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The Liberal Celebration was one of the 2 major political parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Celebration in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The celebration occurred from an alliance of Whigs and open market- supporting Peelites and the reformist Radicals in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had actually formed four federal governments under William Gladstone.
Under prime ministers Henry Campbell-Bannerman (19051908) and H. H. Asquith (19081916), the Liberal Celebration passed the welfare reforms that developed a basic British welfare state. Although Asquith was the celebration’s leader, its dominant figure was David Lloyd George. Asquith was overwhelmed by the wartime role of union prime minister and Lloyd George replaced him as prime minister in late 1916, but Asquith remained as Liberal Celebration leader.
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 coverage, unemployment insurance coverage, and old-age pensions, mainly paid for by taxes on high earnings and on the land).
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The 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 actually replaced the Liberals as the Conservatives’ main competitor. The Liberal Celebration entered into decline after 1918 and by the 1950s won no greater than 6 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 listed below 23% and the Liberals and Social Democratic Celebration combined in 1988 to form the Liberal Democrats.
Prominent intellectuals associated with the Liberal Celebration include the theorist John Stuart Mill, the economic expert John Maynard Keynes and social organizer William Beveridge. The Liberal Celebration grew out of 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 intentions in this were originally to acquire more power on their own, the more idealistic Whigs slowly came to support an expansion of democracy for its own sake. The excellent figures of reformist Whiggery were Charles James Fox (died 1806) and his disciple and follower Earl Grey. After years 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 House of Commons led eventually to the advancement of a methodical middle class liberalism and completion of Whiggery, although for several years reforming aristocrats held senior positions in the celebration. In the years after Grey’s retirement, the celebration was led first by Lord Melbourne, a fairly traditional Whig, and then by Lord John Russell, the kid of a Duke but a crusading radical, and by Lord Palmerston, a renegade Irish Tory and basically a conservative, although capable of radical gestures.
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The leading Radicals were John Bright and Richard Cobden, who represented the manufacturing towns which had actually gotten representation under the Reform Act. They favoured social reform, personal liberty, lowering the powers of the Crown and the Church of England (lots of Liberals were Nonconformists), avoidance of war and foreign alliances (which were bad for organisation) and above all open market.
In 1841, the Liberals lost workplace to the Conservatives under Sir Robert Peel, but their period in opposition was brief since the Conservatives divided over the repeal of the Corn Laws, a free trade problem; and a faction referred to as the Peelites (but not Peel himself, who died soon 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 official foundation of the Liberal Celebration is traditionally traced to 1859 and the development of Palmerston’s second government. Nevertheless, the Whig-Radical amalgam could not become a true contemporary political celebration while it was dominated by aristocrats and it was not till the departure of the “2 Awful Old Guy”, Russell and Palmerston, that Gladstone could become the first leader of the contemporary Liberal Celebration.
After a quick Conservative government (throughout which the Second Reform Act was passed by agreement in between the parties), Gladstone won a substantial victory at the 1868 election and formed the first Liberal government. The establishment of the celebration as a nationwide membership organisation came with the foundation of the National Liberal Federation in 1877.
For the next thirty years Gladstone and Liberalism were synonymous. William Ewart Gladstone acted as prime minister four times (186874, 188085, 1886, and 189294). His monetary policies, based upon the concept of well balanced spending plans, low taxes and, were matched to an establishing capitalist society, but they could not respond effectively as financial and social conditions changed.
Deeply spiritual, Gladstone brought a brand-new ethical tone to politics, with his evangelical perceptiveness and his opposition to upper class. His moralism frequently angered his upper-class opponents (including Queen Victoria), and his heavy-handed control divided the Liberal Celebration. In foreign policy, Gladstone was in general against foreign entanglements, but he did not withstand the realities of imperialism.
His goal was to develop a European order based upon co-operation instead of dispute and on mutual trust instead of rivalry and suspicion; the guideline of law was to supplant the reign of force and self-interest. This Gladstonian principle of an unified Show of Europe was opposed to and ultimately beat by a Bismarckian system of manipulated alliances and antagonisms.