Evolution of the British Party System: 1885-1940
By the end of the nineteenth century, reform and development of the British electoral system had inaugurated a new style of mass politics which fundamentally transformed the face of the British party system. This book traces the evolution of recognisably modern parties from their roots in the 1880s through half a century of dramatic change in organisational structure, electoral competition and constitutional thought.
In the House of Commons the Labour Party replaced the Liberals as the radical answer to the Conservative Party. In the country at large the complex web of Victorian social, regional and religious allegiances gave way to a cruder but more dynamic model of modern political loyalties.
The transformation at Westminster and in the constituencies is surveyed in relation to changes to the franchise (including the vote for women), class consciousness, political organisation and doctrine. The comprehensive account explains the varying fortunes of the parties in the face of mass democracy, collectivism, the First World War and economic uncertainty. It also provides a critical insight into the debates and conflicts of interpretation which surround this pivotal period in British political history.
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2 Development of the electoral system before 1914
3 The rise of modern party organisation
4 Party realignment and Unionist ascendancy 18851905
5 The challenge of New Liberalism 19061914
6 War and the party system
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activists Age of Balfour anti-socialist Asquith Asquithians Austen Chamberlain backbenchers Balfour and Baldwin boroughs Britain British Politics by-election Cabinet campaign candidates Carlton Club cent central century challenge Chamberlain Clause IV Coalition Coalition Liberals commitment Conservatism Conservative Party constituencies corruption crisis defeat democracy Despite doctrinal economic Edwardian effective election electoral emerged established franchise factor free trade George's Gladstone Gladstone's Gladstonian Henry Pelling historians Historical Journal History Home Rule ideological impact industrial interwar Irish Joseph Chamberlain Labour government Labour Party leaders leadership League legislation Liberal party Liberal Unionists Lloyd George Lord Lord Salisbury MacDonald majority McKibbin middle class mobilise Moreover National Government Neal Blewett Neville Chamberlain Oxford parliamentary Party Management party organisation popular principles problems programme Progressive Alliance radical recognised redistribution registration Salisbury Salisbury's seats social reform socialist tariff reform taxation Tory trade union traditional transformation unemployment Victorian victory vote voters wartime