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Gender and the Conservative Party, 1880s to the present

Historians and political scientists have deemed the twentieth century 'the Conservative Century', owing to the electoral and cultural dominance of the Conservative Party in Britain. This book traces the relationship among women, gender and the Conservative Party from the 1880s to the present, and thereby seeks to fill that gap. A gender inclusive approach allows for a more nuanced understanding of political machinations, power and the unprecedented popularity of both conservatism and unionism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The suffragette Christabel Pankhurst, was regarded as a charismatic, radical figure, who was the co-leader of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), a notorious suffrage organization campaigning for the parliamentary vote for women in Edwardian Britain. In 1928 Lady Iveagh, Vice-Chairman of the National Union of Conservative Associations (NUCA), claimed that one million women were members of the Conservative Party. The book focuses on how the Primrose League re-made itself for its female members between 1914 and 1932. It shows that the Conservative Party leadership and male candidates were keen to present themselves as the champions of home interests, playing up their family-man credentials against their rowdy electoral culture of Labour. The book also examines inquires how the deliberate choice of middlebrow rhetoric as well as the language of citizenship enabled Conservative women to construct a cross-class language of democracy. It explores British conservatism, highlighting the history of the Tory Party as part of the study of women and their sectional interest in 'the politics of gender'.

The women’s Conservative organisation in the age of partial suffrage, 1914–28
David Thackeray

politicians both at constituency level and at Conservative Central Office. It breaks new ground in considering how debates about welfare in the early 1920s reshaped Conservative understandings of gender roles, and explores representations of masculinity and femininity in electoral culture via a detailed study of election addresses. Female activists had begun to develop a significant presence in the organisation of Unionist electoral politics in the 1900s through the activities of the Women’s Unionist and Tariff Reform Association, which focused on appealing to housewives

in Rethinking right-wing women
Abstract only
Henry Miller

communication. Since the 1990s a major theme of political history has been the vibrancy of popular politics and electoral culture. Through election rituals, above all public nominations, and, later, public meetings, the people, including those without the vote, could participate in the political process.9 Yet according to law general elections could be up to seven years apart, and while many constituencies exhibited lively electoral cultures there were others where nominations were a formality and poorly attended. While I would not dispute the importance of electoral culture

in Politics personified
Malcolm Crook

– combated electoral corruption in ways that were highly complex, contested and contingent, in keeping with their distinctive political cultures. 3 By contrast, political scientists have proved more willing to explore transformations of electoral culture in general terms. Yet only limited attention has been paid to the history of corrupt electoral practices, and even then their reform is often seen as

in The many lives of corruption
Abstract only
Realising the human capital economy
Andrew Mackillop

in Radnor also developed patronage links to the Company. 26 But in Scotland these connective dynamics occurred on a scale unmatched by any other metropolitan province and indeed most regions of England. The reasons why the Asia half of the Empire intersected with politics north of the border to such a degree demonstrate how global trends produced fresh diversity in the metropole just as surely as in colonial societies. Post-union Scottish electoral culture has suffered from comparisons with its English, Welsh and Irish counterparts based on assumptions about

in Human capital and empire
David Thackeray

Midland Evening News (Wolverhampton), 4 May 1908, p. 4; see also 24 April 1908, p. 2; Amery presented a similar discourse to that employed in the paper’s campaign. Conservative and Unionist, September 1911, p. 136. 15 On the traditional importance of chairings in electoral culture see Frank O’ Gorman, ‘Campaign rituals and ceremonies: the social meaning of elections in England, 1780–1860’, Past and Present, 135 (1992), 79–115 at 89–91, 114; The Wolverhampton polling day is covered in Leo Amery, My Political Life, Vol. 1: England before the Storm, 1896–1914 (London

in Conservatism for the democratic age
David Thackeray

assumptions and led politicians to place an increasing emphasis on promoting ‘peaceableness’. As well as avoiding violence at meetings, politicians sought to create a more sober electoral culture, confining election campaigns to official party organisations, and thereby avoiding the sensationalism which had Thackeray.indd 126 1/10/2013 10:11:15 AM ‘Country before party’ 127 previously been encouraged by auxiliary leagues. In November 1918 going to the country on a Coalition ticket seemed to be common sense and it was by no means clear that the old political parties

in Conservatism for the democratic age
Parliament and electoral corruption in the nineteenth century
Kathryn Rix

the law too stringent – were all debated at length before the 1883 Act finally passed. In enshrining as its fundamental principle a concept MPs had been grappling with for some time – the need to make a clear-cut distinction between legitimate and illegitimate election expenditure – this reform would have a transformative effect on Britain’s electoral culture in the decades that followed

in The many lives of corruption
Katrina Navickas

meetings once and for all. Yet the 1819 Seditious Meetings Act covered some new important developments in relation to attitudes to the working class. The carnivalesque symbolism of the mass platform and processions was prohibited outright by the act. ‘Attending meetings with arms or weapons, or with flags, banners and other emblems’ was made unlawful, punishable by a two-­year prison sentence. So even the wearing of a ribbon­– ­a major feature of electoral culture­– ­was deemed to be an act of seditious intent. Moreover, the act directly targeted customary radical and

in Protest and the politics of space and place, 1789–1848
Henry Miller

Conservatives, the ILN published full-page portraits of both men, as well as depictions of them addressing the electors in their constituencies.33 This underlines the increased popular significance of party leaders in an era of party government. Pictorial representations of the 1874 general election registered other, correlated shifts in electoral culture. Election scenes suggested that speeches at public meetings were less important than print for political communication. The ILN’s picture of Gladstone addressing electors at Greenwich was significant for foregrounding the

in Politics personified