OCR History B As: Liberal Sunset – The Rise and Fall of ‘New Liberalism’ 1890–1922 F981: The taff vale case of 1901

Revision notes on the impact of the Taff vale case on the 1906 general election

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Preview of OCR History B As: Liberal Sunset – The Rise and Fall of ‘New Liberalism’ 1890–1922 F981: The taff vale case of 1901

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The 1906 General Election/ Liberal Reforms: The
Taff Vale Case 1901
Strike by the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants against the Taff Vale railway
company over.
The strike was called when company dismissed a signalman who refused to move a new
signal box. Other factors that impacted were low pay and poor treatment.
A strike lasted untilblack leg workers from the National Fee labour association came in to
keep the railway running
After the Strike the railway company tool the union to court in order to get damages for
what it had lost because of interrupted services and extra costs during the strike. The case
went through to the house of lords who found in the Company's favour and decided the
union was responsible for losses and had to pay £23,000 damages.
This held in common law that in the future and union was liable for financial losses from
striking. This effectively outlawed any potential future strike action
The Conservatives(Balfour) refused to reverse the ruling and instead set up the Royal
commission to investigate the fact. This angered the w/c showing the Conservatives weren't
in favour of them.
This boosted the support for the LRC
Historian Martin Pugh Said: [the taff vale case] transformed the situation by
stimulating union leaders to extend their political influence
127 unions joined the LRC
Membership rose from 350,000 to 847,000
Increase I membership provided funds to support 50LRC candiadates with a £200
salary (MPs weren't paid in those days)
29 of the candidates(31 unupposed by liberals due to the liblab pact) were elected
Without the case or if it had been reversed earlier
No increase In LRC membership ­ wouldn't have won as many seats which would
have impacted dramatically on the 1906 election result
Wouldn't have been able to finance as many MPs
Wouldn't have turned the w/c away from the conservatives
Eventually reversed with the Trade Disputes act of 1906


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