Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as "Glaswegians" or "Weegies", it is the fourth most visited city in the UK. Glasgow is known for the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect of the Scots language, noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city. Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Scotland, tenth largest by tonnage in Britain. Expanding from the medieval bishopric and royal burgh, the establishment of the University of Glasgow in the fifteenth century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. From the eighteenth century onwards, the city grew as one of Great Britain's main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies.
With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the population and economy of Glasgow and the surrounding region expanded to become one of the world's pre-eminent centres of chemicals and engineering. Glasgow was the "Second City of the British Empire" for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period, although many cities argue the title was theirs. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Glasgow's population grew reaching a peak of 1,127,825 people in 1938. Comprehensive urban renewal projects in the 1960s, resulting in large-scale relocation of people to designated new towns; the wider metropolitan area is home to over 1,800,000 people, equating to around 33% of Scotland's population. The city has one of the highest densities of any locality in Scotland at 4,023/km2. Glasgow hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the first European Championships in 2018; the origin of the name'Glasgow' is disputed. It is common to derive the toponym from the older Cumbric glas cau or a Middle Gaelic cognate, which would have meant green basin or green valley.
The settlement had an earlier Cumbric name, Cathures. It is recorded that the King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, welcomed Saint Kentigern, procured his consecration as bishop about 540. For some thirteen years Kentigern laboured in the region, building his church at the Molendinar Burn where Glasgow Cathedral now stands, making many converts. A large community became known as Glasgu; the area around Glasgow has hosted communities for millennia, with the River Clyde providing a natural location for fishing. The Romans built outposts in the area and, to keep Roman Britannia separate from the Celtic and Pictish Caledonia, constructed the Antonine Wall. Items from the wall like altars from Roman forts like Balmuildy can be found at the Hunterian Museum today. Glasgow itself was reputed to have been founded by the Christian missionary Saint Mungo in the 6th century, he established a church on the Molendinar Burn, where the present Glasgow Cathedral stands, in the following years Glasgow became a religious centre.
Glasgow grew over the following centuries. The Glasgow Fair began in the year 1190; the first bridge over the River Clyde at Glasgow was recorded from around 1285, giving its name to the Briggait area of the city, forming the main North-South route over the river via Glasgow Cross. The founding of the University of Glasgow in 1451 and elevation of the bishopric to become the Archdiocese of Glasgow in 1492 increased the town's religious and educational status and landed wealth, its early trade was in agriculture and fishing, with cured salmon and herring being exported to Europe and the Mediterranean. Following the European Protestant Reformation and with the encouragement of the Convention of Royal Burghs, the 14 incorporated trade crafts federated as the Trades House in 1605 to match the power and influence in the town council of the earlier Merchants' Guilds who established their Merchants House in the same year. Glasgow was subsequently raised to the status of Royal Burgh in 1611. Glasgow's substantial fortunes came from international trade and invention, starting in the 17th century with sugar, followed by tobacco, cotton and linen, products of the Atlantic triangular slave trade.
Daniel Defoe visited the city in the early 18th century and famously opined in his book A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain, that Glasgow was "the cleanest and beautifullest, best built city in Britain, London excepted". At that time the city's population was about 12,000, the city was yet to undergo the massive expansionary changes to its economy and urban fabric, brought about by the Scottish Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution. After the Acts of Union in 1707, Scotland gained further access to the vast markets of the new British Empire, Glasgow became p
Order of the Companions of Honour
The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded on 4 June 1917 by King George V as a reward for outstanding achievements and is "conferred upon a limited number of persons for whom this special distinction seems to be the most appropriate form of recognition, constituting an honour disassociated either from the acceptance of title or the classification of merit."Founded on the same date as the Order of the British Empire, it is sometimes regarded as the junior order to the Order of Merit. Now described as "awarded for having a major contribution to the arts, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time", the first recipients, were all decorated for "services in connection with the war" and were listed in The London Gazette The Chapel Royal at Hampton Court is now the Chapel of the Order; the order consists of a maximum 65 members. Additionally, foreigners or Commonwealth citizens from outside the realms may be added as honorary members.
