Download British Politics, 1910-1935: The Crisis of the Party System by David Powell PDF

By David Powell

This available new examine presents a much-needed advisor to the pivotal interval of British heritage among 1910 and 1935, opposed to the historical past of upheavals corresponding to the 1st global struggle and the transition to complete democracy on account of the Reform Acts of 1918 and 1928. Combining an up to date synthesis of earlier paintings with a reappraisal of the most personalities, issues and occasions of the interval, David Powell brings readability to this important but complicated period.Examining British politics at the eve of battle, David Powell assesses the effect of warfare at the events and the political method and the method of realignment that within the interwar interval. specifically he analyzes to what volume those occasions as an entire constituted a drawback of the celebration process. From the constitution of the Edwardian political approach and the occasion politics of pre-war Britain, via to the industrial and political situation of 1931 and the next rebuilding of the get together procedure, this complete research bargains an fundamental survey to all scholars of British background or politics.

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Extra info for British Politics, 1910-1935: The Crisis of the Party System

Sample text

To take the most extreme case, in Wales 128,461 Liberal voters elected thirty-two MPs, whereas 65,949 Unionist voters returned not a single Member between them. 46 What the voting figures suggested, moreover, was that, even in the shambles of their worst defeat in living memory, there remained a solid bedrock of Conservative support which was able to withstand a temporary geological disturbance. The Liberals had won many of their seats, especially in traditionally Conservative parts of England, on small majorities, and these would be vulnerable to any recovery of Conservative fortunes.

More immediately, the emergence of the Nationalists had a destabilising effect on the party system in the 1880s and 1890s. The changes that occurred tended to weaken the Liberals and strengthen the Conservatives. The electoral success of the Nationalists in 1885 virtually ended Liberal parliamentary representation in Ireland, making it more difficult for them to win a majority at Westminster. The Liberal position was made still more precarious by the split in the party caused by Gladstone’s introduction of his first Home Rule Bill in 1886.

Already by the mid-1880s there were signs that the simple Liberal–Conservative two-party system was entering a period of transition. Whereas between 1868 and 1885 majority, single-party governments had been the norm, between 1886 and 1914 there was only one comparatively brief period of single-party majority rule: the Liberal ministries of Campbell-Bannerman and Asquith of 1906–10. Otherwise governments were formal coalitions (as in the case of the Conservatives and Liberal Unionists from 1895 to 1905) or were formed by parties that could not on their own command a majority in the House of Commons and depended on smaller parties to sustain them in office.

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