Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 08:51 pm
I need help with my essay
Iam in AP LAng and COmp and my teacher is ***** about grammer
Can someone help me ...
Topic: Research child labor in America in the 1930's
Ignore the punctuations

Lucy, a twelve year old girl living in New York, complained to her parents that she hated to work and insisted upon going to bed by 12 o’ clock because she had to go to school. But the family scolded her thinking that she was lazy and even suggested not doing her homework and work instead (200). During 1930’s, many students like Lucy forsake their education in order to work. A teacher during this time commented that “The mothers put them to work right after school and in the evenings” (200). Children worked to support their family, and did not question their duty. They had a job, but no childhood, and nowhere to turn. Although many Americans would like to believe cases like this were rare, unfortunately, a well-documented history of child labor in America proves otherwise. Who were these children and what was the reason for their childless lives?”
Child labor is a problem of immense social and economic proportions in many developing regions of the world today. It came to be viewed in the same way when the United States was, industrially speaking, a developing nation. But child labor was not always seen as a problem. We came to recognize the problem gradually, then to resolve it even more gradually and still incompletely. Labor – more strictly, labor power – is treated as a commodity of ever increasing need for goods. People produce for markets; they are “dependent on their wages for their standard of living, and, most decisively, they compete for available work in an open labor market” (22). This concept ultimately leads to child labor. In order to gain more profit, owners of businesses and trades hired low wage people (like children) on jobs that required very little or no training. Families encouraged their children to work because children were likely to be hired.
Child labor has deep roots into American history. In the late 1700's and early 1800's, power-driven machines replaced hand labor for the making of most manufactured items. Factories were springing up everywhere, first in England and then in the United States. The owners of these factories found a new source of labor to run their machines - children. Operating the power-driven machines “did not require adult strength, and children could be hired more cheaply than adults and by the mid-1800's” (15). Because no laws incriminated harsh labor conditions, workplaces were often dangerous and detrimental to health. For example, “children working in coal or iron mines generally died before they were age twenty-five” (54).
During the Great Depression, 1930s, an estimated “ten million adults were out of work” (). Children, however, continued to work in growing number. Because children were favored by bosses for their low wages, bosses were often likely to hire children. As a result, many of times children became breadwinners for their families. Almost within a year, the number of employed children increased 150 percent (48). With more children in the factories working ten hours a day, the safety of the children decreased. Fro example, boys in meat packing factories worked with no gloves or suits, and used sharp knives that could easily cut them or someone else’s hand (53). In addition, girls who worked in the fabric factories had to be very careful around large machines because their fingers might be caught and cut off (54). But these dangerous conditions didn’t hinder children to work. Because they were paid low wages, missing one day of work meant that their families will starve.
Although the amount of children working increased, conditions were better off than during Industrial Revolution because of many anti-child labor legislatures. President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal helped to lessen many child labor problems. The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) of June 16, 1933 authorized the President “to regulate businesses in the interests of promoting fair competition, supporting prices and wages, creating jobs for unemployed workers, and stimulating the United States economy to recover from the Great Depression” (). This law led to the National Recovery Act which includes “a prohibition on labor by children under the age of 16” (). In 1936, The Walsh-Healy Act is signed into law, becoming “the first legally binding federal legislation to prevent the use of child labor in companies with federal contracts” (). Furthermore, The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was signed into law by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “prohibiting the interstate shipment of goods made in firms that employ children under the age of 16, or children under the age of 18 in hazardous occupations” (). The act also placed national authority behind the abolition of child labor.
Although many legislatures during Franklin’s presidency helped to lessen child labor, many people still illegally practiced it. The only special investigation conducted by the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) was the Missouri “tiff” mines. What triggered the investigation was “a new Missouri child labor law establishing a minimum age of sixteen in manufacturing and eighteen in mining” (117). During debate on the bill, a significant exemption was added to protect Missouri’s “tiff miner. The NCLC had been watching events in the Missouri statehouse and became curious. What was “tiff”, and who was mining it, and under what conditions? “Tiff is a mineral that was then used in the production of paint, enamel, lacquer, floor coverings, textiles, rubber goods, paper, glass products, and so forth” (117). There some “eighty families comprising of five hundred individuals, including three hundred children” (118) live in abject poverty mining “tiff”. Miners were equipped only with their own picks and shovels. Hand –digging tiff involved “sinking a shaft in to the ground, typically and roughly five by five feet square” (118). The family was paid “$7 for each ton of tiff delivered to the local mill. From this, $.60 to 1.75 per ton was deducted for hauling, depending on the distance from the mill, and another $.75 to 1.00 per ton might be deducted for royalties on land use, leaving the family with anywhere from $4.50 to 6.40 per ton” (119). Children received $.075 per hour when the federal minimum wage was $.25 per hour. The mine was closed down and the owners were subjected to heavy fines.
In 1934, the NCLC conducted an extensive series of investigations at the request of “Robert Straus of the New York Compliance Board of the National Recovery Administration (NRA)” (198). The first and most extensive investigation was conducted from February through April 1934. This was the period where home workers were to be reduced by 50 percent. It should be noted that child labor under sixteen was prohibited during the entire period the NRA codes were in force. “Approximately 2000 visits were made to 1700 addresses in and around New York City using lists supplied by the code authority” (199). In 1038 families actually interviewed, “there were 869 children between the ages of eight and fifteen, and at least 132 were proved working” (199). NCLC investigator considered this a substantial underestimate because many times when they approached houses they heard “shuffling and packing of objects or machines” (200). Many parents probably lied or hid evidence of child labor to not be fined.
The final nail in the coffin of the child labor system was provided by the Cotton Textile Codes, adopted in 1933 under the National Recovery Administration. Not only did the codes “prohibit child labor under standard much higher than those that existed in most states ( children under sixteen were barred, no night or hazardous work for workers under eighteen),” but provisions regarding minimum wages and maximum hours, by themselves, created incentives favoring the employment of adults (185).
Today, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that “250 million children between the ages of five and fourteen work in developing countries at least 120 million [(]sixty-one percent of these are in Asia, 32 percent in Africa, and 7 percent in Latin America [)]” (276). Although child labor exists in other developing countries, many developed countries, however, have laws implementing strict child labor laws. In United States, children between fourteen and sixteen years of age may not work more than forty hours in any week when school is not in session (). State laws rather than federal laws now are being very restrictive against child labor. Also many organizations such as Human Right Watch scrutinize regions with inhumane child labor practices. In order to alleviate this inhumane practice, we must help developing countries escape poverty statuses and investigate any issues of harsh conditions of child labor. Most importantly, we must make government in these regions to enforce laws against harsh conditions on child labor.
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Reply Sun 28 Jan, 2007 05:16 am
Why would you take AP language and composition unless you like to write or feel confident in your ability?

