Chapter

Unstable Equilibrium, 1918–1929

Ross McKibbin

in Parties and People

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199584697
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191702402 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584697.003.0002
Unstable Equilibrium, 1918–1929

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This chapter focuses on the political disruptions caused by the First World War. The war fragmented the Liberal Party; re-established the political predominance of the Conservatives, whose future in 1914 was so uncertain; and broke the progressive alliance by permitting the Labour Party to claim that political independence which was its original raison d'être, but which the course of Edwardian politics persistently frustrated. The electorate had been reshaped such that about 80 per cent of it had never voted before, and the war profoundly, if only temporarily, reordered the economic status of that electorate.

Keywords: British politics; World War I; political change; political instability; Labour Party; Liberals; Conservatives

Chapter.  13935 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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