Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, styled Lord Robert Cecil before 1865, Viscount Cranborne from June 1865 until April 1868, Lord Salisbury until his death, was a British statesman, serving as Prime Minister three times for a total of over thirteen years. A member of the Conservative Party, he was the last Prime Minister to head his full administration from the House of Lords. Lord Robert Cecil was first elected to the House of Commons in 1854 and served as Secretary of State for India in Lord Derby's Conservative government from 1866 until his resignation in 1867 over its introduction of Benjamin Disraeli's Reform Bill that extended the suffrage to working-class men. In 1868 upon the death of his father, Cecil was elevated to the House of Lords. In 1874, when Disraeli formed an administration, Salisbury returned as Secretary of State for India, and, in 1878, was appointed foreign secretary, played a leading part in the Congress of Berlin, despite his doubts over Disraeli's pro-Ottoman policy.
After the Conservatives lost the 1880 general election and Disraeli's death the year after, Salisbury emerged as Conservative leader in the House of Lords, with Sir Stafford Northcote leading the party in the Commons. He became Prime Minister in June 1885 when the Liberal leader William Ewart Gladstone resigned, held the office until January 1886; when Gladstone came out in favour of Home Rule for Ireland, Salisbury opposed him and formed an alliance with the breakaway Liberal Unionists, winning the subsequent general election. He remained as Prime Minister until Gladstone's Liberals formed a government with the support of the Irish Nationalists, despite the Unionists gaining the largest number of votes and seats at the 1892 general election; the Liberals, lost the 1895 general election, Salisbury once again became Prime Minister, leading Britain to war against the Boers, the Unionists to another electoral victory in 1900 before relinquishing the premiership to his nephew Arthur Balfour. He died a year in 1903.
Historians agree that Salisbury was a strong and effective leader in foreign affairs, with a strong grasp of the issues. Paul Smith characterises his personality as "deeply neurotic, agitated, fearful of change and loss of control, self-effacing but capable of extraordinary competitiveness." A representative of the landed aristocracy, he held the reactionary credo, "Whatever happens will be for the worse, therefore it is in our interest that as little should happen as possible." Searle says that instead of seeing his party's victory in 1886 as a harbinger of a new and more popular Conservatism, he longed to return to the stability of the past, when his party's main function was to restrain demagogic liberalism and democratic excess. Lord Robert Cecil was born at Hatfield House, the second son of James Gascoyne-Cecil, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury and Frances Mary Gascoyne, he was a patrilineal descendant of Lord Burghley and the 1st Earl of Salisbury, chief ministers of Elizabeth I. The family owned vast rural estates in Dorset.
This wealth increased in 1821, when he married the rich heiress of a merchant prince who had bought up large estates in Essex and Lancashire. Robert had a miserable childhood, with few friends, he was bullied unmercifully at the schools he attended. In 1840, he went to Eton College, where he did well in French, German and Theology; the unhappy schooling shaped his pessimistic outlook on his negative views on democracy. He decided that most people were cowardly and cruel, that the mob would run roughshod over sensitive individuals. In December 1847 he went to Christ Church, where he received an honorary fourth class in mathematics conferred by nobleman's privilege due to ill health. Whilst at Oxford he found the Oxford movement or "Tractarianism" to be an intoxicating force. In 1853 he was elected a prize fellow of All Souls Oxford. In April 1850 he did not enjoy law, his doctor advised him to travel for his health, so in July 1851 to May 1853 Cecil travelled through Cape Colony, including Tasmania, New Zealand.
He disliked the Boers and wrote that free institutions and self-government could not be granted to the Cape Colony because the Boers outnumbered the British three-to-one, "it will be delivering us over bound hand and foot into the power of the Dutch, who hate us as much as a conquered people can hate their conquerors". He found the Kaffirs "a fine set of men – whose language bears traces of a high former civilisation", similar to Italian, they were "an intellectual race, with great firmness and fixedness of will" but "horribly immoral" as they lacked theism. In the Bendigo goldmine of Australia, he claimed that "there is not half as much crime or insubordination as there would be in an English town of the same wealth and population". Ten thousand miners were policed by four men armed with carbines, at Mount Alexander 30,000 people were protected by 200 policemen, with over 30,000 ounces of gold mined per week, he believed that there was "generally far more civility than I should be to find in the good town of Hatfield" and claimed this was due to "the government was that of the Queen, not of the mob.
