The industrial revolution which was characterized by the introduction of machines gave rise to a class of industrial workers. These industrial workers were soon involved in a conflict with the capitalists and organized themselves into trade unions to improve their conditions.
The workers sought to protect their interests in two ways. Firstly, they organized themselves into trade unions to wrest concessions from employers. Secondly, they tried to capture the machinery of state to reconstruct a social order which was conducive to their interests.
For the attainment of these objectives the workers either resorted to direct action, or sought to achieve them through political action. Generally both these methods were adopted concurrently and they exercised great influence on each other.