New Liberalism: How Important was Industrial Unrest to the Liberal Government?

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  • 1910-1914 had sustained industrial unrest
  • The wave of strikes that started in 1910 were accompanied by bitterness and violence

The Miner's Strike, South Wales

  • November 1910 - October 1911
  • Dispute over wages for difficult and abnormal seams in the coal pits
  • November 1910, some miners refused pay offered by their conciliation board
    • 800 miners were locked out
  • Riots occurred to persuade colleagues to join the mining strike which were wort in Tonypandy
  • Chief Constable of Glamorgan asked the Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, to send troops to restore order
  • Churchill refused as he feared it would only make matters worse
  • 300 extra policemen were sent from London to Rhonddha Valleys
    • After this Churchill lost following in South Wales as people thought he sent troops to kill the miners
  • Spring 1911: 30,000 miners were on strike
  • October 1911: Destitution forced workers back to work
    • Nothing was achieved and there was no government resolution

Strike Numbers

  • 1907: 1.5 million to 4 million days lost each year due to strikes
  • 1908: the number jumped to 10 million
  • 1912: Strikes were at a massive 41 million

Railway Strike, August 1911

  •  First ever national railway strike
  • Refused a pay offer determined by their conciliation board
  • Government intervened as they needed the railways, this shows their priorities
  • The strike was settled in 2 days due to negotiating skills of David Lloyd George
  • It settled in the Unions favour

The triple alliance

  • Trade Union amalgamation
  • Miners Federation called a national strike, February 1912 demanding minimum wage
  • The Government intervened and agreed with the principle of…


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