The Work Of The Factories Act Of 1847 Essays

929 Words Oct 6th, 2016 4 Pages
The Factories Act of 1847 established that women and children could work a maximum of 58 hours a week with weekdays limited to ten hours, Saturday to eight hours, and Sunday as the day off. This landmark bill proposed by John Fielden spoke to the societal issues of worker’s health and of the welfare of England’s youth in England’s industrialized economy however, the bill faced tenacious opposition led by Robert Peel. Through vigorous debate in 1846 and 1847, Robert Peel, the former prime minister of the Conservative Party and an advocate of free trade, outlined his opinion on the legislation. Peel rejected the Factories Act of 1847 on the basis that workers would be hurt in their finances and aspirations, England’s workers would emigrate, and the act offered little means of “moral and intellectual” development for English workers (Peel, 13).
Robert Peel’s first concern with the Factories Act of 1847 was the restrictions it places on the workers themselves and their ability to cope with them. For Peel, he recognized the advantages of more leisure time enabled by the Act but couldn’t accept the “evil that would arise from a reduction of wages” as a result of its passage (Peel, 13). He even accuses a leader of the opposition, Mr. Brotherton of balancing the good and bad of wage reduction by the selection of a ten-hour day in itself(Peel,13-14). This shows that the advocates of the bill are aware of the harm it might cause working families yet continue to push the social…

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