Swing Riots were an agricultural phenomenon. Following
years of war, high taxes and low wages, farm laborers
finally snapped in 1830. These farm laborers had faced
unemployment for a number of years due to the widespread
introduction of the threshing machine and the policy
of enclosing fields. No longer were thousands of men
needed to tend the crops, a few would suffice. With
fewer jobs, lower wages and no prospects of things
improving for these workers the threshing machine
was the final straw, the object that was to place
them on the brink of starvation. The Swing Rioters
smashed the threshing machines and threatened farmers
who had them.
riots were dealt with very harshly. Nine of the rioters
were hung and a further 450 were transported to Australia.