E. P. Thompson claims "there was a drastic increase in the intensity of exploitation of child labour between 1780 and 1840, and every historian acquainted with the sources knows that this is so."

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Child Day-Labourers in Agriculture: Evidence from Farm Accounts, 1740-1850
Joyce Burnette

Wabash College

Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933


Child labour has long been an important issue in discussions of the Industrial Revolution. While critics of the Industrial Revolution often point to child labour as one of the evil arising from industrialization, historians do not agree about whether child labour increased or decreasing during the century before 1850. Some historians claim the Industrial Revolution increased child labour. The Hammonds claim that child labour expanded: “during the first phase of the Industrial Revolution the employment of children on a vast scale became the most important social feature of English life.”1 E.P. Thompson claims “there was a drastic increase in the intensity of exploitation of child labour between 1780 and 1840, and every historian acquainted with the sources knows that this is so.”2 McKendrick suggests that increased employment of women and children led to increased demand for consumer goods.3 Other historians suggest that child labour, while it may have been more visible when concentrated in factories, was not new. Clapham suggests before the industrial revolution children began work at an early age, and “whether the factories had lowered that age is doubtful.”4 Noting the child labour observed by Defoe in the early eighteenth century, Hunt suggests that “child employment, especially the employment of very young children, was almost certainly less extensive in 1851 than it had been fifty years earlier. It was probably also less extensive than it had been before the industrial revolution.”5 Certainly children were employed before the Industrial Revolution. Cunningham shows that pre-industrial people did not see child labour as a bad thing; eighteenth-century poor-law records saw idleness of children as the problem.6 Berg and Hudson claim that the employment of women and children initially increased, but was declining by the middle of the nineteenth century.7

Unfortunately it is difficult to determine which story is correct because of the lack of comprehensive quantitative data before the 1851 census. Most of the attention of historians has focused on child labour in factories and mines. This is perhaps a result of the fact that contemporaries focused on these industries, and thus there is a larger body of historical sources on child labour in factories and mines. Parliamentary reports do contain some quantitative data; a 1834 report by James Mitchell provides employment and wages by age in various industries and locations,8 and the 1842 report of the commission on mines reports some statistics on children employed in mines.9 However, without concrete information on the employment of children in more traditional sectors such as agriculture and cottage industry it is not possible to assess whether factories and mines brought with them an increased use of child labour compared to more traditional sectors.

Though the new factories of the Industrial Revolution employed many children, as late as 1851 there were still more children employed in more traditional sectors of the economy than in factories. Information on the numbers of child employed in agriculture is available from census returns beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century. Agriculture was the largest employer of boys under 15 in 1851, but girls were more likely to work in factories or domestic service than in agriculture.10 Boys were more likely to be outdoor labourers than indoor farm servants; 8.2 percent of boys age 14 and under were employed as outdoor agricultural labourers or shepherds, and 2.7 percent were employed as farm servants. Fewer girls were employed in both categories, and girls were more likely to be servants than outdoor labourers. Of girls age 14 and under, 1.1 percent were employed as indoor farm servants, and only 0.3 percent were employed as outdoor labourers.11 For earlier periods, however, it is more difficult to say how many children worked in agriculture, so we do not know whether child labour was increasing or decreasing within this sector. This paper uses a sample of English farm accounts from 1741 to 1849 to provide new quantitative evidence on the extent of child labour among agricultural day-labourers. I find that agricultural day-labour employed many boys but few girls, and that over the century before 1850 the percentage of the outdoor agricultural labourer workforce that were boys grew substantially.
Measuring Child Labour in Agriculture

An important issue in the study of child labour is who to count as a child, and who to count as an adult. The shift from childhood to adulthood is continuous rather than discrete, so any dividing line is somewhat arbitrary. To determine at what age childhood ended one might look at important institutions or life transitions. Before the Industrial Revolution, apprenticeship and live-in service were both important stages between childhood and full adulthood, and the age at which an individual entered apprenticeship or service might serve as a marker of the end of childhood. The typical apprenticeship was seven years, beginning at age 14, and ending at age 21.12 Agricultural or domestic service began at approximately the same age, around age fifteen.13 Data from the 1851 census groups together children age 5 to 9 and children age 10 to 14, so studies using census data find it convenient to define children as those younger than 15.14 Factory regulation suggests a slightly younger age for the end of childhood; the Factory Act of 1933 prohibited the work of children younger than 9, and limited the hours of work for children age 9 to 12. The definition of childhood used in this study makes the end of childhood at the higher end of the rage of ages suggested here, about 16 for boys and 14 for girls.

