Child Labor

One problem during the Gilded Age was child labor. The 1900 census revealed that almost 2 million children were working in factories, mines, mills and other dangerous places across the United States. There were photographs of these children going around showing the scary conditions children worked in. Societies became outraged and sparked a national movement to end child labor in the United States.

The Keating-Owen Child Labor Act was the first one to stop child labor. It banned the sale of products from any factory, shop, or cannery which employed children under the age of 14 and any mine under the age of 16. It also disallowed children to work at night or for more than 8 hours a day. Although this act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional. It still was a big milestone in ending child labor as other acts such as this one followed.

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