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Riotous AssembliesPopular Protest in Hanoverian England$
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Adrian Randall

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199259908

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259908.001.0001

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‘Engines of Mischief’: The Luddite Disturbances of 1811–12

‘Engines of Mischief’: The Luddite Disturbances of 1811–12

(p.271) 11 ‘Engines of Mischief’: The Luddite Disturbances of 1811–12
Riotous Assemblies

Adrian Randall (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Luddism in England in the years 1811-1812 in the context of earlier industrial protests and asks how far these disorders marked a significant shift in the pattern of popular protest in the country. The Luddite disturbances triggered a decisive sea change in the relationship between the crowd and the authorities. If the pattern and pace of change varied from region to region, each saw the demise of the old dialogue through disorder model that had characterized so many popular protests in the past. Luddism exposed a new ferocity on the part of the state and local authorities when faced with disorder, a ferocity that in turn engendered fiercer resistance on the part of the protestors.

Keywords:   Luddism, England, industrial protests, popular protests, machinery, labor relations, textile industry

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