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Scots and the Spanish Civil WarSolidarity, Activism and Humanitarianism$
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Fraser Raeburn

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474459471

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474459471.001.0001

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Taking the Lead? The Scottish Labour Movement and Spain

Taking the Lead? The Scottish Labour Movement and Spain

(p.175) 7 Taking the Lead? The Scottish Labour Movement and Spain
Scots and the Spanish Civil War

Fraser Raeburn

Edinburgh University Press

The labour movement represented the single most important constituency for pro-Republican activism in Scotland, representing a considerable concentration of financial resources and political influence. Yet it was far from clear how far the structures of Scottish trade unionism were suited for waging a long and sustained solidarity campaign for Spain. Despite the willingness of key local and regional institutions such as Trades Councils to take the lead in organising a Scottish response to the conflict, the increasingly centralised structures of the British labour movement often acted to limit the effectiveness of more local efforts. While innovative and increasingly effective approaches emerged over the course of the Spanish Civil War, culminating in a series of successful foodship campaigns in 1938 and 1939, the Scottish labour movement also faced considerable resistance from anti-communist elements, even in traditionally radical sectors such as mining unions.

Keywords:   Labour movement, Aid Spain, Trades Union Congress, Miners, Trades Councils

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