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The Liberal Celebration was among the 2 major political celebrations in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Celebration in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The celebration emerged 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.
Under prime ministers Henry Campbell-Bannerman (19051908) and H. H. Asquith (19081916), the Liberal Celebration passed the well-being reforms that developed a basic 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 changed him as prime minister in late 1916, but Asquith remained as Liberal Celebration leader.
In The Oxford Buddy 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 well-being 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 changed the Liberals as the Conservatives’ primary competitor. The Liberal Celebration went into decrease after 1918 and by the 1950s won no more than 6 seats at general elections.
At the 1983 general election, the Alliance won over a quarter of the vote, but only 23 of the 650 seats it objected to. 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.
Prominent intellectuals related to the Liberal Celebration include the theorist John Stuart Mill, the economic expert John Maynard Keynes and social coordinator William Beveridge. The Liberal Celebration grew out of the Whigs, who had their origins in an noble 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 gain more power on their own, the more idealistic Whigs slowly pertained to 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 follower Earl Grey. After decades in opposition, the Whigs returned 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 advancement of an organized middle class liberalism and the end 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 initially by Lord Melbourne, a relatively standard Whig, and then by Lord John Russell, the son 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 manufacturing towns which had acquired representation under the Reform Act. They favoured social reform, individual liberty, minimizing 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 free trade.
In 1841, the Liberals lost workplace to the Conservatives under Sir Robert Peel, but their duration in opposition was short because the Conservatives split over the repeal of the Corn Laws, a complimentary trade problem; and a faction called the Peelites (but not Peel himself, who died quickly 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 government. Nevertheless, the Whig-Radical amalgam could not become a real contemporary political celebration while it was dominated by aristocrats and it was not until the departure of the “2 Terrible Old Guy”, Russell and Palmerston, that Gladstone could become the very first leader of the contemporary Liberal Celebration.
After a brief Conservative government (during which the Second Reform Act was passed by arrangement in between the celebrations), Gladstone won a huge victory at the 1868 election and formed the very first Liberal government. The establishment of the celebration as a national 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 financial policies, based upon the notion of well balanced spending plans, low taxes and, were fit to an establishing capitalist society, but they could not respond efficiently as economic and social conditions changed.
Deeply spiritual, Gladstone brought a new ethical tone to politics, with his evangelical perceptiveness and his opposition to aristocracy. His moralism often outraged his upper-class challengers (consisting of Queen Victoria), and his heavy-handed control split the Liberal Celebration. In foreign policy, Gladstone remained in general versus foreign entanglements, but he did not resist the realities of imperialism.
His goal was to produce a European order based upon co-operation instead of conflict and on shared trust rather of competition and suspicion; the rule of law was to supplant the reign of force and self-interest. This Gladstonian principle of a harmonious Concert of Europe was opposed to and eventually defeated by a Bismarckian system of manipulated alliances and antagonisms.