October 14: Who were the Luddites?

Luddite is a term used to describe people who dislike new technology.

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Source: History.com
Published: June 2019

Who were the Luddites?

Luddite is a term used to describe people who dislike new technology. Its origins date back to an early 1800s labor movement where skilled weavers and textile workers feared that their skills would go to waste, as machines would replace their role in the industry.

The new mechanized inventions produced textiles faster and cheaper than the trained artisans and they were operated by less-skilled, low-wage laborers. Luddites felt the machines were robbing them of their livelihood. Radical Luddites began breaking into factories and smashing textile machines in an attempt to prevent technological advancement.

The British Parliament made "machine breaking" a capital crime (ie punishable by death) with the Frame Breaking Act of 1812.

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