The Popular Will: Reformism, Radicalism, Republicanism & Unionism in Britain 1815-1960

Part 4, Chapter IX
IV, IX: The Russo-Turkish Conflict & A Changing Europe


Granville George Leveson-Gower, First President-Regent of the Union of Great Britain and Ireland

Granville George Leveson-Gower, Senator Granville has been in our story for some time now - he was targeted during the second Grand National Holiday way back in the lead-up to the 1846 Election - and was a member of three Executive Councils post-Parliament Act and the Provisional Union Council. He served in Liberal-Tory Cabinets, National Cabinets, Radical Cabinets (as an Independent) and finally in the Democratic-Liberal Cabinet of the Provisional Union Council, serving as Leader of the Senate three times, President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary in the 11th and 12th Executive Council, a period for which he was best known. Since the days of Palmerston and his fusing of the Tories and Liberals together, Foreign Policy was defined by consensus amongst both sides of the divide - a commitment to driving neutrality, maintaining the Empire and British interests and maintaining the balance of European Power. The Foreign Office had existed as a parastate within the British Government since the Palmerstonian days and this continued under Granville's tenure, which made the continuation of Senator Granville as Foreign Secretary in the Provisional Union Council something seemingly advantageous to Chamberlain and Dilke to establish legitimacy in the foreign sphere. Granville (and Gladstone in fact) had come down hard on Republicans during the Constitutional Question and the Senate Crisis but maintained some of their respectability in the eyes of their fellow Parliamentarians in the succession crisis when they called off the guards at Westminster who blocked the Provisional Committee from the ruling and began the Grand Committee Process and the Constitutional Laws drafting. His record divided the Democratic Federation, with the more moderate wing supported by Chamberlain in support of Granville's position within the Government, seeing him as a bridge between old and new, and the Radical wing, led by Dilke, who believed he was both complicit with the Provisionalists within Parliament and had not forgiven him for the massacre during the Outrages.

His stature as a statesman, however, was not in question and his alliance with Gladstone left him in an unassailable position to continue his role as Foreign Secretary. Initially, the securing of Britain's imperial borders was the most pressing concern for Granville, who embarked on the aforementioned tour of the Colonies through 1875, 1876 and early 1877. This left the Keeper of the Great Seal, who usually covered for Granville in Parliament, Charles Dilke and Edmond George Petty-Fitzmaurice, his Undersecretary, to manage affairs in the office. Throughout the time Granville was away, a new crisis in Europe emerged and posed significant challenges to the balance of power on the continent - the collapse of the Ottoman Empire's hold on the Balkans. After the conclusion of the Crimean War, the European Powers had pledged to retain the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire, but a series of revolts had put the feasibility of this doctrine in serious doubt. In June 1875, while John Bright remained Chairman-Regent, Serbs in Herzegovina revolted and a diplomatic crisis ensued. This turned European attention towards the Ottoman's holdings in Europe, and reform in the Balkans. The European Powers; Austria-Hungary, Germany and Russia began to canvas opinion on a diplomatic note from the Foreign Minister of Austria-Hungry, Gyula Andrássy, which would solve the situation. The Andrássy Note would force religious reform in the Balkans, incorporating Christian Law into the Ottoman's traditional Islamic law and reforms in tax and addressing the agrarian conflict in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Upon receiving the note, the Foreign Office, represented by Charles Dilke and Petty-Fitzmaurice, telegrammed Granville in support of the Note and received approval in his reply. Granville, Dilke, Chamberlain and Gladstone were in unison around their support for maintaining the territorial integrity of the Ottomans, but with greater powers for Christian minorities. This view held until the rebellion spread to Bulgaria in the April Uprising in 1876. The uprising caused a fierce reaction from the Ottomans, who beat back the hastily organised Uprising with brutal force. Various massacres were reported in the British Press and caused public opinion to turn fiercely against the British's hitherto ally, the Ottoman Empire.


