Declaration of Dependence (1913) Child Labor DBQ | Student Handouts
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Declaration of Dependence (1913)
Free Printable DBQ Worksheet for U.S. History - Scroll Down to Print (PDF) - Progressive Era
Minister Alexander J. McKelway (1866-1918) crafted this statement as part of the effort to end exploitative child labor practices in the United States.


Reference Citations Chart with Tutorial

Jane Addams Reading with Questions

Click here to print this DBQ worksheet.
For more of our free educational materials on the Progressive era in American history, click here. For further reading on child labor issues in the United States, Russell Freedman's Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade against Child Labor features lots of classic photographs of working children, alongside an informative text which can be easily comprehended by students in grades 5-12.

Declaration of Dependence by the Children of America in Mines and Factories and Workshops Assembled

Whereas, We, Children of America, are declared to have been born free and equal, and

Whereas, We are yet in bondage in this land of the free; are forced to toil the long day or the long night, with no control over the conditions of labor, as to health or safety or hours or wages, and with no right to the rewards of our service, therefor be it

Resolved, I -- That childhood is endowed with certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which are freedom from toil for daily bread; the right to play and to dream; the right to the normal sleep of the night season; the right to an education, that we may have equality of opportunity for developing all that there is in us of mind and heart.

Resolved, II -- That we declare ourselves to be helpless and dependent; that we are and of right ought to be dependent, and that we hereby present the appeal of our helplessness that we may be protected in the enjoyment of the rights of childhood.

Resolved, III -- That we demand the restoration of our rights by the abolition of child labor in America.

National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), 1913

Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
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