1900 United Kingdom general election
The 1900 United Kingdom general election was held between 26 September and 24 October 1900, following the dissolution of Parliament on 25 September. Referred to as the Khaki Election, it was held at a time when it was believed that the Second Boer War had been won; the Conservative Party, led by Lord Salisbury with their Liberal Unionist allies, secured a large majority of 130 seats, despite securing only 5.6% more votes than Henry Campbell-Bannerman's Liberals. This was owing to the Conservatives winning 163 seats that were uncontested by others; the Labour Representation Committee to become the Labour Party, participated in a general election for the first time. However, it had only been in existence for a few months; this was the first occasion. He had lost, it was the final general election of the Victorian era and the 19th century. MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1900 Parliamentary franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918 Craig, F. W. S. British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302 Garvin, J. L.
The life of Joseph Chamberlain: Volume Three 1895–1900, London, pp. 571–92 on dissolving Parliament, pp. , 593–607 on Khaki election Hinton, Guy, "Newcastle and the Boer War: Regional Reactions to an Imperial War", Northern History, 52: 272–294, doi:10.1179/0078172X15Z.00000000092 Marsh, Peter T. Joseph Chamberlain: Entrepreneur in Politics, pp. 492–502 Readman, Paul, "The Conservative party and British politics: the case of the general election of 1900", Journal of British Studies, 40: 107–145, JSTOR 3070771 Roberts, Salisbury: Victorian Titan, pp. 766–83 Spartacus: Political Parties and Election Results United Kingdom election results—summary results 1885–1979 1900 Conservative manifesto 1900 Labour manifesto 1900 Liberal manifesto
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom, having financed the European coalition that defeated France during the Napoleonic Wars, developed a large Royal Navy that enabled the British Empire to become the foremost world power for the next century; the Crimean War with Russia and the Boer wars were small operations in a peaceful century. Rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the state's formation continued up until the mid-19th century; the Great Irish Famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the mid-19th century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland and increased calls for Irish land reform. The 19th century was an era of rapid economic modernisation and growth of industry and finance, in which Britain dominated the world economy. Outward migration was heavy to the United States; the empire was expanded into much of South Asia. The Colonial Office and India Office ruled through a small number of administrators who managed the units of the empire locally, while democratic institutions began to develop.
British India, by far the most important overseas possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In overseas policy, the central policy was free trade, which enabled British and Irish financiers and merchants to operate in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. London formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan and Russia, moved closer to the United States. Growing desire for Irish self-governance led to the Irish War of Independence, which resulted in most of Ireland seceding from the Union and forming the Irish Free State in 1922. Northern Ireland remained part of the Union, the state was renamed to the current "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" in 1927; the modern-day United Kingdom is the same country as the one from this period—a direct continuation of what remained after the secession—not an new successor state. A brief period of limited independence for Ireland came to an end following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, which occurred during the British war with revolutionary France.
The British government's fear of an independent Ireland siding against them with the French resulted in the decision to unite the two countries. This was brought about by legislation in the parliaments of both kingdoms and came into effect on 1 January 1801; the Irish had been led to believe by the British that their loss of legislative independence would be compensated with Catholic emancipation, that is, by the removal of civil disabilities placed upon Roman Catholics in both Great Britain and Ireland. However, King George III was bitterly opposed to any such Emancipation and succeeded in defeating his government's attempts to introduce it. During the War of the Second Coalition, Britain occupied most of the French and Dutch overseas possessions, the Netherlands having become a satellite state of France in 1796, but tropical diseases claimed the lives of over 40,000 troops; when the Treaty of Amiens ended the war, Britain agreed to return most of the territories it had seized. The peace settlement was in effect only a ceasefire, Napoleon continued to provoke the British by attempting a trade embargo on the country and by occupying the city of Hanover, capital of the Electorate, a German-speaking duchy, in a personal union with the United Kingdom.
In May 1803, war was declared again. Napoleon's plans to invade Great Britain failed, chiefly due to the inferiority of his navy, in 1805 a Royal Navy fleet led by Nelson decisively defeated the French and Spanish at Trafalgar, the last significant naval action of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1806, Napoleon issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System; this policy aimed to eliminate the threat from the British by closing French-controlled territory to foreign trade. The British Army remained a minimal threat to France. Although the Royal Navy disrupted France's extra-continental trade—both by seizing and threatening French shipping and by seizing French colonial possessions—it could do nothing about France's trade with the major continental economies and posed little threat to French territory in Europe. France's population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of the British Isles, but it was smaller in terms of industry, mercantile marine and naval strength.
