Taylor, Trouble makers, 132â€“66; Havinghurst, Massingham, 226â€“68; Cain, Hobson,
165â€“99; C. A. Cline, â€˜E. D. Morel: from the Congo to the Rhineâ€™, in Morris,
Edwardian radicalism, 234â€“45; H. N. Brailsford, A League of Nations (1917) and After
the peace (1920). See F. M. Leventahl, â€˜H. N. Brailsford and the search for a new
international orderâ€™, in Morris, Edwardian radicalism, 204â€“5; M. Swartz, The Union of
Democratic Control in British politics during the First World War (1971).
S. Grabard, British Labour and the Russian Revolution, 1917â€“1924 (1956); R. Page Arnot,
The impact of the Russian Revolution in Britain (1967); K. Robbins, The abolition of war: the
â€˜peace movementâ€™ in Britain, 1914â€“1919 (1976).
Havinghurst, Massingham, 283â€“6, 307â€“10.
G. W. Egerton, Great Britain and the creation of the League of Nations (N.C., 1978), 3â€“23.
The group included the Churchman and Liberal MP W. H. Dickinson, along with
Graham Wallas, J. A. Hobson, Ponsonby and others.
Swartz, The Union of Democratic Control, 1â€“2, 6â€“7.
376 British Democracy and Irish Nationalism
of those who remained within the party the internationalism of the
League of Nations was now the orthodoxy, backed by intellectuals like
Gilbert Murray and idealists like Lord Lothian and further strengthened
by the influence of US President Woodrow Wilson.101 By contrast,
Liberal Imperialism was now totally discredited: although it continued,
in a mitigated form, under the name of â€˜trusteeshipâ€™, even Ramsey Muir, a
supporter of that idea, accepted that there was â€˜a natural antithesis or
antipathy between the words â€˜â€˜Liberalismâ€™â€™ and â€˜â€˜Empireâ€™â€™â€™.102 Instead,
international co-operation was powerfully canvassed by J. M. Keynes in
his best-selling The economic consequences of the peace (1919). The latter
was certainly no Gladstonian tract, but its message was consistent with
the GOMâ€™s vision of economic interdependence and free trade.
Applauded by the radical press and statesmen such as H. H. Asquith
and Austen Chamberlain, who embodied the Liberal Unionist tradi-
tion,103 The economic consequences of the peace symbolized a strange post-
war paradox: despite the Liberal party being in disarray and slow decline,
its intellectuals were as influential as they had been in the days of John
The enduring power of the Gladstonian tradition and the appeal of the
politics of humanitarianism were also evident in the Labour party. In
November 1918 its programme advocated free trade, â€˜freedomâ€™ for both
Ireland and India, the right of self-determination for all peoples within a
â€˜British Commonwealth of Free Nationsâ€™ and a â€˜Peace of International
Co-operationâ€™ in Europe.104 In fact, as A. J. P. Taylor has written, after
the war â€˜[t]he Union of Democratic Control and the Labour movement
were one so far as foreign policy was concernedâ€™.105 Of course, this did
not prevent Ramsay MacDonald â€“ like the GOM, a pious preacher of
sentimental radicalism â€“ from acting as ambiguously as Gladstone had
done whenever â€˜the dictates of moralityâ€™ landed him â€˜in difficultiesâ€™.106
The argument put forward in the present book is that between 1876
and 1906 the crisis of public conscience caused by the debate over Home
Rule acted as the main catalyst in the remaking of popular radicalism in
both Britain and Ireland. It did so not only because of Irelandâ€™s intrinsic
importance as a constituent part of the United Kingdom, at the heart of
L. W. Martin, Peace without victory: Woodrow Wilson and the British Liberals (1973);
R. S. Grayson, Liberals, international relations and appeasement (2001), 36â€“40, 50â€“3.
R. Muir, â€˜Liberalism and the empireâ€™, in H. L. Nathan (ed.), Liberal points of view
(1927), 253; on Muirâ€™s views see Grayson, Liberals, 42â€“3.
R. S. Grayson, Austen Chamberlain and the commitment to Europe: British foreign policy,
â€˜Labour manifesto â€“ â€˜â€˜A challenge to reactionâ€™â€™â€™, Ti, 28 Nov. 1918, 8.
Taylor, Trouble makers, 165. 106 Ibid., 94.
Democracy and the politics of humanitarianism 377
the empire, but also because the â€˜Irish causeâ€™ came to be identified with
democracy, constitutional freedoms and â€˜the claims of humanityâ€™. The
related politics of emotionalism were no help in finding a solution to
either the Home Rule or the Ulster problem and created the conditions
for the renewal of â€˜democratic elitismâ€™ throughout the British Isles.
However, they also contributed towards establishing a popular culture
of human rights based on the conviction that, ultimately, politics should
be guided by non-negotiable moral imperatives. Often, especially in
Ireland, this had the consequence of deepening existing political and
community divides. But it also gave new urgency to economic and social
reform and enabled people belonging to various currents of radicalism to
become more aware of the implications which the Irish question had for
the wider world, bearing in mind, as Gladstone once famously said, that
â€˜mutual love is not limited by the shores of this islandâ€™.
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