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The Role of the Member of Parliament Since
1868From Gentlemen to Players$
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Michael Rush

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198275770

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198275770.001.0001

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The Political Context

The Political Context

(p.25) 2 The Political Context
The Role of the Member of Parliament Since 1868

Michael Rush

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the political context within which Parliament operates. Topics covered include the growth of government in the 19th and 20th centuries, the origins and development of the party system, the growth of party organization, and the development of party cohesion. Contextually, by 1900 all was in place: British politics was dominated by two, ideologically-divided parties; collectivist demands, significantly tempered by libertarian concerns, had resulted in an expansion of government, and the state now intervened in areas which were beyond the ideological pale a hundred years before; the governmental machine had expanded accordingly, with an increase in the number ministers and civil servants; and the House of Commons, the key part of the legislative machine, was controlled by party.

Keywords:   political ideology, ideological context, two-party system, MPs, political parties, parliamentary government

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