Exhilarated and energised by the public outcry, Gladstone turned on the Ottomans with a series of lectures. The most famous, in the St James Hall, set the Government position unequivocally - that the Ottomans should be expelled from Europe;

"The Ottomans were, upon the whole, from the black day when they first entered Europe, the one great anti-human specimen of humanity. Wherever they went, a broad line of blood marked the track behind them; and as far as their dominion reached, civilisation disappeared from view. They represented everywhere government by force, as opposed to government by law. For the guide of this life, they had a relentless fatalism: for its reward hereafter, a sensual paradise."

The Revolts created a moralistic campaign among intellectual circles against the Ottomans. When 15,000 people were reported to be massacred in Phillippopli, with villages and monasteries destroyed, Charles Darwin, Oscar Wilde, John Ruskin and a host of intellectuals formed the basis of an anti-Turkish sentiment within Liberalism and Radicalism. Finally, in May 1876, three powers; Russia, Germany & Austria-Hungary, met in Berlin to formulate a response to the crisis, and expanded upon the Andrássy Note with the Berlin Memorandum. The three powers then called on the other Great Powers; Italy, France and Britain to discuss the memorandum. Britain's delegate, Charles Dilke, signed the Memorandum after it was deemed that Senator Granville and Gladstone both approved of its content. It called for materials to be provided by the Turks to rebuild the area, distribution of aid by a mixed commission (expanded from the Andrássy Note), temporary concentration of Turkish troops, the right of the Christians to bear arms and surveillance by the Great Powers to ensure that reforms were made. Disraeli denounced the memorandum as a thinly-veiled attempt to break up the Ottoman Empire and opposed it wholeheartedly.

Granville attempted to manage this crisis and the Union response from afar, but as his term in the Colonies ended, he sought to return to directly manage the situation. In June 1876, with the final legs of his Colonial tour approaching, he sent a statement to Dilke to make in the Commons on the Great Eastern Crisis. With hostilities between the Turks and the Russians increasing, Dilke indicated that the policy of the Foreign Office wouldn't intervene in a conflict between the two powers, stating "in the extreme occurrence that Russia was to declare war on the Ottoman Empire, the Government would find it practically impossible to interfere in the defence of the Ottoman Empire", with Disraeli standing by the peace signed in Paris after the Crimean War and defending the Ottomans. The denouncement of the Ottomans continued in the Senate, where the returning Senator Campbell delivered a scathing attack on the Ottoman's actions in the Balkans. This divided the Parliament into two camps; one that defended the moralistic crusade of liberating the Balkans from Ottoman oppression with an anti-Turkic line and those who believed that the strengthening of Russia, sure to gain influence on the Balkans in the event of a conflict, would pose a threat to the British interests in the Suez, the Straits, British India and the Persian Gulf and Russophobic in nature. This divide was not ubiquitously party orientated, and many Liberals and Democrats supported the Turks and Conservatives supported the Russians. Gladstone revealed his leanings once again, as he recalled the Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, the Russophobe Henry Elliot, replacing him with a more pro-Independence Ambassador, the theologian Henry Liddon. Liddon was an unpopular and controversial choice with the Sublime Porte, who saw the appointment as a provocation by an ally and was opposed by Granville for the role for this reason.

Unrest in the Ottoman Empire then spread to Serbia and Montenegro, as they both declared war on the Ottoman Empire in June & July 1876, just as Granville returned to the continent to discuss with the Great Powers. Russia supported the Balkan Independence movements in the region with arms, especially Serbia, but Montenegro resisted direct support from the Russians as they rebelled throughout 1876. This was to their benefit, as the Russian Generals supporting the Serbians led them to a series of humiliating defeats, and one Montenegrin Officer noted "while the Serbs go from defeat to defeat, we march from victory to victory". The Crisis continued to escalate and in Winter 1876, seeing a need for a definitive doctrine for the Balkans, Gladstone produced a pamphlet, On the Bulgarian Horrors and the Question in the East to outline the Presidential-Regency response to the Question. Gladstone indicated that Bosnia & Herzegovina and Bulgaria need to become independent, but the integrity of the Ottoman Empire needs to be maintained to prevent Russian hegemony in the region, which would act against British interests. Gladstone had been influenced by the so-called Oxonian Clique of the Ambassador to the Ottomans, Liddon, James Fraser and the historian Edward Augustus Freeman, who called the Turks the "last blot on Europe" in devising his policy and continued to ride the public antipathy towards the Ottomans and their conduct in the Balkans. As the new year set in, a war between Russia and the Sultanate looked inevitable, and British intervention on behalf of the Ottomans seemed unlikely if impossible. British opinion was incredibly regionally split, however, with areas loyal to the President-Regent in Northumbria, Yorkshire and the Palatinates, Wales as well as the South-East with its large and devoutly Anglican population fiercely pro-Bulgarian, while the rest of the country weary of Russian hegemony and likely to side with Disraeli and the Russophobes. Scotland and Ireland remained relatively aloof from the conflict - Ireland perhaps because of its Catholic population that rejected support for Orthodox Christianity.