In order to use farm wage accounts to study child labour, I need some method for determining which workers were children. Males and females are easily distinguished by their first names, but the age of a worker cannot be determined from the name. While some farm records label certain workers as “boy”, most do not, and in any case there would be no reason to believe that different employers use the same criteria for deciding who is a boy and who is not. It is possible to determine the ages of workers from the 1830s by matching them to the 1841 or 1851 census manuscripts, but this method is time-consuming, identifies the ages of only about half of the workers, and is not available for earlier records.

In this paper I use the wage to identify which workers must have been children. I have constructed wage profiles for workers from two farms by matching workers from the wage accounts to census manuscripts.15 Figures 1 and 2 present the estimated wage profiles for male and female agricultural workers. Based on these wage profiles, I define boys as those males earnings one-half the adult male wage or less, and I define girls as those females earning three-fourths or less of the adult female wage. Males in the “boys” category should be approximately 16 years of age and younger, while females in the “girls” category should be approximately 14 years of age or younger. One drawback of this definition is that I may occasionally categorize very old workers as children, if their wages had dropped to the level of children’s wages. However, as long as such errors are random, and do not have a systematic trend, they will not cause me to mis-estimate the trend in child labour. The advantage of this method of identifying children is that I am able to calculate the number of child workers even when no direct information on ages is available.

The Extent of Child Labour in Agriculture

The data used in this paper is a sample 189 annual observations of farm wage accounts, from 62 different farms between 1741 and 1849. Table 1 shows the distribution of the observations across time and space. The sample contains more observations in the nineteenth century than in the eighteenth century, and more observations in the south than in the north. Defining boys as males earning less than one-half the usual male wage, and girls as females earning less than three-fourths the usual female wage, I find for each observations the total number of days worked by men, women, boys, and girls over the course of the year. I then calculate the days worked by boys and by girls as a percentage of total days worked.

Most of the children hired as outdoor agricultural labourers were boys. In my sample boys 16 and under contributed on average thirteen percent of days worked by outdoor labourers, and girls 14 and under contributed less than one percent of days worked (see Table 2). Only seven percent of the observations in my sample employed no boys at all. Figure 3 shows a scatterplot of boys’ employment; there is a wide range in the employment of boys; while some farms employed no boys, at some farms boys provides over a third of the total workforce. By contrast, few girls were employed as agricultural day-labourers. In more than half of the observations in my sample (57%), no girls were employed. On average less than one percent of all days worked were worked by girls. Figure 4 shows a scatterplot of girls’ employment against time. The range of girls’ employment is smaller than the range of boys’ employment; the maximum employment of girls occurred in 1804 when a Norfolk farm employed girls for 8.5 percent of all days worked. I would find a greater percentage of girls if my wage definition identified girls up to age 16 rather than age 14, but there would still be a gap between the employment of girls and boys. The census of 1851 also finds a dearth of girl outdoor labourers. In the census we find that girls were less likely to work as outdoor labourers than as indoor servants; while indoor servants age 14 and under were 28 percent female, outdoor agricultural labourers were only 3.5 percent female.16 Cunningham suggests that girls found it harder to find employment in agriculture than boys.17 This suggests that there was a lack of demand for girls. There may also have been a lower supply. Girls could expect fewer benefits than boys from investing in agricultural skills, since most adult women employed in agriculture were employed only casually.18 Girls may also have been less likely to work as agricultural day-labourers because they were more likely to be occupied with domestic duties such as child-minding.19

Boys were employed more often than girls, and were also more likely to be employed on a regular basis rather than casually. As with female labourers in general, girls were generally employed temporarily rather than on a regular basis. While some boys were employed temporarily, many boys were employed on a regular basis. Figure 5 shows the distribution of days worked by child labour at four different farms. The farms were selected to cover a range of child employment; the first farm hired children for six percent of the total days worked, and the last farm hired children for 35% of days worked. The farms hiring fewer children did not hire girls, and hired a smaller total number of children. Across the range of farms, though, some of the boys were hired on a regular basis, working close to or more than 300 days per year, and some of the boys were casual workers, working only a couple of weeks during the year. When girls were hired they were always hired on a casual basis; in these four observations the most regularly employed girl worked only 81.5 days in a year.

