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In the past the peasantry, the farmers, have been seen as the backbone of China, but in this new age of industry that would change. In the cotton plantations of Shanghai the "machines were kept running twenty-four hours every day, twelve months per year." (Honig 3). The working class will support upper class and the general public by producing manufactured fabrics and goods to be offered to the markets. As a result those who made up the working class in China managed to mass produce goods which would enable an economic boost to the urban areas of China. However, not all of the employees were originally from urban regions. Frequently time laborers coming from rural regions would come to the towns in search of labour as the demand for agrarian labour declined. Also, because rural families were poor a kid into the city to alleviate the fiscal burden at home and send money home to further support their loved ones who remained outside of the cities. Most employees operating machinery came in China's lower classes who searched places that didn't need skilled labor, though this was not always the case. Normally, places of unskilled labor were given to kids, especially during the 1920's, before it proved to be unnecessary and laborious (Hershatter 53). In the cotton mills of Shanghai there has been great diversity at the time of employees. You will find many young kids as young as seven, young girls (that would bring their newborn children to the trailers), operating alongside people many years their mature (Honig 54). Laborers were not merely divided by age, but also by sex and geographic location. In Shanghai most employees hired at the cotton mills were feminine, while in Tianjin male employees were predominant in factories before World War II. Approxima...