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Cruel Labor

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Pete59
Words 1605
Pages 7
Shaping of the Modern World
5/8/11
Cruel Labor The Industrial Revolution wasn’t the first instance of cruel human labor in the history of the world, but some may argue that it was the harshest. Flora Tristan says in her piece from the London Journal, “Since I have known the English proletariat I no longer think that slavery is the greatest human misfortune.” (1) Cruel labor is an injustice that originated in ancient civilizations, became worse in the eighteenth century, and unfortunately still exists today. No matter what event you choose to focus on, between the Atlantic Slave Trade, to the London Laboring Classes and its child labor, to the more recent sweatshops that still exist in Asia, the pain and suffering these people had to go through and are still going through is not only inhumane, but also immoral. “The London Laboring Classes” is an excerpt from the London Journal by Flora Tristan. The article is broken down into two parts: Factory Workers and Prostitutes. Tristan wrote this article in order to expose the cruelties suffered by industrial workers, women, and slaves, during the Industrial Revolution. It would be an injustice to Tristan if I paraphrase her shocking description of the life of the factory worker, so I’ll quote her directly. “Most of the workers lack clothing, a bed, furniture, a fire, wholesome food, and often even potatoes! They are shut up twelve to fourteen hours a day in mean rooms where they breathe in, along with foul air, cotton, wool, and linen fibers, particles of copper, lead, iron, etc., and frequently go from insufficient nourishment to excessive drinking.” (2) After hearing this description, it’s no wonder why these workers frequently got sick and acquired diseases. The way these poor people lived is mindboggling, and to think, these conditions weren’t only limited to adults, even children as young as six years old…...

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