Because my sample is not regionally balanced, I use regression analysis to examine differences in the intensity of child labour across regions, and then take a weighted average of the regional estimates to estimate the national percentage of day-labourers who were children. Tables 3 and 4 report regressions of the percent of days worked by boys and the percent of days worked by girls on a time trend and regional dummy variables. The tables report Tobit estimates as well as OLS estimated because the observed percentage children hired is left-censored at zero. Censoring is not a large problem for boys, but is substantial for girls; more than half of the observations hired zero girls. Because the farm accounts used in this study draw heavily on estate farms, which were not the typical English farm, I include a dummy variable for tenant, as opposed to owner-occupied, farms. The coefficient on this variable is sometimes statistically significant, and suggests that tenant farmers were more likely to hire children than owner-occupied farms. I also included in the regression a measure of farm size, which is equal to the number of full-time male equivalent workers.20 Farm size has no significant effect on the employment of boys, but does have an effect on the employment of girls. Larger farms are more likely to hire girls than smaller farms. Perhaps larger farms were better able to divide the labour among more specialized workers, and thus were better able to use girls.21

The employment of girls is not well predicted by the regressions in Table 4. The R-squared is low, and neither the regional dummies nor the trend is statistically significant. Size has a statistically significant effect on the employment of girls, and the dummy for tenant farms is significant in the Tobit estimations including farm size, but otherwise I have not uncovered the determinants of girls employment. The regressions do a somewhat better job of predicting the relative employment of boys; both the regional and trend variables are statistically significant.

The estimations suggest that there were clear regional differences in the employment of boys. The omitted region, the southeast, employed the greatest percentage of child workers. The southwest hired nearly as many boys, but other regions hired considerable fewer boys. Table 5 reports the predicted percentage of total days worked by boys and girls at a tenant farm in the year 1851, based on the Tobit estimations in Tables 3 and 4. For boys there are important regional differences. Farms in the south, except near London, employed more boys than farms in the midlands or the north. The predicted percent boys in Table 5 are higher than the sample average because the employment of boys increases over the period of my sample, and because tenant farms seem to have hired more children than the estate farms which dominate my sample. The Southwest and the North seem to have hired the most girls, but given the low numbers of girls hired overall these regional variations are unimportant.

Weighting the regional averages by the percentage of out-door labourers in each region in 1851, I estimate that in 1851 one-fifth of the workforce of outdoor agricultural labourers were boys 16 and under, and about 0.3 percent were girls 14 and under. In the 1851 census only 8.2 percent of all outdoor agriculture labourers were boys under 15. The number of labourers age 16 and under is not reported, but if we assume that workers in the age category 15 to 19 were uniformly spread across the ages, then we can estimate that the boys age 16 and under were 12.7 percent of all outdoor labourers. These numbers, derived from the census, are lower than the national average estimated from my sample in Table 5, which suggests that the 1851 census may underestimate the employment of children as outdoor labourers.

The percentage of farm servants who were boys, as reported in the 1851 census is higher than the percentage of labourers who were boys reported in the census, but is not higher than the percentage of labourers who were boys estimated from farm accounts and presented in Table 5. In the 1851 census 9.1 percent of all farm servants were boys age 14 and under, and approximately 19.5 percent were boys age 16 and under. The later number is very close to my estimate for the percentage of outdoor labourers who were boys 16 and under in 1851.

Both the 1851 census and my estimates agree that girls were rarely employed as outdoor labourers; both sources suggest that only 0.3 percent of the outdoor labourer workforce was girls age 14 or under. Girls make up a larger portion of farm servants, about 3.6 percent, but were still a small percentage.

What does this tell us about whether traditional sectors used more or less children than factories and mines? Table 6 shows the percentage of the factory labour force that were boys and girls, using the same age definitions as used in this paper for the agricultural estimates. About one-fifth of the factory labour force was boys. The employment of girls varied more widely, but the median is 14 percent. Comparing these percentages to those in Table 5 suggests that factories used boys as intensively as agriculture, but use girls much more intensively in factories than in agriculture. Table 7 shows young children and teenagers as a percentage of the mining labour force. If we assumed that boys were uniformly distributed across the 13 to 18 age category, then boys 16 and younger made up about a quarter of the mining workforce. This suggests that mines use boys somewhat more intensively than agriculture. If the new industries of factories and mines increased child labour, they must have done so mainly for girls.
Trends in Agricultural Child Labour

The estimations reported in Tables 3 and 4 suggest that there was an upward trend in the employment of boys, but no trend in the employment of girls, between 1740 and 1850. For boys’ employment, the trend suggests an increase of about 10 percentage points over the one hundred years between 1750 and 1850. This increase is both statistically significant and, given the averages reported in Table 5, economically significant. Table 8 shows the increase over time in the estimated percentage of outdoor labour done by boys. Overall there was a substantial increase in the use of boys, as boys increased from 10 percent to 20 percent of the outdoor agricultural workforce.

