During the Progressive era, many people turned their attention to the plight of children in the workplace. Analzye the document and image below and answer the discussion questions that follow. John Spargo’s book, The Bitter Cry of Children, provided a vivid portrait of the problems of child labor. In the selection below, Spargo examines the horrid working conditions for child workers in the coal mines.
Numerous individuals and organizations documented the plight of children during the Progressive era. The National Child Labor Committee, created by Congress in 1907, hired photographer Lewis Hine to document the numerous violations of laws designed to protect young children. Analyze the image below of breakers working in Pennsylvania.
Miners: View of the Ewen Breaker of the Pennsylvania Coal Co. The dust was so dense at times as to obscure the view. This dust penetrated the utmost recesses of the boys’ lungs. A kind of slave-driver sometimes stands over the boys, prodding or kicking them into obedience. South Pittston, Pennsylvania.
After viewing the pictures attached, answer the questions below
1. From looking at the photograph and reading the selection, what can you discern about a child’s working conditions as a breaker?
2. Make one argument defending child labor and make one argument against child labor.
3. Describe how your childhood experiences compared to those of the children described in the text and seen in the image.