Lee : this sceptred isle: the twentieth century

НазваниеLee : this sceptred isle: the twentieth century
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- 3 main political parties: Liberals, Conservatives (Unionists) and the Liberal Unionists

- Lib.Unionists were men who had broken from the main Lib. Party during end of 19th c. b/c Gladstone wanted Home Rule for Ireland

- Independent Labour Party (ILP) formed in 1893

- 1900: ILP joined with like-minded org. inc. the Fabians to form the Labour Representation Committee

- 1906: After general election this group became Labour Party



- Queen Victoria (81) died on 22 Jan - her black widow’s weeds became a symbol of Victorian Britain

- her death didn’t change the lives of anyone outside gov’t and royal family

- Queen’s sone became Edward VII, but he wasn’t a Hanoverian (with her died the House of Hanover)

- Edward VII’s father was Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, so the House of Saxe-Coburg was on the throne (the line had to come though the father!)

- he was born in 1841, he was a problem heir apparent: he was considered frivolous and not at all suited to the heavy responsibilities of monarchy (he waited 60 years to be King)

- 1860: he had been the 1st Prince of Wales to tour Canada; he also went to India and in 1869 to Egypt

- on St. Valentine’s Day the new monarch opened the first Parliament of his reign

- British troops had been engaged in the Second Boer War since 1899

- following the relief of Mafeking in May 1900 after a 217-day siege, the media made Baden-Powell into a national hero

- the British Army committed the most appalling atrocities as did Baden-Powell: he starved the natives

- Lord Kitchener, the hero of Khartoum, had been appointed commander-in-chief in 1900 and had tried to negotiate some form of peace, but the Boers would not give in (guerrilla campaign)

- Kitcheners began his ‘scorched earth policy’ (burning farms and clearing the veldt)

- the refugees were put into camps – uncontainable disease and very high death rates

- the truth of these conditions was slow to emerge, and newspapers like The Times attempted to cover up the existence of the camps

- the Germans supported the Boers and criticised the British

- relations between the two countries were made worse

- the British believed the Boer War was a just cause because the Boers had started it

- fighting went on until May the following year

- Britain was changing, but only slowly

- huge expansion: in 1901 there were only 703 drivers – by 1911 48,000

- less than 20% of London’s population went to church (those who did were higher in the social scale)

- Britain’s economy was strong, but other economies had been rising - the nation was not disaster proof

- Lord Palmerston successfully ended the Crimean War (mid-1850s)

- critics of the gov’t’s handling of the Boer War were unable to produce a Palmerston

- economic climate of 1901: wasn’t as good as earlier

- the Germans and Americans were now successful economic rivals

- trade unions were represented in the House of Commons

- Britain was importing more than it was exporting

- the British Empire covered a third of the globe

- ship design produced economic expansion

- 1900: a British shipyard built the biggest ever warship for the Japanese navy

- Japan was an ally (helped to suppress the Boxer Rebellion in China)

- British attempts to bring about some Anglo-German pact: Joseph Chamberlain: he had been appointed Secretary for the Colonies in 1895

- 1898: Chamberlain proposed a formal alliance – his offer got nowhere

- 1899: Tsar Nicholas II’s foreign minister, Count Muravyov, convened a world peace conference in The Hague and discussed imposing limits on armaments

- the conference achieved little – established the International Court of Arbitration but did nothing to allay British, and probably German, suspicions that a Franco-Russian axis threatened Europe

- the Kaiser told Edward that their two nations should be formally allied

- Britain had pursued a largely isolationist policy, almost since the date of Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar in October 1805 (that victory encouraged a general acceptance that Britain ruled the waves)

- by the mid-1890’s there was a clear division in Europe:

- on one side was the Triple Alliance (concluded in 1882) /system of agreements protecting Germany and Italy from an attack by France/ - on the other side was the alignment of France and Russia

- many believed that an arrangement with Germany was vital (Germany could look after Europe on the land; Britain could guarantee the high seas)

- the Kaiser had believed that Britain and Germany could guarantee the peace of Europe

- European interests meant protection from the Russians and their ambitions in the Far East

- Salisbury’s gov’t wished to keep the Russians out of the strategically & commercially important Far East

- towards the end of 1901 an Anglo-Japanese agreement was drafted for signature in January 1902

- an alliance with Germany remained a proposition with more against than for

- by summer it was clear that there would be no pact

- Britain’s isolationism was coming to an end

- the century of communications had truly arrived


- January: London was suffering from an outbreak of smallpox - 2000 people died

- the population of Greater London was 6.5 million

- political & industrial dramas: a coronation, a new PM, the end of the Boer War and the new Education Act

