Combination Acts

(127 words)
  • Editors

Short Note This is a short note

[Preliminary entry.] These Acts were passed in response to the increasing militancy and violence of industrial workers who were faced with new technologies and either unemployment or reduced wages at a time of considerable economic hardship caused by the wars with France and the continental blockade. Food prices were high, and the property-owning classes feared infection by French ideas. The Acts were intended to tidy up existing provisions against the nascent trade unions and combination by working people, and to enable the summary trial of those arrested. They had the effect of forcing combinations to work in secret, and therefore made their activities more subversive and perhaps even more effective. The acts were therefore repealed i…

Short notes under 150 words are freely available to all users, but to consult all other articles in the Literary Encyclopedia, you must be logged in as a subscriber. To read about subscribing click here.

Editors. "Combination Acts". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 December 2007
[, accessed 18 April 2014.]