Napoleon expected that cutting Britain off from the European mainland would end its economic hegemony. On the contrary Britain possessed the greatest industrial capacity in the world, its mastery of the seas allowed it to build up considerable economic strength through trade to its possessions and the United States; the Spanish uprising in 1808 at last permitted Britain to gain a foothold on the Continent. The Duke of Wellington pushed the French out of Spain, in early 1814, as Napoleon was being driven back in the east by the Prussians and Russians, Wellington invaded southern France. After Napoleon's surrender and exile to the island of Elba, peace appeared to have returned. Napoleon reappeared in 1815; the Allies united and the armies of Wellington and Blücher defeated Napoleon once and for all at Waterloo. To defeat France, Britain put heavy pressure on the Americans
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough that holds city status. It occupies much of the central area of Greater London including most of the West End. In Middlesex, it is to the west of the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, its southern boundary is the River Thames; the London borough was created with the 1965 establishment of Greater London. Upon its creation, it inherited the city status held by the smaller Metropolitan Borough of Westminster from 1900, first awarded to Westminster in 1540. Aside from a number of large parks and open spaces, the population density of the district is high. Many sites associated with London are in the borough, including St. James's Palace, Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and 10 Downing Street; the borough is divided into a number of localities including the ancient political district of Westminster. Much of the borough is residential, in 2008 it was estimated to have a population of 236,000.
The local government body is Westminster City Council. A study in 2017 by Trust for London and The New Policy Institute found that Westminster has the third-highest pay inequality of the 32 London boroughs, it has the second-least affordable private rent for low earners in London, behind only Kensington and Chelsea. The borough performs more positively on education, with 82% of adults and 69% of 19-year-olds having Level 3 qualifications; the current Westminster coat of arms were given to the city by an official grant on 2 September 1964. Westminster had other arms before; the symbols in the lower two thirds of the shield stand for former municipalities now merged with the city, Paddington and St. Marylebone; the original arms had a portcullis as the main charge. The origins of the City of Westminster pre-date the Norman Conquest of England. In the mid-11th century, King Edward the Confessor began the construction of an abbey at Westminster, only the foundations of which survive today. Between the abbey and the river he built a palace, thereby guaranteeing that the seat of Government would be fixed at Westminster, drawing power and wealth west out of the old City of London.
For centuries Westminster and the City of London were geographically quite distinct. It was not until the sixteenth century that houses began to be built over the adjoining fields absorbing nearby villages such as Marylebone and Kensington, creating the vast Greater London that exists today. Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries abolished the abbey at Westminster, although the former abbey church is still called Westminster Abbey; the church was the cathedral of the Diocese of Westminster created from part of the Diocese of London in 1540, by letters patent which granted city status to Westminster, a status retained after the diocese was abolished in 1550. The Westminster Court of Burgesses was formed in 1585 to govern the Westminster area under the Abbey's control; the City and Liberties of Westminster were further defined by Letters Patent in 1604, the court of burgesses and liberty continued in existence until 1900, the creation of the Metropolitan Borough of Westminster. The present-day City of Westminster as an administrative entity with its present boundaries dates from 1965, when the City of Westminster was created from the former area of three metropolitan boroughs: St Marylebone and the smaller Metropolitan Borough of Westminster, which included Soho, Mayfair, St. James's, Westminster, Pimlico and Hyde Park.
This restructuring took place under the London Government Act 1963, which reduced the number of local government districts in London, resulting in local authorities responsible for larger geographical areas and greater populations. The Westminster Metropolitan Borough was itself the result of an administrative amalgamation which took place in 1900. Sir John Hunt O. B. E was the First Town Clerk of the City of Westminster, 1900–1928. Prior to 1900, the area occupied by what would become the Metropolitan Borough of Westminster had been administered by five separate local bodies: the Vestry of St George Hanover Square, the Vestry of St Martin in the Fields, Strand District Board of Works, Westminster District Board of Works and the Vestry of Westminster St James; the boundaries of the City of Westminster today, as well as those of the other London boroughs, have remained more or less unchanged since the Act of 1963. The following table shows the ethnic group of respondents in the 2001 and 2011 census in Westminster.
