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The Rise of Labour s To explain the birth of the Labour party

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1 The Rise of Labour 1880-1920s To explain the birth of the Labour party
To understand how the labour party transformed British politics

2 Socialism and Socialist groups
an economic theory in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state (think NHS, Royal mail, Rail network 10 years ago).

3 That sounds a bit like communism…what is the difference?
In socialist theory, people who are capitalists can still exist and work as part of the economic structure In communist theory, money is taken from the rich to be evenly distributed. Capitalists cannot exist.

4 Different Socialist groups
SDF (Social-Democratic Federation) Fabians (intellectuals wanting gradual reform not revolution) LRC (would later become the labour Party)

5 Tasks Pg 27 – 28 of workbook Find out about the SDF, Fabians and LRC using your textbook – pg20 onwards. Write information in your workbook 15 minutes

6 Explaining the rise of Labour
Liberal weakness? Previously elections were a 2 horse race – Libs Vs. Tories BUT Liberals became associated with capitalism and poverty. Liberals failed to look after working class voters / candidates Feared would lose voters to labour so set up LIB/LAB pact in 1903. ‘New Liberalism ideas’ Social reform programme (our next topic) Liberals weak and split over WW1 and Home Rule Labour BENEFITTED from the WEAKNESSES of the Liberals

7 Electoral performance of the Labour Party 1900-23
Date Votes MPs Candidates % share in UK vote % share of vote in Scotland 1900 63,304 2 15 1.8 2.3 1910 371,722 42 56 7.1 3.6 1918 2,385,472 63 388 22.1 22.9 1922 4,241,383 142 141 29.5 32.2 1923 4,438,508 191 422 30.5 35.9

8 Explaining the rise of Labour
Dynamic leadership – Keir Hardie and Ramsay MacDonald Attacked poverty, inequality, housing and social welfare. Labour wanted state to be involved in all areas of peoples lives Did not agree with laissez faire

9 James Keir Hardy James Keir Hardy was important to the emergence of the Labour party, as he was associated with all of the major points that led to the Labour party’s success in the 1906 general election.

10 Early Life Born in Lanarkshire, Scotland on 15 August 1856
Illegitimate son of a servant, Mary Keir. His mother later married David Hardie, a carpenter. Keir Hardie was sent to work as a baker's delivery boy aged eight without any schooling, and was the sole wage-earner of the family. By the age of 11, he was a coal miner. By 17 he had taught himself to read and write.

11 The Socialist Career in politics began with the establishment of a worker's union at his colliery, and in 1881 he led the first ever strike of Lanarkshire miners. In 1892, Keir Hardie was invited to stand as the Independent Labour Party candidate for West Ham in east London. He won and took his seat in parliament. He marked himself out as a socialist radical both by his dress - he wore a tweed suit when most MPs wore more formal dress - and the subjects he advocated, including women's rights, free schooling and pensions.

12 After a long battle to win another seat, he was finally elected MP to Merthyr Tydfil in 1900 and was one of only two Labour MPs in Parliament. But by 1906 this number had increased to 26. Keir Hardie was elected leader of the party in the House of Commons, but was not very good at dealing with internal rivalries and he resigned from the post in 1908.

13 He devoted his energy to promoting the Labour Party and championing equality, particularly in the cause of women's suffrage. In 1910, 40 Labour MPs were elected to parliament and Keir Hardie gave up the party leadership to George Barnes. He died on 26 September 1915 in Glasgow.


15 Taff Vale In 1901 the Taff Vale Railway Company sued a railway workers union called the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants for losses during a strike. As a result of the case the union was fined £23,000. Up until this time it was assumed that unions could not be sued for acts carried out by their members. This court ruling exposed trade unions to being sued every time it was involved in an industrial dispute.

16 Explaining the rise of Labour
As as result of Taff Vale, the Trade Unions flooded to join up with the Labour Party. This was because they wanted to improve the legal rights of Trade Unions. RESULT = The TUs gave Financial backing to the Labour Party. (this solved critical weakness in 1890s when the ILP only afforded and won 2 MPs)

17 Was Labour’s rise inevitable? How successful was the party?
THREAT = In 1909 the Osborne judgment ruled that trade unions could no longer use their funds for political purposes. The judgement stopped the Labour party's main funding source. This was especially detrimental to the Labour party as its supporters were generally poorer than other political parties.

18 Was Labour’s rise inevitable? How successful was the party?
Before 1914 Labour was ‘a specialised interest group.’ It did not represent the nation but only represented the Trade unions – to which ‘less than half’ of Britain’s working population belonged. So Labour’s rise was not inevitable.

19 Was Labour’s rise inevitable? How successful was the party?
Impact of the War = massive Showed that state could control people’s lives – D.O.R.A was as far away from the old ways of Laissez faire as could get. The coalition government with Labour politicians in it showed the British people that Labour leaders could be trusted as responsible and capable members of government.

20 Was Labour’s rise inevitable? How successful was the party?
FACT: Extension of the Franchise Act 1918 led to more working class people getting the vote. All men over 21 and most women over 30 Electorate rose from 7.9m (1910) to 21.4m(1918) – of which 40% were women Working class people increasingly identified themselves with the Labour party BUT this was not automatic.

21 In 1918 these factory workers were given the right to vote.
Can we tell who they voted for?

22 In 1918 these miners were given the right to vote.
Can we tell who they voted for?

23 In 1918 these trainee electricians were given the right to vote.
Can we tell who they voted for?

24 In 1918 these women were given the right to vote.
Can we tell who they voted for?

25 Was Labour’s rise inevitable? How successful was the party?
Conclusion Keep the rise of Labour in perspective Recent research showed that Labour’s rise was not inevitable It was the product of several factors It’s big success in this time was to break the two-party politics of the past (Libs and Tories)

26 Tasks A. Complete notes on Keir Hardy from last time
B. Make further notes in your workbook (pg 28) on the following areas: Taff Vale Osborne judgement Impact of WW1 Make a copy of the diagram on page 23 ensuring you understand the purpose of the diagram and the different groups therein Read the rest of pg 31. Gather your notes on Labour and begin to look at an essay plan for the essay question on pg. 32

27 Essay prep Complete all workbook tasks up to page 33
Begin an essay plan for your next essay on the Labour party The question is…. “Support of the Trade Unions was the main reason for Labour’s success by 1918”. How far do you agree with this hypothesis? Answer: not very far

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