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Title: Origins of the Scottish Conservative Party, 1832-1868
Author: Hutchison, Gary Douglas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 518X
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines the Scottish Conservative party between 1832 and 1868. It focuses on the party's organisation, structure, leadership, and attitudes. It begins by examining the social, occupational, educational, and religious background of its MPs, candidates, and peers. This reveals that the party's composition, while predominantly aristocratic, nevertheless boasted a range of distinctive and often competing interests. The thesis then explores the make-up, organisation and activity of the party on a local constituency level. This illustrates that the party was more inclusive and heterogeneous than might be assumed, and was very active in promoting itself through a wide variety of methods. The party thus had a notable impact on the wider social and cultural life of Scotland throughout the mid-nineteenth century. Following this, the structure and leadership of the Scottish party on a national level is examined. These could be a source of innovation and accomplishment, and their subsequent decline had a marked effect on the party's overall performance. Above this level, the party's role in parliament, governance, and in a British context is explored. It is demonstrated that the Scottish party maintained a modicum of distinctiveness even at Westminster. Moreover, its multifaceted role in Scottish governance gave it significant influence over Scottish society. Finally, the positions of the Scottish party on important political issues are examined, as are the underlying attitudes which determined these positions. The Scottish party contained many competing and overlapping factions, which held a hitherto unsuspected diversity of outlooks. Overall, this thesis illustrates that the Scottish Conservative party had a pronounced effect on many different facets of Scottish politics and wider society, and was itself more complex and more popular than is reflected in the existing historiography. It therefore counters the assumption that Scotland was almost hegemonically Liberal - a finding which has potential implications for scholarship spread across Scottish and British political, social, and cultural history.
Supervisor: Pentland, Gordon ; Cameron, Ewen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Conservative Party ; Victorian ; Scotland ; Scottish politics ; electoral system ; elections