1910s

1919: La Canadiense and Barcelona general strike

A short history of the Barcelona general strike of 1919 which began after the sacking of eight workers, and ended up as one of the most successful working class actions in history.

The strike forced the introduction of the world's first 8-hour working day law and large pay increases.

1919: The 40-hours strike

Tanks and soldiers in Glasgow, Feb 1919

The 40 Hours strike led by the Clyde Workers' Committee was the most radical strike seen on Clydeside in terms of both its tactics and its demands.

The objectives of the strike were overtly political; they were to secure a reduction of weekly working hours to 40 in order that discharged soldiers could find employment, and to stop the re-emergence of an unemployed reserve, thereby maintaining the strength of labour against capital.

See also a history of Red Clydeside, 1915-1920

1915: The Glasgow rent strike

Rent strike demonstration, Glasgow 1915

The history of a months-long rent strike of 30,000 Glasgow residents against profiteering landlords, forcing the government to freeze rents for the duration of World War I.

During the First World War, rent increases across Glasgow provoked massive working class opposition, mainly from women organised in tenants’ groups. Their struggle against profiteering landlords during extremely difficult circumstances is a valuable example of how collective action really gets results.

1912: The Lawrence textile strike

Strikers face off with militia in Lawrence

A short history of the strike of 20,000 textile workers, mostly women and girls who included native and immigrant workers, which won big concessions over wages, conditions and hours for the entire textile industry

1919: The Calais mutiny

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A short history of the strike and mutiny of British troops stationed in France following the end of the First World War which won concessions and helped speed up demobbing.

As the end of World War I was nearing, the British Army was being used more extensively in France, as the French military had largely disintegrated due to widespread mutiny. However, as time progressed, British soldiers were proving equally unwilling to fight and to obey.

1919: The RAF Biggin Hill mutiny

A short history of the victorious rebellion of British servicemen in the air force who were living in appalling conditions, soon after World War I.

1919: The Southampton mutiny

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A history of the militant rebellion of British troops in Southampton following the end of the First World War. Amidst the widespread dissatisfaction, the men were highly reluctant to return to Europe after the end of the conflict.


Following the massacre of World War I, a reminder of the strength of ordinary soldiers came from Southampton, in the middle of January 1919, when 20,000 soldiers went on strike and took over the docks. Robertson, Commander in Chief of the Home Forces, sent General Trenchard to restore military authority.

1918-1930: Mutiny and resistance in the Royal Navy

Indiscipline - HMS Revenge

A short history of mutinies and rebellions in the British Royal Navy and Marines from the end of World War I, Russian Revolution and up until 1930.

Whilst the mutinies in the German and French Navies in the First World War have been well documented little information is available concerning the British Royal Navy. There was, however, considerable talk of mutiny at Portsmouth, in the summer of 1918.

1917: The Etaples mutiny

A short history of one of the early big mutinies of British troops in Europe as World War I came to an end.

Etaples, about 15 miles south of Boulogne, was a notorious British Army base camp for those on their way to the front. Under atrocious conditions both raw recruits from England and battle-weary veterans were subjected to intensive training in gas warfare, bayonet drill, and long sessions of marching at the double across the dunes.

1917-1918: The Brazilian anarchist uprising

A short history of the attempted revolution in Brazil of 1918. The uprising failed when it was infiltrated by security forces, and the army did not join the side of the workers.

In 1918 Rio de Janeiro city was shaken by a series of events that would culminate in one the most important episodes in the history of the Brazilian workers movement: an attempted insurrectionary strike designed to bring down oligarchic republican government and replace it with workers’ and soldiers' councils.