Liberal Unionist Party

Knowledge Identifier: &Liberal_Unionist_Party

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Liberal Unionist Party

British political party that was formed in 1886 by a faction that broke away from the Liberal Party add

Category: Politics

Founded in 1886.

Countries: United Kingdom (73%), Ireland (15%), United States (3%)

Main connections: Neville Chamberlain, Conservative Party (UK), William Ewart Gladstone

Linked to: Conservative Party, Liberal Party, British Whig Party, Irish Unionist Party

 

Timeline


 

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1886

After 1886 it was the Conservatives who enjoyed this position and they received a huge boost with their electoral and political alliance with a party of disaffected Liberals add something

 

Chamberlain had briefly taken office in the Gladstone government which had been formed in 1886 but resigned when he saw the details of Gladstone's Home Rule plans add something

 

The 1886 election left the Conservatives as the largest party in the House of Commons, but without an overall majority add something

 

The "'Liberal Unionist Party"' was a British political party that was formed in 1886 by a faction that broke away from the Liberal Party add something

 

The anti-Home Rule Liberals formed a 'Committee for the Preservation of the Union' in early 1886 and were soon joined by a smaller radical faction led by Joseph Chamberlain and John Bright add something

 

Their strength in the House of Commons fell from 78 seats in 1886 to 47 in 1892 but recovered to 71 and 68 in the general elections of 1895 and 1900 add something

 

In December 1886, when Lord Randolph Churchill suddenly resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Salisbury offered the position to Goschen, by far the most conservative of the leading Liberal Unionists add something


1887

The failed talks of 1887 forced the Liberal Unionists to continue to develop their links with the Conservatives add something


1889

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 add something


1890

While both factions opposed Home Rule, there was little else that united them, and a separate Liberal Unionist identity was hard to define in the politics of the late 1890s add something


1892

Relations between the former political colleagues hardened with the return of Gladstone as Prime Minister, following the 1892 General Election add something

 

Matthew Joseph Kenny - Matthew Kenny, initially a Parnellite M.P., was a cousin of William Kenny, a Liberal Unionist M.P. The two cousins' tenures on opposite sides in the House of Commons overlapped between 1892 and 1895


1895

By now all chance of a reunion between the Liberals and Liberal Unionists had disappeared, and it was no great surprise when leading Liberal Unionists joined Salisbury's new administration in 1895 following the heavy electoral defeat inflicted on the Liberal party add something

 

Since 1895 the topical 'Liberal Unionist' reference has caused some problems with later productions of the play add something

 

The journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley served one term as the Liberal Unionist member of parliament for Lambeth North between 1895 and 1900 add something

 

Alpheus Morton - At the 1895 general election, Morton was defeated in Peterborough by the Liberal Unionist Robert Purvis

 

The play was first performed at the Queen's Theatre London on 14 February 1895 and ran for 83 performances add something


1900

The writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stood unsuccessfully as a Liberal Unionist parliamentary candidate in 1900 and 1906, in the Scottish seats of Edinburgh Central and Hawick Burghs respectively, as did polar explorer Ernest Shackleton in 1906 in the two-member Dundee constituency add something

 

Neville Chamberlain - During the "Khaki election" of 1900 he made speeches in support of Joseph Chamberlain's Liberal Unionists


1901

Years later, in 1901, Lloyd George was to go to Birmingham once more but as a fierce critic of Chamberlain and the Boer War. add something


1903

Despite these tensions, the Liberal Unionists more or less managed to stay together until 1903, when in a surprise move, Chamberlain dramatically launched Tariff Reform with a speech in his Birmingham political homeland add something


1904

Rejecting Tariff Reform, Devonshire and other supporters of Free Trade left the Liberal Unionist Association in 1904 in protest add something


1905

An effective merger had already happened to some extent in Ireland, with the Irish Unionist Party and the separately organized Ulster Unionist Council in 1905, later formally to become the Ulster Unionist Party add something


1906

Chamberlain's stroke in 1906 robbed him of this chance, though he remained involved in political life until 1914 add something

