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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > March 2016 > The Extraordinary Tale of…

The Extraordinary Tale of…

A small group came together to fight against severe poverty and starvation, winning a great victory for workers everywhere…

1834 SIX WORKERS SENT TO AUSTRALIA FOR SEEKING BETTER PAY

The figureheads of the trade unions, the Tolpuddle Martyrs

Life for British agricultural workers in the early years of the 19th century was brutal. The hours were long, the work was backbreaking and it was all for a wage so small that it was barely enough to feed one person, let alone a family. With the Industrial Revolution sweeping the country (see more on page 74), new machines were gradually replacing human labourers, leaving a surplus workforce to compete for the few jobs remaining. This meant the wealthy landowners could pay whatever they wanted, knowing there would always be someone desperate enough to take any job dangled in front of them.

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The March 2016 issue of History Revealed.
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