Labour History

Movement Publications

1688 Glorious revolution (bourgeois)


1694 Formation of the Bank of England


1766 American declaration of independence


1789 French revolution begins


1791 Paine’s Rights of Man published


1792 London Corresponding Society formed


1795 Speenhamland scale of relief adopted


1799 First Combination Act; suppression of corresponding societies


1800 Second Combination Act


1801 General Enclosure Act


1811/12 Luddite riots


1819 Peterloo massacre. First factory Act


1824 Combination Acts repealed


1825 Combination laws reintroduced


1829 Owenite coopteratlve societies founded


1830 Agricultural labourers' riots


1832 Reform Act


1833 Grand National Consolidated Trades Union


1834 New poor law. Trial of Tolpuddle Martyrs. Break up of the unions


1838 The Charter issued


1839 Chartist convention and petition. Newport uprising


1842 Second chartist petition. General strike


1844 Rochdale pioneers start co-operative store


1845 National Association of United Trades formed


1846 Combination laws repealed


1847 Ten hours Act


1848 Third chartist’s petition


1851 Amalgamated society of Engineers formed


1860 London trades council formed


1861 Amalgamated society of Carpenters and Joiners formed


1863 Co-operative wholesale society formed


1864 First Trades Union Congress


1867 Reform Act


1870 Education Act


1871 Formation of the Stevedores and Dockers union. Trade union Act. Criminal Law amendment Act


1872 National agricultural labourers union formed. Trade union amendment Act Major changes in company law


1881 Social Democratic Federation formed


1883 Fabians society formed


1884 Reform Act


1888 New union movement. Miners federation formed. Match girls strike Gasworkers strike


1889 Formation of unskilled workers into unions resulting in major labour unrest including the London docks strike. Scottish  Labour Party formed


1892 3 Independent Labour MPs elected


1893 Independent Labour Party formed


1900 Labour Representation Committee formed


1901 Taff vale judgment


1906 Labour Representation Committee becomes the Parliamentary  Labour Party


1908 Plebs League - movement for independent working-class education


1909 Osborne judgement


1911 Transport strikes


1912 Miners' strike. Daily Herald published


1913 National Union of Railwaymen formed


1914 World War I begins


1915 Clyde strikes. Shop Stewards movement


1917 Russian revolution


1918 World War I ends


1919 Versailles treaty. Boom begins. League of Nations begins


1921 Boom ended. Miners lockout. Black Friday. Communist Party founded


1922 Engineering lockout. Fascist coup in Italy


1924 First Labour government.


1926 General strike.


1927 Trades Disputes Act.


1929 Second Labour government.


1930 Daily Worker published


1931 ‘National’ government formed


1932 Japan invades Manchuria


1933 Nazi party comes to power


1935 Abyssinian crisis. Mass unemployment. Government rejects Keynesian economics. Roosevelt brings in the Keynesian New deal

1937 Japan invades China


1938 Nazis invade Austria. Munich settlement


1939 Nazis invade Czechoslovakia. Nazi-Soviet pact. World War II begins


1940 Chamberlain government overturned. Fall of France


1941 Nazis invade Russia. Japan attacks US


1945 Victory over Germany and Japan. Labour government elected leading to National Health Service, education reform, trade union reform,  nationalisation of major industries


1951 Labour government defeated. Conservative government elected. Adopts one-nation policy (accepts labour reforms)


1964 Labour government elected. Major social reforms


1970 Conservative government elected


1974 Labour government elected


1979 Conservative government elected. Margaret Thatcher becomes leader rejects one-nation toryism and keynesian economics in favour of monetarism. Confrontation with trade union movement


1990 The Soviet Union collapses


1994 New Labour dumps clause IV


1997 Tony Blair elected Prime Minister in landslide victory. Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown believe in monetarism. Minimum wage introduced and Trade union rights at GCHQ restored  


2001 Labour returned for second term

2003 Anti Iraq war demonstration of 2 million people.  Blair joins Bush in invasion of Iraq


2005 The Labour Party win a third term for Blair with reduced majorityFour terror attacks on London's transport network directly linked to the Iraq invasion. 37 people dead and 700 injured


2007 Gordon Brown New Labour Prime Minister after Blair steps down


2008 Britain intensifies military role in Afghanistan


2009 Collapse of Freemanite monetarism. Recession. New Labour Government returns to Keynesian economics. Part nationalises banking system. Unemployment rises


2010 The United Kingdom general election result was inconclusive. Conservatives form a coalition government with the Liberals, and set about rolling back the state


2011 Over 700,000 demonstrators march through  London to protest about government cuts, meanwhile the coalition government spends millions enforcing a no fly zone over Libya


An Abridged History of the Trade Union and Labour Movement from the Industrial Revolution to the Present Day


The course of events (timeline)

© Labour History Movement Publications 2011

This Abridged History ©Terry McCarthy is available to buy as a book, price £7.99 + p&p.