Conservative Century: The Conservative Party since 1900 by Anthony Seldon, Stuart Ball

By Anthony Seldon, Stuart Ball

The dominant strength in twentieth-century British politics, the Conservative occasion has however been heavily ignored and misunderstood. Conservative Century systematically surveys the background of the get together from the "Khaki" election of 1900 to John Major's victory of 1992 and past. Ignoring conventional limitations among heritage and political technological know-how, and drawing on Conservative social gathering documents, all the authoritative groups of individuals pursues an immense topic inside 3 major components: the Party's composition and constitution; its rules, regulations and activities in executive; and its public snapshot and resources of aid.

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The Conservatives adopted a sustained attack on the Liberals, who satisfied trade-union clamour by the Trade Disputes Act of 1906 and introduced old age pensions in 1908. It took the first general election of 1910 finally to secure the budget's passage, and a second in December to pave the way for the Parliament Act of 1911, which greatly curtailed the power of the House of Lords. Desire not to split the party irreparably helps to explain the victory of Andrew Bonar Law, a dark horse who at least offered the chance of healing the divisions.

The very act of continuing within the coalition, which they increasingly dominated, was essentially born of lack of confidence. Lloyd George's leadership had Page 11 of 40 Conservative Century some positive aspects which Conservatives applauded, including his firm line against Communist Russia, Sinn Fein, and the trade unions. Conservative attitudes meanwhile were typified by their orthodox, retrenchment-minded Chancellor, Austen Chamberlain. Important though the Carlton Club meeting was to the break-up of the coalition, it would probably not have survived long, as a majority of Conservative MPs had already committed themselves to standing as independents at the next general election even before the meeting was called.

Conservative interest in designing policies to reflect women's particular concerns was marked by the same cool approach, only slightly melting in the late 1980s as the political advantages of doing so became apparent. Despite the lack of a formal identification similar to that of many European constitutional parties of the right and centre right, and despite the tensions between the government and the Church since 1979, for the foreseeable future the Conservatives remain the party of Christianity.

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