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Themes: Party organisation
This page lists all the content on the site relevant to party organisation.

History (25)
Journal articles (17)
Events (10)
Archives: libraries (3)
Archives: individuals (1)
PhD theses (15)
Research (2)

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History
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Fox on the suspension of Habeas Corpus

In 1794, Pitt's government professed itself to be seriously worried about the danger of possible revolution in Britain, encouraged by the example of the French Revolution and fanned by the sprea...

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Inter-war decline

The Liberals were a political casualty of the Great War - emerging from the conflict as a divided party, whose key ideological beliefs had been sacrificed to meet the needs of modern warfare. ...

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Leaders of the Liberal Party

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Lib-Labs

The first working class representatives within Parliament were known as "Lib-Lab" MPs. They accepted the Liberal whip while exercising the right to utilise their experience to speak freely ...

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Liberal Chief Whips in the House of Commons

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Liberal Chief Whips in the House of Lords

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Liberal Leaders in the House of Lords

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Realignment of the left

The end of Jo Grimond's leadership in 1967 heralded a bleak period for the Liberal Party. His successor, Jeremy Thorpe, was never assured of the complete confidence of his parliamentary colleagu...

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The Age of Russell and Palmerston , 1846-1868

The collapse of Sir Robert Peel's Conservative government, following the 1846 repeal of the Corn Laws, began a complex re-arrangement of British political parties; one that took more than a deca...

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The Home Rule crisis

Shortly after Gladstones second government had seen the third reform act safely onto the statute book in 1885, it suffered a defeat on the budget and resigned. Lord Salisbury formed a minority Conser...

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The Liberals in Opposition 1875-1880

At the beginning of 1875, following his defeat by Disraeli in the 1874 general election, Gladstone resigned the leadership of the Liberal party, convincing himself that at the age of 65 he deeply des...

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The Newcastle Programme

The general election of 1885 was the first fought on the enlarged franchise of the third reform act and the first in which the parties competed for the votes of large numbers of agricultural workers....

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Times report on the meeting in Willis Rooms

The following report from The Times describes the meeting that took place at Willis' Rooms in St James Street, London on the 6th June 1859, when the Liberal Party was finally formed. ...

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William IVs dismissal of the Whig administration in 1834

William IV's dismissal of Lord Melbourne's Whig government in November 1834 was the last time a British monarch tried to assert political authority by bringing down a government that had ma...

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The 'Buckingham Palace plot', 1916

Edwin Montagu, Minister of Munitions and confidant of both Asquith and Lloyd George lamented that the the two great men of England were being slowly but surely pushed apart during the winter of 1916....

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Fusion: Liberals and Conservatives

The concept of fusion between the Liberal and Conservative parties was considered in the immediate post-war years as the solution for a new political age, in which traditional party allegiances had o...

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Liberal Party funding between the wars

One of the major problems facing the Liberal Party in the inter-war period was the lack of funds that they had at their disposal. As the Party became increasingly defunct, so it became impossible to ...

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The Liberal Nationals

The Liberal National group was officially formed on 5 October 1931; two days before the commencement of the election campaign, which saw the Liberals enter the polls as three distinct groups. ...

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Local history: Wembley Young Liberals in the 1950s

Alan Knight on being active in the Wembley North Young Liberals in the early 1950s. ...

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Local history: Epsom & Ewell Social Democrats

David Gourley on joining the SDP in 1981 and working with the Liberals through the Alliance and merger. ...

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Formation of the SDP

Launching the new Social Democratic Party (SDP) on the 26th March 1981, the former Labour Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins announced that the aim of the new party was to get away from the politics of outd...

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Michael Meadowcroft on the merger negotiations

It is difficult to realise that it is now sixteen years since the trauma and angst of the merger negotiations. As far as factual accuracy is concerned the book by Tony Greaves and Rachael Pitchford i...

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Richard Holme on the merger negotiations

My recollections of the process which led to the merger of the Liberal Party and the SDP are hazy since I am not a diary-keeper. Nor can I give anything but an outsider's view of the formal merg...

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The Liberal - SDP merger

The poor performance of the Liberal-SDP Alliance at the June 1987 election prompted the Liberal leader, David Steel to call for the unity of both wings, after only 22 seats were secured by both sides...

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The Liberal Democrats

The merger of the Liberals and the SDP was finally completed on 3 March 1988, when the new Social & Liberal Democrats (SLD) was formally launched following a majority vote by the memberships of b...

