From the introduction:
Rage Against the Machine is set in Manchester, England in 1817 and 1818. This was a period of wage crisis, class conflict, and rapid technological change during the early years of the Industrial Revolution. The game that students will play over the next few weeks is a snapshot of life among the different classes of people living and working in Manchester England at this time.
The players are drawn from all classes of society, from lords to laborers and everything in between. Weavers, agricultural workers, craftsmen, merchants, and aristocrats are faced with different choices about how to live and prosper during the period of great technological, economic, and social change that we now call the Industrial Revolution. Each character in the game has her own motivations, and will approach political, economic, and social issues differently. But they all must decide whether to embrace or reject the new technology, and the society being forged with it.