New Unionism and New Politics, 1880–1900

  • Henry Pelling


There is no doubt that the early 1880’s saw a considerable change in the climate of political opinion — a change that was due in part to the effect of the ‘Great Depression’, with its apparent threat to the future of Britain’s industrial supremacy, and in part to the rise of Marxian Socialism on the continent and to the recognition of social problems at home. But the emergence of Socialism in Britain was to begin with on a very small scale, and the movement derived much of its influence from a tiny group of well-to-do supporters in London. Among the organisations founded at this time was the Fabian Society, which never became more than a forum for a few hundred intellectuals, influential though their ideas were to be.


Union Leader Local Branch Miner Federation Labour Representation Special Conference 
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© Henry Pelling 1976

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  • Henry Pelling

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