This reassessment of the role of the aristocratic Whigs in the Liberal Party of the 1870s and 1880s studies the largely neglected Whig leadership of Granville and Hartington (1875-80), the leadership crisis of 1879-80, and the strategies of both front and back bench Whigs following Gladstone's return to power in 1880. Traditionally the Whigs have been dismissed as a recalcitrant and increasingly marginal element in an age characterized by `Gladstonian' Liberalism.
Dr Jenkin's aim is to restore `Whiggery' to a position of significance in Liberal politics and, in the process, to re-examine Gladstone's leadership and the role played by Radicals such as Joseph Chamberlain in the years leading up to the Home Rule crisis of 1886. In asserting the central importanceof the Irish Question to the split in the Liberal Party, the book rejects previous interpretations of the schism as merely the result of class divisions, or the result of cynical manoeuvring for personal advantage by ambitious politicians. The book is based on the author's thesis, which has been awarded the University of Cambridge's Prince Consort Prize for 1988.
1DBK United Kingdom, Great Britain, 3JH c 1800 to c 1900, HBJD1 British & Irish history, HBLL Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, JPFK Liberalism & centre democratic ideologies, JPL Political parties