Luddites and Luddism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

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Luddites and Luddism

Luddite and Luddism are terms of both derision and praise. Depending on context, they have been used to indicate either mindless opposition to or critical assessment of technology and science.


Origins

The first Luddites were English textile workers who in 1811 and 1812, during the Industrial Revolution, resisted and rebelled against the use of wide-frame knitting machines, shearing machines, and other machines of mass production. The term is based on a mythical Ned Ludd who supposedly led the workers in their resistance. The Luddites, however, were not one unified political group. They reflected their regions and local trade organizations, hence the more appropriate use of the terms Manchester, Yorkshire, and Midland Luddites.

Much of the knitting of stockings and other apparel was done in cottages and small shops by knitters (stockingers) who sometimes owned their own frames but usually rented them from the hosiers (the knitting-frame...

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This section contains 940 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Luddites and Luddism Encyclopedia Article
Copyrights
Macmillan
Luddites and Luddism from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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