A New England?: Peace and War, 1886-1918

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Clarendon Press, 2004 - Business & Economics - 951 pages
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G. R. Searle's absorbing narrative history breaks conventional chronological barriers to carry the reader from England in 1886, the apogee of the Victorian era with the nation poised to celebrate the empress queen's golden jubilee, to 1918, as the 'war to end all wars' drew to a close leavingEngland to come to terms with its price - above all in terms of human life, but also in the general sense that things would never be the same again.This was an age of extremes: a period of imperial pomp and circumstance, with a political elite preoccupied with display and ceremony, alongside the growing cult of the simple life; the apogee of imperialism with its idealization of war on the one hand, the start of the Labour Party, a socialistrenaissance, and welfare politics on the other; and a radical challenging of traditional gender stereotypes in the face of the prevailing cult of masculinity.Under Professor Searle's historical microscope, all the details of daily life spring into sharp relief. Half-forgotten figures such as Edward Carpenter, Vesta Tilley, and Edward Carson take their place on stage beside Oscar Wilde, the Pankhursts and Lloyd George. Motoring and aviation, to becomesuch an intrinsic part of life within the next decades, had their beginnings in this period as pastimes for the rich. From the wretched slums of England's great cities to their bustling docks and factories, from the grand portals of Westminster to the violent political challenges of the Ulster Unionists and the militant suffrage movement, from Blackpool's tower and beach packed with holidaymakers to the trenches ofthe Western Front, the energy, creativity, and often destructive turmoil of the years 1886-1918 are brought into focus in this magisterial history.THE NEW OXFORD HISTORY OF ENGLANDThe aim of the New Oxford History of England is to give an account of the development of the country over time. It is hard to treat that development as just the history which unfolds within the precise boundaries of England, and a mistake to suggest that this implies a neglect of the histories ofthe Scots, Irish, and Welsh. Yet the institutional core of the story which runs from Anglo-Saxon times to our own is the story of a state-structure built round the English monarchy and its effective successor, the Crown in Parliament. While the emphasis of individual volumes in the series willvary, the ultimate outcome is intended to be a set of standard and authoritative histories, embodying the scholarship of a generation.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION I
1
NATIONALISM AND NATIONALITY
7
GENERATION AND GENDER
44
CLASS COMMUNITY
82
GOVERNANCE AND POLITICS
116
HOME RULE AND THE POLITICS OF UNIONISM
149
CONFLICT
172
People of the Abyss
192
A Militarized Society?
510
Feeling in the Country
515
The Challenge of the Peace Movement
517
Crisis
521
LEISURE CULTURE AND SCIENCE
527
THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE
529
The Role of Religion
532
Rational Recreation
538

POLITICS AND THE SOCIAL QUESTION
203
The Liberal Ministries 18921895
208
The Unionists After 1895
214
Local Politics in Late Victorian Britain
221
Popular Politics and the Rise of Labour
229
BRITAIN UNDER CHALLENGE18861899
239
A Great Power in Retreat?
243
The Problem of Imperial Defence
252
Modernizing the Army
254
Salisbury and the Foreign Office
259
Egypt Secured
266
Prelude to the Second Boer War
269
THE BOER WAR 18991902
275
On the Home Front
284
Liberal Troubles and Unionist Muddles
291
The Inquest
301
EDWARDIAN ENGLAND
309
THE UNIONIST PROJECT 19021905
311
International Relations
312
The End of Isolation?
320
The Domestic Front
329
The Genesis of Tariff Reform
334
Drifting to Disaster
341
A Doomed Project?
344
The End of the Unionist Ascendancy
349
The Forging of the Progressive Alliance
352
Defeat
356
TRANSITION TO LIBERAL RULE 19061908
358
The Early Years
362
THE LIBERAL PARTY AND SOCIAL WELFARE POLITICS
366
Rationale for Legislation
369
Creating an Imperial Race?
375
The Political Legacy of Welfare Reform
386
Health and Welfare in Edwardian Britain
398
THE YEARS OF CRISIS 19081914
407
The Constitutional Crisis
411
Crisis in Ireland
424
The Issue of Corruption
434
The Great Labour Unrest
438
The Womens Revolt
456
The Strange Death of Liberal England?
470
THE ROAD TO WAR
474
The Formation of the AngloRussian Entente
483
The Hardening of the AngloFrench Entente
486
The Strategic Dilemma
487
Grey Under Challenge
495
Invasion Scares and Spies
504
Rise of the Leisure Industry
543
I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside
553
Forbidden Pleasures
556
Hobbies
567
ART AND CULTURE
571
Art and Morality
577
Realism and Modernism
589
The Nature of Englishness
594
Pastoralism
602
Conclusion
613
SCIENCE AND LEARNING
615
Technology and Science
619
Britains International Performance
623
The Endowment of Research Movement
626
Attitudes to Science and Technology
635
Science and Spirituality
640
Social Science
643
The Triumph of Academia?
649
THE GREAT
661
THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE 19141916
663
The End of the Liberal Ministry JanuaryMay 1915
671
Troubled Days MayDecember 1915
680
Jutland and the War at Sea
687
The Somme Campaign
691
Background to the December 1916 Crisis
696
TRAGEDY AND TRIUMPH 19161918
703
Gambling on Nivelle
705
The Unrestricted Uboat Campaign
708
Third Ypres and Cambrai
712
Crumbling Morale
719
Planning For 1918
723
Backs to the Wall
725
Lloyd Georges Triumph
728
Forward to Victory
733
THE PATRIOTIC EXPERIENCE
742
National Identities
752
Pacifists Patriots and Jingoes
761
WAR AND THE RESHAPING OF IDENTITIES
777
Class and the Military Participation Ratio
793
The Growth of the State
806
Political Identities
823
Chronology
839
List of Cabinets
852
General Elections
862
Bibliography
864
Index
903
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About the author (2004)

G. R. Searle is Emeritus Professor of History, University of East Anglia.

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