Lecture Outlines

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  THE OUTLINES BELOW GIVE A SUMMARY OF THE KEY POINTS OF THELECTURES  THEY ARE INTENDED TO HELP YOU ORGANISE YOUR NOTES,AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR LECTURE ATTENDANCE 1: Sources for Modern British Political History  Most of the source material for 19 th and 20 th century British political history is in the form of documents: diaries, letters, memoranda, reports, minutes, financial accounts, etc.These documents are mostly unpublished, and are found in three types of archives:GovernmentPrivate individualsPrivate organisationsThere are also important sources which were published, mainly at the time:Parliamentary debates (House of Commons & House of Lords)Government publications (Commissions and Inquiries, White Papers, Acts) Newspapers and periodicals   Contemporary publications: leaflets, pamphlets and booksMemoirsOther types of sources which can be used, especially for contemporary history, are:Oral history: elite (witness seminars) and popular Propaganda: posters, cartoons   Photographs and film, including television broadcasts, interviews GOVERNMENT RECORDS    Royal Archives : Windsor Castle Central government records : the National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office)located at Kew, London; website: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/most records are opened after 30 years (but personal files may be closed for 100 years)the material is organised by government departments, some of the most important being:CAB Cabinet minutes and memoranda (from 1916 onwards)PREM Prime Minister’s files (mostly post-1945)  T TreasuryFO Foreign Office (FO/800 is the main despatch and minute series)HO Home Office (includes files of the Metropolitan Police: MEP)ADM Admiralty (a separate ministry before 1945)WO War Office (a separate ministry before 1945) Local government archives : at various local Record Offices Church of England : Lambeth Palace LOCATING PRIVATE ARCHIVES   National Register of Archives: for lists of collections held outside the National Archiveshttp://www.nra.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra/Access to Archives (a2a): some catalogues can be searched directly through thishttp://www.a2a.org.uk Political Parties and Parliamentary Archives Group: useful introduction, and links to other siteshttp://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/pppag.htm#political) PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS   The Private Papers of leading politicians contain some or all of the following: political correspondence, memoranda (often including official papers)diaries, autobiographyfamily lettersnewspaper cuttings PRIVATE ORGANISATIONS  Political parties, pressure groups, trade unions, charities, clubs and societiesConservative Party Archive: Bodleian Library, Oxford Universitycatalogue can be viewed at: http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/cpa/Labour Party: National Museum of Labour History, Manchester http://www.nmlhweb.org/  Liberal Party: British Library of Political and Economic Science, Londonhttp://www.lse.ac.uk/library/archive/Default.htm 2: Monarch, Prime Minister and Cabinet   MONARCHY  the most significant changes occur up to the 1840s: Peel 1834-35, bedchamber crisis 1839the ‘dignified’ part of the constitution (Bagehot): has a symbolic role, ceremonial functionsmonarch reigns but does not rule, can only act on the advice of ministersright to be consulted, advise and warn: give benefit of experiencedevelops role as neutral umpire: personifies ‘national interest’, offers mediation in crises PRIME MINISTER     powers: appoints and dismisses all other ministers, can unilaterally resign government at any timecan ask monarch for dissolution of Parliament, controls the timing of elections basis of power: patronage, party leadership, support and control of party machine‘first among equals’? role as chairman, not autocrat: cabinet ctte system gives closer control power derived from office seen as constant: variations due to personality of occupanthence focus on ‘style’, PM’s character determines nature and fortunes of govt but is situational: size of majority, unity of gov. party, economic and international situationand relational: depends on relations between all parties involved (not authority, hierarchy) power varies due to particular combinations of: personality: Prime Minister’s skills, experience, drive, methods – also interests, prioritiessituation: circumstances (Commons majority, party unity, economy), opportunities, crisestwo views: ‘monarchial’ model: PM has replaced monarch as single fount of authority‘baronial’ model: PM balanced by resources of dept Ministers, cannot push them too far three post-1945 trends, suggesting the increasing dominance of the PM:  rise of PM’s office at No. 10: secretariat, policy unit, press secretaryimpact of television, PM becomes face of govt, need for media presentational skills‘presidential’ role: represents nation in international events CABINET GOVERNMENT  soveriegnty of ‘Crown in Parliament’ since mid-19 th century is vested in the Cabinetcabinet is a fusion of the executive and the legislaturecabinet is a fusion of political and administrative functions (contains heads of depts)increased importance in Victorian era due to:increase in legislation, of public over private billsfunction as leadership of party, planning strategysize grows from 12-15 (1870s) to 22+ (1920s): number of members from House of Lords declinessmall cabinets in emergencies: War Cabinet of 5 (1916), National cabinet of 10 (Aug. 1931)centre of government?: key authority in decision-making process - declaring war in 1914, 1939takes most important political positions, or they are reported to it plans the legislative and parliamentary business of the governmentadjudicates on disputes between departmentshas general oversight and co-ordination of the government’s policiesfounded on doctrine of collective responsibility, bound by decisions or resignationvery rare exceptions: 1932 ‘agreement to differ’, 1975 referendumPrime Minister selects but needs balanced cabinets: practical constraints on choice of ministerscredibility and effectiveness: ability, experience – ‘weight’seek cohesion by including most prominent figures from different wings of party 3: Parliament  
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