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Journal articles
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Hidden workers of the party

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 52 ')


The professional Liberal agents, 1885-1910

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Radical Action and the Liberal Party during the Second World War

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 63 ')


The story of this influential pressure group within the Liberal Party.

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Origins of the party

(from journal ' Liberal Democrat History Group Newsletter 4 ')


Review of John Vincent, The Formation of the British Liberal Party 1857-68

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Celebrating 1859: Party, Patriotism and Liberal Values

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 65 ')


On 6 June 1859, 280 Whig, Liberal, former Peelite and radical MPs met at Willis's Rooms in King Street, St. James's. They gathered to agree on a strategy to oust Lord Derby's Conservative government from office. Angus Hawkins analyses the significance of this key event in Liberal history.

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The yellow glass ceiling: the mystery of the disappearing Liberal women MPs

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 62 - Special issue: Women and Liberalism ')


Only six women ever sat as Liberal MPs, and most only for very short periods. This article examines why.

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Selecting women candidates: a critical evaluation

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 62 - Special issue: Women and Liberalism ')


The Liberal Democrat record in selecting and supporting women candidates.

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Report: The strange birth of Liberal England

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 64 ')


Report on a joint meeting of the History Group and the National Liberal Club on 20 July 2009, with Professor Anthony Howe, David Steel (Lord Steel of Aikwood) and Ros Scott (Baroness Scott of Needham Market).

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From WLF to WLD: Liberal womens grassroots campaigning

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 62 - Special issue: Women and Liberalism ')


The evolution of the Womens Liberal Federation into Women Liberal Democrats.

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Liberals in 1906: flourishing or doomed?

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 54 - Special issue: The 1906 landslide: the legacy ')


Debate between David Dutton (pessimistic) and Martin Pugh (optimistic)

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Municipal Liberalism 1886-1895

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 57 ')


Review of James R. Moore, The Transformation of Urban Liberalism

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Letters to the Editor

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 73 ')


Liberal Prime Ministers (Sandy Waugh); Russell Johnston (Andrew Duff); Cheltenham (Michael Steed); Liberal Unionists (Paul Hunt); The triple lock (Philip Goldenberg); Coalitions (Sandy Waugh).

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The role of women in merger

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 62 - Special issue: Women and Liberalism ')


A personal view of women in Alliance politics.

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New Radicalism

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 67 - Special issue: Liberals and the left ')


... and the Liberal Democat Whig tendency.

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The Young Liberals and the left, 1965-70

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 67 - Special issue: Liberals and the left ')


The relationship between the Young Liberals and the left in the 1960s.

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Survival and revival

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 71 ')


Review of Egan, Coming into Focus: The Transformation of the Liberal Party 1945-1964.

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The Liberal Democrats today

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 56 ')


Review of Political Quarterly special issue on the Liberal Democrats

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Review: How the Liberal Party fared 1939-45

(from journal ' Journal of Liberal History 64 ')


Review of Thorpe, Parties at War: Political Organisation in Second World War Britain.

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Events
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Survival and success: the first 25 years of the Liberal Democrats

Sunday 15 September 2013

This year, 2013, marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Liberal Democrats. From near-annihilation to entry into government, the years since 1988 have been a roller-coaster ride for the party.

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The Liberal Party, Unionism and political culture in late 19th and early 20th century Britain

Saturday 10 November 2012

A one-day seminar organised by Newman University College and the Journal of Liberal History.
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Salad days: merger twenty years on

Friday 7 March 2008

Twenty years ago a new political party was born from the merger of the Liberal and Social Democratic parties the Social & Liberal Democrats (or Salads, as the party was disparagingly nicknamed b...

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Joseph Chamberlain and the unauthorised programme

Monday 25 July 2005

This meeting looked at Joseph Chamberlain and the unauthorised programme, and how this led to the loss of the Whigs from the Liberal Party and paved the way for the New Liberalism of the 1905 governm...

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The Limehouse Declaration and the birth of the SDP

Monday 29 January 2001

On 25 January 1981, four former Labour cabinet ministers - Roy Jenkins, David Owen, William Rodgers and Shirley Williams - published the Limehouse Declaration, publicly signalling their intention to ...

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Dancing the Charleston Again - Liberal/Labour relations 1918-31

Monday 22 November 1999

Professor Ben Pimlott (Warden of Goldsmiths College and biographer of Hugh Dalton) and Dr David Dutton (biographer of Sir John Simon) reviewed relations between Liberals and Labour during the key per...

