Essays24.com - Term Papers and Free Essays
Search

Why Did It Take So Long For A Separate Working-Class Party To Be Established In The U.K?

Essay by   •  December 1, 2010  •  1,155 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,331 Views

Essay Preview: Why Did It Take So Long For A Separate Working-Class Party To Be Established In The U.K?

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5

Why did it take so long for a separate working-class party to be established in the U.K?

The fact that it took so long for a working-class party to have been formed in the United Kingdom is down to many reasons, both social and political. Importantly, it was only after the passing of the Second Reform Act in 1867 that allowed the urban workers the vote, though, it was some 40 years after that that the Labour Party came to exist in its current form.

Changes began early in the 19th century with the Reform Act 1832, in which a distribution of seats saw more industrial areas, particularly in the North, which is now seen as traditionally being Labour's stronghold. The industrialised towns of the North that grew around the time of the Industrial Revolution played a big part in the eventual success of Labour; however even though they were heavily populated with working class persons, many of which were enfranchised after the Second Reform Act in 1867, this did not prove to be an immediate catalyst for a working class party to be set up in the light of the Act, though obviously further down the line the enfranchisement of working class people was fundamental to a party finally being set up to represent them.

Early after the 1867 Act, many of the newly enfranchised working class found themselves unsure of who to vote for, yet it was the Liberals who most closely represented the needs and ideas of the working class, working for social reform and other issues which encapsulated the needs of the working man. However, they were not a working class party, and had little in the way of MPs of a working class background for many reasons, not least the cost of getting into Parliament being beyond that of most of the working class. There was a feeling of distrust towards the state from the working class, many didn't engage in the political process, and though it seems a trivial point, many couldn't take part in voting due to unease of access to polling stations and the burden of work on time one would get to vote. These added to the length of time it took for a party to be set up, and whilst there wasn't a specific working class party those who did vote seemed intent on doing so for the Liberals, who whilst not representing the particular ideals and ways of life of the working class, where a firmly established political party helping their communities and where an obvious alternative to voting Tory, and whilst they were doing an adequate job there may have been a lethargic attitude to setting up a new party, which would be untested, difficult and very costly.

The cost involved in running for Parliament was high, and thus until 1895 only three independent working class candidates had been elected into Parliament, including Keir Hardie, who was a driving force in setting up the Labour Representation Committee and the early Labour Party. It was unlikely that without investment many others could make it, and the importance in the Union involvement with the party's beginnings is evident.

In 1900 the Labour Representation Committee was set up, which was a coming together of various organisations; the ILP, the Fabian Society, the SDF and various union leaders which was the beginnings of a working class party, however there was not much in the way of success, and in the 1900 election only two candidates were successfully elected out of the 15 put forward. Whilst there was a lack of cohesion in the working class before, the "Great Depression" had bonded a lot of the working class together, both the skilled and unskilled as they were equally under pressure and at threat, which helped in the formation of the LRC and later the Labour Party as they had similar needs and agendas in mind. Money was always a problem, and the LRC were eager to have union affiliations to greater their income and support base, however it was not until 1901 and the Taff Vale Case that saw a larger union affiliation with the

...

...

Download as:   txt (6.5 Kb)   pdf (90.4 Kb)   docx (10.8 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on Essays24.com
Citation Generator

(2010, 12). Why Did It Take So Long For A Separate Working-Class Party To Be Established In The U.K?. Essays24.com. Retrieved 12, 2010, from https://www.essays24.com/essay/Why-Did-It-Take-So-Long-For-A/16073.html

"Why Did It Take So Long For A Separate Working-Class Party To Be Established In The U.K?" Essays24.com. 12 2010. 2010. 12 2010 <https://www.essays24.com/essay/Why-Did-It-Take-So-Long-For-A/16073.html>.

"Why Did It Take So Long For A Separate Working-Class Party To Be Established In The U.K?." Essays24.com. Essays24.com, 12 2010. Web. 12 2010. <https://www.essays24.com/essay/Why-Did-It-Take-So-Long-For-A/16073.html>.

"Why Did It Take So Long For A Separate Working-Class Party To Be Established In The U.K?." Essays24.com. 12, 2010. Accessed 12, 2010. https://www.essays24.com/essay/Why-Did-It-Take-So-Long-For-A/16073.html.