Child Labor and the Industrial Revolution
From the paper:
“It was thought to be a benefit for children to work, so they could get a head start on building a life for themselves. Poor children could contribute to society by working, and through self-reliance and determinism could break free from poverty.
“The prevalent attitude was that the laissez-faire economic system had made America great, and that any interference in the natural way of things was “unscientific, irrational, and unjust” (Trattner, 1970: 32).
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Social Darwinism also supported child labor and the lack of regulation. Society valued individualism and self-reliance, and saw any regulation of industry as obstructing a natural process that should be allowed to progress free of restraints. Each person should try their hardest to get rich, and nobody should interfere with a person’s right to accumulate wealth, even at the expense of others.”