1833 Factory Act Analysis

1475 Words 6 Pages
In the history of Social and Public Policy, the 1833 Factory Act can be asserted as a critical piece of legislation because it recognised that the state could intervene by establishing frameworks to enforce parliamentary decisions for humanitarian purposes. This decisive change helped meet serious needs through enabling protections for children’s working conditions using regulatory inspectors. While laying these foundations led to further reform that built upon new ways of thinking on how to assist more people, its actual effectiveness left much to be desired, rendering it limited in terms of execution and scope.

The 1833 Factory Act was arguably a critical piece of legislation in Social and Public Policy history due to being the first time the government took responsibility for enforcing laws concerning child workers’ welfare. Prior to this, a trend of failed policies due to poor implementation, namely the 1788 Chimney Sweep Act, 1802 Health and Morals of Apprentices Act and, the 1819 Cotton Mills Act highlight why the Factory Act’s inspectorate made it significant. Accepting their role in not only in prescribing regulations but also putting them into practice to ensure rights were upheld consolidated this juncture. It can therefore be seen as an important ideological
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The inspectors being underpaid to some degree with a £10000 budget (Crooks, 2005) implies that it was undervalued; this was reinforced by similar decisions made in 1844 with the updated version. Extension to all industries only eventually occurred in 1867, long after the law was no longer in use due to its short-lived relevance. Moreover, the fact that the numbers of workers aged 9 and under were already decreasing beforehand coupled with the ease of misrepresenting age, lessened the impact the Factory Act could

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