The Fair Labor Standards Act Essay Example

Have you ever wondered why you have to be a certain age to work at certain jobs? Or why do government inspect businesses. This is because of the Fair labor standard act. The industrial revolution and the government action called ‘’The Fair Labor Standard Act’’, passed in 1938. In order to understand what im talking about you have to know the background information. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, things in the United States changed quickly due to urbanization, the process of making an area more urban. Although urbanization brought some good changes, like new inventions that allowed goods to be produced more quickly and at a lower cost. Urbanization also brought some bad changes, for example, The Industrial Revolution( the time period where factories were booming and caused a lot of problems for the workers.)and kids working in factories.

A problem ( or a reason why government had to take action ) was that kids was working in factories and while they work they would often get caught in the machine because they wore baggy clothes and this would result in maiming, body parts ripped or burnt off. According to the child labor sub heading from the research that said “ young people of both sexes went to work in factories in their early teens, and some even before. It has been estimated that in the early decades of the 19th century, one out of every three American factory workers was between the ages of seven and 12.” Even though kids were hurt and injured they were still forced to come to work or they will be fired.

Also another problem is that the meat factories wasn’t up to code because inspectors would get paid off. Workers and mold would get mixed into the meat and sold for more money. But the part that sticks out the most was from the excerpt from “the jungle” by Upton Sinclair which said “There would be meat stored in great piles in rooms; and the water from leaky roofs would drip over it, and thousands of rats would race about on it. It was too dark in these storage places to see well, but a man could run his hand over these piles of meat and sweep off handfuls of the dried dung of rats.” This stuck out because they would put rat poison out to kill the rats and the rats would get hungry and eat the meat and soon die inside the meat. The worker would then mix together the meat with died rats, rats poison, and rats droppings and use chemicals to cover the smell.

Can’t forget about the tenement housing, tenement housing means, a multi-occupancy building of any sort, particularly a run-down apartment building or slum building. There were 3 types of tenement housing, first was the .25 cent house which was really just one small room with no window, sinks, or toilets. Then was the. 75 cents house, also one room but it’s a tiny bit bigger than the .25 cent also had no sink, window, or toilets. Finally There was the 1.00 house had sinks but only in the hallway, where kids were sent to play in the dark and would often get stepped on, but also had no window or toilets. But the main problem with tenement houses was that they were made out of wood and they candles were made out of oil, unlike today where they made out of wax, tenement houses would easily catch on fire.

Lastly another problem would be The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. The triangle shirtwaist fire happened March 25, 1911, this is a problem because the fire spread through the Triangle Waist factory on the 8th, 9th and 10th floors. According to The article about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire on many women died because “The building was fire proof but that only kept the fire inside the building. The building had only one fire escape, but it collapsed. Panicked workers struggled with doors that were locked by managers to prevent theft, or doors that opened the wrong way but there was a barrel of oil blocking it. Only a few buckets of water were on hand to douse the flames as it quickly spread. Also outside, firefighters’ ladders were too short to reach the top floors and ineffective safety nets ripped like paper, also firefighters were busy giving medical attention to the women who leapt to their fate.”

One of the solutions was that Teddy Roosevelt pass the Pure Food and Drugs Act, according to the main purpose was to ban foreign and interstate traffic in adulterated or mislabeled food and drug products, and it directed the U.S. . This affected the meat industry the most because it made sure that the meat was properly made and stored.

Another solution was the Bureau of Corporations Act, according to The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica “ the bureau of corporations act Was created by Congress on February 14, 1903, during the Progressive Era. It acted as an investigatory agency within the Department of Commerce and Labor in the United States”. Which means that it have government the power to investigate business practices and build cases to shut factories down.

Also another solutions was the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. According to “the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, was an act, that authorized the federal government to break up any businesses that prohibited competition.” Which mean that this act gave government the power to break up trust,or two or more monopolies.

Lastly The Fair Labor Standards Act, according to the fair labor standards act is “a federal law which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments.” Which mean that this act is the reason why you have to be a certain age to work at certain jobs and why everyone starts off at minimum wage. In conclusion because of the Industrial Revolution government now has the power to check businesses, kids are no longer allowed to work in factories, men and women both starts at minimum wage, in government inspect businesses from time to time

What Can Be Learned From The Image And Caption Below About Children’s Lives

Looking back in history is always a useful way of finding information about how people perceived the world. When we apply this approach to children and childhood, things start to become more difficult. There are limited numbers of documents of the lives of children in historical records. It has become increasingly difficult to find any archive-based histories of children for any period except the modern period. Most of the information available came from a varied range of different sources such as published reports from governments, information from court records, scientific and medical books on childhood illnesses, and photographs (Brockliss and Montgomery, 2013).

The use of photographs has been an important method to look at the history of childhood. Photographs started to emerge during the Victorian era and have been used to paint a picture of childhood from that time. Photographs can be useful to extract the views of people about the times the photos were taken. However, there are also a lot of people who have criticised the use of photographs as a reliable portrayal of children. Some reasons for this were that visual sources only tended to portray the elite representations of childhood, or were used by government or organisations as a tool to get across a point of interest at the time (KUBIE, 2016). This photograph was taken between 1908-1912 by an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. The time of the photograph comes soon after the industrial revolution when it was common for all children to work in mills and factories in the USA and the UK.

