The Luddites were a social movement of British textile artisans in the early nineteenth century who protested – often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt threatened their livelihood. Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of Individuals and/or Organizations focused on specific The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom from 1 January 1801 until 12 April 1927 A textile is a flexible material comprised of a network of natural or artificial Fibres often referred to as thread or Yarn. The 19th century of the Common Era began on January 1, 1801 and ended on December 31, 1900, according to the Gregorian calendar The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture manufacturing and transportation had a profound effect on the
This English historical movement has to be seen in its context of the harsh economic climate due to the Napoleonic Wars; but since then, the term Luddite has been used to describe anyone opposed to technological progress and technological change. The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815 involved Napoleon's French Empire and a shifting set of European allies and opposing coalitions The history of technology is the history of the Invention of Tools and techniques Technological change (TC is a term that is used to describe the overall process of Invention, Innovation and Diffusion of Technology or
The Luddite movement, which began in 1811, took its name from the earlier Ned Ludd. Ned Ludd or Ned Lud (possibly born Ned Ludlam is the person from whom the Luddites took their name For a short time the movement was so strong that it clashed in battles with the British Army. The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. Measures taken by the government included a mass trial at York in 1812 that resulted in many executions and penal transportation. York ( is an historic Walled city sited at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. Capital punishment, the death penalty or execution, is the Killing of a person by judicial process as Punishment. Transportation or penal transportation refers to the deporting of Convicted Criminals to a Penal colony, for example by France
The principal objection was to the introduction of new wide-framed looms that could be operated by cheap, relatively unskilled labour, resulting in the loss of jobs for many textile workers.
The original Luddites claimed to be led by one "King Ludd" (also known as "General Ludd" or "Captain Ludd") whose signature appears on a "workers' manifesto" of the time. For the Roxy Music album see Manifesto (album. A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions often King Ludd was based on the earlier Ned Ludd, who is believed to have destroyed two large stocking frames in the village of Anstey, Leicestershire in 1779, although Ned Ludd is believed to have been a mere simpleton and his actions had no direct relation to those of the later Luddites. Ned Ludd or Ned Lud (possibly born Ned Ludlam is the person from whom the Luddites took their name A stocking frame was a mechanical Knitting machine used in the Textiles industry Anstey is a large semi-industrialised village in Leicestershire, England, located north west of Leicester in the borough of Charnwood. 
Research by historian Kevin Binfield is particularly useful in placing the Luddite movement in correct historical context--as organised action by stockingers had occurred at various times since 1675, and the present action had to be seen in the context of the hardships suffered by the working class during the Napoleonic Wars.
The movement began in Nottingham in 1811 and spread rapidly throughout England in 1811 and 1812. Nottingham ( is a city in the Ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire, England. Many wool and cotton mills were destroyed until the British government harshly suppressed the movement. Wool is the fiber derived from the specialized skin cells called follicles of animals in the Caprinae family principally sheep, but the hair of certain species Cotton is a soft staple Fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant ( Gossypium sp A factory (previously manufactory) or manufacturing plant is an industrial Building where workers manufacture goods The Luddites met at night on the moors surrounding the industrial towns, practising drills and manoeuvres and often enjoyed local support. The main areas of the disturbances were Nottinghamshire in November 1811, followed by the West Riding of Yorkshire in early 1812 and Lancashire from March 1813. Nottinghamshire (abbreviated Notts) is an English county in the East Midlands, which borders South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire The West Riding of Yorkshire is one of the three historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England. Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England, bounded to the west by the Irish Sea Battles between Luddites and the military occurred at Burton's Mill in Middleton, and at Westhoughton Mill, both in Lancashire. Middleton is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, in Greater Manchester, England. Westhoughton Mill (Wray and Duncroft's Mill situated in the town of Westhoughton, near Bolton in Lancashire was the site of an 1812 battle between the Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England, bounded to the west by the Irish Sea It was rumoured at the time that agents provocateurs employed by the magistrates were involved in provoking the attacks. Traditionally an agent provocateur ( Plural: agents provocateurs, French for "inciting agent" is a person employed by the police or Magistrates and food merchants were also objects of death threats and attacks by the anonymous King Ludd and his supporters. Some industrialists even had secret chambers constructed in their buildings, which may have been used as a hiding place. 