One possible reason for the increase in the percentage of outdoor labourers who were children between 1740 and 1850 is demographic changes. Between 1771 and 1831 the percentage of the population that was between the ages of 5 and 14 grew from 20.6% to 24.4%.22 If the probability of an individual child working did not change, an increase in children as a portion of the population should lead to an increase in children as a portion of the labour force. However, the demographic shift does not seem to large enough to explain why the use of boys doubled over a century.

If farm servants were likely to be boys, then a decrease in the use of farm servants may have caused an increase in the employment of boys as labourers. However, if we believe the 1851 census was not likely to underestimate the employment of indoor farm servants, then servants were no more likely to be boys than were outdoor labourers in 1851. Servants were younger than labourers, but must servants were young adults rather than children. Table 9 shows the age distribution of servants and labourers from the 1851 census; about two-thirds of indoor servants were between the ages of 15 and 24, but the number under age 15 was relatively small.

However, the decline of service may still provide part of the explanation for increasing employment of boys as labourers because in 1750 outdoor labour did employ fewer boys than farm service. The employment of boys as outdoor labourers increased significantly between 1750 and 1850, from 10 to 20 percent of the outdoor labourers workforce, so if the age structure of indoor servants stayed the same, then servants were more likely than labourers to be boys in 1750. Some of the increase between 1750 and 1850 may result from the decline of service and the reassignment of boys from service to labourer. However, the decline of service cannot explain the entire increase in the employment of boys as outdoor labourers. Even if farm service disappeared entirely the transfer of these workers to outdoor labour would, at most, increase the percentage of boys in outdoor labour to a weighted average of the percentages in outdoor labour and farm service in 1750. Since by 1851 outdoor labour employed as many boys as farm service, there must have been an increase in the propensity to hire boys as over this time period.

For girls there was no trend in employment as outdoor labourers, and girls were more likely to work as indoor servants than as outdoor labourers, so it seems likely that the decline in indoor farm service that occurred before 1850 reduced the employment of girls in agriculture.


Based on a sample of farm accounts, I find that girls were rarely employed as outdoor agricultural labourers. Boys, on the other hand, were about 10 percent of the outdoor agricultural labour force in 1750 and about 20 percent in 1850. Agriculture as a whole seems to have employed boys nearly as intensively as factories and mines, but employed girls much less intensively than textile factories. The employment of boys in agriculture seems to have increased during the Industrial Revolution, but the shift from traditional sectors such as agriculture to factories and mines would not have increased the employment of boys much at all. By contrast, the employment of girls was falling within agriculture, but the shift in industrial organization from agriculture to textile factories would have caused an increase in the employment of girls. However, since girls were probably more likely to work in cottage industry, we cannot be sure that the Industrial Revolution led to an increase in the employment of girls unless we can estimate the percentage of the cottage industry workforce that was girls. It is possible that the Industrial Revolution increased the employment of girls, but before reaching such a conclusion we need more information on child labour in cottage industry as well as agriculture.

Table 1

Distribution of the Sample

Number of Observations (number of farms)

Home Counties



West Midlands




7 (5)

2 (1)

9 (6)


2 (2)

1 (1)

1 (1)

4 (4)


1 (1)

4 (2)

1 (1)

6 (4)


3 (3)

9 (3)

1 (1)

13 (7)


3 (1)

6 (2)

2 (1)


13 (5)


4 (3)

2 (2)

7 (2)

3 (2)

16 (9)


1 (1)

10 (4)

1 (1)

1 (1)

13 (7)


3 (1)

6 (3)

3 (2)

1 (1)

13 (7)


11 (5)

13 (2)

2 (2)

10 (2)

36 (11)


1 (1)

9 (5)

12 (2)

11 (3)

4 (4)

37 (15)


1 (1)

5 (2)

10 (1)

9 (3)

4 (2)

29 (9)


13 (7)

62 (24)

53 (10)

39 (11)

22 (9)

189 (61)

