In Australian labour history, North Queensland has a reputation for radicalism that is at odds with its current conservative image. For decades a stronghold for the Labor Party, it produced some of the state''s most influential and assertive trade unions, and saw several bitter strikes. Although several historians have remarked upon this distinctive character, few have advanced detailed research to substantiate their conclusions. This book does. It examines the industrial and political behaviour of the working class and the emergence of a distinctive regional labour movement. The study shows that while the reputation for militancy is well-founded, the evidence for the influence radical or socialist ideology is weak. Rather, the militancy of northern labour was essentially pragmatic, and often defensive. It stemmed from the nature of the workforce and working conditions, and owed its peculiar dynamics to factors of distance, isolation and resentment of central authority – that is, to regionalism. The analysis should attract the attention of historians and political scientists interested in the bases of industrial organisation and action, especially, but not only in Australia.