Holding from a supposed right" and from "the People the source of all legitimate power," Cecil said of the Māori of New Zealand: "The natives seem when they have converted to make much better Christians than the white man". A Maori chief offered Cecil five acres near Auckland, which he declined
Liberal Unionist Party
The Liberal Unionist Party was a British political party, formed in 1886 by a faction that broke away from the Liberal Party. Led by Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain, the party formed a political alliance with the Conservative Party in opposition to Irish Home Rule; the two parties formed the ten-year-long coalition Unionist Government 1895–1905 but kept separate political funds and their own party organisations until a complete merger was agreed in May 1912. The Liberal Unionists owe their origins to the conversion of William Ewart Gladstone to the cause of Irish Home Rule; the 1885 General Election had left Charles Stewart Parnell's Irish Nationalists holding the balance of power, had convinced Gladstone that the Irish wanted and deserved reinstatement of Home Rule for Ireland and so end 85 years of union. Some Liberals believed that Gladstone's Home Rule bill would lead to independence for Ireland and the dissolution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which they could not countenance.
Seeing themselves as defenders of the Union, they called themselves "Liberal Unionists", although at this stage most of them did not think the split from their former colleagues would be permanent. Gladstone preferred to call them "dissentient Liberals" as if he believed they would come back like the "Adullamites", Liberals who had opposed the extension of the franchise in 1866 but had come back to the main party after the Conservatives had passed their own electoral reform bill in 1867. In the end it did not matter what the Liberal Unionists were called, the schism in the Liberal party grew wider and deeper within a few years; the majority of Liberal Unionists, including Hartington, Lord Lansdowne, George Goschen, were drawn from the Whig faction of the party and had been expected to split from the Liberal Party anyway, for reasons connected with economic and social policy. Some of the Unionists held extensive landed estates in Ireland and feared these would be broken up or confiscated if Ireland had its own government, while Hartington had suffered a personal loss at the hands of Irish Nationalists in 1882 when his brother was killed during the Phoenix Park Murders.
The anti-Home Rule Liberals formed a Committee for the Preservation of the Union in early 1886, were soon joined by a smaller radical faction led by Joseph Chamberlain and John Bright. Chamberlain had taken office in the Gladstone government, formed in 1886 but resigned when he saw the details of Gladstone's Home Rule plans; as Chamberlain had been a standard bearer of radical liberalism against the Whigs, his adherence to the alliance against the Gladstonian Liberals came as a surprise. When the dissident Liberals formed the Liberal Unionist Council, to become the Liberal Unionist party, Chamberlain organised the separate National Radical Union in Birmingham; this allowed Chamberlain and his immediate allies to distance themselves from the main body of Liberal Unionism and left open the possibility that they could work with the Liberal party in the future. In 1889 the National Radical Union changed its name to the National Liberal Union and remained a separate organisation from the main Liberal Unionist Council.
Historian R. C. K. Ensor reports that after 1886, Gladstone's main Liberal Party was deserted by the entire whig peerage and the great majority of the upper-class and upper-middle-class Liberals. High prestige London clubs that had a Liberal base were split. Ensor notes that "London society, following the known views of the Queen ostracized home rulers". Chamberlain used anti-Catholicism to build a base for the new party among "Orange" Nonconformist Protestant elements in Britain and Ireland. John Bright popularised the catchy slogan, "Home rule means Rome rule." The 1886 election left the Conservatives as the largest party in the House of Commons, but without an overall majority. The leading Liberal Unionists were invited to join the Conservative Lord Salisbury's government. Salisbury said he was willing to let Hartington become Prime Minister of a coalition ministry but the latter declined. In part, Hartington was worried this would split the Liberal Unionists and lose them votes from pro-Unionist Liberal supporters.
