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Title: H. M. Hyndman and the development of British socialism : a reputation reassessed
Author: Morris, Marcus Benjamin
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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The 1880s witnessed a revival of Socialism in Britain; central to this process was Henry Mayers Hyndman (1842-1921). History, however, has not been kind to Hyndman and he now stands as a caricature. This study will reassess his role in the development of Socialism in Britain. In doing so, though, it does not simply rebut the reputation that has emerged, while it also moves away from the traditional terms of assessment and lines of enquiry. It explores Hyndman's role as the populariser of Marx's ideas in Britain and the impact that those ideas had on the theories of British Socialism. It also examines the practical politics of Socialism in the period and the ways and means by which Socialists sought election to local and national bodies, in particular, parliament. In this, particular focus is given to the role class played as a political tool for those Socialist politicians seeking election. Nevertheless, in terms of practical politics it remains a study of failure and, as such, it outlines the factors contingent and general that led to failure. In a period when empire was, for the most part, all-pervasive, moreover, this study .examines Hyndman's attitude to empire. In doing so, it finds a response that was not static, outlining how Hyndman moved from a critique of British colonial rule in specific countries to a critique of imperialism generally. This study, furthermore, is not just focused on reputation and, therefore, engages with wider historiographical debates. In particular, it addresses the recent debate over 'continuity' in the nineteenth century. As such, it argues that Hyndman's career and the revival of Socialism more generally reflected older ideas and traditions, particularly those of Radicalism, but in many ways also marked a decisive break with the past; it was, then, a period of continuity and change.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available