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Teacher's Comment :

Chung Dabin - Industrial Child Labour in Britain

Once I invited my AP European History Class for dinner; after cooking together, we watched the movie "Daens", on the topic of the social situation of workers in Belgium and the emergence of the Catholic Workers' Party in the 1890es, and it features child labour. Dabin is a compassionate student and very engaged in discusions; child labour is a theme with which she dealt with at repeated further occasions during her high school studies. She attended THIMUN Youth Assembly in Den Haag (Netherlands) which focussed on this issue, the only Asian participant in the event. And when it was time to pick a topic for a research project, the choice was obvious.
Originally I suggested to her to compare the history of Child Labour in Industrial(izing) Britain, Germany and perhaps the U.S. In the course of the project she decided to narrow down the research on Britain alone; the selection of sources on Germany she had available (translated by myself) was too sketchy to come up with a balanced comparative analysis, and, as Germany was not unified until 1871, another complex issue would have to be dealt with.
Dabin's paper meets the criteria for a university seminar presentation; it analyses the scope of the problem in early industrialized Britain, differentiating by industry, and narrates the history of reform policies. Finally she discusses the sources available to her.
Dabin's paper is very concise, long enough to provide the reader with information necessary to understand the relevant aspects of the theme, too short to bore. Her reference list includes 25 positions, showing that she did thorough research.

December 23rd 2005

Alexander Ganse

Chung Dabin Industrial Child Labour in Britain