The Liberal Celebration was among the 2 major political parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Celebration in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade- supporting Peelites and the reformist Radicals in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed 4 federal governments under William Gladstone.
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Under prime ministers Henry Campbell-Bannerman (19051908) and H. H. Asquith (19081916), the Liberal Celebration passed the welfare reforms that created a fundamental British welfare state. Although Asquith was the party’s leader, its dominant figure was David Lloyd George. Asquith was overwhelmed by the wartime function of coalition prime minister and Lloyd George replaced him as prime minister in late 1916, but Asquith stayed as Liberal Celebration leader.
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In The Oxford Companion to British History, historian Martin Pugh argues: Lloyd George made a greater effect on British public life than any other 20th-century leader, thanks to his pre-war introduction of Britain’s social welfare system (especially medical insurance, joblessness insurance, and old-age pensions, largely paid for by taxes on high incomes and on the land).
The federal government of Lloyd George was dominated by the Conservative Celebration, which lastly deposed him in 1922. By the end of the 1920s, the Labour Celebration had replaced the Liberals as the Conservatives’ primary rival. The Liberal Celebration entered into decrease after 1918 and by the 1950s won no greater than six seats at general elections.
At the 1983 general election, the Alliance won over a quarter of the vote, but just 23 of the 650 seats it contested. At the 1987 general election, its share of the vote fell below 23% and the Liberals and Social Democratic Celebration merged in 1988 to form the Liberal Democrats.
Popular intellectuals associated with the Liberal Celebration consist of the theorist John Stuart Mill, the economic expert John Maynard Keynes and social coordinator William Beveridge. The Liberal Celebration outgrew the Whigs, who had their origins in an aristocratic faction in the reign of Charles II and the early 19th century Radicals.
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Although their motives in this were initially to acquire more power for themselves, the more optimistic Whigs slowly concerned support a growth of democracy for its own sake. The fantastic figures of reformist Whiggery were Charles James Fox (died 1806) and his disciple and successor Earl Grey. After decades in opposition, the Whigs returned to power under Grey in 1830 and brought the First Reform Act in 1832.
The admission of the middle classes to the franchise and to the Home of Commons led ultimately to the advancement of a systematic middle class liberalism and the end of Whiggery, although for numerous years reforming aristocrats held senior positions in the party. In the years after Grey’s retirement, the party was led initially by Lord Melbourne, a fairly standard Whig, and after that by Lord John Russell, the kid of a Duke but a crusading radical, and by Lord Palmerston, a renegade Irish Tory and essentially a conservative, although capable of extreme gestures.
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The leading Radicals were John Bright and Richard Cobden, who represented the production towns which had acquired representation under the Reform Act. They favoured social reform, individual liberty, reducing the powers of the Crown and the Church of England (numerous Liberals were Nonconformists), avoidance of war and foreign alliances (which were bad for service) and above all free trade.
In 1841, the Liberals lost office to the Conservatives under Sir Robert Peel, but their duration in opposition was short due to the fact that the Conservatives split over the repeal of the Corn Laws, an open market problem; and a faction known as the Peelites (but not Peel himself, who died not long after) defected to the Liberal side.
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A leading Peelite was William Ewart Gladstone, who was a reforming Chancellor of the Exchequer in the majority of these federal governments. The formal foundation of the Liberal Celebration is typically traced to 1859 and the formation of Palmerston’s second federal government. However, the Whig-Radical amalgam might not become a true modern political party while it was dominated by aristocrats and it was not till the departure of the “Two Dreadful Old Male”, Russell and Palmerston, that Gladstone might become the very first leader of the modern Liberal Celebration.
After a brief Conservative federal government (throughout which the Second Reform Act was gone by agreement in between the parties), Gladstone won a substantial victory at the 1868 election and formed the very first Liberal federal government. The facility of the party as a nationwide subscription organisation featured the foundation of the National Liberal Federation in 1877.
For the next thirty years Gladstone and Liberalism were associated. William Ewart Gladstone served as prime minister 4 times (186874, 188085, 1886, and 189294). His monetary policies, based on the concept of well balanced spending plans, low taxes and, were matched to an establishing capitalist society, but they might not respond successfully as economic and social conditions altered.
Deeply religious, Gladstone brought a new ethical tone to politics, with his evangelical sensibility and his opposition to upper class. His moralism frequently angered his upper-class challengers (including Queen Victoria), and his heavy-handed control split the Liberal Celebration. In foreign policy, Gladstone remained in general against foreign entanglements, but he did not resist the realities of imperialism.
His objective was to develop a European order based on co-operation rather than dispute and on mutual trust instead of competition and suspicion; the rule of law was to supplant the reign of force and self-interest. This Gladstonian concept of a harmonious Show of Europe was opposed to and ultimately beat by a Bismarckian system of manipulated alliances and antagonisms.