Up North in Yorkshire - Referat
Up North in Yorkshire
Industrielle Revolution/ Industrie
1. the factory system
4. Country to city
5. Child labour
6. Richard Oastler (1789-1861)
7. Child labour today
At first I will tell you something about Industrial Revolution. It all started in the wool industry in the 18th century.The goods were mady by hand. Manufacturers began to change it at all. They started to build new factories, the most in north of England. There new install machines took the places of workers. By these machines, which are very efficiently, was the number of the workers cutting. There were also other disadvantages, because you also needed a new source of power. Till then, machines had used natural power, like water, wind, animals and human beings, which all were quite limited. Then early in the 18th century the steam engine was invented, that at first was used in mines, it soon spread all over Britain. These were efficient a long time, until in 1769 James Watt, a Scottish engineer, wanted to improve them. Because of him the new factories have all the power they needed.
Until the 18th century the main fuel was wood. Wood did not burn hot enough. That’s why manufacturers turning to coal. However coal was still not a very important source of energy, but it still use in the iron and steel industry. In the first half of 18th century the things were quickly changed, so that coal was producing only 5.3 million tonnes in 1750, but in 1850 it was whole 65.7 million tonnes. That’s why Britain became Europe’s biggest iron producer over the same period. It increased iron production by nearly 8000%, while also greatly improving the quality. Today these steelworks have been knocked down. The firms made on these districts shopping centres and sport stadiums.
Goods, which were made had to get on an efficient way to market. The people built canals, which made transport of factory goods faster and cheaper and today linked towns all over Britain. Roads were also improved. Soon in 1780 the first stagecoaches could transport passengers from London to Manchester in a day, instead of 3 days (like it was in 1720). In the early 19th century the greatest new development was made. It was the railway. Spread quickly around Britain and soon around the whole world, the railways became a symbol of the Industrial Revolution. Starts in the north-east of England in 1825, the first passenger railway in the world ran from Stockton to Darlington. After built a locomotive for the Stockton-to-Darlington line, started George Stephenson to developing another. That was his famous “Rocket”, that in 1829 took part in the competition for the Liverpool-Manchestor line and won with a speed of 36 miles per hour.
All these changes turned villages into cities because manufacturers needed a lot of workers in factories, or “mills” as they were often called. The most people lived in the country, where they made their own clothes and growing their own food. But agriculture was changing too. The rich ones grow food for profit if they had bigger pieces of land. They got these bigger pieces of land through enclosures, taking over open common land used for centuries by the ordinary people. Having lost their areas of land, they couldn’t grow anything anymore. So they were looking for a work in the new factories and also moved to new places, where the work was. More and more of them moved to towns and small places like Leeds and Sheffield turning into big cities. The worker were not only adults. There were also children. So now I came to child labour.
For that we listened two texts. In one of both we could hear a story about Georgie Smith, who was living 1842 in Yorkshire and working there in a mill. That was not the only life, which he ever knew, but also the other children: working instead of going to school.
He must work 17 hours, day after day. Without a breake and he couldn’t also have a rest. If you did it, you would get punished, like the boss beat you, what was not only a lesson for you but also for other “lazy” children. After two hard weeks Georgie woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning because of pain. Every help was to late. The boy was frightened of beeing to late at work. His last words were “Can you see the light of the mill?” Then he died. Georgie is not the only one, who must work in the most terrible conditions.
The other text is about a museum. These “national museum of coal-mining” show the visiters how the people had to work in a coal-mining in the 18th century. If you going 140 m down with a lift, you think you are in a small cage, where is no light and even not any candles. There were also not food or drink. You can see a model of a small child there. That’s mean, that most of workers were children. A girl discribe her feelings. She said: “Time seems to stay still, when you can see nothing” and she mean it’s very scary there. “It feels like you feel the ghost of children” And thats right. Because a lot of children were died in such a coal minings or also in other works.
A lot of people were against the terrible conditions by work and of course against child labour.
A famous representative for that was Richard Oastler, also called „King of the Factory Children“. He worked to improve conditions in Britain’s mines and he wanted to protect children by get a ten-hours day instead of 17. In General it was a battle against factory legislation. After writing a letter to “The Leeds Mercury”, also called “MP” in 1830 John Hobhouse was reading it and introduced a bill to parliament to limit child labour. The long battle had begun. Because of money debt Richard had to spending five years in prison. But after it he continued the fight .
Today also work a lot of children for money. Of course different as for 150 years, because they are protected by law and they can choose if they really wanted to work or not. In Britain 1- 2 million kids between 13-15 year-olds work. As good as you can see today that’s easier and better for children as then.
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