How have you done in the class so far? (Your teacher is probably a *****about grammar because that's her job). And it's your job (especially as an AP student) to take care of your own grammar in these papers for which you are receiving a grade.

Doesn't your teacher give you an opportunity to hand in a draft which she then corrects? Is this the draft? Are you trying to hand in a perfect draft or something?

Anyway - here are some suggestions (purely in terms of content and formatting) that I have. Hope you find them helpful.

1) Your introductory paragraph is interesting. It works to grab the reader's interest by introducing the subject from an individual's standpoint. I might have returned to Lucy at the end, maybe as a means of illustrating what child labor meant for her (or someone like her) specifically. It's always a good idea to refer back to your introductory paragraph somehow in your conclusion. Gives the whole piece a sense of cohesiveness.

2) You might want to look at the placement of your paragraphs. For instance, I might place your third paragraph second. I think the second paragraph would work better just before your concluding paragraph (with some slight adjustment to one or two sentences).

3) The information you include is really interesting. I enjoyed reading it- aside from all the weird number insertions - what's that about?
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Reply Sun 28 Jan, 2007 07:27 am
aidan wrote:
- aside from all the weird number insertions - what's that about?

That's the result of copying proprietary special-formatted text from one text editor, such as Word or Word Perfect, to another, such as Notepad or into a web form which does not recognize/support the special formatting; in the non-compliant application, the proprietary format tags do render as intended - punctuation, super or sub script, underlining, italics, etc. - but rather display as alphanumeric textstrings.

And I pretty much agree w/aidan's critical comments - some organizational shuffling around and closer attention to grammar/usage would serve the piece well, IMO.
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