Portrait of a Party: The Conservative Party in Britain 1918-1945

Hardcover | May 25, 2013

byStuart Ball

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The Conservative Party is the least investigated and understood of British political parties, despite its long record of success. Using an original approach and an unparalleled range of sources, Stuart Ball analyses the nature and working of the Conservative Party during one of the mostsignificant and successful periods in its history. The creation of a democratic franchise in 1918 was followed by nearly three decades of Conservative dominance: it was the largest party in the House of Commons and in government for almost 25 years between 1918 and 1945. Stuart Ball explores this remarkable record in a different way, by taking a thematic rather than a chronological approach. He begins with the foundations of Conservative principles, attitudes, and identities, and examines the nature of the party's electoral support. He investigates the ConservativeParty as an organism, uncovering the composition, roles, and relationships of every level from the constituency grass-roots, through the party machine and the parliamentary ranks, to the Cabinet Ministers and the Party Leader. Portrait of a Party is based upon a wide range of archives - includingthe personal papers of all five Party Leaders, nearly 50 Cabinet Ministers and 85 backbench MPs, party officials and others - combined with the rich resources of the national and regional records at the Conservative Party Archive, and a major investigation to locate all the significant collectionsof local Conservative Association records in England, Scotland, and Wales: a total of 215 constituencies, from Truro to Inverness. These sources shed new light on topics which are essential to an understanding of British history in the inter-war period and the development the Conservative Party tothe present day.

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The Conservative Party is the least investigated and understood of British political parties, despite its long record of success. Using an original approach and an unparalleled range of sources, Stuart Ball analyses the nature and working of the Conservative Party during one of the mostsignificant and successful periods in its history....

Stuart Ball was educated at Eltham College, London, and the University of St. Andrews. He has published extensively on the history of the Conservative Party and of the British Parliament during the twentieth century, including editing the two volume edition of the diaries of the Conservative MP, Cuthbert Headlam. He is the author of th...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:640 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:May 25, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199667985

ISBN - 13:9780199667987

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Table of Contents

Introduction: the Portrait of a Party1. Conservatism: Principles and Temperament2. The Public: Appeal and Support3. The Constituency Associations: Members and Activities4. The National Union and the Central Office: Representation and Organisation5. The Parliamentary Party: Composition and Dissent6. Ministers: Juniors and the Cabinet7. Leaders: Authority and CrisesConclusion: Effectiveness and NatureAppendix 1: Conservative Party office-holders 1918-1945Appendix 2: The economic and social analysis of Conservative electoral supportAppendix 3: The regional analysis of Conservative electoral supportAppendix 4: Conservative Party national expenditure 1925-1945Bibliography