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Kevin Reilly is the author of the text “The Sadler Report of the House of Commons” in the book “World Civilization”. The end of the 18th century is a period known as an Industrial Revolution which began in England with the use of coal, steam, and iron as areas of change, the enlightenment ideas, improvements on food production, a rapid rise in population, and increasing demand for cotton textile and iron. The industrial revolution in the second tier came with the advancement in technologies hence improved lifestyle and leisure activities. The accompanying factors of consumption and utilization of resources had an impact on the change of people’s activities and utilization of human labor.
Imperialism spread western culture around the globe, but most significantly for the Europeans. The extraction of raw materials and new work markets allowed reliance not only on necessities but on luxuries as well. It had a direct impact on the utilization of global resources hence large-scale resource depletion. The cohesive nature of both industrialization and imperialism served to develop a consumer culture for westerners during this period. Imperialism and industrialization made goods less expensive because of mass production, cheap labor, and easily obtained raw materials.
Children worked at blanket factories at a young age (8 years) and for long hours, from six in the morning till eight at night with an only one-hour break at noon. This meant that there was no time to set aside for breakfast and refreshment or rest. When the business was at risk, the children worked from five in the morning till nine at night (16 hours). During those long hours of labor, one could not be able to be punctual at work. It was difficult to wake up early unless literally woke up or lifted out of bed, sometimes asleep, my parents. At work, there were consequences for being late. The beating was a common thing, and most of the workers thought that it was severe indeed.
The long working hours had a significant effect on the health of the workers. The workers literally slept while walking home from work, and it led to the loss of appetite and even if one could eat the food, it could not stay, but eventually, he could vomit it out.
Children got employment as pinecones, which is very laborious employment, especially for children. This was mainly because piecing involved a lot of running to and from, and being on the toe the whole day. The speed of the machines was calculated so as to demand the utmost exertions of a child. This made it difficult for them to keep up with their work.
In the latter part of the day, children, as they got fatigued, could not keep up with the machinery. The consequences could be that they got eaten up hence offering success motivation. The children admitted that they believed that if it was not for the beating during the circumstances, they could not get through the job.
The beating also happened sometimes in the morning when the children were exceedingly drowsy and had not got rid of the fatigue of the day before. The beating was so severe as to break ahead or knock them down. It even became a general thing. This was better compared to other mills where it was a real chasteness that one could hardly be in a mill without hearing constant crying. This was inhuman and abusive to their physical and emotional wellbeing.
After work the children never got time to receive instructions from their parents, instead, they went to bed immediately with little supper they were offered. This had a direct impact on the health, growth, and development of the individuals. Their wage was three shillings per week and half a penny a day when they worked long hours past the normal periods. The compensation was never enough for any development. The children sometimes carried their food to the mill, but most times it got covered by flues from the wool thus spoiling the food. At the same time the over-labor lost their appetite and could not eat well when they got home.
The piecing made their hands bleed, and the skin completely rubbed off making them bleed. This happened every day. The prominent part of the hand was affected but, unfortunately, the work could not be done by the back of the hand otherwise they could have made use of it (Reilly, 1992).
This text indirectly shows a correlation between industrialization and imperialism. Imperialism means that raw materials could be obtained for reduced prices, as well as cheap labor. This provides the reason for the industrialization to look at the achievements of imperialism. Imperialism meant more trade with other countries- more trade meant more money- more money meant that there was more money to invest in industrialization. Industrialization also meant that new markets had to be found where their commodities could be sold, hence imperialism. Child labor was preferred in the mills and textile industries because it was cheap (Reilly, 1992).
Reilly, K. (1992). “The Sadler Report of the House of Commons”, World Civilizations.New York: St.Martins Press.