The analyzed document is The Sadler Report (1832) in the form of interviews with factory workers. The attention of the modern man is instantly attracted by the fact that children worked there. The use of child labor in the English industry was one way to reduce production costs. In the changed economic situation, the parents pushed by the destitution had to give the children to work in a factory. Under challenging conditions, they had to work form twelve to fifteen hours a day in cramped and stuffy premises, with bad food and lack of rest.
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It is clear from the document that corporal punishment was applied to children for poorly done work or late comings. It is also possible to find out that children were also beaten because, by the end of the working day, they were tired and started working slower, became less attentive. In order to keep the children focused, the supervisors actively used beatings. It can be concluded from the testimony that the use of striking increased productivity and reduced the number of accidents among children in factories because periodic strikes by a belt or weave forced children to be attentive. Therefore, these facts were not considered acts of cruel treatment because they aimed at preserving the life of the child. Although these methods are far beyond modern morality, they probably fit well into the virtue of the 19th century.
Some conclusions can be drawn from the above facts. There is no doubt that child abuse has occurred. These measures were applied to children and intended not only to improve the work of children but also to instill fear in them. According to supervisors and masters, only in this way from children could it be possible to achieve the best result. Since only one factory’s testimony was analyzed, one cannot argue that similar events occurred in other enterprises; however, there is such a chance.
The Sadler Report: Report from the Committee on the Bill to regulate the labour of children in the mills and factories of the United Kingdom. (1832). London: House of Commons.