Membership confers no title or precedence, but those inducted into the single-class order are entitled to use the post-nominal letters CH. Appointments can be made on the advice of Commonwealth realm prime ministers. For Canadians, the advice to the Sovereign can come from a variety of officials; the order was limited to 50 ordinary members, but in 1943 it was enlarged to 65, with a quota of 45 members for the United Kingdom, seven for Australia, two each for New Zealand and South Africa, 9 for India and the other British colonies. The quota numbers were altered in 1970 to 47 for the United Kingdom, 7 for Australia, 2 for New Zealand, 9 for other Commonwealth realms; the quota was adjusted again in 1975 by adding 2 places to the New Zealand quota and reducing the 9 for the other countries to 7. While still able to nominate candidates to the Order, Australia has stopped the allocation of this award to their citizens in preference to its national awards. Margaret MacMillan, a Canadian historian, was given the award in 2017.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, a New Zealand soprano, was given the award in 2018. The insignia of the order is in the form of an oval medallion, surmounted by an imperial crown, with a rectangular panel within, depicting on it an oak tree, a shield with the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom hanging from one branch, and, on the left, a mounted knight in armour; the insignia's blue border bears in gold letters the motto IN ACTION FAITHFUL AND IN HONOUR CLEAR, Alexander Pope's description in his Epistle to Mr Addison of James Craggs used on Craggs' monument in Westminster Abbey. Men wear women on a bow at the left shoulder. Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II List of Members of the Order of the Companions of Honour List of honorary British knights and dames List of people who have declined a British honour
James Ramsay MacDonald was a British statesman who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, firstly for nine months in 1924 and again between 1929 and 1935. He was the first Labour Party politician to become Prime Minister, leading minority Labour governments in 1924 and in 1929–31, he headed a National Government from 1931 to 1935, dominated by the Conservative Party and supported by only a few Labour members. MacDonald was vehemently denounced by and expelled from the party he had helped to found. MacDonald, along with Keir Hardie and Arthur Henderson, was one of the three principal founders of the Labour Party, he was chairman of the Labour MPs before 1914 and, after an eclipse in his career caused by his opposition to the First World War he was Leader of the Labour Party from 1922. The second Labour Government was dominated by the Great Depression, he formed the National Government to carry out spending cuts to defend the gold standard. The National coalition won an overwhelming landslide and the Labour Party was reduced to a rump of around 50 seats in the House of Commons.
His health deteriorated and he stood down as Prime Minister in 1935 and remained as Lord President of the Council until retiring in 1937. He died that year. MacDonald's speeches and books made him an important theoretician. Historian John Shepherd states that, "MacDonald's natural gifts of an imposing presence, handsome features and a persuasive oratory delivered with an arresting Highlands accent made him the iconic Labour leader." After 1931 MacDonald was and bitterly denounced by the Labour movement as a traitor to their cause. Since the 1960s historians have defended his reputation, emphasising his earlier role in building up the Labour Party, dealing with the Great Depression, as a forerunner of the political realignments of the 1990s and 2000s. MacDonald was born at Gregory Place, Morayshire, the illegitimate son of John MacDonald, a farm labourer, Anne Ramsay, a housemaid. Registered at birth as James McDonald Ramsay, he was known as Jaimie MacDonald. Illegitimacy could be a serious handicap in 19th century Presbyterian Scotland, but in the north and northeast farming communities, this was less of a problem.
MacDonald's mother had worked as a domestic servant at Claydale farm, near Alves, where his father was employed. They were to have been married, but the wedding never took place, either because the couple quarrelled and chose not to marry, or because Anne's mother, Isabella Ramsay, stepped in to prevent her daughter from marrying a man she deemed unsuitable. Ramsay MacDonald received an elementary education at the Free Church of Scotland school in Lossiemouth from 1872 to 1875, at Drainie parish school, he left school at the end of the summer term in 1881, at the age of 15, began work on a nearby farm. In December 1881, he was appointed a pupil teacher at Drainie parish school. In 1885, he left to take up a position as an assistant to Mordaunt Crofton, a clergyman in Bristol, attempting to establish a Boys' and Young Men's Guild at St Stephen's Church, it was in Bristol that Ramsay MacDonald joined a Radical organisation. This federation changed its name a few months to the Social Democratic Federation.
