scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 1,144
In 1867 the Trade Union movement in Britain was limited to a mere 5 of the working class They were uncoordinated and unsupported by the law In fact had the government or even employers cracked down on them they could easily have been crushed Yet by 1900 they have millions of members legal protection and strong political influence The early trade unions consisted mainly of artisans skilled workers who could afford to pay the comparatively high subscription charges Strangely it is this exclusivity in their early stages which allowed the trade unions to grow into massive and widespread organisations These early trade unionists did not see themselves as socialist revolutionaries destined to overturn the social ladder instead they had no political agenda They wanted only to be constitutional and respectable they saw striking as a last resort Although this early strategy was not successful it allowed the trade unions to develop if they were militant whilst they were weak they would have been crushed quickly They were saved from insignificance by some truly brilliant leaders union leaders such as Guile engineers Coulson bricklayers Potter carpenters and particularly Applegarth realised that the only way the trade unions would be strong was by consolidation Thus in 1860 they formed the London Trades Council they were moving towards a national platform but they still needed legal backing not in the least to avoid the legal theft of trade union funds a practice pioneered by Close in 1867 The necessary legal support came from the unlikeliest of origins A particularly avid trade unionist in Sheffield took it on himself to show non-trade unionists the error of their ways by assault intimidation and arson Employers seized the opportunity to over react and demanded for a Royal Commission to investigate the conduct of trade unions the government eagerly agreed and both were prepared to hammer the trade unions when the damning verdict was returned Had the Royal Commission gone against
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA