The First World War marks a crucial period in the history of the socialist wing of the British labour movement. This book is an account of the development of the political ideas and activities of some of the most influential British socialist thinkers of that time: Beatrice and Sidney Webb, R. H. Tawney and G. D. H. Cole. The first part of the book examines the state of the Labour movement and of socialist ideas on the eve of the conflict, then turns to the central question of the impact of the War on the dissemination of British socialist ideas.
Part 1: Socialist Thought and the Labour Movement 1912-14 1. The Background 2. The Webbs’ Approach to Socialism 3. R. H. Tawney’s Early Political Thought 4. G. D. H. Cole and the Theory of Industrial Conflict Part 2: The Impact of the First World War 5. G. D. H. Cole, Guild Socialism and the First World War 6. R. H. Tawney and the First World War 7. Sidney Webb and the War Emergency Committee 8. Socialism and Political Independence: The Formulation of the 1918 Labour Party Constitution and Programme 9. The Impact of the First World War on British Socialist Thought