The Great Labour Revolt of 1919

Dr. Eric Sager

In the spring of 1919 there was a general strike by workers in Winnipeg. Was it merely a strike, or was it a revolution? In that year there were strikes in many cities across Canada. These strikes may have been part of an international movement of protest and rebellion. In 1919 there were 3,600 strikes in the United States - more than ever before. In Britain there was a huge wave of strikes. In some countries, such as Germany, Hungary and Austria, there were revolutions or attempted revolutions. Governments often responded with armed force: in February, 1919, the city of Glasgow was under military occupation. On June 21, 1919 the centre of Winnipeg was controlled by the police and the militia. What was going on, and what caused these events?