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Why did the General strike of 1926 take place?

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Introduction

Louise Todd 11I Why did the General strike of 1926 take place? 76 years ago an earthquake shook the very foundations of British capitalism. For 9 days, not a wheel turned, not a light shone without the permission of the working class. The general strike of 1926 did not fall from a clear blue sky, it happened because of a combination of many factors. Workers were unhappy, from 1910 to 1914 there were a series of strikes, and the triple alliance between miners, railwaymen, and transport workers was formed. There was rise in Syndicalism, the idea that unions should become larger and larger, perhaps joining together to fight for the working classes. In the end the unions would be so powerful that they would call a strike across the whole country and take control of industry in Britain. ...read more.

Middle

All this meant that the situation in Britain at the time could be compared with a pressure cooker. There was only so much the workers could take before they would explode. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Although the liberal government before the war was taking steps to improve living and working conditions in Britain, the country still faced industrial unrest. Between 1910 and 1914 there were a series of official and unofficial strikes across Britain. In July and November 1910 the railwaymen, boilermakers, miners and cotton workers all went on strike. Fortunately there was no bloodshed because Churchill delayed army intervention. As time went by and conditions were still not improved the strikes got a little more violent. In 1911 a Dockers strike in Liverpool and a national rail strike were both ended by the government use of troops. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 1913 The British trade unions moved closer to the idea of syndicalism and increased their power when miners, railwaymen and transport workers joined together to form what was known as the triple alliance. There were nearly a million and a half workers, and at the height of the upsurge in class struggle. Only the deception of the government and the vacillation of the leaders of these unions prevented an all out confrontation. The triple alliance worried the government, but the outbreak of war in 1914 diverted people's attention from the issue. Finally, In 1914 Trade Union Leaders agreed to terminate all existing disputes during the war, but strikes in Glasgow, Clydeside and South Wales showed that many workers were still unhappy about their wages and working conditions. During the war Union membership doubled and this was another reason leading to the strike, which formed from the latter events. ...read more.

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