By Chris Wrigley

This spouse brings jointly 32 new essays through prime historians to supply a reassessment of British background within the early 20th century. The participants current lucid introductions to the literature and debates on significant points of the political, social and monetary historical past of england among 1900 and 1939.

  • Examines arguable matters over the social influence of the 1st international conflict, in particular on girls
  • Provides colossal insurance of alterations in Wales, Scotland and eire in addition to in England
  • Includes a considerable bibliography, so one can be a beneficial advisor to secondary resources

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Sample text

When the contrasting impacts of Baldwin’s ‘non-political’ appeal and the party organization’s relentless stoking of anti-socialist scares (culminating in exposure of the ‘Zinoviev letter’) were added, the effect was devastating: a defecting group of ‘constitutionalist’ Liberals (in Churchill’s case, re-defecting), many local Liberal–Unionist election pacts, over 100 fewer Liberal candidates and a Liberal party collapse at the October 1924 general election, producing a huge Conservative victory.

The so-called Lib–Lab pact of 1903 became one result of the latter anxiety. Liberals were luckier with the former difficulty for Balfour’s government began to tear itself apart the moment it settled into office, with Joseph Chamberlain’s campaign of tariff reform exposing the depth of free-trade and protectionist opinion among the Unionists. Fighting the election that the Liberals were obliged to call once Balfour had surprisingly resigned at the end of 1905 revealed ominous signs in the negativity of the Liberal position: no ideas of their own, as Haldane said, just objections to everybody else’s.

Even after Baldwin succeeded MacDonald as prime minister in 1935, a National Labour and National Liberal presence was preserved. The National government was continued by Conservative ministers because it allowed them to pursue policies – of economic intervention, preservation of social policies and Indian reform – which, given attitudes in the Conservative heartlands, would have been difficult for a purely Conservative government to undertake. Above all, the National government enabled their version of Conservatism to command much Liberal and ‘moderate’ support, and so created an apparently impregnable barrier to socialism.

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