Franco-British communist solidarity in the miners' strikes of 1926, 1948 and 1984-85

Gavin Philip Bowd*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The British and French communist movements have rarely been an object of comparison, partly because of the huge difference in fortunes enjoyed by the two parties. However, one important similarity between these neighbours was the size and importance of the countries' coal industries, as well as the militancy of their mining communities, where communism took root as a serious political and cultural force. This article examines acts of solidarity by British and French Communists during the most important miners' strikes of their parties' existence: the General Strike and Lockout of 1926, the French miners' action of 1948, and the British miners' last great struggle of 1984-1985. Through the study of archival documents, the press and other sources, we explore how these disputes constitute important moments in the history of British and French communism, as well as of their countries' respective labour movements. The dispute of 1984-1985 marks a culminating point that confirms the strengths and weaknesses of British and French communism's relationship with the miners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-119
Number of pages24
JournalTwentieth Century Communism: A Journal of International History
Volume2022
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Communism
  • Britain
  • France
  • Miners
  • Strike
  • Solidarity

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