entered the workhouse; all children, women, men, and the aged ones were separated into four sections..
“Cruel — damnably cruel as this infamous blasphemy is, it is humanity itself compared with the poignant and ever-gnawing agony which is suffered by separated parents,” wrote Joshua Hobson in his book, The Book of Murder.
Men and boys, even the frail ones like the aged ones, were required to do monotonous jobs that were all manual and tiring, such as: stone breaking, oakum picking, and bone crushing, hole-digging.
Women and girls were required to paint the wall or they could interminably do work such as: work cleaning, polishing, scrubbing, sweeping, or other domestic duties.
Breakfast was just gruel and about 5~7 ounce of bread; dinner was 5~6 ounce of meat and potatoes or 1~1.5 pint of soup or just rice pudding; while supper was 5~7 ounce of bread with cheese or butter and broth; this hardly enough to bloat a child’s or even a mother’s stomach.
“Some of the dormitories in this house appear to be crowded. The large dormitory, No. 20, has three rows of double beds, and eight of these contain three women in each. The same is the case in ward 27. These and other sleeping apartments have no means for receiving the air at night, except a small moving fanlight over the door of each, but these are night would be closed,” reported by Dr, Farre and Mr. Grainger, when they together visited the workhouse.
Besides the ‘dormitories’ being crowded, it led to the sickness and a very unhealthy condition of the people living in the workhouse.
The sick ones were sent to another division of the workhouse but these patients were still dying one after another.
The sick patients were only allowed to stay in the medical division for nine weeks greatest, but during these weeks, none of the patients got better, instead they remained in the most disgusting and filthy state.
In those nine weeks, the patients did not have a change of linen or of bed clothing, some patients died while suffering typhus, yet because the bed clothing were never changed, the patients’ conditions only got worse and eventually led them to their death.
“Two patients suffering in infectious fever, were almost constantly put together in one bed; that it not unfrequently happened that one would be ragingly delirious, when the other was dying,” written in the report of the Overseers of Huddersfield.
The British Parliament introduced the Poor Law to ‘encourage’ poor people to work hard to support themselves but this law has led to rebels in society, like the Ten-Hour Movement, and insanity in the workhouse; this act was just a reason to blame the poor for being poor.
Written By: Gregory Huang
I immediately felt the kindness and friendliness of Radical Torry Michael Sadler as he walked into the interview room early in the morning. A warm and sincere “Pleasure to meet you” showed me his modesty and humbleness as one of the most influential men in English politics.
Michael Sadler, unlike many of the other Aristocratic Tories, is a man with a compassionate heart. Being the main advocate for the Factory Act, Michael Sadler keenly fought a tough war against people who were very much like him.
Many were confused about the change of this aristocrat – his political ideas contrast greatly from his fellow Tories. When I asked him how he made this drastic change from being Pro-Aristocratic to Pro-Working class, he told me that his experience at Leeds was the turning point.
Michael Sadler worked at Leeds when he was thirty, when he first witnessed the wrath of child labour in the British Industrial Revolution. Since then he became very active on banning, or at least restricting, child labour.
I could sense the change of tone when we got onto the point where he visited some factories that relied heavily on child labour. His jolly and relaxed tone turned stale and cold; and I could tell that at some point he held back tears. He believed that children were working in conditions so horrible that the factory act must pass as soon as possible to stop further damage.
He cared for the children who had to work for a living. He scorned the factory owners who put profit in front of the health of their workers. He put himself in the same place as the workers, and did all he could do to pass the Factory Act. And at the end, though he wasn’t able to see pass in Parliament, the Factory Act was successfully installed into the society and the children are free from the hands of evil factory owners.
When we discussed about the success of the passing of the bill, Mr. Sadler gave me a grin, and gently said, “I’m just doing my job as a representative of my fellow citizens”.
Written By: Gregory Huang
A massive strike took place yesterday as workers of the train tracks in the United States, which included West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Missouri blockaded train tracks due to 10% wage cuts, their distrust of capitalists and poor working conditions.
Workers of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad company went on strike two days ago because of a second 10% wage cut in the same year, which was followed by a wide array of support from workers in other states and led to an even greater strike yesterday that blocked most trains from moving within that area.
The US Federal Government, led by President Rutherford B. Hayes with a low popularity, sent in militias to try and restrict the striker’s activities. The militia refused to use force against the protestors, and it is reported that Federal Troops will be sent to protesting locations in the next day or two.
The United States, along with Europe, entered a period of economic depression since the year 1873, and companies laid off workers and cut their wages ever since. As to yesterday, roughly 3 million people were still unemployed – which is 27 percent of the working population in the United States.
Besides the workers fighting for their wages and the right to work, many who participated in the Great Railroad Strike blamed this outcome onto the Capitalist investors and former President Ulysses Grant, who they believed to have started the mess.
Eight years after the Civil War in the United States ended in 1865, roughly 35,000 miles of new track were laid from coast-to-coast. Those train tracks required lots of funding and the capitalist investors invested in those train tracks with high amplitude of financial risk.
The Capitalist and Government officials claimed that this is not their fault; the high unemployment rate is merely the consequences of lazy workers. As Gov. Shelby Cullom said, “the vagrant, the willfully idle, was the chief element in all these disturbances”, and the Pro-Capitalist newspaper claimed that they are “THIEVES AND CUTTHROATS”. And surprisingly, no accounts from the protesting workers got to us.
Many railroad workers believed that President Grant did a very bad job handling money when he was in office, mainly because he mishandled the monetary policy of the United States.
The abnormal growth of train tracks in the United States proved to be incredibly vulnerable as the economy stated to go downhill in 1873, when the Capitalist investors found themselves unable to pay their workers that resulted in consecutive wage cuts.
The United States Government had to clean up the mess made by the irresponsible Capitalist investors that created the chaos. President Hayes had to keep the train tracks running, but the Capitalists refused to increase the wages with no compassion for the railroad workers.
The Strikes are still going on at this moment. There are no casualties so far, but many protesters fear that once the Federal forces interfere there would be bloodshed.