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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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Principles and Temperament

(p.9) 1 Conservatism
Portrait of a Party

Stuart Ball

Oxford University Press

The chapter explores the foundation of the Conservative Party in this period, and what common ground of ideas and attitudes its members shared. It examines the nature of Conservatism and its overtly defined principles, including aspects such as human nature and the role of the state. It also considers the underlying attitudes and temperament, to reveal what Conservatives cared about most and their outlook on the world. To balance this, the chapter also looks at Conservative views of their opponents, and especially their fear of the rise of Socialism. The chapter concludes with an examination of Conservative identity and the party's own self-image, and argues that broad the agreement of principles and outlook amongst Conservatives was an important element in keeping the party together and discouraging defections or splits.

Keywords:   conservatism, political ideas, political attitudes, socialism, role of the state, identity

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