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Reform of the House of Lords in the Twentieth Century

Monday 19 January 1998

Reform of the House of Lords was one aspect of the new governments manifesto which it seemed in no hurry to implement.
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Liberal-Tory Pacts: Partnership of principle or struggle for survival?

Saturday 1 March 1997

Michael Kandiah, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary British History, spoke on Liberal-Conservative relations in the 1940s and 1950s. He looked at both the national negotiations which conc...

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Liberals and Labour - Natural Allies?

Wednesday 16 September 1992

The possibility of cooperation between Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party had been much talked about. The twentieth century had in fact seen several examples of such cooperation - including the e...

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Liberals and Social Democrats

Thursday 29 September 1988

Did the formation of the Social & Liberal Democrats represent the final coming together of the two philosophical traditions united in the Liberal Party of the turn of the century and split by the...

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Archives: libraries
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BLPES

Liberal Party Archives at the London School of Economics (BLPES) ...

archive url: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/archive/
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Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Archive Collections relating to Liberal history at the Bodleian Library ...

archive url: http://www.ouls.ox.ac.uk/bodley/library/specialcollections
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National Library of Scotland

Sources in the Manuscripts Division of the National Library of Scotland for the study of the Liberals and Liberal Democrats ...

archive url: http://www.nls.uk/
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Archives: individuals
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Wainwright, Richard (1918-2003) and Lord Steel (1938-)

Project to catalogue the papers of Richard Wainwright and Lord David Steel at London School of Economics Archives ...

archive url: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/archives
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PhD theses
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Aspects of Liberal Unionist Party organisation, 1886-1895


Manchester M.A , 1973

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Community politics: a study of the Liberal Democrats in local government


London, Goldsmiths College Ph.D. , 1999

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Ideas of the Liberal Party: perception, agendas, and liberal politics in the House of Commons, 1832-1852

Suprevisors - Dr. John Stevenson and Professor David S. Eastwood

Oxford D.Phil , 1998

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Liberals and the Labour Party, 1906-1914


Oxford D.Phil. , 1974

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Radical Liberals and Liberal politics, 1906-c.1924


Kent Ph.D. , 1980

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The character of the British Liberal Party, 1908-18: a study of its character and disintegration


Cambridge Ph.D.

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The grass-roots organization of the Liberal party, 1945-64

Supervisor - Dr. Michael W. Hart

Oxford, D.Phil , 2001

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The Labour and Liberal parties in an area of Conservative ascendancy: the case of Gloucestershire

Supervisor - Mr. A. William Purdue

Open University, Ph.D , 2004

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The Liberal Party in decline


Oxford D.Phil. , 1975

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The Liberal Party in Scotland, 1843-1868: electoral politics and party development

Supervisor - Dr John F McCaffery

Glasgow, Ph.D. , 1996

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The modernisation of party organisation: the impact of the Social Democratic Party


Strathclyde, Ph.D , 2002

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The origins and development of the National Liberal Federation to 1886


Oxford B.Litt , 1973

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The political committee of the Reform Club

Supervisor - Dr. A.J. Warren

York, MA , 1995

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The radical thread - political change in Scotland: Paisley politics, 1885-1924.

Supervisor - Professor W. Hamish Fraser

Strathclyde, Ph.D , 1995

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Welsh Liberalism, 1868-96: a study in political structure and ideology


Oxford D.Phil. , 1984

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Research
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Beyond Westminster: Grassroots Liberalism 1910-1929

A study of the Liberal Party at its grassroots during the period in which it went from being the party of government to undisputedly the third party of British politics. This research will use a wide range of sources, including surviving Liberal Party constituency minute books and local press to contextualise the national decline of the party with the reality of the situation on the ground. The thesis will focus on three geographic regions (Home Counties, Midlands and the North West) in order to explore the situation the Liberals found themselves in nationally. Research for University of Leicester. Supervisor: Dr Stuart Ball.

Gavin Freeman

Contact: gjf6@le.ac.uk

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Policy position and Leadership Strategy within the Liberal Democrats: from Ashdown to Clegg

This thesis will be a study of the political positioning and leadership strategy of the Liberal Democrats. Consideration of the role of equidistance; development of policy from the point of merger; the influence and leadership strategies of each leader from Ashdown to Clegg; and electoral strategy from 1988-2015 will form the basis of the work. Any material relating to leadership election campaigns, election campaigns, internal party groups (for example the Social Liberal Forum) or policy documents from 1987 and merger talks onwards would be greatly welcomed. Personal insights and recollections also sought.

Samuel Barratt

Contact: pt10seb@leeds.ac.uk

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