Currents of Radicalism: Popular Radicalism, Organised Labour and Party Politics in Britain, 1850-1914by Eugenio F. Biagini
Pub. Date: 06/28/1991
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
'Those who were originally called radicals and afterwards reformers, are called Chartists', declared Thomas Duncombe before Parliament in 1842, a comment which can be adapted for a later period and as a description of this collection of papers: 'those who were originally called Chartists were afterwards called Liberal and Labour activists'. In other words, the central argument of this book is that there was a substantial continuity in popular radicalism throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth century. The papers stress both the popular elements in Gladstonian Liberalism and the radical liberal elements in the early Labour party. The first part of the book focuses on the continuity of popular attitudes across the commonly-assumed mid-century divide, with studies of significant personalities and movements, as well as a local case study. The second part examines the strong links between Gladstonian Liberalism and the working classes, looking in particular at labour law, taxation, and the Irish crisis. The final part assesses the impact of radical traditions on early Labour politics, in Parliament, the unions, and local government. The same attitudes towards liberty, the rule of law, and local democracy are highlighted throughout, and new questions are therefore posed about the major transitions in the popular politics of the period.
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Table of ContentsPreface; 1. Currents of radicalism, 1850–1914 Eugenio F. Biagini and Alastair J. Reid; Part I. Continuities in Popular Radicalism: 2. The old radicalism and the new: David Urquhart and the politics of opposition, 1832–1867 Miles Taylor; 3. Radicalism and popular culture: the Tichborne case and the politics of 'fair play', 1867–1886 Rohan McWilliam; 4. Popular politics and the limitations of party: Wolverhampton, 1867–1900 Jon Lawrence; 5. Nonconformity and trade unionism: the Sheffield outrages of 1866 Kenneth D. Brown; Part II. The Liberal Party and the People: 6. Trade unionists, Gladstonian Liberals, and the labour law reforms of 1875 Jonathan Spain; 7. Popular Liberals, Gladstonian finance, and the debate on taxation, 1860–1874 Eugenio F. Biagini; 8. Gladstone and his rivals: popular Liberal perceptions of the party leadership in the political crisis of 1885–1886 Graham D. Goodlad; Part III. Radicals, Liberals, and the Labour Party: 9. Labour and parliament: the Lib.-Labs. as the first working-class MPs, 1885–1906 John Shepherd; 10. Old Unionism reconsidered: the radicalism of Robert Knight, 1870–1900 Alastair J. Reid; 11. Labour and local politics: radicalism, democracy and the social reform, 1880–1914 Pat Thane; 12. Ideological debate in Edwardian Labour politics: radicalism, Revisionism and socialism Duncan Tanner; Index.
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