National Crisis and National Government: British Politics, the Economy and Empire, 1926-1932

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Dec 18, 2003 - History - 588 pages
From 1926 Britain fell into a condition of deep national crisis, which seemed to threaten its domestic stability and international power. By 1932 the effort to contain these problems had transformed British politics and policy. Strains produced by three-party politics, economic recession and imperial difficulties resulted during 1931 in such a severe financial and political crisis that the Labour government collapsed and Conservative, Liberal and some Labour leaders joined together in a National government. Despite large public expenditure cuts and tax increases, and despite devaluation of sterling and a new crisis in the Indian Empire, this government obtained the greatest British election victory of modern times. This 1992 book examines all aspects of the crisis together and in depth, using an extensive range of official, institutional and personal papers.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Components of crisis
19
The erosion of Conservative predominance
21
THE LIBERAL CHALLENGE
22
LABOUR DILEMMAS
34
THE CONSERVATIVE RESPONSE
43
THE 1929 GENERAL ELECTION
54
Economic and imperial troubles
58
LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE CALCULATIONS
299
HENDERSONS INTERVENTIONS
303
THE LABOUR CRISIS
308
A NATIONAL SOLUTION
320
MACDONALDS PERSEVERANCE
325
THE KINGS CONTRIBUTION
333
First effects
344
THE NATIONAL POLICY
360

THE EMPIRE IN DANGER
79
Government and party troubles
92
LIBERALS AND THE BALANCE OF POWER
107
CONSERVATIVE DIVISIONS
118
National crisis
133
THE REACTIONS
142
CRISIS AVOIDED
165
CONSERVATIVE REBELLION
171
Retrenchment and containment
192
LIBERALS TO THE RESCUE
203
THE LABOUR GOVERNMENT SURVIVES
213
Towards a twoparty system
229
TOWARDS A PROGRESSIVE BLOC
234
TOWARDS A CONSERVATIVE BLOC
242
THE LIBERAL SPLIT
249
THE CRISIS
255
THE EUROPEAN BANKING CRISIS
259
THE MAY REPORT
267
NATIONAL GOVERNMENT REVIVED
273
CRISIS POSTPONED?
280
The political crisis August 1931
285
MACDONALDS INITIATIVE
296
THE OPPOSITION
369
The emergency governments crisis September 1931
387
NEW PROBLEMS
401
NEAR DISASTER
413
CRISIS OVERCOME
427
A NATIONAL PLATFORM
433
THE REALIGNED PARTY SYSTEM
445
The defeated
455
LABOUR PERSISTENCE
456
TOWARDS THE EXTREMES
466
KEYNES AND LLOYD GEORGE
470
CONSERVATIVE CRITICS
474
THE AFTERMATH OF DEFEAT
478
The National government
480
SAVING THE EMPIRE
487
MANAGING THE ECONOMY
494
TARIFF REFORM AND CABINET SPLITS
504
Conclusion
516
The personnel
531
Sources
542
Index
557
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