Democratic Ideas and the British Labour Movement, 1880–1914

Democratic Ideas and the British Labour Movement, 1880–1914

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Logie Barrow, Ian Bullock
Cambridge University Press
Edition: First Edition, 3/7/1996
EAN 9780521560429, ISBN10: 052156042X

Hardcover, 338 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 2.2 cm
Language: English

This is the first detailed survey of democratic ideas on the British Left in the period leading to 1914. Socialists of the late nineteenth century inherited assumptions about the priority of democracy from a long tradition of British Radicalism. However, the advent of the Fabians, who rejected this tradition as primitive, and of an ILP leadership more concerned to enter than reform parliament, meant that the movement was split between 'strong' and 'weak' views of democracy. By the eve of the First World War a consensus was emerging that might have formed the basis for a more realistic and more radical approach to democracy than has actually been pursued by the Labour Party and the Left during the twentieth century. Democratic Ideas and the British Labour Movement assesses an important debate in the history of socialist ideas and in the formation of the British Labour movement.

Part I
1. The survival of Chartist assumptions
2. Democracy and socialism in the 1890s
3. Democracy and the industrial struggle
Part II
4. Conflicts in the ILP
5. The pressure to federate
the industrial struggle in the late 1890s
6. The rise and fall of the Clarion Federation
Part III
7. The early 1900s
a hinge period
8. Socialists and the state
9. Parliamentary socialism? Labour in parliament
10. Parliamentary democracy? 'Fred's obsession' and the path to the Bradford resolution
11. Background to sydicalism
the legacy of the NIGFLTU's failure
12. Avoiding the 'Servile State'. The impact of syndicalism and guild socialism
13. 1914
an emerging consensus on the eve of Armageddon
14. Conclusions
Appendix. Federation for local Labour historians - and for national