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Italy in the mid-1880s was not the best place for farming families. Many farms were failing, and in the face of mounting poverty, parents sent their sons into the cities to work in the rapidly expanding factories. Sadly, however, with no child labor laws, these boys were often subjected to very harsh conditions.
Working for pennies a day, most of them could not even afford a place to live. They ended up sleeping in abandoned buildings or on the streets...
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