The Liberal Unionists, despite providing the necessary margin for Salisbury's majority, continued to sit on the opposition benches throughout the life of the parliament, Hartington and Chamberlain uneasily shared the opposition Front Bench with their former colleagues Gladstone and Harcourt. In December 1886, when Lord Randolph Churchill resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Salisbury offered the position to Goschen, by far the most conservative of the leading Liberal Unionists. After consulting Hartington, Goschen agreed to join the Conservative government and remained Chancellor for the next six years. While the Whiggish wing of the Liberal Unionists cooperated informally with the Conservative Government, the party's Radical Unionist wing held a series of meetings with their former Liberal colleagues. Led by Chamberlain and Sir George Trevelyan, the Round Table Conference was an attempt to see if reunion of the Liberal party was possible. Despite some progress, the problem of Home Rule for Ireland could not be resolved.
Neither Hartington nor Gladstone took a direct part in these meetings, there seemed to be no other Liberal statesman who could reunite the party. Within a few months the talks were over, though some Liberal Unionists, including Trevelyan rejoined the Liberal Party soon after; the failed talks
1886 United Kingdom general election
The 1886 United Kingdom general election took place from 1 July to 27 July 1886. It resulted in a major reversal of the results of the 1885 election as the Conservatives, led by Lord Salisbury in an electoral pact with the breakaway Unionist wing of the Liberals led by Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain; the new Liberal Unionist party gave the Conservatives their parliamentary majority but did not join them in a formal coalition. William Ewart Gladstone's Liberals, who supported Irish Home Rule, their sometimes allies, the Irish Parliamentary Party led by Charles Stewart Parnell, placed a distant second; this ended the period of Liberal dominance—they had held power for 18 of the 27 years since 1859 and won five of the six elections held during that time, but would only be in power for three of the next nineteen years. This was the first election since the 1841 election that the Conservatives won a plurality or majority of the popular vote. MPs elected in the UK general election, 1886 Parliamentary franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918 Craig, F. W. S.
British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302 Rallings, Colin. British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, Ashgate Publishing Ltd Walker, Brian, "The 1885 and 1886 General Elections in Ireland", History Ireland, 13: 36–40, JSTOR 27725365 Spartacus: Political Parties and Election Results United Kingdom election results—summary results 1885–1979
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister directs both the executive and the legislature, together with their Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Monarch, to Parliament, to their political party and to the electorate; the office of Prime Minister is one of the Great Offices of State. The current holder of the office, Theresa May, leader of the Conservative Party, was appointed by the Queen on 13 July 2016; the office is not established by any statute or constitutional document but exists only by long-established convention, which stipulates that the monarch must appoint as Prime Minister the person most to command the confidence of the House of Commons. The position of Prime Minister was not created; the office is therefore best understood from a historical perspective. The origins of the position are found in constitutional changes that occurred during the Revolutionary Settlement and the resulting shift of political power from the Sovereign to Parliament.
Although the Sovereign was not stripped of the ancient prerogative powers and remained the head of government, politically it became necessary for him or her to govern through a Prime Minister who could command a majority in Parliament. By the 1830s the Westminster system of government had emerged; the political position of Prime Minister was enhanced by the development of modern political parties, the introduction of mass communication, photography. By the start of the 20th century the modern premiership had emerged. Prior to 1902, the Prime Minister sometimes came from the House of Lords, provided that his government could form a majority in the Commons; however as the power of the aristocracy waned during the 19th century the convention developed that the Prime Minister should always sit in the lower house. As leader of the House of Commons, the Prime Minister's authority was further enhanced by the Parliament Act 1911 which marginalised the influence of the House of Lords in the law-making process.
The Prime Minister is ex officio First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. Certain privileges, such as residency of 10 Downing Street, are accorded to Prime Ministers by virtue of their position as First Lord of the Treasury; the status of the position as Prime Minister means that the incumbent is ranked as one of the most powerful and influential people in the world. The Prime Minister is the head of the United Kingdom government; as such, the modern Prime Minister leads the Cabinet. In addition, the Prime Minister leads a major political party and commands a majority in the House of Commons; the incumbent wields both significant legislative and executive powers. Under the British system, there is a unity of powers rather than separation. In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister guides the law-making process with the goal of enacting the legislative agenda of their political party. In an executive capacity, the Prime Minister appoints all other Cabinet members and ministers, co-ordinates the policies and activities of all government departments, the staff of the Civil Service.
