The move from a rural village environment to a newly‐built industrial urban community must have been a traumatic experience for children in the early years of the first industrial revolution. A life passed in the country‐side, working on the land, or tending livestock on the common, changed abruptly to life down a mine or in one of the new manufacturies. The social effects of these changes reverberated throughout the nineteenth century. Slowly the community removed the worst abuses of child labour and developed the rudiments of a universal education system.
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