Factory Reform in the 1800s

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  • Factory Reform in the 1800s
    • Causes
      • Individuals
        • Brougham & Durham genuine Whig radicals
        • Lord Ashley pushed 10 Hour Movement in Parliament
        • Michael Sadler (Tory MP) moved by 10 Hour Movement and called a select committee to discuss it
          • However he lost his seat in 1832
        • Lord Althorp put through the 1833 Act
      • Ten Hour Movement
        • Richard Oastler and George Bull
        • Richard Oastler's "Yorkshire Slavery" letter
        • Began in 1830 when Pennines workers got into "short time committees" to collaborate w/ TUs for change. Used petitioning and mass meetings
      • Changing attitudes
        • After reform act people started to see change was inevitable
      • Groups
        • Whigs
          • Some genuine radicals (Brougham, Durham) felt social responsibility
          • Most wanted to preserve power
          • Reluctant to enfranchise working class
        • Utilitarians
          • Jeremy Bentham
          • Had commissions to investigate laws & conditions, & report back
          • Exerted pressure to Whigs to improve poor law and municipal corporations
          • Earl of Chadwick was utilitarian
        • Humanitarians
          • Wanted working condition improvements in mines & factories
          • Wanted basic rights - 10hr days & better working conditions
          • Sadler, Lord Ashley, Feargus O'Connor wanted to improve workers' dignity
            • Cross-party issue
          • Owen - conditions in New Lanark
        • Evangelicals
          • e.g. William Wilberforce
          • Had a conscience in society
          • Cross party support
        • Why did Whigs listen?
          • Weak gvt influenced by external groups? Or good listening?
          • Indecisive?
          • Whigs were members of these groups - within gvt opinions. Tories had these views in parliament
          • Whigs wanted to benefit from the inevitable change
    • Acts
      • 1833
        • Gave education grant £20,000, Children aged 9-13 9hr day, 48hr week no under 9s employable
        • Inspectorate of factories w/ fining powers
          • Only 4 for 4000 factories
        • Left room for additional reform
        • Driven by humanitarian ideals & 10hr movement
      • 1844
        • Tory gvt under Peel felt need to act if moral case was compelling
        • Minimum age for emplyment - 8. U13s 6.5hr day, women max 12 hour day
        • Dangerous machinery fenced
        • Gave women more time at home
        • 10 hour movement dissatisfied
        • Parents lied about kids' age to get longer working hours, more pay
      • 1847
        • Growing commitment to societal wellbeing
        • Women and children got 10 hour day (not men)
        • Only applied to textile industry
      • 1850
        • Consideration of private lives of men and women
        • Established uniform working day with break for meals and early end on Saturday
        • Protected children from excessive work
      • 1860
        • Provided existing provisions to bleach and dye works
      • 1864
        • Applied existing provisions to other industries: pottery, matchmaking, paper and fustian cutting etc

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