9781137274120

Militarism and the British Left, 1902-1914

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781137274120

  • ISBN10:

    1137274123

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-01-18
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Summary

Militarism is usually regarded as a phenomenon of the political right. It has traditionally been seen as alien indeed, as antithetical to the values and principles of the left. In Britain during the years before the Great War, however, the relationship between militarism and the politics of the left was a highly complex one. Militarism in pre-war British society was manifest in a variety of forms, from popular enthusiasm for war and martial values, to demands for greater provision to be made for the nation's defence, and even in calls for the militarization of society itself. The response of the political left to these challenges was ambivalent and contested. Whilst militaristic sentiment and practice did not always sit comfortably alongside progressive principles, an ideological space existed on the left in which militaristic ideas could take root. Indeed, militarism could take on ostensibly 'progressive' forms that proved particularly appealing to some elements on the left. Moving beyond the focus on pacifism and anti-militarism that has characterized much of the existing scholarship on this subject, this book explores the ways in which Liberals, socialists, and others on the left of British politics were able to accommodate aspects of militarism during the years before 1914. In doing so it offers an intriguing new perspective on the nature of militarism itself.

Author Biography

MATTHEW JOHNSON is the Stevenson Junior Research Fellow in History at University College, Oxford. This is his first book

Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAcknowledgementsList of Abbreviations Introduction:Militarism and the Left: Conceptual Problems and the Case of BritainIdeological Context: War, Martial Values, and Military PrestigeCivil-Military Relations under the Pre-War Liberal GovernmentsThe Militarization of the State: Armaments, Popular Navalism, and the Liberal PartyThe Militarization of Society: Compulsory Service, the National Service League, and Progressive Politics Alternatives to Conscription: Richard Burdon Haldane and a 'Liberal' Nation-in-ArmsConclusion and Epilogue:Militarism and the Left by 1914, the Great War, and the Coming of ConscriptionAppendix I:Liberal MPs with military or naval experience sitting in the House of Commons between 1900 and 1914Appendix II:Liberal MPs affiliated to the Navy League before 1914Appendix III:Members of the Liberal War Committee by December 1916 Bibliography

Index

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