the Maschinenstürmer were a kind of revolutionary reaction against the increasing Maschinisierung in the Industriellen revolution.

In this time many humans experienced that the increasing use of machines destroyed jobs. Economic interests induced the factory gentlemen to radical exploitation measures. It came to the machine storm, thatin Germany and England accepted different extents.

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for the Ludditen, the most well-known English Maschinenstürmer, was machine storm a considered and calculated policy, there all other means of the protest approximatelythe Industrielle revolution had failed.Force was thus their last means, which organized the “Ludditen” well and disciplined began. They experienced much sympathy from the under and central layer.

Mainly webers and cranks did together, destroyed looms and factories, or murdered even inventors, ofit around wages and bread brought believed themselves those. This taken place often in the form of sabotage.

Most well-known the rebellion of the English Ludditen, designated after its leader Ned Ludd (Ludlam), that itself its father (or master) opposed and from protest the needlesin its Strumpffabrik broke. Other sources call “Captain” or “general Ludd” than leaders of the first protests.

1811/1812 came it to a proper riot into Nottingham, the English state let which strike down by 12.000 soldiers. Only a law (“frame breaking bill “), machine stormunder death penalty and fulfilled, brought an end placed the demands of the Ludditen in Nottingham.

Later the easements were however again taken back. “Ludd” and the other leaders were condemned to death. The other insurgent ones were deportiert to Australia. Such punishments, like terms of imprisonment also of several years, were in England usually.

1816 followed further “Ludditen unrests”, due to a renewed degradation of the worker situation.

The last English Maschinenstürmer gave it to the 1830er year in the agriculture. Here a “Captain Swing “stood in the fight against the steam engine in rural economy.


in Germany came it between 1830 and 1847 likewise to machine storms, however to smaller extent, so that better of “machine protest” than machine storm is to be spoken here. Protest, force and riot were directed thereby rarely against the machines as such, but rather against the foreign Competition from England, France and Belgium. This inundated the German market and spoiled the prices.

Further the protests were directed against publisher buyers and entrepreneurs locally, who took their “food” to the workers by the wage lowering and set them except work. Only in this connection turned outthe machines into the focus of the criticism. Military and law in Germany proceeded just as hard against the Maschinenstürmer as in England.

One analyzed unrests and determined bad states in the conditions of work. One partly strove around the list of a factory order, for the bad statesto eliminate, but this “Aachener factory order “failed because of the Prussian Department of State.

In Eupen, Aachen and Schlesien (see also weber rebellion) the governments saw the debt for unrests clearly with the manufacturers, e.g. by to low wages indirectly contributed to unrestshad.

see also:


  • David Noble, Maschinenstürmer or the complicated relations of humans to its machines, Berlin: Reciprocal effect publishing house 1986
  • Michael Spehr, machine storm. Protest and resistance against technical innovations at the beginning of the industrialization, Münster:Westfäli steam boat 2000

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