1st Edition

Britain and Joseph Chamberlain

By Michael Balfour Copyright 1985

    First Published in 1985 Britain and Joseph Chamberlain is not simply the first biography of Joseph Chamberlain to be written from a radical standpoint but also an exercise in ‘counter -history’. What difference might it have made if Ireland had been set on the road to self-government in 1886, if the reforms of the 1906 Liberal Government had been enacted before 1890 and if it had fallen to a government of the left to handle the Boers? All these possibilities were ruled out when Chamberlain, in a fit of personal animosity, broke with Gladstone over Home Rule. He probably also thereby removed the last chance of the Labour Party growing out of the Liberal Party instead of competing with it for progressive votes, and so facilitating the Conservative domination of politics between 1922-1940. Professor Balfour on the other hand does not believe that, even if Chamberlain had remained a radical and become Prime Minister, he would have been able to arrest Britain’s slackening growth. This book is an important historical document for scholars of British history.

    List of Abbreviations Preface 1. The Economic Background 2. The Radical Background 3. ‘Young Joe’: 1836-65 4. ‘Brummagem Joe’: 1865-80 5. ‘Radical Joe’: 1880-85 6. ‘Judas Joe’: 1884-6 7. ‘Pilgrim Joe’: 1886-95 8. ‘Pushful Joe’: 1895-1902 9. ‘Imperial Joe’: 1902-14 10. Conclusion: ‘Joe and his World’ Index


    Michael Balfour