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Word Count: 481
Child Labor is a term used to represent the employment of minors generally especially in work that may interfere with their education or endanger their health Throughout the ages and in all cultures children joined with their parents to work in the fields in the marketplace and around the home as soon as they were old enough to perform simple tasks The use of child labor was not regarded a social problem until the introduction of the factory system During the late 18th century in Great Britain owners of cotton mills collected orphans and children of poor parents throughout the country obtaining their services merely for the cost of maintaining them In some cases children five and six years of age were forced to work from 13 to 16 hours a day Social reformers soon attempted to obtain legislative restrictions against the worst features of the child-labor system but little was accomplished Children were still permitted to labor in hazardous occupations such as mining Popular agitation for reform steadily increased In 1878 the minimum age of employees was raised to 10 years and employers were required to restrict the amount of time per day and the number of days that children could work Similar situations of child labor existed in the United States at the same time Beginning in the 1830s many states enacted laws restricting or prohibiting the employment of children On the national level progress was more uneven as the Supreme Court of the United States ruled several times that the child-labor laws under question were unconstitutional An attempt to pass an amendment to the Constitution of the United States failed Attempts at reform continued however and the Congress of the United States eventually passed the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 better known as the Federal Wage and Hour Law This act was declared constitutional in 1941 by the Supreme Court The act applies to all workers engaged in interstate
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