♦ coronation celebration in August

♦ May: the Boer War came to an end when the Boers arrived in Pretoria to surrender to Lord Milner & Lord Kitchener

- the war had lasted for more than 2 and a half years: 22,000 British soldiers had died (16,000 of them died of disease)

- at least 20,000 Boers died in British concentration camps

- the Peace of Vereeniging - simple and predictable settlement terms

Britain’s annexation of Orange Free State and Transvaal was unquestioned

English became the national language, although Dutch could be used in schools and law courts + there was an undated promise of self-government

Britain was to pay for the rebuilding of the Boer farms that had been destroyed

- the agreement made no harsh demands and promised a reasonable reconciliation

- within 4 years Transvaal and Orange Free State had self-governments

- Louis Botha & Jan Smuts were instrumental in maintaining the peaceful relationship with London

- in 1910: relatively straightforward transition to the Dominion of South Africa

- in 1900: the Khaki Election (army’s new uniform) was called by Salisbury – he was returned

- the Liberals suffered at this election

- Salisbury was old, tired and far from well (he succeeded Disraeli as Conservative leader in 1881)

- the new PM was his nephew, Arthur Balfour

- he was called ‘Bloody Balfour’ after the Mitchelstown massacre in 1887

- he became Tory leader in the Commons (the Tory Party was increasingly uncertain and dissatisfied)

- 30 per cent of the nation lived below the poverty line

- the Independent Labour Party was beginning to be a home for this group

- there were still legal restrictions on what a union could do

- by 1871 the unions had proper legal standing (union movement)

- Balfour Education Act - one of the most imp. pieces of education legislation in the whole century

- Morant’s view was that internal politics in school boards were damaging and the almost universal bickering added nothing to the already inefficient administration

- the school board system was abolished – secondary education was brought under the control of borough and county councils

- two Acts of 1902 and the amendment passed in 1903 meant that elementary schooling was now funded by ratepayers

- Britain was leading the technological and scientific evolution

- by 1914 about 200,000 youngsters were receiving higher education

- there were few universities at the turn of the century

- university reform began in the 1870s

- the colleges in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester were grouped together and patriotically called Victoria University

- 1848: Queen’s College opened for women

- 1849: Bedford College in London became the first degree-awarding college for women

- 1870: Cambridge allowed women to attend some, but not all, lectures

- 1873: Girton College was opened

- it was not until 1947 that Cambridge gave women the same university status as men

- Birmingham University was opened in 1900, making Birmingham the first city to have a modern university of its own rather than a mix of colleges from other cities and towns

/- 1903: the 3 colleges of Victoria University were separated and the Manchester and Liverpool schools re-opened as universities in their own right

- 1904: Leeds followed

- 1905: Sheffield opened

- 1909: Bristol opened/


- 1 Jan: India proclaimed its loyalty to its Emperor, Edward VII, at a durbar (udvari ünnepség)

- Feb: soldiers from Punjab went to Somaliland to join British forces fighting Mohammed bin Abdullah (the Mad Mullah) – he continued to harass British until 1920

- government: the arguments over education and free trade were getting more intense

- free trade and tariff reform were at the head of the political agenda

- free Trade: the import and export of goods without tariffs and quotas

- July 1902: leaders of the self-governing colonies (Australia, Canada, Cape Colony, Natal, Newfoundland, New Zealand) lobbied Chamberlain at the Imperial Conference

- Imperial preference: they wanted the gov’t to exempt them from paying 5 shillings import duty on corn, thereby giving corn-growers within the Empire an advantage over non-Empire producers

- during the winter of 1902-03 Charles Ritchie (Chancellor of the Exchequer) and Balfour scuppered (ruined) any plans Chamberlain had for Imperial preference

- the Budget announced in April 1903 abolished corn import duties altogether

- Gladstonian fairness: the ability to make something popular because it appeared to be fair

- Gladstone promoted free trade

- in the first decade of 20th century Britain didn’t have a welfare state

- Chamberlain tried to develop the idea of old age pensions

- political schism: Chamberlain was part of a coalition Cabinet in which the Conservatives were the majority party and the PM was a Tory. They were kept together by their opposition to Home Rule for Ireland – hence the title: Unionist

- problem: Chamberlain was talking about getting rid of free trade

- Salisbury, the last PM to sit in the House of Lords, died

- he had been Conservative PM 3 times (1885-6, 1886-92 and 1895-1902)

- Balfour was not on Chamberlain’s side, but he did see tariffs as a potential weapon against other countries that also imposed tariffs

