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Title: Wilfrid Lawson : attitudes & opinions on Britain's imperial & foreign policy (1868-1892)
Author: Carrick, Terry
ISNI:       0000 0000 6541 9938
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis is concerned with a very important aspect of the political life of one of the most neglected figures of nineteenth century British political history, Sir Wilfrid Lawson (1829-1906). Lawson, an extreme radical entered Parliament in 1859, where he remained almost continuously until his death. Today Lawson's name his rarely recalled, except for his work on temperance reform, where his critics continue to describe him as a temperance fanatic and a 'one idea man'. The reality of the situation is quite the reverse; Lawson was a man with undeviating radical principles, with plenty to say on an endless stream of subjects. Lawson was perhaps the most Cobdenite of the Cobdenites, especially in the matter of Britain's imperial and foreign policy, which is the main focus of this thesis. As such he campaigned against loans for standing armaments and all forms of aggressive warfare. When war finally came, as was often the case, Lawson vehemently opposed it, and supported a series of defiant parliamentary battles against government interventionist policies. Lawson had no enthusiasm for British expansion or for the pursuit of imperial glory, or any interest in promoting its civilising mission abroad, which he considered a distraction, supported by the ruling aristocracy, as a means of delaying the advance of much needed home reforms. I have structured the thesis around a number of key events in the development of British foreign and imperial policy in the period 1870 to 1892, primarily the expansionist programme promoted by Lord Beaconsfield, Gladstone's intervention in Egypt, and the affairs of Ireland and Home Rule. All were of major significance at the time and Lawson was heavily involved in the debates surrounding them.
Supervisor: Cain, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available