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"Government mishandling was the most important reason why the General Strike broke out in 1926" How far do you agree?

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Introduction

"Government mishandling was the most important reason why the General Strike broke out in 1926" How far do you agree? There are many factors that contributed to the outbreak of the General Strike on May 4th 1926. However, the Government may not have been completely to blame for all of these. There are many background causes including the underlying problems in the coal industry and the impact of World War I that may have influenced the events that occurred. Furthermore, there are many groups such as the mine owners, the mine leaders and the TUC that also potentially contributed to the General Strike. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, all profits made were spent on industry finances and this meant that safety improvements were neglected. One miner was killed every 6 hours and one was severely injured every 2 hours. The owners also insisted on large pay cuts and wanted to lengthen the hours that the miners worked for each day. However, the Government was approached by Alfred Mond and asked to force a settlement onto the owners in which Baldwin simply refused. If this settlement was considered, it may have prevented the strike. Also, due to the brief return of the Gold Standard (a decision made by the Government) ...read more.

Conclusion

Furthermore, Smith and Cook were bad negotiators and did not offer enough flexibility when asking for the complete stop of wage cuts. They should have tried to minimise them instead of stop them altogether. Although the mine leaders visited the Prime Minister at his home they were unsuccessful in seeing him. Cook tried to tell Baldwin that they must have a national minimum but Baldwin did nothing. A national minimum may have instated some control into the dispute over wage cuts and therefore prevented a strike. The TUC left miners feeling betrayed and may have added fuel to the fire that was the General Strike. The TUC offered sympathetic support ...read more.

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