Sheffield municipal politics, 1893-1926
The years 1893-1926 saw the complete development of the Labour party in Sheffield, from the first branches of the Independent Labour Party to a city-wide organisation which captured its first majority on the City Council in November 1926. Some emphasis is given to the post-war period of Labour's greatest success, -and developments across the spectrum of Labour politics described - the Social Democratic Federation, the Communist Party and the Co-operative Party, for example, are given attention. The ruling Conservative group on the City Council during the 1890s was committed to a degree of "municipal socialism" to which the Liberal party was only converted slowly and only espoused for a short time. During the 1900s the majority of its leaders strongly supported the imperialist policies of the Liberal League, and by 1907 it had become anti-socialist. In 1919 it combined with a Conservative party under new leadership to form an anti-socialist alliance. With a strong commitment to municipal "economy", this alliance was unable to deal adequately with the social problems of post-war Sheffield and was unsuccessful at the polls. The study is concerned with municipal politics and so the main area of interest is the City Council. The first chapter is devoted to an analysis of its general character, while another deals with politics at ward level. Since a high degree of party politicisation of local government is argued, the remaining chapters are devoted to the characters and policies of the political parties, including the anti- socialist alliance. Biographical material relating to leading and characteristic members of the parties is included and the study concludes with an assessment of the reasons for the Labour victory in 1926.