He remained in the group. In early 1886 he moved to London. Following a short period of work addressing envelopes at the National Cyclists' Union in Fleet Street, he found himself unemployed and forced to live on the small amount of money he had saved from his time in Bristol. MacDonald found employment as an invoice clerk in the warehouse of Cooper, Box and Co. During this time he was deepening his socialist credentials, engaged himself energetically in C. L. Fitzgerald's Socialist Union which, unlike the SDF, aimed to progress socialist ideals through the parliamentary system. MacDonald witnessed the Bloody Sunday of 13 November 1887 in Trafalgar Square, in response, had a pamphlet published by the Pall Mall Gazette, entitled Remember Trafalgar Square: Tory Terrorism in 1887. MacDonald retained an interest in Scottish politics. Gladstone's first Irish Home Rule Bill inspired the setting-up of a Scottish Home Rule Association in Edinburgh. On 6 March 1888, MacDonald took part in a meeting of London-based Scots, upon his motion, formed the London General Committee of the Scottish Home Rule Association.
For a while he found little support among London's Scots. However, MacDonald never lost his interest in Scottish politics and home rule, in Socialism: critical and constructive, published in 1921, he wrote: "The Anglification of Scotland has been proceeding apace to the damage of its education, its music, its literature, its genius, the generation, growing up under this influence is uprooted from its past."Politics in the 1880s was still of less importance to MacDonald than furthering his education. He took evening classes in science, agriculture and physics at the Birkbeck Literary and Scientific Institution but his health failed him due to exhaustion one week before his examinations; this put an end to any thought of a scientific career. In 1888, MacDonald took employment as private secretary to Thomas Lough, a tea merchant and a Radi
Secretary of State for Defence
Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Defence is an official within Her Majesty's Government and head of the Ministry of Defence. The office is a British Cabinet–level position; the post was created in 1964 as successor to the posts of Minister for Coordination of Defence and Minister of Defence. It replaced the positions of First Lord of the Admiralty, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air, as the Admiralty, War Office and Air Ministry were merged into the Ministry of Defence; the position of Minister for Co-ordination of Defence was a British Cabinet-level position established in 1936 to oversee and co-ordinate the rearmament of Britain's defences. The position was established by the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin in response to criticism that Britain's armed forces were understrength compared to those of Nazi Germany; this campaign had been led by Winston Churchill and many expected him to be appointed as the new minister, though nearly every other senior figure in the National Government was speculated upon by politicians and commentators.
Despite this, Baldwin's choice of the Attorney General Sir Thomas Inskip provoked widespread astonishment. A famous comment made in response to Inskip's appointment was "This is the most cynical appointment since Caligula made his horse a consul"; the appointment is now regarded as a sign of caution by Baldwin who did not wish to appoint someone like Churchill who would have been interpreted by foreign powers as a sign of the United Kingdom preparing for war, as well as a desire to avoid taking on board a controversial and radical minister. In 1939 Inskip was succeeded by First Sea Lord Lord Chatfield; when the Second World War broke out, the new Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain formed a small War Cabinet and it was expected that Chatfield would serve as a spokesperson for the three service ministers, the Secretary of State for War, the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Secretary of State for Air. In April 1940 the position was formally wound up and the functions transferred to other Ministers.
The post of Minister of Defence was responsible for co-ordination of defence and security from its creation in 1940 until its abolition in 1964. The post was a Cabinet level post and ranked above the three service ministers, some of whom, continued to serve in Cabinet. On his appointment as Prime Minister in May 1940, Winston Churchill created for himself the new post of Minister of Defence; the post was created in response to previous criticism that there had been no clear single minister in charge of the prosecution of World War II. In 1946, the post became the only cabinet-level post representing the military, with the three service ministers – the Secretary of State for War, the First Lord of the Admiralty, the Secretary of State for Air, now formally subordinated to the Minister of Defence; the post of Secretary of State for Defence was created on 1 April 1964. The former Cabinet positions of First Lord of the Admiralty, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air were incorporated into it and the offices of the Admiralty, War Office and the Air Ministry were abolished and their functions transferred to an expanded Ministry of Defence.
Hugh Todd Naylor Gaitskell was a British politician and Leader of the Labour Party. An economics lecturer and wartime civil servant, he was elected to Parliament in 1945 and held office in Clement Attlee's governments, notably as Minister of Fuel and Power after the bitter winter of 1946–47, joining the Cabinet as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Facing the need to increase military spending in 1951, he imposed National Health Service charges on dentures and spectacles, prompting the leading left-winger Aneurin Bevan to resign from the Cabinet; the perceived similarity in his outlook to that of his Conservative Party counterpart Rab Butler was dubbed "Butskellism" a satirical term, after an elision of their names, was one aspect of the post-war consensus through which the major parties agreed on the main points of domestic and foreign policy until the 1970s. With Labour in opposition from 1951, Gaitskell won bitter leadership battles with Bevan and his supporters to become the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition in 1955.
