First published in 1999, Andrew Chadwick provides an important new interpretation of British radical, suffrage-feminist and socialist movements during the first quarter of the twentieth century, based on analysis of their visions of democratic constitutional reform. He argues that a shared discourse of 'radical constitutionalism' allowed these groups to forge alliances based upon a common preoccupation with extending and improving constitutional democracy. This book is a significant contribution to current methodological debates around the importance of language and discourse in social and political history. It is the first detailed study to integrate material on three important constitutional campaigns of this era: the reform of the House of Lords, women’s suffrage, and proportional representation. It will be of interest to students of British politics, social and political history, historical methodology and political theory.
Table of Contents
Part 1. A Panoramic Approach. 1. Left and Constitution in the Early-Twentieth Century Britain. 2. Ideas, communication and public political discourse. Part 2. Aristocracy or the People? The Edwardian Constitutional Crisis. 4. Constructing an Anti-Lords Alliance. 4. Crisis and Reform. Part 3. Constitutionalism and Citizenship: The Struggle for the Vote. 5. First Wave Feminism and the Significance of the Vote. 6. Constructing a Suffragist Alliance. 7. War and Reform. Part 4. Equality, Equity and Truth? Proportional Representation. 8. Minorities, Parties and the Progressive Alliance. 9. A Fragile, Partial Alliance.
’...a clear and most useful summary of the different assumptions and different preoccupations of recent revisionist writings on the early history of the labour party...’ Political Quarterly ’Andrew Chadwick has done fascinating research, resulting in a quite important book...a significant contribution to current methodological debates...’ Social History Society Bulletin ’...fresh and original...a stimulating and important book which makes a valuable contribution...’ Contemporary British History ’...a useful addition to our understanding of early twentieth-century radical politics...’ Parliamentary History