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National Crisis and National Government

National Crisis and National Government
British Politics, the Economy and Empire, 1926–1932


  • Date Published: December 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521521413

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • From 1926 Britain fell into a condition of deep national crisis, which seemed to threaten its domestic stability and international power. By 1932 the effort to contain these problems had transformed British politics and policy. Strains produced by three-party politics, economic recession and imperial difficulties resulted during 1931 in such a severe financial and political crisis that the Labour government collapsed and Conservative, Liberal and some Labour leaders joined together in a National government. Despite large public expenditure cuts and tax increases, and despite devaluation of sterling and a new crisis in the Indian Empire, this government obtained the greatest British election victory of modern times. This 1992 book examines all aspects of the crisis together and in depth, using an extensive range of official, institutional and personal papers.

    • Reveals the role of the Treasury, the Bank, and some of the period's leading politicians, in the political crisis of 1931 and the fall of the Labour government
    • Examines the policy and politics behind one of the most significant crises of the modern age
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'It is a comprehensive study which will no doubt establish Williamson's reputation as a major authority on the high politics of this tense and dramatic period … The book is a mine of information. New material has been unearthed, often from obscure archives. From such research comes a real understanding of the actors in the drama … a valuable and highly rewarding contribution to the analysis of a highly significant historical event.' The Durham University Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521521413
    • length: 588 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 34 mm
    • weight: 0.9kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Conventions and abbreviations
    Part I. Components of Crisis:
    1. The erosion of Conservative predominance
    2. Economic and imperial troubles
    3. Government and party troubles
    4. 'National crisis'
    Part II. Crisis Avoided:
    5. The impact of India
    6. Retrenchment and containment
    7. Towards a two-party system
    Part III. The Crisis:
    8. The financial crisis: July 1931
    9. The political crisis: August 1931
    10. First effects
    11. The emergency government's crisis: September 1931
    Part IV. Crisis Overcome:
    12. The political reconstruction
    13. The defeated
    14. The national government

  • Author

    Philip Williamson, University of Durham

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