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The Liberal Celebration was among the 2 significant political parties in the UK with the opposing Conservative Celebration in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The celebration occurred from an alliance of Whigs and complimentary trade- supporting Peelites and the reformist Radicals in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed four 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 fundamental British welfare state. Although Asquith was the celebration’s leader, its dominant figure was David Lloyd George. Asquith was overwhelmed by the wartime function of union prime minister and Lloyd George replaced him as prime minister in late 1916, however Asquith stayed as Liberal Celebration leader.
In The Oxford Companion to British History, historian Martin Pugh argues: Lloyd George made a greater influence on British public life than any other 20th-century leader, thanks to his pre-war intro of Britain’s social welfare system (especially medical insurance, unemployment insurance, and old-age pensions, largely spent 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 Celebration, which finally deposed him in 1922. By the end of the 1920s, the Labour Celebration had replaced the Liberals as the Conservatives’ primary competitor. 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, however only 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 combined in 1988 to form the Liberal Democrats.
Prominent intellectuals associated with the Liberal Celebration include the thinker John Stuart Mill, the economist John Maynard Keynes and social coordinator William Beveridge. The Liberal Celebration outgrew 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 originally to gain more power on their own, the more idealistic Whigs slowly pertained to support an expansion of democracy for its own sake. The terrific figures of reformist Whiggery were Charles James Fox (died 1806) and his disciple and follower Earl Grey. After years in opposition, the Whigs went back 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 ultimately to the advancement of a systematic middle class liberalism and the end of Whiggery, although for many 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 boy of a Duke however 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 production towns which had gotten representation under the Reform Act. They favoured social reform, personal liberty, minimizing the powers of the Crown and the Church of England (many Liberals were Nonconformists), avoidance of war and foreign alliances (which were bad for service) and above all complimentary trade.
In 1841, the Liberals lost workplace to the Conservatives under Sir Robert Peel, however their duration in opposition was short because the Conservatives divided over the repeal of the Corn Laws, an open market concern; and a faction referred to as the Peelites (however 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 many of these governments. The formal structure of the Liberal Celebration is typically traced to 1859 and the formation of Palmerston’s second federal government. However, the Whig-Radical amalgam could not become a true modern political celebration while it was controlled by aristocrats and it was not till the departure of the “Two Terrible Old Men”, Russell and Palmerston, that Gladstone could become the 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 triumph at the 1868 election and formed the first Liberal federal government. The establishment of the celebration as a nationwide membership organisation included the structure of the National Liberal Federation in 1877.
For the next thirty years Gladstone and Liberalism were synonymous. William Ewart Gladstone worked as prime minister four times (186874, 188085, 1886, and 189294). His financial policies, based upon the idea of well balanced budget plans, low taxes and, were suited to an establishing capitalist society, however they could not react successfully as financial and social conditions changed.
Deeply spiritual, Gladstone brought a new ethical tone to politics, with his evangelical perceptiveness and his opposition to upper class. His moralism often outraged his upper-class opponents (including Queen Victoria), and his heavy-handed control divided the Liberal Celebration. In diplomacy, Gladstone remained in general against foreign entanglements, however he did not resist the realities of imperialism.
His objective was to produce a European order based upon co-operation rather than conflict and on shared trust instead of competition and suspicion; the rule of law was to supplant the reign of force and self-interest. This Gladstonian idea of a harmonious Concert of Europe was opposed to and ultimately beat by a Bismarckian system of controlled alliances and antagonisms.