Combination Acts

(127 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context 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 The acts were therefore repealed i…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Editors. "Combination Acts". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 December 2007
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]