In December, a final attempt to find a peaceful solution brought the Six Great Powers to Constantinople, with Britain's delegation finally headed by Granville after his return from Venezuela. He was faced with the top brass of European diplomacy; Count Nikolay Ignatiev from Russia, Count Jean-Baptiste de Chaudordy and Count François de Bourgoing from the French Third Republic, Baron Karl von Werther from the German Empire, Baron Heinrich von Calice and Count Ferenc Zichy from Austria-Hungary and Count Luigi Corti from Italy. The Six Powers agreed on a plan to create autonomous provinces of the Ottoman Empire in Bosnia and two provinces in Western and Eastern Bulgaria, with a form of Government dictated to the Porte by the Great Powers. Citing the new Constitution passed by Sultan Abdul Hamid II the same day as the working party delivered its plans, the Ottomans rejected the intervention and the plan. This made war inevitable and made the intervention by the European Powers impossible. As Granville returned to Parliament after the Conference in January 1877, he faced a divided country and a continent that seemed on the edge of conflict. He did however gain assurances from the Russians, in what became known as the Granville-Ignatiev-Werther Pact that Britain will not intervene if Russia does not interfere with the Straits, Constantinople, the Suez and Egypt, and allows a presence for Britain and Germany in the new states to be created a territory to secure British interest in the region. In a visit to Berlin to meet with Russian and German representatives on the way back from Constantinople, Bismarck and Bülow indicated that Anglo-Russian and Austro-Russian Wars should be avoided at all costs, but Russo-Turkish War could be tolerated should Britain and Germany be allowed to influence the new states with Russia, as the Turkish denial of the Conference Plan giving the European Powers the will to expel the Ottomans from the Balkans with the creation of a Bulgarian State, an expansion for Serbia and Montenegro and autonomy for Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Late January saw the Constitution, which has been the Ottoman attempt at protecting rights, suspended and Russia began to mobilise for war. The Six Power Alliance, presenting a United Front now against the Ottomans, began secret talks in London to devise a plan for the Ottoman Balkan territory; Austria being allowed to occupy Bosnia & Herzegovina, full Serbian and Montenegrin Independence with territorial gains and Bulgarian autonomy under a Prince that would be separate from, but still de facto controlled by the Ottomans. This would become known as the London Protocol, and coincided with plans to mobilise his army and intervene in the Ottoman Balkans. It was at this time that the Union began to engage in a new conflict with the Ashanti Empire, who used French arms to attempt an attack on the British Gold Coast. This drove a diplomatic wedge between the French and British and began to cause the Foreign Office to grow closer to the Germans and Russians in the lead up to the Russo-Turkish War. As the war with the Ashanti Empire ended with a victory in April, the Bulgarians revolted again and Russia intervened. The desperate Ottomans pleaded with the British to intervene, but Gladstone and Granville refused. As the Russian Foreign Minister, Shuvalov promised no annexation of Constantinople, no intervention in the Suez or Egypt and reiterated the desire of Britain to gain territory off the Ottoman coastline, the British blockaded the Ottomans through their allies, Greece.

