As Patrick Jackson shows, Hartington played an important part in British politics for over forty years - from 1863 (when he joined Palmerston's Government), until 1903 (when he resigned from Balfour's Cabinet). Uniquely in British history, he three times declined offers of the Premiership. The first came after the great Liberal election victory in April 1880, when Hartington had to make way for Gladstone's re-emergence from retirement. The other two offers were in 1886, after Hartington had broken with Gladstone over Irish home rule and had led his Liberal Unionist supporters into an alliance with the Conservatives.
One of the main fascinations of Hartington's political career lies in the contrast between his personality and attitudes and those of his great colleagues - Gladstone, Joseph Chamberlain, Salisbury, and Balfour. There is also still a direct modern relevance in some of the major political controversies in which Hartington played a significant part, such as the struggle over Irish home rule and the argument about abandoning Britain's traditional free trade policy in favor of tariff reform and Imperial preference.
By the end of his life Hartington had established an influence far greater than can be accounted for by his actual political achievements. This reflected his personal character: he was universally trusted because he was straight - totally disinterested and without self-delusions. It is impossible to understand Hartington's reputation without considering his social position as the heir to one of the great dynasties of the British landed aristocracy. Although this book is primarily a political biography, it also covers Hartington's private life - including his thirty-year love affair with the Duchess of Manchester, whom he married in 1892, when he was 59 years old.
Using chronologies, maps, glossaries, an extensive bibliography, a wealth of statistical information and nearly two hundred biographies of key figures, this clear and concise book provides a comprehensive guide to modern British history from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the outbreak of the First World War.
As well as the key areas of political, economic and social development of the era, this book also covers the increasingly emergent themes of sexuality, leisure, gender and the environment, exploring in detail the following aspects of the nineteenth century:parliamentary and political reform chartism, radicalism and popular protest the Irish Question the rise of Imperialism the regulation of sexuality and vice the development of organised sport and leisure the rise of consumer society.
This book is an ideal reference resource for students and teachers alike.
Michael Partridge provides a new survey of Gladstone's life and career, placing him firmly in the context of nineteenth-century Britain, and covering both his intriguing private life and his public career. Surveying a broad range of source material, Partridge begins by looking at Gladstone's early life, education and entry to Parliament, before looking at his marriage and service with Peel. He goes on to look in detail at Gladstone's terms as prime minister concluding with his fourth ministry, when Gladstone, by now in his eighties, returned to power. He tried and failed to resolve the problems of Ireland, which had become his great obsession, for the last time and eventually retired from politics in 1894 and died a few years later.
Determined always to have his way, animated by 'the business man's love of getting things done', Chamberlain lacked the gift of persuasion and made enemies too well, it being his unique achievement to split both major parties in the space of twenty years. Had it been possible for one man to arrest Britain's slackening growth then that man, Balfour contends, was not the erstwhile 'Radical Joe.'
In this new fifth edition, Pugh brings his final chapter on Crisis and Coalition right up to the result of the May 2015 general election. The text throughout has also been revised and extended to address themes such as women's history, social class, Scottish nationalism, the working of the monarchy and the British system of government, new perspectives on the history of the Labour Party, secularism and British attitudes towards Europe since the 1970s. Pugh explores these and other themes with perceptive and accessible prose, maintaining an ideal balance of socio-economic and political issues.
Also including new images and annotated further reading lists, this new edition of State and Society reaffirms its position as an essential text for students of modern British history.
Taking as his starting point the larger than life personalities of the Conservative Party's leaders and prime ministers since its inception, Robin Harris's book also analyses the interconnected themes and issues which have dominated Conservative politics over the years. The careers of Peel, Disraeli, Salisbury, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill, Eden, Macmillan, Heath, Thatcher, Major, Hague and Cameron together amount to an alternative history of Britain since the early nineteenth century.
This landmark book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in history or politics, or anyone who has ever wondered how Britain came to be the nation it is today.