The Liberal Unionist Party: A History
The Liberal Unionist party was one of the shortest-lived political parties in British history. It was formed in 1886 by a faction of the Liberal party, led by Lord Hartington, which opposed Irish home rule. In 1895, it entered into a coalition government with the Conservative party and in 1912, now under the leadership of Joseph Chamberlain, it amalgamated with the Conservatives. Ian Cawood here uses previously unpublished archival material to provide the first complete study of the Liberal Unionist party. He argues that the party was a genuinely successful political movement with widespread activist and popular support which resulted in the development of an authentic Liberal Unionist culture across Britain in the mid-1890s. The issues which this book explores are central to an understanding of the development of the twentieth century Conservative party, the emergence of a 'national' political culture, and the problems, both organisational and ideological, of a sustained period of coalition in the British parliamentary system.
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