British Politics since 1900

British Politics since 1900

British Politics since 1900

British Politics since 1900

Excerpt

When I accepted an invitation to write a book entitled British Politics Since 1900, I wondered what exactly was expected of me. A Victorian professor once wrote, 'History is past politics: politics is contemporary history.' If that were so, all that was required was an outline of British history in general during the past half century, but this conception did not attract me. I preferred a more limited field. I have written a history of party politics, of the rising and falling of governments and the ups and downs of party political opinion in the country, using only such parts of general history as were the necessary for the eludication of my theme. Hence many matters of importance which could not reasonably be omitted from a general history either find no place in my narrative or appear only as ancillary to some other matter, of less general importance perhaps but more germane to my subject.

Such being my theme the reader may naturally wish to know which of the three parties I support, in order that he may be forewarned against any efforts on my part to mislead him.

My answer must be that I have enjoyed the parliamentary franchise since 1910 and in the course of the past forty years have on different occasions voted for each of the three parties. In the course of this book I have expressed vigorous opinions on various men and measures, though no opinion I have expressed equals in vigour the opinions many of the men have expressed about each other. However, I hope the reader may find that my vigour has been distributed with reasonable impartiality.

One more point--a very small one. I have decided to omit all 'Misters.' The other possibilities were to give everyone a 'Mister' however far into the past they may have receded or to discriminate between the living and the dead, but such collocations as 'Baldwin and Mr. Churchill' seem absurd. So I have written 'Churchill' and 'Attlee' as I would write 'Pitt' and 'Fox'.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.