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Black 1919Riots, Racism and Resistance in Imperial Britain$
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Jacqueline Jenkinson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312007

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315138

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(p.217) Conclusion
Black 1919
Liverpool University Press

During 1919, the ports riot showed the deep sense of disquiet in British society in the immediate post-war period. The weak level of sailors' union organisation played a crucial role in the eruption of the riots, during and after which, black rioters and unemployed black workers defended their rights. The rioting was aimed at those considered as unfair economic competitors, as well as the ship owners. The events of the riots and the motivations of riot participants revealed that the riots in the seaports of Britain were not ‘mob’ violence. In 1920 and 1921, the recurrence of rioting in the ports served as a reminder that far-flung disorder was not restricted to the year 1919 and its connections with demobilisation and post-war social malaise. Rioting also recurred later in the twentieth century, most notably in 1948, 1958/59, the early 1960s, the late 1970s, and the 1980s.

Keywords:   ports riots, British society, sailors' union organisation, rioting, seaports, Britain, demobilisation, social malaise

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