The Prime Minister acts as the public "face" and "voice" of Her Majesty's Government, both at home and abroad. Upon the advice of the Prime Minister, the Sovereign exercises many statutory and prerogative powers, including high judicial, political and Church of England ecclesiastical appointments; the British system of government is based on an uncodified constitution, meaning that it is not set out in any single document. The British constitution consists of many documents and most for the evolution of the Office of the Prime Minister, it is based on customs known as constitutional conventions that became accepted practice. In 1928, Prime Minister H. H. Asquith described this characteristic of the British constitution in his memoirs:In this country we live... under an unwritten Constitution. It is true that we have on the Statute-book great instruments like Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the Bill of Rights which define and secure many of our rights and privileges, they rest on usage, convention of slow growth in their early stages, not always uniform, but which in the course of time received universal observance and respect.
The relationships between the Prime Minister and the Sovereign and Cabinet are defined by these unwritten conventions of the constitution. Many of the Prime Minister's executive and legislative powers are royal prerogatives which are still formally vested in the Sovereign, who remains the head of state. Despite its growing
Social Democratic Federation
The Social Democratic Federation was established as Britain's first organised socialist political party by H. M. Hyndman, had its first meeting on 7 June 1881; those joining the SDF included George Lansbury, James Connolly and Eleanor Marx. However, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx's long-term collaborator, refused to support Hyndman's venture. Many of its early leading members had been active in the Manhood Suffrage League; the SDF battled through defections of its right and left wings to other organisations in the first decade of the twentieth century before uniting with other radical groups in the Marxist British Socialist Party from 1911 until 1920. The British Marxist movement began in 1880 when a businessman named Henry M. Hyndman read Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto in French translation while crossing to America. Upon his return to London, Hyndman sought out Marx an exile living not far from his home. Hyndman, who had run for parliament earlier that year, decided to start a new political organization which he called the Democratic Federation and in June called its foundation convention, consisting of an assortment of radical grouplets and individuals.
In preparation for the convention, Hyndman circulated among the delegates his book England for All, which paraphrased Marx's Capital without crediting the original author. Marx broke off personal relations with his English epigone. Marx's distaste for Hyndman was shared by Friedrich Engels, who succeeded his close friend as his literary executor at Marx's death on 14 March 1883.in 1884 the Democratic Federation was transformed into the Social Democratic Federation when the group adopted an explicitly socialist platform. The Federation was opposed to the Liberal Party which claimed to represent the labour movement in parliament; the programme of the SDF was progressive, calling for a 48-hour workweek, the abolition of child labour and free and secular education, equality for women, the nationalisation of the means of production and exchange by a democratic state. The party attracted to its banner a number of Britain's leading radicals, including William Morris, Edward Aveling and his partner Eleanor Marx, Karl's youngest daughter.
Henry Hyndman dominated the SDF from the beginning. One key to his personal authority lay in his purse, which paid the bulk of its administrative expenses, its weekly newspaper, lost money despite a healthy circulation of about 3,500; some in the Federation were unhappy, regarding Hyndman as domineering in personal relations and sectarian in political thinking. Hyndman's detractors considered him politically ambitious and lacking in principle, their ill will and personal antipathy came to a climax at Christmas 1884. For more detail, see Socialist League. On 23 December 1884, a meeting of the Executive Council of the SDF was held at which Hyndman was attacked for several alleged offences: defaming a comrade in Edinburgh by calling him an "anarchist" without cause, corresponding the name of the organisation without authority and in defiance of the Council's decisions, withholding correspondence meant for the organisation as a whole. Hyndman was additionally accused of stirring up strife between members of the Council and fabricating a provincial branch from thin air so as to ready himself to wield undeserved voting authority at a future convention of the organisation.