 

In the 1906 General Election, the Liberal Unionists shared the same fate as their Conservative allies, with a big reduction in their parliamentary strength add something

 

Indeed, for a short period in early 1906, Chamberlain was the de facto leader of the Unionist alliance in the House of Commons, as the Conservative party leader, and former Prime Minister, Arthur Balfour had lost his seat in the election add something

 

Chamberlain could, perhaps, have led the Unionists despite these drawbacks, but in July 1906 he suffered a stroke, which left him physically crippled add something


1908

Devonshire died in 1908 but,despite the loss of the party's two most famous standard bearers, the Liberal Unionists were still able to increase their parliamentary representation in the two 1910 General Elections to 32 and 36 MPs add something

 

Ernest Morrison-Bell - He was elected Liberal Unionist party Member of Parliament for Ashburton at a by-election in 1908, lost the seat in the January 1910 election, and regained it in the November 1910 election


1909

James Avon Clyde, Lord Clyde - He sat as Liberal Unionist Member of Parliament for Edinburgh West from 1909 to 1918 and Coalition Unionist member for Edinburgh North from 1918–1920


1910

George Lloyd, 1st Baron Lloyd - At the January 1910 general election Lloyd was elected as a Liberal Unionist Member of Parliament for West Staffordshire, marrying Blanche Lascelles the following year


1911

Leo Amery, who later joined the Cabinet and Privy Council as a senior Conservative politician, was originally elected as a Liberal Unionist at a Birmingham South by-election in 1911 add something

 

The issue of Tariff Reform had now became overshadowed by the revived threat of Home Rule for Ireland, as the Parliament Act 1911 effectively stripped the House of Lords of its ability to veto it, while leaving it with delaying powers add something

 

This encouraged a movement to merge the two parties formally at the constituency and national organizational levels, a process speeded up by the election in 1911 of Andrew Bonar Law as the new Conservative Party leader add something


1912

Although by 1912 the political distinctions between the two parties had long ceased to have any real meaning, they had been a residual factor in Austen Chamberlain's failure to become the Unionist leader in the House of Commons in 1911 add something

 

Though the Liberal Unionist party disappeared as a separate organisation in 1912, the Chamberlain legacy helped keep the industrial powerhouse of Birmingham from returning to the Liberal party and would only be changed once more in 1945 in the Labour Party electoral landslide of that year add something

 

In May 1912 the formal merger of the Conservatives and Liberal Unionists was finally accomplished, to form the Conservative and Unionist Party, now usually called the Conservative Party add something


1920

William Edward Baxter - Sir George, was active in the running of the Liberal Unionist and Unionist Parties in Dundee, served as President of the Scottish Unionist Association in 1920


1925

Neville Chamberlain - The Liberal Unionists were allied with the Conservatives and later merged with them under the name "Unionist Party", which in 1925 became known as the "Conservative and Unionist Party"


1930

He confided to his own family how he always regarded the Conservative party label as 'odious' and thought of it a barrier to people joining what he thought could be a non-socialist but a reforming party during the 1930s which he hoped would be called 'National' to include the parties of the National Government coalition in the 1930s add something


1937

It remained a profound influence on Chamberlain's sons Austen and Neville Chamberlain, who, when he was elected leader of the Conservative Party and thus became Prime Minister in 1937, told an audience how proud he was of his Liberal Unionist roots add something


1950

So perhaps Asquith was making a political point for the 1950s add something


1952

However, in 1952 this comment was oddly true about the Liberal party whose continued political representation in parliament was largely due to the Conservative party avoid splitting the 'anti-socialist' vote add something

 

In 1952 film version directed by Anthony Asquith Jack answers that he is a 'Liberal' rather than 'Liberal Unionist' add something


2002

However in the 2002 film version which starred Judi Dench, Colin Firth, Rupert Everett and Reese Witherspoon - the lines were dropped even though this film re-incorporated episodes and characters in an earlier version of the play that Wilde had been encouraged to drop before the play's first performance add something