The city is divided into each electing three councillors. Westminster City Council is composed of 41 Conservative Party members and 19 Labour Party members. A Lord Mayor is elected annually to serve as the official representative of the city for one year. See List of Lord Mayors of Westminster for a list of former Mayors and Lord Mayors; the City of Westminster covers all or part of the following areas of London: The City of Westminster is home to a large number of companies. Many leading global corporations have chosen to establish their global or European headquarters in the City of Westminster. Mayfair and St. James's within the City of Westminster have a large concentration of hedge fund and private equity funds; the West End is known as the Theatre District and is home to many of the leading performing arts businesses. Soho and its adjoining areas house a concentration of creative companies. Oxford Street is
Irish Parliamentary Party
The Irish Parliamentary Party was formed in 1874 by Isaac Butt, the leader of the Nationalist Party, replacing the Home Rule League, as official parliamentary party for Irish nationalist Members of Parliament elected to the House of Commons at Westminster within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland up until 1918. Its central objectives were legislative independence for land reform, its constitutional movement was instrumental in laying the groundwork for Irish self-government through three Irish Home Rule bills. The IPP evolved out of the Home Rule League which Isaac Butt founded after he defected from the Irish Conservative Party in 1873; the League sought to gain a limited form of freedom from Britain in order to manage Irish domestic affairs in the interest of the Protestant landlord class. It was inspired by the 1868 election of William Ewart Gladstone and his Liberal Party under the slogan Justice for Ireland, by Irish Liberals' gain of 65 of the 105 Irish seats at Westminster.
Gladstone said his mission was to pacify Ireland and with the Irish Church Act 1869 began with the disestablishment of the Anglican Church of Ireland whose members were a minority who made all political decisions in Ireland and would have voted Conservative. He introduced his first land bill which led to the First Irish Land Act 1870, implementing limited tenant rights, thereby impinging on the powers of the Irish landlords to indiscriminately evict tenant farmers. At first the Catholic hierarchy supported Gladstone supervising Irish affairs, hoping to gain financial aid for a Catholic University, but his educational programme of 1873 did not provide for a denominational university. The Home Government Association adopted educational issues and land reform into its programme, the hierarchy favouring a Dublin-based parliament; the increasing Catholic numbers within the association frightened off its Protestant, landlord element. The association was dissolved and Butt replaced it with the Home Rule League, formed after a conference in Dublin in November 1873.
Gladstone unexpectedly called a new general election in 1874, which helped bring the League to the foreground. Since 1872 the Secret Ballots Act had been introduced, so that voting was to be done secretly for the first time from on; the League put denominational education, land reform and release of political prisoners at the centre of the movement. It had difficulty finding reliable candidates to support its Home Rule issue, though succeeded in winning sixty Irish seats, many with ex-Liberals. After the 1874 general election, forty-six members assembled in Dublin and organised themselves into a separate Irish parliamentary party in the Commons; the political outlook appeared encouraging at first, but the party was unable to achieve anything, the Liberals and Gladstone having lost the election. Isaac Butt made some well-received speeches but failed to persuade any of the major parties to support bills beneficial to Ireland, nothing worthwhile reaching the statute books. A minor group of impatient young Irish members, the genuine "Home-Rulers" distanced themselves from Butt's lack of assertiveness and, led by Charles Stewart Parnell, Joseph Biggar, John O'Connor Power, Edmund Dwyer Gray, Frank Hugh O'Donnell and John Dillon, some of whom had close connections with the Fenian movement, adopted the method of parliamentary "obstructionism" during 1876–1877, to bring Westminster out of its complacency towards Ireland by proposing amendments to every bill and making lengthy overnight speeches.
This helped to revitalise the Irish party. Butt considered obstructionism a threat to democracy. An internal struggle began between Butt's majority and Parnell's minority leading to a rift in the party. Parnell first worked to have Fenians freed who missed out on Gladstone's earlier amnesty, including Michael Davitt. After his release in 1877, Davitt travelled to America to meet John Devoy, the leading Irish-American Fenian and raise funds. During 1878 Parnell met with leading members of the Irish American Fenians. In October Devoy agreed to a New Departure of separating militancy from the constitutional movement in order to further its path to Home Rule. Throughout 1879 Parnell continued to campaign for land reform and when Davitt founded the Irish National Land League in October 1879 Parnell was elected president, but did not take control of it, favouring to continue to hold mass meetings. Isaac Butt died that year and Parnell held back in grabbing control of the party. Instead he travelled to America with John Dillon on a fund raising mission for political purposes and to relieve distress in Ireland after a world economic depression slumped the sale of agricultural produce.
