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Corroborating Accounts of Child Labor (Grade 10)

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Corroborating Accounts of Child Labor

1. 
Andrew Ure, from his book, The Philosophy of Manufacturers:

I have visited many factories, both in Manchester and the surrounding districts, during a period of several months and I never saw a single instance of corporal punishment inflicted on a child. The children seemed to be always cheerful and alert, taking pleasure in using their muscles. 

At a little distance from the factory, on a sunny bank, stands a handsome house, two stories high, built for the accommodation of the female apprentices. They are well fed, clothed and educated.
A. 
How does Ure describe the working and living conditions of child laborers?





2. 
Michael Sadler, member of the House of Commons, interviews William Cooper, a former child laborer:

MS: Were you frequently strapped?
WC: At times we were frequently strapped.
MS: What was it made of?
WC: Of leather.
MS: Were you occasionally very considerably hurt with the strap?
WC: Sometimes it hurt us very much

Michael Sadler interviews Elizabeth Bentley, a former child laborer:

MS: What were your hours of labour in that mill?
EB: From 5 in the morning till 9 at night…
MS: Suppose you flagged a little, or were too late, what would they do?
EB: Strap us. MS: What time was allowed for your meals?
EB: Forty minutes at noon. MS: Could you eat your food well in that factory?
EB: No, indeed I had not much to eat, and the little I had I could not eat it, my appetite was so poor, and being covered with dust; and it was no use to take it home, I could not eat it…
A. 
How do the witnesses for Michael Saddler's Commission describe life as a child laborer?





B. 
How do Ure's and Sadler's accounts differ? How are they similar?



C. 
Does Sadler's evidence corroborate Ure's description of child labor? Why or why not?



D. 
Which sources appears to be more reliable, Ure or Saddler? Why?
Remember the components of source reliability:
Who wrote this? What is their perspective? When was it written? Where was it written? Why was it written?



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