Book

MacDonald's Party

David Howell

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780198203049
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191719530 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203049.001.0001

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

MacDonald's Party

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The Labour Party became a major political force in Britain during the 1920s. It unexpectedly entered office as a minority government in 1924; five years later as the largest party in the Commons it took office again. For many the party's enhanced status was associated closely with its leader, Ramsay MacDonald. The years of optimism were destroyed by rising unemployment; in August 1931, the second Labour Government faced pressures for public expenditure cuts in the midst of a financial crisis. The Government collapsed, and MacDonald led a new administration composed of erstwhile opponents and a few old colleagues. Labour went into opposition; an early election reduced it to a parliamentary rump. This study offers a uniquely detailed analysis of Labour in the 1920s based on a wide variety of unpublished sources. The emphasis is on the variety of cultural identities available within the party, and demonstrates how disputes over identity made a crucial contribution to the 1931 crisis.

Keywords: Labour Party; political force; minority government; Ramsay MacDonald; unemployment; public expenditure; financial crisis; Britain; cultural identities

Book.  464 pages. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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Table of Contents

Entry in MacDonald's Party

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Landmarks in MacDonald's Party

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Organization and Culture in MacDonald's Party

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Ambitions and Traditions in MacDonald's Party

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Party Structures and Strategies in MacDonald's Party

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Understanding Party Loyalism in MacDonald's Party

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The Political and the Industrial in MacDonald's Party

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The Miners: Institutions and Styles in MacDonald's Party

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Federation Factionalism in MacDonald's Party

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Coal Crises and Labour Governments in MacDonald's Party

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