He opposed British military action at Suez in 1956. Against a backdrop of a booming economy he led Labour to its third successive defeat at the 1959 general election. In the late-1950s, in the teeth of opposition from the major trade unions, he attempted in vain to remove Clause IV of the Labour Party Constitution, which committed Labour to nationalisation of all the means of production, he did not reject public ownership altogether, but emphasised the ethical goals of liberty, social welfare and above all equality, argued that they could be achieved by fiscal and social policies within a mixed economy. His revisionist views on the right-wing of the Labour Party, were sometimes called Gaitskellism. Despite this setback, Gaitskell reversed an attempt to adopt unilateral nuclear disarmament as Labour Party policy, opposed Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's attempt to lead the UK into the European Common Market, he was hated for his confrontational leadership and brutal frankness. He died in 1963, when he appeared to be on the verge of leading Labour back into power and becoming the next Prime Minister.
Hugh Gaitskell was born in Kensington, the third and youngest child of Arthur Gaitskell, of the Indian Civil Service, Adelaide Mary Gaitskell, née Jamieson, whose father, George Jamieson, was consul-general in Shanghai and prior to, Judge of the British Supreme Court for China and Japan. He was known as “Sam” as a child; the Gaitskells had a long family connection with the Indian Army, he spent his childhood in Burma. After his father's death, his mother soon remarried and returned to Burma, leaving him at boarding school. Gaitskell was educated at the Dragon School from 1912-1919, where he was a friend of the future poet John Betjeman, he attended Winchester College from 1919 to 1924. He attended New College, from 1924-1927. Studying under G. D. H. Cole, Gaitskell became a socialist and wrote a long essay on Chartism, arguing that the working class needed middle class leadership. Gaitskell's first political involvement came about as a result of the General Strike of 1926. Most students supported the government and many volunteered for civil defence duties, or helped to run essential services.
Gaitskell, supported the strikers and acted as a driver for people like his Oxford contemporary Evan Durbin and Cole's wife Margaret, who made speeches and delivered the trade union newspaper British Worker. After the collapse of the General Strike, Gaitskell spent another six months raising funds for the miners, whose dispute did not end until November, he graduated with a first-class degree in Philosophy and Economics in 1927. In 1927–28 Gaitskell lectured in economics for the Workers' Educational Association to miners in Nottinghamshire, his essay on Chartism was published as a WEA booklet in 1928. This was his first experience of interaction with the working class. Gaitskell came to oppose both Cole's Guild Socialism and Syndicalism and to feel that the General Strike had been the last failed spasm of a strategy - attempting to seize power through direct trade union action -, tried in the abortive Triple Alliance Strike of 1921, it is unclear whether Gaitskell was sympathetic to Oswald Mosley seen as a future leader of the Labour Party.
Gaitskell's wife insisted that he never had been, but Margaret Cole, Evan Durbin's wife and Noel Hall believed that he was, although as an opponent of factional splits he was not tempted to join Mosley's New Party in 1931. Gaitskell helped to run the New Fabian Research Bureau, set up by G. D. H. Cole in March 1931, he was selected as Labour candidate for Chatham in autumn 1932. Gaitskell moved to University College London in the early 1930s at the invitation of Noel Hall. In 1934 he joined the XYZ Club, a club for Labour financial experts and City people such as the economist Nicholas Davenport. Dalton and Gaitskell were referred to as “Big Hugh and Little Hugh” over the next fifteen years. In 1934 Gaitskell was in Vienna on a Rockefeller scholarship, he was attached to the University of Vienna for the 1933–34 academic year and witnessed first-hand the political suppression of the social democratic workers movement by the conservative Engelbert Dollfuss's government in February 1934. This event made a lasting impression, making him profoundly hostile to conservatism but making him reject as futile the Marxian outlook of many European social democrats.
