>Since you asked I did a little research and found that 14yo boys could certainly be farm labour.<
You are in Canada and things are probably different, but in the US, minors are allowed to work on family farms (farms owned/operated by their parents) but are not allowed to be employed on other farms. Still, it happens, esp where farmworkers are illegal immigrants.
>They could also work in the mines and in factories and mills. Talk about harmful! They could also become apprentices or work in family businesses, become drummer boys in the Army or cabin boys in the Navy. Apparently a 12yo girl would not usually marry a 14yo boy with few means due to family considerations and would be expected to look to a much older man that could support her. Young girls were desirable not only because they sweet little yummies (as portrayed in various media today) but because infant mortality and death in childbirth was high and general life expectancy was low (variable by century but about 45 in 1900). That was their job and it isn't as if women could do anything else (another great societal truth put to death). They didn't even have souls until about the year 1000 (thank the Irish Church and St Bridget). Next thing women wanted the vote (like 'nice women' really want to involve themselves in politics), then they wanted to work outside the home (blame WWI and WWII for that), then they actually wanted equal pay for equal work. Then came the final affront, control over their own bodies (NO means NO, birth control, abortion). So thanks to some very wicked, very brave women we are now legally and socially equal (mostly) to the male of the species (at least in NA and EU) though there are still a couple of details that have to be taken care of. Sometimes, with all the ultra-conservative stuff going on worldwide, I wonder if we aren't going backwards. What do you mean I can't access my bank account without my husbands OK? You can now return to your regularly scheduled blog. <
I think one reason the age of majority was increased was to keep children from competing with their parents in the job market, but children were taken advantage of in sweatshops and such, as they are in underdeveloped countries, where people send their children to do manual labor for very low wages just so the family can eat, and the children don't get a chance to go to school.