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Petition and Proclamation Cloth Workers and Merchants

            The "Petition of Yorkshire Cloth Workers "(1786) and "Proclamation of the Leeds Cloth Merchants" (1791), documents the first big social change brought on by the English Industrial Revolution. The Petition of Yorkshire Cloth Workers in 1786 , was written in the form of a letter written by the factory workers addressed to the owners. This petition details the negative aspects of the new industrialization and transition from hand -woven textiles to machine produced textiles. The factory workers complained of such issues as, loss of jobs.increase in the length of the workday and strict supervision from managers. But, a mere five years later, the Proclamation of the Leeds Cloth Merchants in 1791, was written by the cloth merchants praising the Industrial Revolution. The proclamation states many positives, such as the Industrial revolution and the transition to machinery has put England at the very top of the cloth empire, that the global demand will only mean higher wages and the need for new and improved technology is paramount to achieve this.
             Prior to the Industrial Revolution, cloth workers did their trade by hand and in the comfort of their own homes or workshops while being aided by spouses and children. The skilled workers would spin yarn from wool or cotton and then wove it into smaller pieces of fabric But,when the Industrial Revolution took hold the new technologically advanced machinery could do the work of several skilled workers. With the introduction of these machines the people where forced to work for the factories which housed these massive machines (Petition of Yorkshire Cloth Workers). These skilled workers often along with their children where forced to work for the factory owners who know payed the workers not based on production but hours. So in order to make a livable wage for their families, many were forced to work for as much as twelve hours non-stop.

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