This placed him in the socialist revisionist camp. At the 1935 general election, he stood unsuccessfully as the Labour Pa
Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, was a British statesman and Labour Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951. He was the Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955. In 1940, Attlee took Labour into the wartime coalition government and served under Winston Churchill, becoming, in 1942, the first person to hold the office of Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, he went on to lead the Labour Party to an unexpected landslide victory at the 1945 general election. The 12 per cent national swing from the Conservatives to Labour was unprecedented at that time and remains the largest achieved by any party at a general election in British electoral history, he was re-elected with a narrow majority at the 1950 general election. In the following year, Attlee called a snap general election, hoping to increase his parliamentary majority. However, he was narrowly defeated by the Conservatives under the leadership of Winston Churchill, despite winning the most votes of any political party in any general election in British political history until the Conservative Party's fourth consecutive victory in 1992.
Attlee remains the longest-ever serving Leader of the Labour Party. First elected to the House of Commons in 1922 as the MP for Limehouse, Attlee rose to become a junior minister in the first Labour minority government led by Ramsay MacDonald in 1924, joined the Cabinet during MacDonald's second ministry of 1929–1931. One of only a handful of Labour frontbenchers to retain his seat in the landslide defeat of 1931, he became the party's Deputy Leader. After the resignation of George Lansbury in 1935, he was elected as Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition in the subsequent leadership election. At first advocating pacificism and opposing rearmament, he reversed his position, he took Labour into the Churchill war ministry in 1940. Serving as Lord Privy Seal, he was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister in 1942. Attlee and Churchill worked together smoothly, with Attlee working backstage to handle much of the detail and organisational work in Parliament, as Churchill took centre stage with his attention on diplomacy, military policy, broader issues.
With victory in Europe in May 1945, the coalition government was dissolved. Attlee led Labour to win a huge majority in the ensuing 1945 general election two months later; the government he led built the post-war consensus, based upon the assumption that full employment would be maintained by Keynesian policies and that a enlarged system of social services would be created – aspirations, outlined in the 1942 Beveridge Report. Within this context, his government undertook the nationalisation of public utilities and major industries, as well as the creation of the National Health Service. Attlee himself had little interest in economic matters but this settlement was broadly accepted by all parties for three decades. Foreign policy was the special domain of Ernest Bevin, he supervised the process by which India was partitioned into India and Pakistan in 1947. He arranged the independence of Burma, Ceylon, his government ended the British Mandates of Jordan. From 1947 onwards, he and Bevin pushed the United States to take a more vigorous role in the emerging Cold War against Soviet Communism.
When the budgetary crisis forced Britain out of Greece in 1947, he called on Washington to counter the Communists with the Truman Doctrine. He avidly supported the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe with American money. In 1949, he promoted the NATO military alliance against the Soviet bloc, he sent British troops to fight in the Malayan Emergency in 1948 and sent the RAF to participate in the Berlin Airlift. He commissioned an independent nuclear deterrent for the UK, he used 13,000 troops and passed special legislation to promptly end the London dock strike in 1949. After leading Labour to a narrow victory at the 1950 general election, he sent British troops to fight in the Korean War. Attlee was narrowly defeated by the Conservatives under Churchill in the 1951 general election, he had lost his effectiveness by then. He was elevated to the House of Lords. In public, Attlee was unassuming, his strengths emerged behind the scenes in committees where his depth of knowledge, quiet demeanour and pragmatism proved decisive.
His achievements in politics owed the unsuitability of his rivals. He saw himself as spokesman on behalf of his entire party and kept its multiple factions in harness. Attlee is rated by scholars and the public as one of the greatest British Prime Ministers, his reputation among scholars in recent decades has been much higher than during his years as Prime Minister, thanks to his roles in leading the Labour Party, creating the welfare state and building the coalition opposing Stalin in the Cold War. Attlee was born on 3 January 1883 in Putney, into a middle-class family, the seventh of eight children, his father was Henry Attlee, a solicitor, his mother was Ellen Bravery Watson, daughter of Thomas Simons Watson, secretary for the Art Union of London. He was educated at a boys' preparatory school near Pluckley in Kent.
