The changes were the industrial revolution that was taking place.
Since child labour was already a pervasive problem during the 17th century in Britain, the industrial revolution simply just made child labour even more overflowed.
The Industrial Revolution began in England in the 18th century.
Many people were affected during this time especially the working class, but the Industrial Revolution brought so many technologies and innovations which propelled a transition to a new economy (Atkeson and Kehoe, 2001, pp....
Because people moved from rural areas into cities, the living conditions changed for the worse and with the invention of the steam-operated power loom in 1785, children were able to operate this simple machine and produce textiles for the exploding population ("Begins," n.d.).
The Industrial Revolution - Bibliography
Today women are the majority of workers in textile and electronics industries around the world. What reasons do you think are given for employing mainly women? Does the problem of women's work being a "dead end" job exist in these plants too?
Industrial Revolution - Textile Industry
In 1949, the domestic output of the textile industry, more than 55 percent of which was produced by handlooms, satisfied only 40 percent of the national demand. At the same time, 30,000 handlooms could not compete with imports and were idle, thus adversely affecting the employment of around 120,000 workers. After World War II, the government realized the need to repair and renovate the old factories and to develop new textile mills. It therefore promoted both private and public investment. The mills’ production costs were high because of large overhead, lack of maintenance, deteriorated equipment, and poor management, resulting in low productivity (Roberts, p. 34; Overseas Consultants IV, pp. 134-35). Textile sales soared after 1950 due to renewed economic activity. Domestic demand was satisfied by cheap printed calico, but the upper end of the market was not. Between 1945 and 1958, consumption had doubled, while capacity had only increased by one-third. The industry, burdened with costly over-employment and inefficient production methods, could neither compete with cheap imports nor satisfy growing demand; and the cotton supply was not always sufficient. The profitability of textile production was enhanced by high prices caused by import restrictions. The availability of foreign exchange, furthermore, allowed the purchase of modern technology that contributed to greater profitability by improving labor productivity and by reducing capital requirements and cost of raw materials.
The Textile Industry - The Industrial Revolution
The attraction of huge profits stimulated the building of new textile plants. The government led the construction effort, and the number of plants rose between 1956-57 and 1959-60 from 13 to 52, more than doubling the labor force. Yet a small number of efficient factories coexisted with a larger number of old factories with worn-out machinery under poor management. The privately owned factories had problems competing with the newer, state-owned ones. The former had not upgraded their technology, and some had to close. Moreover, the new factories were allowed to fire redundant workers, while the old ones were not. Consequently, the new mills’ wage bill was 35-50 percent lower than that of the old ones. In 1957, however, 40 percent of the overall output was still produced by handlooms that employed about 70 percent of the industry’s workforce. Smaller companies and artisans that were not able to buy modern technology thus suffered from a profit squeeze. Lower prices lead to rising demand that in turn sustained industrial development. In 1955, there were 51 textile-producing companies, 41 of which were cotton-based. The total number of spindles was 370,000 (90 percent cotton), and there were 5,000 weaving and knitting machines (85 percent cotton). In 1959, the sector’s output was about 200 million meters, more than 60 percent of which was produced by 26 modern factories. The spinning and weaving of wool was concentrated in Isfahan and Tabriz, where mills continued to produce cheap materials for suits, blankets, and army uniforms. There was also some production of synthetic materials of cheap rayon for women’s dresses and veils, which adversely affected the sale of woven silk products. The industry continued to grow until 1961. Between 1950 and 1962 the number of spindles almost doubled, and the number of textile machines nearly tripled. In 1961, the recession caused a decline in demand, which was lower than supply; many plants were closed, and the industry asked the government to ban all textile imports. Between 1962 and 1966, the government prohibited foreign investments (U.S. Army, pp. 478-79; Agah, p. 212-13; Karshenas, pp. 121-22; Iran Almanac, 1963, pp. 236, 241-42).
Textile During the Industrial Revolution
Because of its overcapacity, the industry looked for export possibilities, and in 1972 6 percent of the total output of cotton textiles were exported. The import ban was lifted in 1969, when a rise in income lead to increased demand. By 1972, spindles numbered 900,000, and weaving and knitting machines 17,000, employing 145,000 workers, effectively doubling the workforce which had been employed in 1962. The clothing industry employed 70,000 workers (Iran Almanac, 1975, pp. 329-30). In the 1970s, the overheating of the economy had a negative impact on the industry’s competitiveness. As wages rose sharply, this labor-intensive industry suffered from higher production costs. Increased domestic demand reduced the competition, which was only partially restored by the lowering of import tariffs to slow down price increases, and by the temporary lifting of import restrictions in order to address the shortage of raw materials and final products. The industry, however, continued to grow rapidly because of high domestic demand and strong state protection. In 1979, the textile industry was less competitive than in 1969 (Iran Almanac, 1972, pp. 244-45; ibid., 1976, p. 205). In 1980, the number of spindles was 1.4 million, and the number of weaving and knitting machines 35,000. This growth was quite an achievement, because the industry suffered from weak management and limited technical expertise—in short, it was resource-constrained—although it was mostly privately owned. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979 the larger plants were nationalized, and between 1980 and 1988 the government imposed a price control system upon the industry. Since all inputs were supplied at highly subsidized prices, the industry could maintain its previous output levels. During this period, the domestic textile industries were plagued by numerous problems such as ageing equipment, lack of spare parts, inability to import needed parts and raw materials, as well as labor problems. New investments were not made, and no extension plan was implement. After 1988 the price controls were relaxed, while the input subsidies were reduced, causing higher prices and a drop in output. The situation was aggravated by cheap Asian textiles, imported via the Kish Free Trade Zone, which remained competitive despite the high import tariffs.