general strike

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

general strike

general strike, sympathetic cessation of work by a majority of the workers in all industries of a locality or nation. Such a stoppage is economic if it is for the purpose of redressing some grievance or pressing upon the employer a series of economic demands. It is political if called for the purpose of wresting some concession from the government or if the goal is the overthrow of the existing government. The political strike has been advocated by the syndicalists and to a certain extent by anarchistic movements. Practically unknown in the United States and Canada, except for some local instances (e.g., Seattle, 1919; Winnipeg, 1919; San Francisco, 1934), the general strike has been a powerful weapon in the hands of European labor since the latter part of the 19th cent. General strikes in Belgium in 1893 and 1902 won suffrage concessions; in Italy, a general strike (1904) protested the use of troops as strikebreakers; a general strike (1905) in Russia resulted in the issuance of the October Manifesto, instituting reforms; a general strike (1909) in Sweden, called against the repeated use of the lockout by employers, encouraged the idea that economic reforms could be gained without resorting to violence; a general strike (1920) in Germany successfully warded off a rightist takeover. In 1926 a general strike in Great Britain was called in sympathetic protest against the national lockout of the coal miners, but the strikers were forced to capitulate when it became clear that the government was able to keep essential services running and when only about half of the workers answered the strike call. In France a general strike, which failed, was called (1938) to protest against a government decree lengthening hours and penalizing strikers. Since World War II, general strikes have occurred mostly on a local level. Notable exceptions are the Belgian workers' reaction (1961) against a government austerity program and the French unions' support (1962) of President Charles de Gaulle during a military insurrection in Algeria. In 1968 another general strike occurred in France when university students and workers joined together during May and June and closed the major industries and universities. The strike ended with an agreement to provide increases in wages for the workers and stronger representation in factory management. In the 1970s the general strike became an often-employed tactic of the Italian trade unions.

See W. H. Crook, The General Strike (1931, repr. 1972); J. Symons, The General Strike (1957); P. H. Goodstein, The Theory of the General Strike from the French Revolution to Poland (1984).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

general strike
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.