(Taken directly from pamphlets by the current organization called luddites200. )

“From 1811 to 1813 thousands of textile workers in Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Lancashire rose up against mill owners who used various new machines (‘frames’). Led by a fictitious ‘General Ludd’ , they smashed the machines which were throwing them into unemployment, which at that time could mean destitution and starvation. 50 men were hanged, but the Government only succeeded in putting down the rebellion by using thousands of troops and spies. The result was a century of child labour and millions of lives crushed by the factory sytem. The victors rewrote history, so that most people think that a ‘Luddite’ is someone who is opposed to all technology, and to ‘progress’ : in fact, the Luddites were very selective, breaking only those machines they thought were ‘hurtful to commonality’, ie which harmed the common good. “

NB There are many events organized by the above organization, about Luddites, and the re-evaluation of them, as it is their 200 years anniversary. Please go to their website to find out more.