This is the first detailed survey of democratic ideas on the British Left in the period leading to 1914. Socialists of the late nineteenth century inherited assumptions about the priority of democracy from a long tradition of British Radicalism. However, the advent of the Fabians, who rejected this tradition as primitive, and of an ILP leadership more concerned to enter than reform parliament, meant that the movement was split between 'strong' and 'weak' views of democracy. By the eve of the First World War a consensus was emerging that might have formed the basis for a more realistic and more radical approach to democracy than has actually been pursued by the Labour Party and the Left during the twentieth century. Democratic Ideas and the British Labour Movement assesses an important debate in the history of socialist ideas and in the formation of the British Labour movement.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 338
Weight: 670 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
'It traces the importance of democracy from those who took on the mantle of the Chartists, to those who came together to form the Labour Party, and from those who believed in strong democracy to those who believed that they could change the world simply by being in power without winning the arguments among the majority of the electorate.' Chartist