It was an agreement around this time that children should work and it gave children a chance to be successful (, 2018). Around the time of the photograph, it was in the interest of government organisations to push an agenda of equality of children and adults. Considering the motivations of the photographer is vital when trying to understand the theory of childhood. In this picture, the photographer is trying to portray a sad life of an 11-year-old who has been working for a year in less than satisfactory conditions. The way the girl in the photograph is looking from the window signifies a longing for outside and play. At the time of the picture, there was a change of attitude in the parent-child relationship, with the way children were treating now leaning towards a kinder treatment.

Considering the change in the way adults treated children led to the interest to publicise child labor in an effort to reduce it in the developing world. The photographer appears to have a keen interest in reducing child labor by using photographs of children working in factories and mills (Smith, 2018). The picture portrays a tough image of children during this time and it was evident that children worked long hours and needed to provide for the family in most working-class families. However there was a shift away from this way of life with the introduction of compulsory schooling for children, most wealthy families opted to send their children away to boarding schools (Stambler, 1968). This photograph and other photographs of this time give us the scope to measure the childhood these children faced to the childhood of the children today.

Comparing both childhoods, it would appear that the ideas of children and childhood were very different. People had different ideas to the way children were considered in society and to how they were supposed to be treated. When the photograph was taking children were viewed to be important and the in the right condition to do certain jobs within society at a young age. Comparing that to the childhood of children today and there is a higher emphasis put on the interest of developing children through the use of education and learning and the belief that children are an integral part for the future of all nations. This has led to children gaining higher statuses with both the family and society as a whole (Lansdown, 2018).


Brockliss, L. and Montgomery, H. (2013). Childhood: a historical approach. In: M. Kehily, ed., Understanding childhood: a cross-disciplinary approach, 2nd ed. Bristol: The Policy Press, pp.53-98. Kubie, O. (2016).
Reading Lewis Hine’s Photography of Child Street Labour, 1906–1918. Journal of American Studies, 50(04), pp.873-897. Lansdown, G. (2018). [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Nov. 2018]. Smith, S. (2018). 
The Photographs of Lewis Hine: The Industrial Revolution and Child Laborers [Photo Gallery]. [online] EHS Today. Available at: [Accessed 21 Nov. 2018]. (2018). [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Nov. 2018]. Stambler, M. (1968).
The Effect of Compulsory Education and Child Labor Laws on High School Attendance in New York City, 1898-1917. History of Education Quarterly, 8(2), p.189. 

Problems That Were Touched On In Ted Talk By Alastair Gray

In the Ted Talk “How fake handbags fund terrorism and organized crimes” by Alastair Gray the speaker talks about how buying these items may help out criminals. Counterfeit items such as luxury handbags, clothing, and expensive watches all fund terrorism and organized crimes. Counterfeit goods help support terrorism and gangs by providing money for weapons and supplies. Not only does the sale of fake luxury items support crime, but it also contributes to child labor. Most of the fake luxury items are made in sweatshops and will typically have children working at a minimum wage under harsh conditions. Children are mistreated in the sweatshops ran by criminals and by buying counterfeit items, people can be contributing to it. People who sell fake items do not contribute to paying taxes which does not help the community. The sale of fake, but cheap and easily obtainable, goods should have more stricter laws set for people who sell and buy these goods.

From Alastair’s Gray Ted Talk “How fake handbags fund terrorism and organized crime” the speaker informs the audience of the dangers of buying fake products. The speaker states that selling fake products makes much more profit than selling drugs which comes with a minor to no penalty. The sale of the counterfeit items are popular since the prices for products that you would get for a thousand dollars goes down to maybe twenty or even ten dollars. Not enough sellers get caught or in trouble for selling fake goods. Criminals and gangs do not worry about getting caught or getting a major penalty on a serious crime because the laws are not enforced well enough for them to stop.

Most of the products made are incredibly cheap since they are manufactured with really cheap products and from child labor. In the Ted Talk, Gray states what a “tourist on holiday doesn’t see about those fake handbags is they may well have been stitched together by a child who was trafficked away from her family, and what the car repair shop owner doesn’t realize about those fake brake pads is they may well be lining the pockets of an organized crime gang involved in drugs and prostitution.” He points out how most of these products come from criminals and children that are exploited to make these products. Buy buying these illegitimate products people are supporting child labor and prostitution. Having lenient laws that let criminals get away with this, affects everyone.

Counterfeit items are illegal but the laws are not enforced hard enough for the people to follow. Many people are also uneducated on the topic and do not think about where these products are coming from and who is manufacturing them. Enforcing the laws would help the community and oppose the sales of fake goods.

Work Cited

Gray, Alastair. “How Fake Handbags Fund Terrorism and Organized Crime.” Ted, Ted, Nov. 2017, 

error: Content is protected !!