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The new Liberalism and the challenge of Labour in the West Riding of Yorkshire 1885-1914 with special reference to Huddersfield

Perks, R.B. (1985) The new Liberalism and the challenge of Labour in the West Riding of Yorkshire 1885-1914 with special reference to Huddersfield. Doctoral thesis, Huddersfield Polytechnic.

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      This thesis contributes substantially to a debate that has long been
      a preoccupation of historians surrounding the timing, underlying reasons
      for, and inevitability (or otherwise) of the Labour Party's replacement
      of Liberalism as the main opponent to the Conservative Party. In terms
      of the context for examining the extent and potential of Labour's
      challenge to Liberalism before 1914 and the presence of any form of
      'progressive' or 'new' Liberalism, there has been a shift away from the
      ambit of national politics to that of local parliamentary and municipal
      politics. Amongst those areas of Britain that have been the subject
      of analysis, West Yorkshire, as the very birthplace of the Independent
      Labour Party, remains predominant and this study, by highlighting
      Huddersfield, complements and extends work already carried out on Leeds,
      Bradford and the Colne Valley.

      Through a close analysis of the local and regional press, election
      results, personal papers, party records, pamphlets and trade union
      records, in conjunction with secondary sources, the emergence and nature
      of the Labour movement's challenge to a Liberalism dominated by a
      Nonconformist textile manufacturer elite, is examined. Trade unionism's
      central role in the establishment of the Huddersfield Labour Union in
      1891 is evident. So too is the belated conversion of the Huddersfield
      Trades Council to independent parliamentary labour representation which,
      when combined with a religious, ethical form of Socialism around 1906,
      posed so serious a threat to established Liberalism that only opportune
      party re-organisation, an undemocratic franchise, and bitter divisions
      within the Labour movement, could save it. Yet even amidst its
      parliamentary victories of 1906 and 1910 Huddersfield Liberalism was,
      through its continued intransigence towards working-class concerns and
      its espousal of outdated issues, which had diminishing relevance to a
      nascent class-based electorate, increasingly less viable both electorally
      and intellectually.

      Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
      Additional Information: EThOS Persistent ID
      Uncontrolled Keywords: Yorkshire political history, Political science, Public administration Political science
      Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
      D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
      Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
      Depositing User: Graham Stone
      Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2009 12:05
      Last Modified: 28 Jul 2010 19:37


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