At the general election of April 1880, sixty-four Home Rulers were elected, twenty-seven Parnell supporters, facilitating in May his nomination as leader of a divided Home Rule Party and of a country on the brink of a land war. He understood that supporting land agitation was a means to achieving his objective of self-government; the Conservatives under Disraeli had been defeated in the election and Gladstone was again Prime Minister. He attempted to defuse the land question with the dual ownership Second Land Act of 1881 which failed to eliminate tenant evictions. Parnell and his party lieutenants, William O'Brien, John Dillon, Michael Davitt, Willie Redmond, went into a bitter verbal offensive and were imprisoned in October 1881 under the Irish Coercion Act in Kilmainham Jail for "sabotaging the Land Act", from where the No Rent Manifest
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, domestically as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, the House of Commons; the two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London. The House of Lords includes two different types of members: the Lords Spiritual, consisting of the most senior bishops of the Church of England, the Lords Temporal, consisting of life peers, appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister, of 92 hereditary peers, sitting either by virtue of holding a royal office, or by being elected by their fellow hereditary peers.
Prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2009, the House of Lords performed a judicial role through the Law Lords. The House of Commons is an elected chamber with elections to 650 single member constituencies held at least every five years under the first-past-the-post system; the two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster in London. By constitutional convention, all government ministers, including the Prime Minister, are members of the House of Commons or, less the House of Lords and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature. Most cabinet ministers are from the Commons, whilst junior ministers can be from either House. However, the Leader of the House of Lords must be a peer; the Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union by Acts of Union passed by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, both Acts of Union stating, "That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament to be styled The Parliament of Great Britain".
At the start of the 19th century, Parliament was further enlarged by Acts of Union ratified by the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland that abolished the latter and added 100 Irish MPs and 32 Lords to the former to create the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 formally amended the name to the "Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", five years after the secession of the Irish Free State in 1922. With the global expansion of the British Empire, the UK Parliament has shaped the political systems of many countries as ex-colonies and so it has been called the "Mother of Parliaments". However, John Bright – who coined the epithet – used it in reference to the political culture of "England" rather than just the parliamentary system. In theory, the UK's supreme legislative power is vested in the Crown-in-Parliament. However, the Crown acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the powers of the House of Lords are limited to only delaying legislation.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was created on 1 January 1801, by the merger of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union 1800. The principle of ministerial responsibility to the lower House did not develop until the 19th century—the House of Lords was superior to the House of Commons both in theory and in practice. Members of the House of Commons were elected in an antiquated electoral system, under which constituencies of vastly different sizes existed. Thus, the borough of Old Sarum, with seven voters, could elect two members, as could the borough of Dunwich, which had completely disappeared into the sea due to land erosion. Many small constituencies, known as pocket or rotten boroughs, were controlled by members of the House of Lords, who could ensure the election of their relatives or supporters. During the reforms of the 19th century, beginning with the Reform Act 1832, the electoral system for the House of Commons was progressively regularised.
No longer dependent on the Lords for their seats, MPs grew more assertive. The supremacy of the British House of Commons was reaffirmed in the early 20th century. In 1909, the Commons passed the so-called "People's Budget", which made numerous changes to the taxation system which were detrimental to wealthy landowners; the House of Lords, which consisted of powerful landowners, rejected the Budget. On the basis of the Budget's popularity and the Lords' consequent unpopularity, the Liberal Party narrowly won two general elections in 1910. Using the result as a mandate, the Liberal Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith, introduced the Parliament Bill, which sought to restrict the powers of the House of Lords; when the Lords refused to pass the bill, Asquith countered with a promise extracted from the King in secret before the second general election of 1910 and requested the creation of several hundred Liberal peers, so as to erase the Conservative majority in the House of Lords. In the face of such a threat, the House of Lords narrowly passed the bill.
The Parliament Act 1911, as it became, prevented the Lords from blocking a money bill, allowed them to delay any other bill for a maximum of three sessions, after which it could become law over their objections. However, regardless of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, t