Hyndman gathered his factional supporters for his defence, while his opponents, who included William Morris, Belfort Bax, Eleanor Marx, Edward Aveling, mustered their own forces. After protracted debate, on 27 December a motion of censure on Hyndman was adopted, after which the majority of the Council, freshly victorious, promptly resigned from the SDF; the individuals leaving the party formed a new organisation called the Socialist League, supported financially by William Morris, who objected to Hyndman's rigid control of the party press and what he considered his excessive personal influence. They considered Hyndman opportunistic and obsessed with parliamentary politics to the detriment of trade union organisation. Hyndman retained the party publications Justice and To-Day and the 500 or so members of the SDF chose sides as one small organisation became two smaller ones. Friedrich Engels was jubilant about the split, declaring to Eduard Bernstein: "I have the satisfaction of having seen through the whole racket from the outset sized up all the people concerned, foretold what the end would be."Unfortunately for Engels' best laid plans, it was the Socialist League that wound up "shipwrecked" by the split, while the SDF emerged from the factional strife with Hyndman and his followers in tighter control than before.
The defection of assorted and sundry anti-parliamentary members from the Social Democratic Federation, including a fair number of anarchists, to form the Socialist League in 1885 left the SDF a more homogeneous unit than its new offshoot. While Hyndman and the SDF used scare tactics about some impending national catastrophe that would prove the catalyst for socialist revolution in the mid-1880s, his eyes remained on the parliamentary prize. In the general election of 1885 the SDF stood three candidates for office — subsidised by a £340 campaign contribution obtained by SDF leader Henry Hyde Champion from a Conservative Party agent named Maltman Barry. Despite this somewhat shady attempt of the Tories to split the opposition, the SDF fared poorly, with John Burns receiving 598 votes in Nottingham while Jack Williams in Hampstead and John Fielding in Kensington netted a mere 27 and 32 votes, respectively; the SDF's foray into electoral politics had proven to be both controversial and wholly ineffectiv
Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery
Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, 1st Earl of Midlothian, was a British Liberal politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from March 1894 to June 1895. Between the death of his father, in 1851, the death of his grandfather, the 4th Earl of Rosebery, in 1868 he was known by the courtesy title of Lord Dalmeny. Rosebery first came to national attention in 1879 by sponsoring the successful Midlothian campaign of William Ewart Gladstone, he was in charge of Scottish affairs. His most successful performance in office came as chairman of the London County Council in 1889, he entered the cabinet in 1885 and served twice as foreign minister, paying special attention to French and German affairs. He succeeded Gladstone as prime minister and leader of the Liberal Party in 1894, he never again held political office. Rosebery was known as a brilliant orator, an outstanding sportsman and marksman, a writer and historian and collector. All of these activities attracted him more than politics.
Furthermore, he drifted to the right of the Liberal party and became a bitter critic of its policies. Winston Churchill, observing that he never adapted to democratic electoral competition, quipped: "He would not stoop. Historians judge him a failure as prime minister. Archibald Philip Primrose was born on 7 May 1847 in his parents' house in Charles Street, London, his father was Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny and heir apparent to Archibald Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery, whom he predeceased. Lord Dalmeny was a courtesy title used by the Earl's eldest son and heir apparent, during the Earl's lifetime, was one of the Earl's lesser Scottish titles. Lord Dalmeny was MP for Stirling from 1832 to 1847 and served as First Lord of the Admiralty under Lord Melbourne. Rosebery's mother was Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope, a historian who wrote under her second married name "the Duchess of Cleveland", a daughter of Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl Stanhope. Lord Dalmeny died on 23 January 1851, having predeceased his father, when the courtesy title passed to his son, the future Rosebery, as the new heir to the earldom.
