Whigs and Liberals

Packer, Ian (2018) Whigs and Liberals. In: The Oxford handbook of modern British political history, 1800-2000. Oxford Handbooks . Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 288-305. ISBN 9780198714897

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The historiography of the British Liberal party has been dominated by one ques- tion: why did it decline from the governing party in 1914 into insignificance by the 1930s? This is the only example in British politics of one of the two main parties losing its leading role, so it is not surprising that it has generated an enormous literature and has coloured virtually every aspect of how the Liberal party, and the Whig grouping which was one of its main precursors, have been viewed. In general, long-term explanations of the party’s fall, based on changes in British society, have gradually lost their hold and the party’s decline is now usually considered an unforeseeable political event, precipitated by the party’s divisions in the First World War. But more recent trends in the historiog- raphy of the Liberal party also tend to discuss much more than just the question of the party’s fall, and are firmly situated in the turn towards political culture and language in studies of British politics. This essay examines these developments and suggests some future directions for the study of the British Liberal party.

Keywords:Liberal Party, Whigs
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V145 Modern History 1900-1919
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V146 Modern History 1920-1949
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V147 Modern History 1950-1999
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V144 Modern History 1800-1899
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V210 British History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
ID Code:30299
Deposited On:30 Jan 2018 14:48

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