Luddites, name given to bands of workingmen in the industrial centers of England who rioted between 1811 and 1816. The uprisings began in Nottinghamshire, where groups of textile workers, in the name of a mythical figure called Ned Ludd, or King Ludd, destroyed knitting machines, to which they attributed the prevailing unemployment and low wages. In 1812 workers in Lancashire, Cheshire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire began to wreck cotton power looms and wool shearing machines. There was no political aim involved and no cohesion in the movement. Outbreaks of Luddism were very harshly suppressed by the government.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Luddites: Selected full-text books and articles

British Working Class Movements: Select Documents, 1789- 1875 By G. D. H. Cole; A. W. Filson MacMillan, 1951
Librarian’s tip: Chap. V "The Luddites"
Waterloo to Peterloo By R. J. White Russell & Russell, 1973
Librarian’s tip: Chap. X "The Machine-Breakers"
Technology and Civic Life: Making and Implementing Development Decisions By John D. Montgomery The Mit Press, 1974
Librarian’s tip: "Costs of Modernization and the First Luddites" begins on p. 10
Times of the Technoculture: From the Information Society to the Virtual Life By Kevin Robins; Frank Webster Routledge, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Engaging with Luddism"
The Dissenters By Michael R. Watts Clarendon Press, vol.2, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "'Be Ye Therefore Patient': Methodism, Workingclass Consciousness, and Luddism" begins on p. 388
Social Unrest and Popular Protest in England, 1780-1840 By John E. Archer Cambridge University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of luddites begins on p. 42
Atlas of British Social and Economic History since C.1700 By Rex Pope Routledge, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of luddites begins on p. 183
A Short History of Technology from the Earliest Times to A.D. 1900 By T. K. Derry; Trevor I. Williams Oxford University Press, 1961
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 19 "Textiles"
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