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Origins of The Labour Party Spread of the franchise: Reform Acts of 1867 and 1884 added about 8 million working class voters to the electorate Working.

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Presentation on theme: "Origins of The Labour Party Spread of the franchise: Reform Acts of 1867 and 1884 added about 8 million working class voters to the electorate Working."— Presentation transcript:

1 Origins of The Labour Party Spread of the franchise: Reform Acts of 1867 and 1884 added about 8 million working class voters to the electorate Working class men were encouraged to take an interest in politics, both Conservatives and Liberals tried to capture the working class vote TU’s campaigned to persuade Parliament to secure rights of members of TU’s, set up Labour representation league in 1869 and succeeded in getting 2 ex-miners elected

2 Origins of The Labour Party Social and economic conditions: favourable to the rise of socialism Working class more educated, able to read newspapers Easier to travel to meetings Wealthy moved to suburbs, this left constituencies dominated with working class housing

3 Origins of The Labour Party Spread of Socialist thinking: through popular books and poets e.g. William Morris who argued for the transformation of society Charles Dickens encouraged people to think about the conditions, also Booth and Rowntree Karl Marx, greatest social thinker- ‘Das Kapital’

4 The Social Democratic Federation(SDF) Founded in 1881, most socialist- minded group Led by a wealthy ex- Etonian, Hyndman Little time for TU’s dominant personality which drove away individuals Branches across Britain, main power base in London among skilled workers By end of decade, in decline contributed to socialist thought

5 The Fabian Society: Named after Roman general, who won a war by avoiding open battle, slowly wore enemy down Founded in 1884, leaders were Sydney and Beatrice Webb, Shaw, Wells, Podmore Midddle-class membership, but played a key role in developing socialism Concentrated on the production of essays and lectures to lay foundations

6 The Fabian Society Essay conclusions: argued that the ideas of socialism were winning, extension of democracy would advance the cause of socialism which would end private ownership Never had a large membership, but profound influence on the history and development of the Labour movement

7 James Keir Hardie Born in Lanarkshire in 1856, illegitimate son of Mary Kerr who later married a carpenter, David Hardie Started work at age 8, down the mines as a trapper Received education at night

8 James Keir Hardie He became involved in TU activities,sacked from his local pit for trying to organise action Spent 4 years at the Cumnock advertiser, continued TU interests and by 1887 he had succeeded in setting up Ayrshire Miners Federation Visited London in 1887, came into contact with socialists but rejected their ideas

9 James Keir Hardie In 1888 Ayrshire by- election he stood as the candidate on behalf of miners but power of existing parties still to strong Formed Scottish Labour Party in 1889 and resigned from Liberal Party 1892, elected as Independent MP for West Ham

10 James Keir Hardie At the same time John Burns was elected as MP for Battersea. 1900, Hardie instrumental in forming ILP which we know as the Labour Party By 1890’s it was clear there was a need to bring socialist organisations together in Bradford in election, 28 candidates none were successful, success in local elections, 106 local councilors

11 The impact of Trade Unionism Until late 19 th century unions were mostly societies of skilled craftsman Two aims: force better conditions and wages and to give help to ill,unemployed and injured, only the better off could afford this, the ‘elite’ who backed the Liberals Hostile to Labour party at first, however TU’s wanted to improve its image to the new enfranchised working class

12 Trade Union support 1899 TUC, proposed a conference of all ‘cooperative, socialistic, trade unions and other working organisations to devise ways to return an increased number of Labour members’ In 1900, delegates from the ILP, SDF, TU’s and Fabians met The result was the setting up of the Labour Representation Committee Proposals: Labour group in Parliament with its own policies in the interests of Labour

13 Failure of the established Parties to deal with working class problems Working class choice: Tories, landed class or liberals, wealthy bankers, entrepreneurs who were more in touch with the workers but middle and upper class mixing through marriage thus Tories and Liberals coming closer together politically However Liberal party not enough, Lib-Lab candidates were paid by the liberals therefore reliant on liberals Overall working class men not allowed to stand as candidates- their own party was a solution, New Unionism therefore moving away from the liberals

14 Labour Representation Committee 1906 known as the Labour party, dominated by the unions but distinctive political party Each group put forward its own candidates at elections and was responsible for their expenses It had no national party organisation because it was a coalition of organisations Nevertheless, the LRC was the base from which a national Labour Party would grow from


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