Explain the following: Women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny

Women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny

The introduction of new technology led to the fear of unemployment among workers in Britain. Hence the women were very hostile to the introduction of Spinning Jenny. 

  • Spinning Jenny was introduced in the woollen industry, women who survived on hand spinning began attacking the new machines.
  • Due to the introduction of Jenny, conflict continued for a long time.

High Unemployment in Britain – Life of Workers

  • The lives of workers were affected due to the abundance of labour in the market.
  • Hundreds of people went to cities in search of jobs whenever there was news of jobs.
  • Possibility of getting jobs depended upon the relatives, friends and existing network of people who were already working in the factories.
  • Not every worker had good social connections, hence it was very difficult to find jobs in Britain.
  • Many workers had to spend many nights in night shelters, casual wards, and spend nights under bridges and in streets.
  • In Britain many jobs were seasonal in nature.
  • When the seasons passed, workers were back in the streets looking for jobs.
  • Even the wages of workers were not sufficient enough to help them purchase necessary things.
  • As women were living in such unfavourable and hostile living conditions, the introduction of machinery compelled the women to attack the machines to save their jobs.

Spinning Jenny

  • Spinning Jenny was devised in 1764 by James Hargreaves.
  • This machine helped in reducing the labour demand and speeded up the process of spinning.
  • A worker could spin several threads at the same time, by setting in motion a number of spindles by turning one single wheel.

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