Red Clydeside was the era of political radicalism in Glasgow and areas around the city, on the banks of the River Clyde, such as Clydebank, Greenock and Paisley, from the 1910s until the early 1930s. Red Clydeside is a significant part of the history of the labour movement in Britain as a whole, Scotland in particular. Popular newspapers of the time used the term "Red Clydeside" to refer to the political militancy. An amalgamation of charismatic individuals, organised movements and socio-political forces led to Red Clydeside, which had its roots in working class opposition to Britain's participation in World War I, although the area had a long history of political radicalism going back to the Society of the Friends of the People and the "Radical War" of 1820; the 11,000 workers at the largest Singer sewing machines factory, in Clydebank, went on strike in March–April 1911, ceasing to work in solidarity with 12 female colleagues protesting against work process reorganisation. This reorganisation involved an increase in a decrease in wages.
Following the end of the strike, Singer fired 400 workers, including Jane Rae one of the women activists, all strike leaders and purported members of the Industrial Workers of Great Britain, among them Arthur McManus, who went on to become the first chairman of the Communist Party of Great Britain between 1920 and 1922. Labour unrest, in particular by women and unskilled labour increased between 1910–1914 in Clydeside, with four times more days on strike than between 1900 and 1910. During these four years preceding World War I, membership of those affiliated to the Scottish Trades Union Congress rose from 129,000 in 1909 to 230,000 in 1914. To mobilise the workers of Clydeside against World War I, the Clyde Workers' Committee was formed, with Willie Gallacher as its head and David Kirkwood its treasurer; the CWC led the campaign against the Liberal government of David Lloyd George and their Munitions Act, which forbade engineers from leaving the company they were employed in. The CWC met with government leaders, but no agreement could be reached and both Gallacher and Kirkwood were arrested under the terms of the Defence of the Realm Act and jailed for their activities.
Anti-war activity took place outside the workplace and on the streets in general. The Marxist John Maclean and the Independent Labour Party member James Maxton were both jailed for their anti-war propagandizing. At the turn of the twentieth century the Clydeside area in Glasgow experienced rapid industrial and population growth. Eleven percent of Glasgow's housing stock was vacant due to speculation and few new houses were built as landlords benefited from renting out overcrowded and dilapidated flats; as Highlanders and Irish migrants came to Glasgow, the city's population increased by 65,000 people between 1912 and 1915 while only 1,500 new housing units were built. Glaswegian activists had demanded legislation and the building of municipal housing as early as 1885, when the Royal Commission on Housing and the Working Class noted the housing crisis; the Scottish Housing Council organised in 1900 and under pressure from trade unions the Housing Letting and Rating Act 1911 was passed. The act introduced letting by month workers with unstable jobs had been forced to put up a year's rent payment.
But as landlords increased rents protests by tenants became more frequent. John Maclean of the British Socialist Party organised the Scottish Federation of Tenants' Associations in 1913 to fight against rent increases and ask the state to provide housing. In 1914 the Independent Labour Party Housing Committee and the Women's Labour League formed the Glasgow Women's Housing Association. Under the leadership of Mary Barbour, Mary Laird, Helen Crawfurd and Jessie Stephen the Glasgow Women's Housing Association became the driving force behind the rent strike that started in May 1915 in the industrialised area of Govan. Tenants refused to pay the latest increase in rents and staged mass demonstrations against evictions, resulting in violent confrontations. With the start of the First World War local young men left Glasgow to serve in the army overseas, the first violent protest in the Govan district took place in April to resist the eviction of a soldier's family; as evictions were attempted with support from the police, women attacked the factors and the sheriffs' men.
In early summer 1915, the rent strikers were supported by mass demonstrations and by August, the rent strikers had found widespread support in Glasgow. Rent strikes spread from industrialised areas of the city to artisanal areas and slum areas. Strikes ignited in Partick, Pollokshaws, Cowcaddens, Ibrox, Govanhill, St Rollox, Springburn, Fairfield and Woodside. In October 1915, 15,000 tenants were on rent strike and a demonstration led by women converged on St Enoch Square. By November, 20,000 tenants were on rent strike. Trade unions threatened factory strikes if evictions supported by the police continued and following demonstrations on 17 November, legal action against rent strikers was halted. State Secretary of Scotland McKinnon Wood asked the Cabinet to freeze all rents at pre-war levels and in December, the Rents and Mortgage Interest Restriction Act 1915 received royal assent; the left-wing activities continued after the end of the war. The campaign for a 40-hour week, with improved conditions for the workers, took hold of organised labour.
On 31 January 1919, a massive rally, organised by the trade unions, took place on George Square in the city centre of Glasgow. It has been estimated that as many as 90,000 people were present, the Red Flag was raised in the centre of the crow