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Why did the general strike of 1926 take place?

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Why did the general strike of 1926 take place? 77 years ago an earthquake shook the very foundations of British capitalism this was the general strike of 1926 it took place because of numerous reasons of which I am going to explain a few in detail. The aim of this essay is that there are numerous reasons and many years to affect the out come of the general strike there are long term and short term causes as well. One of the reasons that I am going to explore is that the war was a long term cause and an important factor in the general strike because before the war there was industrial unrest because the miners were having to do long hours with not much pay and during the war the mines were changed to nationalisation so the miners were receiving more pay and wanted to stay with nationalisation, the economic consequences of the war lead to less money being paid per tonne of coal being produced making it harder to earn money in the business, with all the exports becoming more expensive and mass unemployment a lot of people during the war went hungry and because coal mining was such a dangerous job (on average 2 people a day died) ...read more.


weren't interested they only wanted to buy time so they could be better prepared for an all out confrontation. The ramshackle emergency supply and transport committee set up by Lloyd George in 1919 and beefed up in preparation for a fight at the time of Black Friday in1921 was reorganised, built up and joined by a volunteer body, the organisation for the maintenance of supplies, the OMS were an unsavoury bunch including the fascists. By now unemployment had risen and union membership had fallen from 8.25 million in 1920 to 5.25 million, the union leaders had neither the desire nor the will to fight. The publication of the Samuel report, the findings of the government enquiry, was their great hope, the report damned the coal owners but stopped short of calling for nationalisation as earlier reports had done, instead it called for wage cuts. The national minority immediately condemned the report; they convened a national conference of action in London on March 21, which represented hundreds of thousands if not a million workers. Cook stuck by the miners position, he used this famous slogan "Not a minute on the day, not a penny off the pay", the TUC leaders however saw the Samuel report as a way out, the coal owners posted notices saying that all employment on the current conditions would end on April 30. ...read more.


The TUC refused to arrange a levy for the miners, after a long struggle, locked out for 7 months the miners went back to work at least those not victimised on longer hours with less pay and no national agreement. In Conclusion I think that there is no one reason for the General Strike of 1926, it is due to the reasons that I have explained here in this essay, I think one of the most important reasons for the strike is the TUC joining with the miners because when the TUC threatened a general strike in 1920 it made the government more aware, therefore giving it more chance to prepare for another one, I think that with the government being prepared the miners had no chance of succeeding in a general strike. A government subsidy eased the problem for a time but when this subsidy was withdrawn on May 1 1926 the TUC had already agreed to support the miners, an overwhelming vote meant a general strike began on May 4, a day which was later described as " the quietest Tuesday morning in living memory", not all workers were called out, just those in key industries, the strike lasted for 9 days but as the miners demands had not been met they were left to battle on alone until near starvation forced them back to work 6 months later. ...read more.

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