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Conservatism in the United Kingdom

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Conservatism in the United Kingdom

Conservatism in the United Kingdom is related to its counterparts in other Western nations, but has a distinct tradition. Edmund Burke is often considered the father of modern English conservatism in the Anglosphere.[1][2][3] Burke was a member of a conservative faction of the Whig party;[note 1] the modern Conservative Party however has been described as "the heir, and in some measure the continuation, of the old Tory Party" by Lord Norton of Louth,[4] and the Conservatives are often still referred to as Tories.[5] One Australian scholar (Glen Worthington) says: "For Edmund Burke and Australians of a like mind, the essence of conservatism lies not in a body of theory, but in the disposition to maintain those institutions seen as central to the beliefs and practices of society."[6]

The old established form of English and, after the Act of Union, British conservatism, was the Tory Party. It reflected the attitudes of a rural land owning class, and championed the institutions of the monarchy, the Anglican Church, the family, property as the best defence of the social order. In the early stages of the industrial revolution, it seemed to be totally opposed to a process that seemed to undermine some of these bulwarks, and the new industrial elite were seen by many as enemies to the social order. Robert Peel was able to reconcile the new industrial class to the Tory landed class by persuading the latter to accept the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, and adopted laissez-faire economic policies from 1918 onwards.[4] The new coalition of traditional landowners and sympathetic industrialists constituted the new Conservative Party.

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  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c
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  6. ^ Worthington, Glen, Conservatism in Australian National Politics, Parliament of Australia Parliamentary Library, 19 February 2002
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  10. ^
  11. ^ Scott-Samuel, Alex, et al. "The Impact of Thatcherism on Health and Well-Being in Britain." International Journal of Health Services 44.1 (2014): 53-71.
  12. ^ a b c Davies, Stephen, Margaret Thatcher and the Rebirth of Conservatism, Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs, July 1993

References

  1. ^ However, Burke lived before the terms "conservative" and "liberal" were used to describe political ideologies, and he dubbed his faction the "Old Whigs". cf. J. C. D. Clark, English Society, 1660–1832 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 5, p. 301.
  2. ^ See also: Big Society.
  3. ^ See: One Nation Labour.

Notes

See also

However, in the 1980s, under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, and the influence of Keith Joseph, there was a dramatic shift in the ideological direction of British conservatism, with a movement towards free-market economic policies and neoliberalism (known as Thatcherism).[11] As one commentator explains, "The privatization of state owned industries, unthinkable before, became commonplace [during Thatcher's government] and has now been imitated all over the world."[12] Thatcher was described as "a radical in a conservative party",[12] and her ideology has been seen as confronting "established institutions" and the "accepted beliefs of the elite",[12] both concepts incompatible with the traditional conception of conservatism as signifying support for the established order and existing social convention (status quo).

A Liberal-Conservative coalition during World War I, coupled with the ascent of the Labour Party, hastened the collapse of the Liberals in the 1920s. After World War II, the Conservative Party made concessions to the socialist policies of the left. This compromise was a pragmatic measure to regain power, but also the result of the early successes of central planning and state ownership forming a cross-party consensus. This was known as Butskellism, after the almost identical Keynesian policies of Rab Butler on behalf of the Conservatives, and Hugh Gaitskell for Labour.

David Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Conservative Party.

Although nominally a Conservative, Disraeli was sympathetic to some of the demands of the Tory Democracy attributed to Lord Randolph Churchill, father of Britain's wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

[10].2015 General Election during the Scottish National Party especially with the rise of the [9][note 3],Labour and [8][7] is still a significant tradition in British politics, in both the Conservative Party"one nation" conservatism This [note 2]

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