British Party Politics, 1852–1886 by Angus Hawkins

By Angus Hawkins

Among 1852 and 1886 British politics moved from a procedure of 'parliamentary govt' in the direction of a celebration process. This e-book appears at why and the way this modification occurred and analyses the long term implications it had for British politics.

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From Westminster issued political solutions to national problems in the form of large-scale legislation; the catalogue of Whig reforms of the 1830s affirming the point. Prior to 1830, beyond certain areas such as finance, it was not seen to be the job of government to promote legislation. After 1830, the Whigs established the idea that it was an important part of government to pass wide-ranging legislation. Whig governments during the 1830s established firm control of parliamentary procedure and legislation.

The Liberation Society, calling for the disestablishment of the Church of England, led by Edward Miall through his journalistic mouthpiece the Nonconformist, and the United Kingdom Alliance, committed to temperance, expressed an increasingly militant moral condemnation of existing values. What they shared with other radicals was a deep disgust for the patrician nature of Whiggism. The differing strands of thought, religious belief, and social background embraced within the populist radical movement found common cause in a well-established critique of aristocratic exclusiveness.

This reached a peak during 1868-72 when a total of 101,573 petitions were presented to parliament, representing an annual total of over 3 million signatures. The security of progress, liberty, and rights was a matter of political reform. This opened up the possibility, in favourable circumstances, of radicalism being domesticated. Secondly, shared faith in the law as a possible means of achieving just settlement strengthened the possibility of collaboration. Whigs were deeply sceptical of abstract natural rights, arguing that rights only had meaning and legitimacy within a legislative and legal context.

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