- in August: Chamberlain resigned

- Balfour got rid of the hard-liners in the Cabinet, including Ritchie

- in his place he appointed Chamberlain’s son, Austen Chamberlain

- this encouraged the tariff reformers but did not stop the splits

- the MP for Oldham, Winston Churchill, a supporter of free trade, left the party the following year and joined the Liberals

- the Tariff Reform League was formed with the aim of turning the colonies, the British Empire, into a structured trading bloc

- Chamberlain’s opponent: Asquith (a Liberal, once Gladstone’s Home Secretary)

- October: Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel founded the Women’s Social and Political Union – its slogan was ‘Deeds not Words’

- Jews were murdered in Russia

- August: the future of Zionism and a homeland for Jews was discussed at the Zionist Congress in Basle – the British suggested Uganda – the plan was rejected

- April: the spectre of yet another Balkan war appeared - the Turks mobilised more than 200,000 troops for Macedonia as civil unrest against Turkish authority grew

- the British gov’t announced that it was to build a new naval base in the Firth of Forth


- tensions between Japan and Russia

- British isolationist tendency

- end of January: Britain and France were drawn together

- April: the French and British governments signed the Entente Cordiale (basis for the Anglo-French alliance in WWI)

- the foreign secretary, Lansdowne, realized that isolationism was drawing to a close

- 1 February: Britain & France agreed that neither would get involved should the St. Petersburg talks break down (France had a treaty with Russia, Britain had one with Japan)

- Dogger Bank Incident: the Russians opened fire on British fishermen and claimed that 2 Japanese torpedo boats were hiding among the fishermen – they refused to apologize

- public furore in Britain was considerable – in the end the Russians agreed to investigation

- changes in the army and navy were taking place

- the Russo-Japanese War did not trigger British military reform, but it endorsed the need for it

- PM Balfour appointed himself chairman of the Committee of Imperial Defence

- change had to begin at the top

- the sub-committee of three consisted of Colonel Sir George Clarke, Admiral Sir ‘Jackie’ Fisher and Lord Esher, who was a close friend of the King

- an Army Council was created for the army (the commander-in-chief was pensioned off)

- the most radical reform took place in the Royal Navy

- 1904: Fisher became the First Sea Lord: within 6 years he scrapped 150 vessels, overhauled the training system & redeployed Britain’s naval strength to counter the growing German naval threat

- the German fleet-building programme had a single objective: to defeat the Royal Navy

- Balfour failed to act on party discipline - the debate over tariff reform & free trade continued

- Churchill was taking advice from the Liberal David Lloyd George

- 18 April: Churchill agreed to stand as a free trade candidate for Northwest Manchester and to be supported by the Liberals

- 31 May: Churchill finally crossed the floor and took his seat on the Liberal benches

- 12 March: the first mainline electric train went into service between Southport and Liverpool

- by 1904 there were so many cars that number plates had to be introduced

- Scotland Yard started its fingerprint section & by the end of 1904 had a collection of 70,000 prints

- the population was increasing at a rate of about 1 per cent a year

- Britain now had more ‘conurbations’ than any other country in Europe.

- one in every 40 people of England & Wales was ‘on the Parish’


- British newspapers were filled with reports of violence and repression in Russia

- Britain, France & Germany had the common aim of maintaining international stability

- by September the war was over and the Russians were forced to pull out of Manchuria and to recognize Japanese claims in Korea

- Balfour’s government: Unionist government formed of Tories and Liberal Unionists

- the party was split

- Balfour proposed the closer commercial ties with the colonies that Chamberlain had always wanted

- when it came to voting, he made a tactical error: he ordered his own people not to vote and led them out of the Chamber - he wrongly judged that the Liberals were likely to split on Irish Home Rule

- but: Campbell-Bannerman had out-manoeuvred him – there was no split in the party, because Campbell got the support of the men who mattered (his Liberal opponent: Lord Rosebery)

- Balfour resigned

- 5 December: Campbell-Bannerman (69) became Liberal prime minister

- first Cabinet meeting: Asquith (Chancellor of the Exchequer), Herbert Gladstone (Home Secretary), Sir Edward Grey (Foreign Secretary), Earl of Elgin (Colonial Secretary), Haldane (Secretary of War)

- Lloyd George brought in the Merchant Shipping Act of 1906 & the Patents Act in 1907 and he set up the Port of London Authority

- the Londoners were endangered by an outbreak of typhus


- election: Liberal triumph

- the reaction against tariff reform was overwhelming and even Balfour lost his seat

- the political balance shifted (400 Liberals, 157 Unionists & 30 Labour members Labour
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