Directed by Stan Neumann • Documentary • 2020 • 52 minutes
Starting in the 18th century, transformations in commerce led to the emergence of the early factory system and the birth of the British working class. Displaced from the countryside, these new workers flooded into textile mills that would fuel the growth of British capitalism. Combining archival footage, interviews with historians and testimonies from modern factory workers, A HISTORY OF THE EUROPEAN WORKING CLASS outlines the development of new forms of discipline and time management that would transform the lives of workers and their nascent political consciousness. The Luddite movement, Peterloo Massacre, and demands for universal suffrage are discussed as early high watermarks in the development of working class politics, foreshadowing the uprisings of the 19th and 20th centuries.