The "machine-breakers" and the industrial revolution

A. Nuvolari

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The early phase of the industrialization process in Britain was characterized by a considerable number of machine-breaking riots. All the great innovations in textile technology seemed to have been, at some point of time, smashed. John Kay's flying shuttle met a strong resistance and workers rioted against its introduction in 1758, 1785-7,1810-13 and 1822. Hargreaves'spinning jenny was attacked in several mobs (1767, 1769 and 1779). In 1779 there were also assaults against Arkwright-type of factories. The power loom was the target of the Lancashire Luddites in 1812. Although this form of labour disturbances has been the subject of extensive historical investigation, there is still little consensus among historians about the exact nature and significance of this form ofresistance to innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherEindhoven Centre for Innovation Studies
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Publication series

NameECIS working paper series


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