Byron and Bronte
Lord Byron was an English poet born on the 22nd January 1788. He gave this speech before the House of Lords on Feb. 27, 1812 in the middle of an Industrial Revolution. Mills were mechanizing and modernizing their processes and demanding less and less laborers due to the advancement in technology. This left many mill workers unemployed, resulting in a revolt. The unemployed mill workers were destroying the machines that had replaced their Jobs. The mill owners demanded government action and proposed the death penalty to whoever committed such offenses.
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Lord Byron spoke out against this bill and defended the unemployed mill workers. He suggested less inhumane measures be taken. Not in the speech itself, but his efforts yielded no avail. The bill was passed. Bronte Context: Charlotte Bronte was an English novelist and poet, born on April 21, 1816. She is most famous for her work, Jane Eyre. In this reading of an excerpt of her novel, Shirley, a mill owner named Moore is hated by the common worker for the way he goes about his operations.
He chooses to use modern machines that require less workers than previous operation standards. Moore is faced with the reality of dealing with the “framebrealers,” common workers now unemployed. He fears for his life and he wellbeing of his mill. He commonly sleeps at the mill and keeps watch. He has an order of machines scheduled to arrive one night, to his disappointment the wagons are empty when they arrive late. A note is attached to a saddle stating the machines have been smashed and his transport employees are tied up in a ditch.
This feud goes on for some time until Moore says he would rather die than change his operations. He also points out that if the unemployed framebreakers were to destroy his mill and kill him, they might find themselves with another wealthy man that chooses to operate under the same or worse standards as he. As a result their ndeavors would be futile. The reading then goes on to describe the hardships of a man unemployed that has sold all of his belongings in order to get by. A generous man then offers him a loan to get back on his feet.
Questions: 1. Are these happenings in the early to mid-19th century still noticeable today regarding unemployment as a result of the advancement of technology? 2. These happenings highlight the good and bad effects of the advancement of technology and implementation of machines. Is technology progressive? 3. Is the early 19th century industrial revolution the beginning of a large gap between the upper and lower classes? . Why is this reality of man vs. machine so important in the history of technology? 5.
Political parties in America emerged in the early 19th century, around the same time as these controversies. Could these effects of technology, specifically unemployment, be the foundation for which America’s political system has been divided? Think if you were a government official. Who would you sympathize with? – Buslness – or – tne Impoverlsnea ana unemployed people as a result 0T tecnnology In business – 6. Could it be this controversy marks the beginning of a war that cannot be won? – a prisoner’s dilemma in a capitalistic society –