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Comparisons: Child Labor in the Gilded Age and the 1990s

Although America has successfully restricted child labor in the country, its dependency upon children in labor around the world makes it reliant upon child labor similar to that of the Gilded Age. Many parallels can be drawn between child labor in the present, upon which America is dependent, and child labor in America during the Gilded Age (during the Gilded Age, America was dependent largely on its own labor sources and domestic economy rather than a global economy). For example, the primary descriptions of labor written during each of the time periods seem to describe the same practices and issues. Government as described in The Jungle is closely analogous to governments described in various periodicals, such as the Atlantic Monthly, in the late 20th century in developing countries. Pictures of both time periods depict the same labor conditions. The tenement housing described in the Gilded Age is similar to the Pakistani carpet-makers working in huts. Although America has taken steps to reduce and restrict global child labor in the form of laws and organizations, the practice continues to exist today because of weak or corrupt foreign governments.

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