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The `Peace Arsenal' scheme: the campaign for non-munitions work at the Royal Ordnance Factories, Woolwich, after the First World War

The `Peace Arsenal' scheme: the campaign for non-munitions work at the Royal Ordnance Factories, Woolwich, after the First World War

Weinbren, Daniel John (1990) The `Peace Arsenal' scheme: the campaign for non-munitions work at the Royal Ordnance Factories, Woolwich, after the First World War. PhD thesis, Thames Polytechnic.

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Abstract

Following the Armistice many Arsenal workers wanted to retain their well-paid employment. There was a well established community; there was little comparable work in the locality and accommodation was difficult to find elsewhere. In order to secure peacetime production at the Arsenal, the labour movement in Woolwich organised a campaign which drew in traders, councillors, ex-Servicemen and clerics. The effect of this was to aid the integration of the local labour movement into the national constitution which was being reconstructed at the time.

Central aspects of this new constitution were an increase in the integration of representatives of labour and industry in the government, and a new role for the Labour Party. The reconstruction of the constitution involved a degree of economic and legal coercion, and the transmission of government propaganda. These were all orchestrated at national level. The new order also included the accommodation of the working class, which had become more assertive during the war. This meant that social stability could not simply be imposed; the new order had to involve the absorption of tensions and the encouragement of specific strands of working class tradition. The creation of common assumptions could not be done in Whitehall and Westminster alone, it required the active participation of the citizenry; a specific focus and contact with notions generated from within the working class.

That the creation of the new order required these elements is shown through the particular circumstances of the causes, course and consequences of the 'Peace Arsenal 1 campaign. The campaign involved the chief architects of the new order, private armaments companies, the Cabinet and the civil service. It also it involved parochial notions derived from the experiences of Arsenal workers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: uk.bl.ethos.280443
Uncontrolled Keywords: history, Woolwich Arsenal since 1918, labour movement, working class, political science, public administration,
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of History, Philosophy and Politics
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2018 16:12
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/8710

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