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REVISION: Protest, Law and Order in the Twentieth Century

REVISION: Protest, Law and Order in the Twentieth Century

Complete your sheets as you hear about each protest

The SuffragettesSuffrage = the right to voteWomens rights had improved after 1900: more women were able to go to University and worked in roles like nursing and teachingMany (not all!) in society believed that a womans role was at home and that women lacked the intelligence to vote

Two main groups:National Union of Womens Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) Founded in 1897.Led by Millicent Fawcett.Believed in peaceful protest.Were prepared to work with politicians Known as SUFFRAGISTS

Womens Social and Political Union (WSPU) Founded in 1903.Led by the Pankhursts.They were impatient with the NUWSS lack of progressThey were nicknamed suffragettes by the Daily Mail newspaperTheir motto was Deeds not Words

Deeds not words

The Suffragettes CampaignThe Suffragette campaign became more violent after 1906 because:They had realised that being sent to prison got publicity, which = supportThe campaign had started in 1897 and had achieved little they were impatientWhen Herbert Asquith (a Liberal) became Prime Minister, he challenged the Suffragettes to show they were popular. 500,000 women marched through London on Womens Sunday in 1908. Asquith did nothing.

Gaining further publicityFrustration grew huge demonstrations outside Parliament in 1908 and rushes into ParliamentThose who went to prison went on hunger strike to create martyrs for the causeThey were force fed

The Conciliation Bill and Black FridayThe Liberal Government (led by Asquith) promised to give women the vote in Jan 1910This still had not passed into law by November 1910An angry demonstration on 18th November 1910 turned into a riot. Police were heavy handed and there were complaints bout sexual and physical violence against protestors. This was known as Black Friday.Asquith dropped plans to give women the vote in November 1911. This triggered the most violent phase of the campaign

Violence after 1911Bleach poured into post boxesBombsAttacks on mens clubsIn 1912 Mary Leigh threw an axe at the Prime MinisterMary Richardson slashed a famous portrait at the National GalleryIn June 1913 Emily Davison threw herself in front of the Kings horse during the famous Derby race and died

1914 1918: a very different kind of campaignThe campaign was suspended in 1914 because of the outbreak of WW1As most men were away at war, women stepped into mens jobs and some argue they proved their equality through their contributionWomen over 30 were given the vote in 1918 after the war. Women over 21 received suffrage in 1928

The General Strike: 1926

The Background to the General StrikeUnion membership was growing The Triple Industrial Alliance (TIA) had promised to support each other in strikes this was the transport, railway and miners unionsThere was a fear of revolution (after the Communists had taken over Russia in 1917)There was an economic slump, which harmed Britains economy

The effect of WW1: Black FridayThe Government had controlled coal mines during the war. Miners were crucial to success, so had high wages, good working hours and safety improved. After the war in 1921, mines were returned to their owners. This was unpopular with miners. Miners thought pay would decrease and hours go up. They called a strike but the TIA thought they had done this too quickly and didnt support them. The Strike failed and was known as Black Friday.

Red Friday: 31st July 1925When owners proposed a further cut in wages and an extra hour of work every day, miners called a strike.The Government stepped in and:Paid the owners a subsidy to stop the changesSet up the Samuel committee to investigate problems in the mining industryThis was a success for the miners but it led to a belief that mine owners were greedy.


The Samuel Report and the trigger for the strikeIn March 1926, the Samuel Report recommended that miners take a pay cutThe Trade Union Congress (TUC) steps in and begins to organise a General Strike to support the miners they thought the threat of a strike would be enough to scare the government into actionThe Daily Mail tried to print an article in May 1926 attacking the strike. The printers refused to print the article and the Government broke off negotiations with the TUC. The Strike had started

How did the Strike unfold?The TUCs plans were disorganised and strikers did not follow the plansLocal groups coordinated action in their areas (rather than the TUC) and were very successful in bringing transport and other services to a complete stopIt was generally a peaceful strike but 5,000 were arrested for disorder

The Governments responseThey launched The British Gazette, a propaganda newspaper attacking the strikeThe BBC refused to let Labour politicians or strikers on the radioThe courts ruled that the Strike was illegalThe government had coordinated local resistance, including stockpiling suppliesEmergency Powers Act (1920) allowed more police to be called upThe army was used to defend London

