Unionism and Cooperation: unions and their opponents, c1785-1834

  • Created by: Stella-
  • Created on: 26-10-21 14:54
What was the goal of trade unions?
To protect workers
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What was the aim of co-operative movements?
Give another way to work
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What type of trade did trade societies protect?
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Why did they start including all workers after industrialisation?
Factory system increased demand for workers, giving them a sense of their value
Laissez-faire government attitude encouraged workers to defend themselves, as government wouldn't interfere with how businessmen ran their business
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Who did early trade societies protect their workers from?
Unskilled workers, whose lower rates could weaken them
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How were trade societies different from trade unions?
They only looked after workers in their immediate area
No class loyalty
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What were 'closed shop' practises that trade societies used?
Employed only apprentices within or with good standing to the union
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What were master and worker called when trade societies existed?
What was their relationship?
Journeyman and apprentice
Mutual progress
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How were trade unions different from trade societies?
Broader interest in trades beyond local districts
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Where did the strength of trade societies and trade unions lie?
Collective bargaining and threat of collective withdrawal of labour
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How did they exercise this threat?
In strikes and turnouts
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Why was this approach difficult?
Because it relied on almost complete unity between the workers
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Why did some workers refuse to participate?
There were severe financial implications and many had to provide for families
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How was this issue somewhat negated?
Through a strike fund - although often there wasn't enough in it to supplement actual wages
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What happened to workers who refused to strike?
They were made outcasts or 'pariahs' in their communities
Their refusal to participate diluted the impact
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How did employers minimise the effect of a strike?
What was the insult for it?
Filled the void with lower paid immigrants
They were called 'knobsticks'
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Why did workers have to unite into trade unions?
Laissez-faire government attitude meant they didn't interfere when workers were paid low wages
Jobs became more replaceable due to their unskilled nature and population growth
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How did the Revolutionary War promote trade unionism?
Raised ideas of worker's rights
Lead to food prices increasing, meaning wages had to increase for workers and families to eat
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How did the factory system promote trade unionism?
Desire to improve conditions
Need to protect artisan trades
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Which acts made trade unionism illegal?
1799 and 1800 Combinations Acts
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When were they repealed?
Why was this repeal amended?
It was amended in 1825 to make it illegal to pressure other workers into striking
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Why did unions collaborate more?
War with France
Economic depression
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What were the first two attempts at creating a 'union of unions'?
In what year?
In 1818
Philanthropic Hercules and Philanthropic Society
In London and Lancashire respectively
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Why did they fail?
Too many interests to be truly united
Couldn't establish a core group
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Why weren't trade unions very successful before 1825?
They were illegal
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What were the short term and long term impacts of the 1810 and 1818 weaver strikes in Lancashire?
Spread to other industries and threatened nationwide trade
Defeated by government and workers forced back
Long term it lead to repeal of Combinations Acts
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What 'union of unions' was established in 1834?
Grand National Consolidated Union
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How many members did it claim at its peak?
1 million+
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What were the impacts?
Were they mostly positive or negative?
Positive - conveyed effect of working class solidarity
Negative - generated widespread use of 'the Document'
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Why and when did it fail?
Only 16,000 of the alleged 1 million members paid the fees - this couldn't maintain the group or fund
It was not a unified force - each union prioritised trade interests over working class
Employers used 'the document'
Collapsed in 1835
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What was 'the Document'?
Employers forced workers to sign this contract that denounced unions
If they didn't they were forced out of work
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Why did government support the employers over the workers?
Unions were an obstacle to profit and therefore the economy
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What was the effect of the French revolution on
their point of view?
Unions were no longer simply a hindrance but seen as a revolutionary threat
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What was the aim of co-operative movements?


Give another way to work

Card 3


What type of trade did trade societies protect?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Why did they start including all workers after industrialisation?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Who did early trade societies protect their workers from?


Preview of the front of card 5
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