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Portrait of a PartyThe Conservative Party in Britain 1918-1945$
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Stuart Ball

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199667987

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199667987.001.0001

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Leaders

Leaders

Authority and Crises

Chapter:
(p.450) 7 Leaders
Source:
Portrait of a Party
Author(s):

Stuart Ball

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199667987.003.0008

This chapter arrives at the apex of power in the Conservative Party—the Leader of the Party. It analyses the office of Party Leader: their rise to the top, the machinery by which they ‘emerge’ or are chosen, their roles and duties in that post, and the mechanisms and difficulties involved in their removal. The styles of leadership exhibited by the five Leaders of the period are also considered and compared. The second part of the chapter focuses upon a fact that, whilst apparently politically dominant and electorally successful, the Conservative Party between 1920 and 1940 was almost constantly affected by internal disunity which manifested as visible dissent and public opposition to the Leader or his policy. The final part of this chapter focuses on the four main crises of the Coalition in 1921–22, protectionism in 1929–31, India in 1929–35 and ‘appeasement’ in 1936–39 are considered first in terms of various common themes and patterns, and then the causes and outcome are examined in each case.

Keywords:   Conservative Party, party leaders, disunity, coalition, protectionism, appeasement

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