The end of the strike and its impactThe TUC called off the strike after 10 days. They had been portrayed as trying to overthrow the GovernmentThis was not their aim but their decision was fuelled by the widespread fear of communismThe strike was too big to controlThe Miners remained on strike for another 10 months, until hunger forced them back to work. They failedTrade Union membership had fallen by 50% by 1930

The Miners Strike: 1984-5

Background to the StrikeMiners had gone on strike in 1974 and forced the Conservative party out of power. They had gone on strike again in 1979, forcing the Labour party out of power, with Margaret Thatcher becoming Conservative Prime MinisterCoal mining was in serious trouble it was cheaper to buy coal from abroadThe Government announced plans in March 1984 to close 20 pits, including Cortonwood in Yorkshire. This started the Strike.

Key figuresMargaret Thatcher, Conservative Prime MinisterArthur Scargill, NUM (National Union of Mineworkers leader

BUT THERE WAS A BIG PROBLEM!The Miners had not held a ballot (vote) to decide whether to strike.

This made the Strike ILLEGAL.

Miners tacticsFlying pickets helped to spread the strike quicklyRelied upon local media supportSolidarity in mining communitiesNUM gave financial support to striking minersWomen supported by taking on extra work and setting up soup kitchensTried to stop scabs from crossing the picket line (going back to work)Posters, badges, leaflets

Government tacticsThe government had stockpiled coal and bought from abroadResponded to the illegal strike by confiscating 5 million from the NUMThey promised the Miners of Nottingham that their jobs were safe, so they didnt go on strikeBrought in Police from all over the country to support scabs in getting back to workRoad blocks used to stop flying picketsThe Government fed the national press stories about corruption in the NUM

Outcomes of the StrikeSupport for the miners faded after a number of violent incidents: the death of a taxi driver in WalesIn December 1984 the TUC began to pressure the NUM into settlingMiners began to drift back to workMass pickets were banned in Yorkshire they could only now be 6 peopleIn Feburary the NUM voted to end the strike, against the will of ScargillIt ended without the NCB (National Coal Board) changing anything they still went ahead with planned pit closures.

The Poll Tax: 1990s

What was the Poll Tax?

It replaced the rates systemIt was a charge on every adult above 18The money raised was to be spent on local governmentIt was to be 417 per person when introducedSurveys showed that 70% of the population would be worse off under the Poll Tax

Protest and Resistance

The Poll Tax was introduced in Scotland firstThe Labour Party and trade unions tried to organise traditional marches and protestsPeople handed out leaflets and wrote to their MPS. But others decided that more needed to be done

Grass-roots protest and Resistance

Ordinary people set up opposition to demonstrate against and resist the poll tax. This shows two kinds of protest:Protest within the law: campaigns to build public protest e.g. demonstrationsResistance to the law: people prepared to break the law (by not paying the tax) and take the consequences.

Methods of resistance4Non-registration: not registering and ignoring the fines given as a result of non-registrationNon-payment: local groups (Anti Poll Tax Unions or APTUs) often did this together so they could support each other if taken to court Non-implementation: putting pressure on your local council to ignore the taxNon-collection: asking trade union members responsible for collecting the tax not to do so.

How effective was resistance?By September 1989, 15% of Scottish people were not paying the taxBy April 1990, the government declared that 1 million Scots had not paid a penny of the taxBy July 1990 in England there were 14 million non payers. 97,000 of these were in HaringeyBy March 1991 over 18 million people had refused to payIn total, 2.5 billion of the tax was not paid before it was scrapped in 1993

The Battle of Trafalgar Square, 31 March 1990

The All-Britain Federation (a group of APTUs) called for a national demonstrationThey expected 20,000 people. 200,000 attendedThe protest began with peaceful marches including families, young people and pensioners. But then

The Battle of Trafalgar Square, 31 March 1990The majority of those who became embroiled in the running battles had nothing to do with our protestTommy Sheridan, The Chair of the All-Britain FederationSome protestors wanted to deliver a petition to 10 Do