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Politicians

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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Rachel Wriothesley wife of Lord Russell

Rachel Wriothesley

Rachel Wriothesley played an interesting role in 17th Century intrigue but who was she? Rachel was born in 1636 in Titchfield Hampshire, the daughter of Thomas Wriothesley the 4th Earl of Southampton. The Wriothesley’s had an illustrious history, after the Reformation, the family grew more powerful and wealthier than ever before. Thomas Wriothesley, the 1st…

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VE Day 1945 King George VI Speech

VE Day 1945 King George VI Speech an inspired reading at this week’s service in Westminster Abbey commemorating the end of WW2 in Europe VE Day on 8th May. Did you hear the The King’s Speech, how much does a national act of commemoration provide a timely reminder of the need to give back and participate and not just leave it all to the political class?

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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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Paris Peace Conference 1919

Was the Paris Peace Conference and four months of wrangling amongst the Allies robbing Germany of its Empire a key document that impacts on British Appeasement Policy in 1938 1939 and was it also a major factor in the problems that led to WW2? In full knowledge of its content is Chamberlain all too aware of its implications and seeks to appease Germany’s imperialist pretensions because of it, or in spite of it. Before we judge Chamberlain should we not take a long hard look at Britain in the ‘interwar years’ and how these outcomes constrain the options available as Baldwin resigns and Chamberlain picks-up the poison chalice.

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Thomas Cromwell

Thomas Cromwell

Thomas Cromwell, the black clad lawyer who rose to power after the decline and death of the red clad Cardinal Wolsey. King Henry’s advisor and who figaratively wielded the axe across the neck of many Tudor conservatives.

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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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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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Constitutional Crisis People’s Budget 1909

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Reform
This entry is part 2 of 13 in the series Reformers and Radicals
This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Reforming Women

What would cause a king to contemplate the end of the Monarchy and that his son might be the last King? When his Barons, the Lords would rise-up and revolt against the rule of democracy and seek to reinvent the will of the people via its commons from being fulfilled. Lloyd George and Winston Churchill would be the advocates for the poor and common man. Asquith would seek to calm the rage and the King would plead with the Lords to let the Bill pass but it would take two General Elections and never again would this unwritten convention be relied upon without statute to support it.

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