On the ground, the Russians had expected that the Ottomans would prove an easy victory but this was not the case - they were required to ask for support from Serbia, Montenegro and Romania. Fighting in the Balkans and also in Caucasia led the Russian Army to be stretched, but after ten months of fighting and the help of their allies, they emerged from the conflict victorious and occupied much of Bulgaria and the Ottoman Balkans by April 1878. The Great Powers sponsored a harsh settlement in the Balkans in the form of the Treaty of San Stefano in March 1878, which granted large swathes of territory to a new, Independent Principality of Bulgaria, de facto under Ottoman sovereignty but de jure Independent and the expansion of Serbia and Montenegro per the London Protocols. Austria was to occupy Bosnia as a means of quashing the desires for a South Slavic state. Russophobic print media in the Union was vehemently against the Treaty, which it felt had handed large amounts of power to the Russians, the Austrians were disappointed with their shares and a further Nationality uninvolved in the conflict, Albania, had its national awakening at the infringement of its national lands by the Bulgarians, Serbians and Montenegrins. There was much satisfaction within the Balkans, but much disquiet among many groups and the situation was not in the remotest sense solved by the conflict.

The Concert of Europe was shaken by a distressing event for the German Empire as on May 11th 1878, the German Kaiser, Wilhelm I, was assassinated on the Unter den Linden by Emil Max Hödel, an anarchist who had been trained by Legitimist Cells over the course of early 1878, which had brought the existence of militaristic Orangeism to the Prussian Authorities attention. His successor, Frederick III, was more liberal than his father and admired the British Parliamentary system despite the issues brought forward by the recent succession crisis. He was married to Princess Victoria, Queen Victoria’s oldest daughter, and had been brought up in the thick and thin of Parliamentary life. Despite some bitterness towards the bickering of the Royal Family in the Union, Victoria was raised in Liberal Ideals and wanted to prevent the slow dissolution of Monarchy as had happened in Britain - and showed a great affinity towards Gladstonian Liberalism, something shared by her spouse. The two’s sympathies lay against Bismarck and towards the Progress Party, supporting parliamentarians in the German Empire, separation of church and state and Jewish emancipation. Frederick felt that he could not yet remove Bismarck, the extremely popular Chancellor within Prussia, but would bide his time for him to make a mistake, as he wanted to bring in a Chancellor who would strengthen, rather than diminish the Parliamentary process.

As this unfolded, the Austrian Imperial Court and the Tsar drafted a secret agreement to build on the scolding of the Turks in the Balkans. With the Russian Army not standing down, Foreign Minister Count Zilchy and the Tsar's representatives hashed out a compromise where the Austrians would support the Russian Army invading and occupying Constantinople, despite breaking the agreement with Britain and being backed by Bismarck. The Austrians agreed but wanted to annex Bosnia into the Empire, with the blessing and support of the Russians in exchange. The Tsar, seeking a Mediterranean base for his Navy, wanted to control Constantinople for prestige. As the details of this deal began to dribble through to the press in June and July, British opinion turned heavily towards controlling the desires of Russia and gaining influence in the region, at the expense of the Ottomans preferably. Granville stated that the Russians could not be allowed to gain control of the Turkish straits or Constantinople, and Britain would be entitled to use force to prevent this from occurring. Germany’s new Kaiser was in agreement with the British, and as the diplomatic crisis worsened from the leaked communique, Germany and Britain were in agreement that the division of territory couldn’t be accepted. Both powers threatened to rip up the San Stefano treaty in opposition to the land grab by the two Empires. Frederick III instructed Bismarck to issue a firm warning to the Russians and Austrians to refrain from securing any more Ottoman territory, and he did so having coordinated the threat with Senator Granville and Charles Dilke. The French were sidelined, as Granville had cooled on cooperation with the Republic due to their involvement in the Ashanti Conflict and had pivoted to Germany as their main diplomatic partner in the crisis. The presence of Frederick III, known as an Anglophile, meant that diplomatic initiative had switched to the Anglo-German power bloc, and this was confirmed as Bismarck was instructed to threaten the termination of the Dreikaiserbund if the plan was enacted. Bismarck refused to do so in August, so two days before the Orangeist Coup, on August 16th 1878, Frederick dismissed Bismarck as Chancellor. Frederick looked to a liberal to replace him, and found his candidate in the German Progress Party’s leader Albert Hänel, in essence, sharing power with Eugen Richter, who was made Vice-Chancellor while Hänel took the Foreign Minister and Chancellor roles. As the continent waited to hear of news from the Orangeist Coup, Hänel offered German support for the Union should the Orangemen, who had trained Wilhelm I’s killer, take power. When the Union survived the Coup attempt, the new Chancellery attempted early to bring relations closer together between the two countries, and finally withdrew from the Dreikaiserbund in response to continued posturing from the Habsburg and Romanov Dynasties. Austria, under pressure from Germany, finally relented and accepted that their occupation would not lead to annexation and Britain was given Cyprus from the Ottomans to protect their Mediterranean holdings and it seemed that Russia began to demobilise in early September, allowing tensions to ease.