Table 2

Descriptive Statistics

Mean SD Min Max N

Percent Boys 13.3 9.3 0.0 38.9 189

Percent Girls 0.7 1.5 0.0 8.5 189

Percent Children 14.0 9.6 0.0 38.9 189

Tenant 0.20 0.40 0.0 1.0 189

Size 8.47 6.75 0.1 58.6 189

Male Servant 157.0 355.5 0.0 1990.3 144

Female Servant 28.5 111.6 0.0 832.0 144
Table 3

Determinants of Boys’ Employment

Dependent Variable = days worked by boys as a percentage of total days worked
OLS Tobit
Intercept 10.47* 10.34* 9.80* 9.46*

(1.58) (1.78) (1.67) (1.87)

Trend 0.088* 0.087* 0.095* 0.094*

(0.021) (0.021) (0.022) (0.022)

Tenant 2.87 2.95 3.33* 3.53*

(1.60) (1.67) (1.67) (1.74)

Home Counties –8.39* –8.43* –8.77* –8.87*

(2.20) (2.21) (2.30) (2.31)

Southwest –0.75 –0.74 –0.72 –0.71

(1.76) (1.77) (1.83) (1.83)

West Midlands –7.26* –7.23* –7.75* –7.66*

(1.71) (1.73) (1.80) (1.81)

North –8.60* –8.59* –9.20* –9.19*

(1.89) (1.89) (1.99) (1.99)

Size 0.015 0.039

(0.092) (0.096)

R-squared 0.226 0.226

Log-likelihood –682.6 –682.5

Observations 189 189 189 189

Sum of Weights 61 61 61 61

Table 4

Determinants of Girls’ Employment

Dependent Variable = days worked by girls as a percentage of total days worked

OLS Tobit
Intercept 0.49 0.16 –0.69 –1.80*

(0.31) (0.34) (0.67) (0.78)

Trend 0.003 0.002 0.001 –0.001

(0.004) (0.004) (0.008) (0.008)

Tenant 0.38 0.58 0.695 1.43*

(0.31) (0.32) (0.609) (0.65)

Home Counties –0.60 –0.69 –0.13 –0.61

(0.42) (0.42) (0.83) (0.85)

Southwest 0.54 0.55 0.58 –0.63

(0.34) (0.34) (0.67) (0.66)

West Midlands –0.05 0.03 –0.22 0.03

(0.33) (0.33) (0.67) (0.66)

North 0.21 0.23 0.32 0.37

(0.36) (0.36) (0.74) (0.73)

Size 0.039* 0.118*

(0.017) (0.036)

R-squared 0.038 0.063

Log-likelihood –279.6 –273.8

Observations 189 189 189 189

Sum of Weights 61 61 61 61

Table 5

Employment of Children as Agricultural Day-Labourers in 1851, by Region
Boys Girls

Home Counties 14.9 0.0

Southeast 23.7 0.2

Southwest 22.9 0.7

West Midlands 15.9 0.0

North 14.4 0.5

Weighted Average 19.7 0.3

Predicted values of the percentage of total workdays worked by boys and girls for a tenant farm in 1851.

Table 6

Employment of Children in Factories in 1833
Industry Location Percent Boys Percent Girls Total

Cotton Lancashire 21.3 14.0 35.2

Wool Leeds 21.1 14.0 35.2

Wool Gloucester 26.1 10.1 36.2

Wool Somerset 21.4 7.5 28.9

Flax Leeds 19.2 20.7 40.0

Silk Derby 17.8 19.1 36.9

Silk East Anglia 2.3 50.3 52.6

Lace Derbyshire 19.3 20.0 39.2

Lace Devonshire 21.4 6.1 27.5

Potteries Staffordshire 19.8 8.3 28.1

Dyehouse Leeds 16.4 0.0 16.4

Percent Boys = males 16 and younger as a percentage of total employment

Percent Girls = females 14 and younger as a percentage of total employment

Source - B.P.P. 1834 XIX.

Table 7

Employment of Children in Mines

Boys and Girls as a Percentage of the Workforce
Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls

Location under 13 under 13 13-18 13-18 ≤ 16 ≤14

Leicestershire 12.8 0.0 16.1 0.0 23.5 0.0

Derbyshire 11.9 0.0 17.1 0.0 23.3 0.0

Yorkshire 14.5 2.4 20.7 2.1 28.3 3.1

Lancashire 11.2 1.6 20.2 4.5 24.7 3.1

South Durham 13.0 0.0 16.0 0.0 23.7 0.0


and North Durham 12.8 0.0 18.3 0.0 25.0 0.0

Source: B.P.P. 1842 (380) XV, p. 38.

