• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Causes of the General Strike 1926.

Extracts from this document...


The Causes of the General Strike 1926 On 4th May 1926 one million miners and two and a half million other workers were called out on strike by the Trade Union Congress. The strike lasted for an unprecedented eight days, until 12th May. There were three main causes to the General Strike: Britain's economic crisis during this period, the problems within the coal industry and the Government's policy towards the strike. The root cause of the General Strike, however, was the conflict within the coal industry. For a brief period immediately following the first world war, Britain faced a boom. Workers were in a strong position and business was optimistic, believing that world demand for British goods would increase and trading would return to the success it had prior to the war. However, in the spring of 1920, Britain experienced their worst economic slump in history. This was caused by a poor performance in foreign markets due to the lack of reinvestment and therefore modernisation in British industry, and increased competition abroad, especially from the USA and Germany. ...read more.


The government initially decided that the conflict between the mine owners and miners was not of their concern. But in 1925, the Trade Union Congress became involved and threatened a lock-out. In order to maintain control and appease the miners, the government responded by providing a twenty three million pound subsidy. A strike was temporarily avoided because both the miners- who were not receiving pay cuts- and the mine owners -who still had a reduction in the wages they paid the miners- were contented. But the subsidies were only for nine months. During this time the government set up the Samuel Commission to investigate the problems of British mining and discuss how best to increase its productivity. The report was published in 1926, it rejected nationalisation but recognised a need for modernisation, it also recommended that subsidies should be withdrawn and miners' wages cut. The government agreed to accept the report if both sides agreed with its findings. This was unrealistic as the report made suggestions which neither party were willing to agree to. So the report was no help to the situation at all and the conflict returned to the same position as before the government intervened. ...read more.


However, if the Samuel report had been enforced it would have just added further chaos to the dispute between miners and mine owners as neither side agreed with its findings. Baldwin was really in a no win situation. Therefore the government's response was more of a hindrance to the avoidance of a general strike than a cause, because by the beginning of May it can be argued that a general strike was inevitable. The combination of an economic crisis, a crippled coal industry and a poor government response led to the General Strike of 1926. British industry at that time was moribund and the government could have reacted more responsibly to the needs of the workers. But these were just additional problems to the underlying conflicts of the Coal industry rather than causes. The miners were already extremely unhappy because of their dire working conditions and because nationalisation had not taken place as promised, so when the mine owners proposed wage cuts they refused to co-operate. The poor treatment of the miners motivated the Trade Union Congress to act, without whom a General Strike would have been impossible. Laurian Wright UVF Dr Shaw History Course Work ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. What Where Causes And Consequences Of The General Strike In 1926?

    Although coal mining created huge profits, workers received very low wages, and the conditions were very bad. The miners felt they were being treated very unfairly. Even before the First World War, miners had been campaigning for improvements in they're working conditions and there pay, as they were so bad,

  2. Why did the General Strike of 1926 take place?

    However, between 1923 and 1924, there was a shortage of coal particularly in the United States and the Ruhr. This meant that the price of coal increased in Britain and the wages were cut. However, in 1925 when the Ruhr crisis happened, the price of coal went considerably low.

  1. Do the events of the British General Strike show that Britain was a genuinely ...

    I believe that the TUC as well as other unions such as the MFGB and the NUR wanted change as they all supported the strike movement. The TUC offered to co-operate in distribution of essential food and supplies and resume talks on behalf of the miners.

  2. Did Paul Lahti, the director of the Minahasa Raya mine, make the correct decision ...

    (Times Picuyane 5) These are just a few reasons as to which I feel he made the correct decision by not reopening the mine in Minahasa. More evidence as to why the closing of the Minahasa Raya mine was good fro Newmont is the illegal mining that was going on taking away from their business.

  1. Analyse the causes of Mexico's instability in the period 1821-1855

    These major factions were conservatives, moderates and radicals. Spain refused to acknowledge Mexico's independence and rejected the offer as in the treaty of Cordoba to send a Spanish prince to rule Mexico. This resulted in the Mexican congress choosing Agustin Iturbide, the royalist brigadier who had proclaimed Mexico's independence on the 25th of February 1821, as emperor of their new nation.

  2. The causes and possible solutions of the ethnic conflict between Russians and Estonians in ...

    There have been many past attempts to solve the conflict, but most of the attempts have failed. The causes of the ethnic conflict Political reasons The main argument used to justify rather discriminatory policies on the citizenship issue in Estonia is that since the Republic was incorporated into Soviet Union

  1. Is There Sufficient Evidence in Sources A to F to Explain Why the T.U.C. ...

    photographs taken during the Strike, though from the photos we can also see the peacefulness of the crowd. In Source C we can see a painting of sturdy, well-fed strikers fighting at the Docks. This was obviously not the real condition the men were in as Britain's populations consisted mostly

  2. On 3rd May 1926, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) called three million workers out ...

    They were discontented because the nationalisation promised by the 1919 Sankey Commission had not happened. The miners had experienced better working conditions during the nationalisation of the 1914-18 war. The proposal to reduce pay and increase hours added insult to the injury of re-privatisation of the mines after the war, and failure to implement Sankey's recommendations.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work