Reassessing the British Government's Emergency Organisation on "Red Friday", 31 July 1925

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Until the late 1960s most interpretations of Red Friday presented a government wishing to defeat organised labour but caught unprepared and forced to retreat. Recent years have seen growing agreement that the government sought to avoid confrontation, reflecting consensual views of Baldwin's variety of one-nation Conservatism. One important component underpinning this view has been a notion that the government's emergency apparatus was capable of defeating any industrial action, and therefore, that the government chose to avoid conflict. However, examination of government activity reveals that the emergency apparatus was not ready and ministers were concerned about this situation. This information suggests that a reassessment of current interpretations of these events, and of Baldwinian Conservatism more generally, may be productive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalContemporary British History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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