Industrial Revolution & Luddites

Skilled men were replaced by child labour in cotton factories in the north of England
WCRAG Edward Baines (1800-1890), 1835.

The revolt of the artisan was widespread at this time.  This was symbolised by the plight of the handloom weavers, whose skilled work had been taken by women and children in the new steam powered cotton mills.  The reaction to the poverty this caused was violence.  Gangs of unemployed men, known as Luddites took to raiding these mills.  The name of ‘Ned Ludd’ and his great hammer ‘Enoch’ became infamous across England.

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