The Strange Death of Liberal England, 1900-1945 (HIH1003)
The spectacular collapse of the Liberal Party, which went from a landslide victory in 1906 to near-extinction in 1945, dramatically reshaped the face of British politics, ushering in the party system which largely survives to this day. Students taking this module will be introduced to the key factors at the heart of the Liberal decline, making use of a range of sources on the party’s downward trajectory as a window into the political and social changes of early twentieth-century Britain. This module will examine key debates over topics such as Irish Home Rule and Free Trade, as well as questions of contemporary relevance such as the impact of the Great Depression and the politics of coalition. Students will also be invited to consider not simply the issues at stake but also the ways in which the very nature of political conduct changed during this period. This module is suitable for undergraduates of various backgrounds and requires no specialist knowledge.