Doyle, Barry M. (1994) 'Business, Liberalism and dissent in Norwich, 1900-1930'. Baptist Quarterly, XXXV (5). ISSN 0005- 576X

In much of the literature on the decline of the Liberal party, there is an implicit
assumption that the bulk of the party's middle-elass support, and in particular its
business support, had defected to the Conservatives by the early 1920s.2 This
literature also assumes that only two real issues separated the middle-elass in the
pre-war period - religion and free trade.3 Thus, when the war brought an end to
free trade and quickened the decline of organized religion in Britain, the middle
class united in a property-owning, anti-socialist alliance under Conservative
leadership.4 This article will challenge some of these assumptions by showing that
significant sections of the Norwich business and dissenting communities continued
to support Liberalism right down to 1930, and that chapel culture, in particular, was
of considerable importance in maintaining the Liberal party after 1919.s

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