The first four columns are as reported in the mines commission report. The last two columns are my calculations based on the assumption that individuals in the age group 13 to 18 are uniformly spread across the ages.
Table 8

Predicted Employment of Boys as Agricultural Labourers, Changes over Time

1750 1830 1850

Home Counties 5.3 12.9 14.8

Southeast 14.1 21.7 23.6

Southwest 13.4 20.9 22.8

West Midlands 6.3 13.9 15.8

North 4.9 12.5 14.4

Weighted Average 10.1 17.7 19.6

Predicted values days worked by boys and girls as a percentage of total workdays worked all workers for a tenant farm.

Table 9

Age Distribution of Outdoor Labourers and Indoor Farm Servants in the 1851 Census

Males Females

Outdoor Indoor Outdoor Indoor

Labourers Servants Labourers Servants

Under 10 0.6 0.2 0.5 0.2

10 – 14 8.0 13.6 6.1 10.2

15 – 19 11.6 39.9 14.7 41.8

20 – 24 11.1 24.1 12.5 26.6

25 – 29 10.7 8.9 9.7 9.7

30 and over 58.0 13.4 56.6 11.6

Source: 1851 census; B.P.P. 1854 LXXXVIII

Figure 1

Age-Wage Profiles of Male Agricultural Labourers

Figure 2

Age-Wage Profiles of Female Agricultural Labourers

Figure 3

Boys as a Percentage of the Day-Labour Workforce

Figure 4

Girls as a Percentage of the Day-Labour Workforce

Figure 5

Annual Days Worked by Child Labourers

A. Norton, Derbyshire, 1848

Percent Children = 6%

B. Swell, Gloucestershire, 1824

Percent Children = 15%

C. Shipton Moyne, Gloucestershire, 1844

Percent Children = 24.4

D. Felbrigg, Norfolk, 1842

Percent Children = 35%

1 J.L. and B. Hammond, The Town Labourer, London: Longmans, Green & Co.,1917, p. 143.

2 E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, New York: Vintage Books, 1963, p. 331.

3 Neil McKendrick, “Home Demand and Economic Growth: A New View of the Role of Women and Children in the Industrial Revolution,” in N. McKendrick, ed., Historical Perspectives: Studies in English Thought and Society, London: Europa Publications, 1974.

4 J.H. Clapham, An Economic History of Modern Britain: The Early Railway Age, 1820-1850, 2nd. ed., Cambridge Univ. Press, 1930, p. 565.

5 E.H. Hunt, British Labour History, 1815-1914, Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1981, p. 9.

6 Hugh Cunningham, “The Employment and Unemployment of Children in England c. 1680-1850,” Past and Present, 1990, vol. 126, p. 127.

7 Maxine Berg and Pat Hudson, “Rehabilitating the Industrial Revolution,” Economic History Review, 1992, p. 28, 37.

8 B.P.P. 1834 (167) XIX, “Reports from Dr. James Mitchell to the Central Board of Commissioners”

9 B.P.P. 1842 (380) XV, First Report of the Commissioners: Mines.

10 Hugh Cunningham, “The Employment and Unemployment of Children in England c. 1680-1851,” Past and Present, 1990, vol. 126, p. 143. Peter Kirby, Child Labour in Britain, 1750-1870, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, p. 52.

11 1851 Census, B.P.P. 1854 LXXXVIII.

12 Clark Nardinelli, Child Labor and the Industrial Revolution, Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1990, p. 55.

13 ibid., p. 52-53.

14 ibid. and Peter Kirby, Child Labour in Britain, 1750-1870, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

15 See Joyce Burnette, “How Skilled Were English Agricultural Laborers in the Early Nineteenth Century?” forthcoming in the Economic History Review and currently available at http://persweb.wabash.edu/facstaff/burnettj/Homepage.html.

16 1851 census. B.P.P. 1854 LXXXVIII.

17 Hugh Cunningham, “The Employment and Unemployment of Children in England c. 1680-1851,” Past and Present, 1990, p. 135.

18 Joyce Burnette, “Labourers at the Oakes: Changes in the Demand for Female Day-Laborers at a Farm new Sheffield During the Agricultural Revolution,” Journal of Economic History, 1999, 59:41-67.

19 Peter Kirby, Child Labour in Britain, 1750-1870, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, p. 80.

20 “Size” is calculated by the total annual labour bill divided by 312 times the male daily wage.

21 Toman shows that larger farms can be more productive because they are better able to take advantage of specialization. J.T. Toman, “The gang system and comparative advantage,” Explorations in Economic History, April 2005, 42:310-323.

22 Peter Kirby, Child Labour in Britain, 1750-1870, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, p. 27.

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