Before the Luddites: Custom, Community and Machinery in the English Woollen Industry, 1776-1809

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 3, 2002 - Business & Economics - 340 pages
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Before the Luddites is a study of the early Industrial Revolution in the English woollen cloth-making industry in the West of England and Yorkshire which concentrates upon the social background of and response to change. It is particularly concerned to explain the reasons for and the effect of Luddism. This book argues that resistance to machinery had a long history before the Luddite disturbances of 1811-12 and that this response to change sprang from a community culture which was deep-rooted and hostile to the values of economic individualism embodied by the new economy and to laissez-faire.
  

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Contents

Industrial organisation and culture
13
Machinery the factory and labour displacement
41
The advent of machinery and community resistance
69
The cloth dressers trade unionism and machinery
109
Industrial violence and machine breaking the Wiltshire Outrages
149
Custom and law the weavers campaign
187
The political economy of machine breaking
221
Machinery custom and class
249
Conclusion
285
Bibliography
293
Name and place index
311
Subject index
315
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Page vii - Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past.

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