In 1854 his mother remarried to Lord Harry Vane. The relationship between mother and son was poor, his elder and favourite sister Lady Leconfield was the wife of 2nd Baron Leconfield. Dalmeny attended preparatory schools in Hertfordshire and Brighton and Eton which he attended between 1860 and 1863, his remarkable intellect, displayed in debates, attracted the attention of William Johnson Cory. Dalmeny proceeded to Christ Church, through the years 1865 until 1869. Remarkably the three Prime Ministers from 1880 to 1902, namely Gladstone and Rosebery, all attended both Eton and Christ Church. Whilst at Christ Church, in 1868 Dalmeny bought a horse named Ladas, although a rule banned undergraduates from owning horses; when he was found out, he was offered a choice: to give up his studies. He chose the latter, subsequently was a prominent figure in British horseracing for 40 years. Rosebery toured the United States in 1873, 1874 and 1876, he was pressed to marry Marie Fox, the sixteen-year-old adopted daughter of Henry Fox, 4th Baron Holland.
She declined him and married Prince Louis of Liechtenstein. When his grandfather died in 1868, Dalmeny became 5th Earl of Rosebery; the earldom did not however entitle Archibald Primrose to sit in the House of Lords, nor disqualify him from sitting in the House of Commons, as the title is part of the old Peerage of Scotland, from which 16 members were elected to sit in the Lords for each session of Parliament. However, in 1828, Rosebery's grandfather had been created 1st Baron Rosebery in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which did entitle Rosebery to sit in the Lords like all peers of the United Kingdom, barred him from a career in the House of Commons. Rosebery is reputed to have said that he had three aims in life: to win the Derby, to marry an heiress, to become Prime Minister, he managed all three. At Eton, Rosebery notably attacked Charles I of England for his despotism, went on to praise his Whig forebears – his ancestor, James Stanhope, 1st Earl Stanhope, was a minister to George I of Great Britain.
Benjamin Disraeli met with Rosebery in the 1870s to try to recruit him for his party, but this proved futile. Disraeli's major rival, William Ewart Gladstone pursued Rosebery, with considerable success; as part of the Liberal plan to get Gladstone to be MP for Midlothian, Rosebery sponsored and ran the Midlothian Campaign of 1879. He based this on. Gladstone spoke from open-deck trains, gathered mass support. In 1880, he was duly returned to the premiership. Rosebery served as Foreign Secretary in Gladstone's brief third ministry in 1886, he served as the first chairman of the London County Council, set up by the Conservatives in 1889. Rosebery Avenue in Clerkenwell is named after him, he served as President of the first day of the 1890 Co-operative Congress. Rosebery's second period as Foreign Secretary, 1892–1894, predominantly involved quarrels with France over Uganda. To quote his hero Napoleon, Rosebery thought that "the Master of Egypt is the Master
1892 United Kingdom general election
The 1892 United Kingdom general election was held from 4 July to 26 July 1892. It saw the Conservatives, led by Lord Salisbury, win the greatest number of seats, but not enough for an overall majority as William Ewart Gladstone's Liberals won many more seats than in the 1886 general election; the Liberal Unionists who had supported the Conservative government saw their vote and seat numbers go down. Despite being split between Parnellite and anti-Parnellite factions, the Irish Nationalist vote held up well; as the Liberals did not have a majority on their own, Salisbury refused to resign on hearing the election results and waited to be defeated in a vote of no confidence on 11 August. Gladstone formed a minority government dependent on Irish Nationalist support; the Liberals had engaged in failed attempts at reunification between 1886 and 1887. Gladstone however was able to retain control of much of the Liberal party machinery in the form of the constituency organisation known as the National Liberal Federation.
Gladstone used the annual NLF meetings as a platform to consolidate various Liberal causes the Newcastle meeting of 1891, which gave its name to the radical Newcastle programme. This programme placed Irish Home Rule first, followed by Welsh and Scottish disestablishment, reduction in factory work hours, free education, electoral reform, land reform, reform or abolition of the House of Lords, the removal of duties on basic foods; this programme would be disowned by the party leadership following the Liberal defeat in the 1895 election. The election saw the election of Britain's first Asian MP, with Dadabhai Naoroji being elected for Finsbury Central. MPs elected in the UK general election, 1892 Parliamentary franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918 Spartacus: Political Parties and Election Results United Kingdom election results—summary results 1885–1979