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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Birmingham, the "Caucus" and the 1868 general election
Author(s): Cawood, Ian
Issue Date: Jan-2020
Citation: Cawood I (2020) Birmingham, the "Caucus" and the 1868 general election. Journal of Liberal History, (105).
Abstract: First paragraph: In the national historiography of the Victorian Liberal Party, Birmingham holds an ambiguous position. It did pioneer a new approach to political organisation and electioneering, most spectacularly in the 1868 general election which saw all three of the seats for the city won for the Liberals, thanks to the work of the Birmingham Liberal Association (BLA). But the BLA later proved to be a troublesome ally for Gladstone and its founders as Andrew Reekes has recently described. In some ways, its actions were manipulative of the electorate and not fully representative of the political complexion of the city. If the BLA has been considered to be the prototype of modern political organisation, owing to its success in 1868, it has been suggested by some commentators this was not entirely beneficial for the development of participative democratic politics in Britain nor for the long-term survival of the Liberal Party.
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Journal of Liberal History, 105, Winter 2019-2020 by the Liberal Democrat History Group. The original publication is available at:
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