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THEME Government, power and politics

The Gordon Riots

The Gordon Riots of 1780. On the 6th June 1780, Lord George Gordon, a Whig Member of Parliament and strongly pro – American and head of the Protestant Association, presented a petition to Parliament demanding the repeal of the Catholic Relief Act of 1778, supported by a large crowd, estimated to be between 40,000 –…

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The Khaki Election

Khaki Election 1900

The Khaki Election of 1900 In Britain any election called as a result of war either pre , during or post, is called a Khaki Election and there have been a number of these in the C20th. The Khaki election of 1900 was really a turning point in Britain for many reasons. Within the year…

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Hyde Park Riot 1866

Hyde Park Riots 1866
This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Reform
This entry is part 14 of 15 in the series Reformers and Radicals

There is nothing new in Governments facing opposition to the passage of bills over which there has been much heated debate. During the 1860’s and following on the heals of the Chartists, there emerged in 1864, a Reform League. The Reform League wanted fundamental changes to the voting rights of ordinary working class men and…

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British Union of Fascists Riots

British Union of Fascists

The British Union of Fascists rose to power under Oswald Mosley in the 1930’s, the riots that ensued in the streets of the East End have something to teach us about the rise of far right politics in today’s political climate.

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Tariff Reform League

Tariff reform league

The Tariff Reform League was the 1903 dream of Joseph Chamberlain, he rejected free trade, what can we learn from this in the build up to Brexit? Was he misguided in his political view or did he have a point of view worth re-examining in light of the upcoming trade negotiations?

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Appeasement as Pragmatic Policy

Appeasement Policy, why did it have any credibility in Neville Chamberlain’s eyes? Could he really believe Hitler wanted peace and when it did unravel was he really surprised and ill-prepared? Would Churchill have handled this period any better and with the position Britain found itself in at that particular point could Churchill really have fared any better by outright confrontation before 3rd Sept 1939?

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Neville Chamberlain Prime Minister

Neville Chamberlain made an error of judgement it is offten argued in seeking a path of appeasement and in particular by seeking to sacrifice other smaller countries in negotiations with Hitler i order to seek to avoid entangling Britain in a further costly war both in human and economic terms that it was currently ill-equipped to fight whilst still recovering from WW1 and the difficult period between the wars that had been book-ended by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and the Depression of the early 1930s. In this series we ask questions of wider Britain and its easy criticism of Chamberlain, who was damned for a short period of a career that had largely bee dedicated to public service. But was he individually to blame or part of a wider political history of Britain which wrongly and rashly seeks to attribute blame to a single man, even the Prime Minister. The outcome of war with Hitler may not have changed irrespective of Chamberlain’s actions but would we have been better prepared and avoided some of the early errors in WW2 when Britain as a nation was so ill-prepared for war?

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Parliament Act 1911

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Constitutional Crisis 1909-1911

The Barons finally give way to democracy and yield their right of veto against democratically approved laws voted on and approved in the House of Commons. An Act of Parliament settles a bitter dispute from the 1909 Peoples Budget and a vital principle that had taken hundreds of years to establish.

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Arthur James Balfour Prime Minister 1902-1905

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series British Prime Ministers

Arthur James Balfour was a Prime Minister cut from the old aristocratic mould, an intelligent man who perhaps lacked emotional intelligence to match. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, nephew of Lord Salisbury, his mother’s brother. He would serve in coalition during WWI alongside Lloyd George more than strange bed-fellows. It was then that his now infamous Balfour Declaration would be declared and continues to cited as the root cause of the troubles between the Arab and Zionist causes in Palestine. and modern Israel. Unsuccessful Prime Ministers can be even more important it would seem than those that succeed and the failures may also be greatest when they are no longer in the top job.

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