The General Strike Was An Attempted Revolution

1255 words - 5 pages

The General Strike was An Attempted Revolution

During the General strike there was true governmental concern about
what seemed to be a revolutionary threat in the form of workers and
TUC members who went on strike as part of their efforts to improve
working conditions, reduce working hours and increase wages. Much
evidence is available from around this time giving us a clear insight
into the reasons for this concern and how it came about.

Source 1, an article from the British Gazette (controlled by the
Government) produced very early on in the strike highlights the key
concern felt by the Government at the time supporting both the
statement and introduction:

'The General strike is a challenge to Parliament and the road to
anarchy and ruin'

This quote is a direct example of how the Government viewed the
strikers and how they were desperate for public support to help reduce
the possibility of a national revolution, the bit that shows that they
do fear it is a revolution is when they talk about the General strike
being a 'challenge to Parliament' something most normal strikes are of
course not, this is backed up by the Daily Mail, Source 2, even more
explicitly than before by clearly stating, 'it is a revolutionary
movement intended to inflict suffering upon the great mass of innocent
persons in the community', this although more explicit than the first
quotation from the actual official governmental newspaper, is non the
less trying to influence the public opinion into seeing the stroke as
revolutionary, due to the fact that the source was printed in France,
evidence of the TUC's work on banning all printing in London, this
therefore, influenced the Daily Mail's opinion of the strike in favour
of the Government.

However in reply to source 1 (and possibly source two), the TUC
published their own account, in the British worker, defending their
position saying it was on the basis of an 'industrial dispute' and
that they were simply 'defending the mine workers against the mine
owners.' Yet, this attempt of removing revolutionary blame from them
only worsened the situation with careless phrased sentences and
perhaps slightly too much use of 'emotive language' for example,
instead of saying 'our country' they carelessly put 'their country'
already removing themselves from the nation as if they don't' feel as
if they belong to the 'government Britain'. So once again this
supports the statement, yet not intentionally, for if we were to look
at the intention we would see that it disagrees for it tries to
highlight that it is not, for example they highlight behaviour not
associated with a revolution such as, 'Anxious that an honourable
peace is secured' and 'They are not attacking the constitution'
evidence against the statement. Source 4 too, emphasises the fact that

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