"Machine breaking" (industrial sabotage) was subsequently made a capital crime (Lord Byron, one of the few prominent defenders of the Luddites, famously spoke out against this legislation), and 17 men were executed after an 1813 trial in York. Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening an enemy oppressor or employer through subversion obstruction disruption and/or destruction Capital punishment, the death penalty or execution, is the Killing of a person by judicial process as Punishment. York ( is an historic Walled city sited at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. Many others were transported as prisoners to Australia. Transportation or penal transportation refers to the deporting of Convicted Criminals to a Penal colony, for example by France For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. At one time, there were more British troops fighting the Luddites than Napoleon I on the Iberian Peninsula. Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821 was a French military and political leader who had a significant impact on the History of Europe. The Iberian Peninsula, or Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe, and includes modern day Spain, Portugal, Andorra Three Luddites ambushed a mill-owner (William Horsfall) in Crosland Moor, Huddersfield; the Luddites responsible were hanged in York, and shortly thereafter 'Luddism' waned. Crosland Moor is a district of the town of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England. Huddersfield ( is a large Market town within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, in West Yorkshire, England, 190 miles (306km north
However, the movement can also be seen as part of a rising tide of English working-class discontent in the early 19th century (see also, for example, the Pentrich Rising of 1817, which was a general uprising, but led by an unemployed Nottingham stockinger, and probable ex-Luddite, Jeremiah Brandreth). Pentrich is a small village between Belper and Alfreton in Derbyshire. Jeremiah Brandreth (1790 &ndash 7 November 1817) was an out of work stocking maker from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire who was hanged An agricultural variant of Luddism, centring on the breaking of threshing machines, was crucial to the widespread Swing Riots of 1830 in southern and eastern England. The Swing Riots were a widespread uprising by the rural workers of the arable south and east of England in 1830.
In recent years, the terms Luddism and Luddite or Neo-Luddism and Neo-Luddite have become synonymous with anyone who opposes the advance of technology due to the cultural and socioeconomic changes that are associated with it. Technology is a broad concept that deals with a Species ' usage and knowledge of Tools and Crafts and how it affects a species' ability to control and adapt
One view of Luddites is that they were a paramilitary group, trying to enforce a production monopoly for their own financial gain through sabotage and the resultant intimidation. A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military force but which are not regarded as having the same status Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening an enemy oppressor or employer through subversion obstruction disruption and/or destruction
Also, neoclassical economic historians would argue that Luddites' opposition to the free market and opposition to technological 'progress' were roughly equivalent, believing that the progress that created what we generally refer to as 'modernity' (and especially the high standards of living prevalent in developed nations) was due to the use of technology for private gain, and that this pursuit of private gain, through the medium of specialization, comparative advantage, and mutually beneficial exchange, accumulatively enhances the general welfare. Neoclassical economics is a term variously used for approaches to Economics focusing on the determination of prices outputs and income distributions in markets The history of economic thought deals with different thinkers and theories in the field of Political economy and Economics from the ancient world to the present In international trade the principle of comparative advantage refers to the fact that although one country may have an absolute disadvantage with another value can be created for both This view, shared with other writers, is a key thesis of David Landes' The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, and Roszaks' The Cult of Information. David S Landes (born New York 1924 is a Professor emeritus of Economics at Harvard University and retired professor of History at The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (ISBN 0-393-04017-8 published in 1998 (with an epilogue added to the 1999 paperback edition is a book by David Landes, currently
The term "Luddite fallacy" has become a concept in neoclassical development economics reflecting the belief that labour-saving technologies (i. The Luddite fallacy is a concept in development economics related to the belief that labour-saving technologies (i e. , technologies that increase output-per-worker) increase unemployment by reducing demand for labour. The "fallacy" lies in assuming that employers will seek to keep production constant by employing a smaller, more productive workforce instead of allowing production to grow while keeping workforce size constant. 
In his work on English history, The Making of the English Working Class, E. P. Thompson presented an alternative view of Luddite history. The Making of the English Working Class is an influential and pivotal work of English social history written by E Edward Palmer Thompson ( February 3, 1924, Oxford &ndash August 28, 1993, Worcester) was an English historian He argues that Luddites were not opposed to new technology in itself, but rather to the abolition of set prices and therefore also to the introduction of the free market. A free market is a Market in which property rights are voluntarily exchanged at a price arranged completely by the mutual consent of sellers and buyers
Thompson argues that it was the newly-introduced economic system that the Luddites were protesting. For example, the Luddite song, "General Ludd's Triumph":
"Wide frames" were the cropping frames, and the old prices were those prices agreed by custom and practice. Thompson cites the many historical accounts of Luddite raids on workshops where some frames were smashed whilst others (whose owners were obeying the old economic practice and not trying to cut prices) were left untouched. This would clearly distinguish the Luddites from someone who was today called a luddite; whereas today a luddite would reject new technology because it is new, the Luddites were acting from a sense of self-preservation rather than merely fear of change.