Industrial Revolution Luddites Essay

Topics: Industrial Revolution, Factory, Crime Pages: 2 (712 words) Published: April 10, 2013
Luddism Essay
In the late 18th and 19th century, something that is now called the ‘Industrial Revolution’ occurred. This was when textile machinery was first introduced to Britain and rapidly became popular1. This lead to a great increase of factories with lots of steam powered machines. When this happened a lot of workers lost their jobs and were replaced by these machines. In result, lots of people were angry and unsatisfied with having no job and not being able to support their family. The workers started to destroy and vandalize machines to try and get prove a point and to get a message across to the factory owners, these workers were called Luddites. Luddism is quite controversial because a lot of people believe that it was all just mindless violence, whilst others think that it was understandable and completely reasonable. Although it may have not been the best resort to turn to, I don’t believe that Luddism was just simply mindless violence. The first outbreak of Luddism started in the 1811 and got to a point where machines were damaged almost every night1. Most Luddites were led by someone named, Ned Ludd1. He is believed to be fictional, but no one really knows if he was real or not1. He was the symbol for the Luddites, the threatening letters were signed in his name and he was their General1. The Luddites were fighting for something that was very important; they were fighting for their livelihoods3. Why should it be fair that hard working men that had done no wrong be released from their jobs and replaced by an immobile object? “It is, I think, fair to claim that 'collective bargaining by riot’ was …probably more effective than any other means available” (Hobsbawm, 1952). They had no alternative, so they turned to the only effective choice they had, which was violence4. The Luddites had no other intentions besides trying to get their jobs back; there was no evidence of them trying to cause a revolution, trying to change their status, nor were there...
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