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Stoppage of work by a substantial proportion of workers in each of a number of industries in an organized effort to achieve economic or political objectives. The idea of a general strike spanning a variety of industries apparently began in Britain in the early 19th century; it was envisioned as a tactic of collective bargaining or, by more radical thinkers, as an instrument of social revolution. Notable general strikes occurred in Russia during the Revolution of 1905, in Britain in 1926 (carried on by various labour unions in support of striking coal miners), and in France in 1967 (touched off by student demands for educational reform).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on general strike, visit Britannica.com.
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