Category: Political Science & Politics, Glasgow
August 2003 James Maxton was one of the leading figures of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) in Glasgow and a key political figure during the Red Clydeside period. Like many of his colleagues in the ILP, Maxton was a pacifist and campaigned against Britain's involvement in the first world war and against the introduction of conscription. Maxton was imprisoned in 1916 for delivering pro-strike speeches at a demonstration to oppose the Munitions Act. Maxton was elected MP for Bridgeton in 1922 and devoted much of his political life to alleviating poverty within the city of Glasgow. Maxton attempted on several occasions to steer the Parliamentary Labour Party in the direction of a strictly socialist programme of policies.
The Red Clydeside period During the period between 1910 and 1932 the city of Glasgow was witness to an unparalleled wave of working class protest and political agitation which challenged the forces of capitalism and also, on occasion, directly challenged the state itself. The events and people who shaped this period forged an enduring legacy which still remains part of the political and social fabric of the city to the present day, and which is known quite simply as Red Clydeside. This turbulent period of industrial, social and political upheaval reinforced Glasgow's reputation as the centre of working class struggle in Britain in the early years of the twentieth century.