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The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The celebration emerged 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 4 governments under William Gladstone.
Under prime ministers Henry Campbell-Bannerman (19051908) and H. H. Asquith (19081916), the Liberal Party passed the well-being reforms that produced a fundamental British well-being 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 Party 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 intro of Britain’s social well-being system (particularly medical insurance, unemployment insurance, and old-age pensions, mainly paid for by taxes on high earnings and on the land).
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The federal government of Lloyd George was controlled by the Conservative Party, which lastly deposed him in 1922. By the end of the 1920s, the Labour Party had actually replaced the Liberals as the Conservatives’ main competitor. The Liberal Party went into decline 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 objected to. At the 1987 general election, its share of the vote fell listed below 23% and the Liberals and Social Democratic Party combined in 1988 to form the Liberal Democrats.
Popular intellectuals related to the Liberal Party consist of the thinker John Stuart Mill, the economist John Maynard Keynes and social coordinator William Beveridge. The Liberal Party 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 initially to acquire more power for themselves, the more idealistic Whigs slowly concerned support a growth of democracy for its own sake. The great figures of reformist Whiggery were Charles James Fox (died 1806) and his disciple and successor Earl Grey. After decades in opposition, the Whigs went back to power under Grey in 1830 and carried 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 development of a systematic middle class liberalism and the end of Whiggery, although for lots of years reforming aristocrats held senior positions in the celebration. In the years after Grey’s retirement, the celebration was led initially by Lord Melbourne, a relatively 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 essentially 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, decreasing 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 office to the Conservatives under Sir Robert Peel, but their duration in opposition was brief since the Conservatives divided over the repeal of the Corn Laws, a free trade concern; and a faction referred to as the Peelites (but not Peel himself, who died right 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 many of these governments. The official foundation of the Liberal Party is generally traced to 1859 and the formation of Palmerston’s 2nd federal government. Nevertheless, the Whig-Radical amalgam might not become a real modern political celebration while it was controlled by aristocrats and it was not up until the departure of the “Two Awful Old Male”, Russell and Palmerston, that Gladstone might become the first leader of the modern Liberal Party.
After a brief Conservative federal government (during which the Second Reform Act was passed by arrangement in between the parties), Gladstone won a substantial success at the 1868 election and formed the first Liberal federal government. The establishment of the celebration as a nationwide membership organisation featured the foundation of the National Liberal Federation in 1877.
For the next thirty years Gladstone and Liberalism were associated. William Ewart Gladstone worked as prime minister 4 times (186874, 188085, 1886, and 189294). His monetary policies, based upon the concept of well balanced budgets, low taxes and, were fit to an establishing capitalist society, but they might not respond effectively 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 typically outraged his upper-class opponents (including Queen Victoria), and his heavy-handed control divided the Liberal Party. In foreign policy, Gladstone remained in general against foreign entanglements, but he did not withstand the truths of imperialism.
His objective was to develop a European order based upon co-operation instead of dispute and on shared trust rather of rivalry and suspicion; the guideline of law was to supplant the reign of force and self-interest. This Gladstonian principle of an unified Concert of Europe was opposed to and eventually defeated by a Bismarckian system of controlled alliances and antagonisms.