Albert Hänel, Chancellor of the German Empire

Seeking a mandate for their Government, Germany’s Reichstag was dissolved in September and returned a Liberal plurality but in need of support from the Catholic Zentrum Party to pass laws. The divided nature of Liberalism in the Diet also saw National Liberals, Progressives and various Independent Liberals elected, but the German Progress Party held the plurality and the German electorate seemed to follow Frederick’s desire for Liberalisation. Hänel retained the Chancellery and would spend the Parliamentary term attempting to unite the various Liberal factions into a natural ruling party. He would also maintain friendly relations with Granville, and the two powers wanted greater cooperation without a formal alliance, as both wanted to maintain neutrality and a hands-off agreement. Germany’s termination of its alliance with Russia would continue to foster a grudge between the two nations, while Austria, needing the Great Power backup of the German Empire, signed the Dual Alliance with the German Empire in November 1878. Bulgaria, the main winners territorially, were left frustrated as the Bulgarian Provisional Administration, controlled by the Russians, continued to delay their withdrawal as the Great Powers thought the Romanovs were using Bulgaria as a base to complete the job and invade the Bosphorus and control Constantinople. This caused alienation and animosity between the Bulgarian Nationalists and Russians stationed there. Granville and Hänel began to discuss bringing Bulgaria into the fold away from Russia to prevent the Russians from getting a hold in the Bosphorus and the Straits. So leading towards the 1878 Election, Granville held the role of the premier statesman, and the British public considered him the man who prevented Russia from threatening the British Empire and especially the Suez Canal. Combined with his enhanced reputation as a Patriot after the Orangeist Coup, the Foreign Policy of the Union was well controlled due to the influence of Senator Granville. He was deemed destined for higher things, which would drop into his lap earlier than he expected, as the Lustration Process began.

Tensioned remained however as the Russians continued to delay their evacuation of Bulgaria, which caused resentment on both the Bulgarian side and the Germans and British. With Austria having backed down from their demands, Britain sought the support of Bulgaria and Greece to counteract the Russian influence. The anti-Turkish sentiment within the government was less and less in touch with the mood of the people, however, who now feared a Russian threat. Fearing their presence on the Mediterranean, Italy became increasingly concerned as well and came into the Anglo-German sphere of influence. The Anti-Russian sentiment brought support for Disraeli, who was the most high profile spokesman for Anti-Russian and pro-Imperial politics. While he celebrated the annexation of Cyprus into the Empire, he wailed at the threat to Egypt, British India and the threat a strong Russian presence would have in the Persian Gulf, and began to sound in harmony with British Public. He presented the current government as worn out, led by Gladstone who had exhausted his usefulness and required an upgrade. Granville escaped much of the criticism, but Conservatives, re-energised, entered in a ferocious debate in Parliament and the Public Sphere, about the need for a strong defence against the Russian Bear. Disraeli found willing ears in many places and began to represent a genuine threat to Liberal and Democratic hold for power. Fears arose about an invasion of Constantinople, and rhetoric by Russophobic politicians came from across the political spectrum, from Walter Bagehot to Karl Marx, who will in a few short years and an act of plagiarism become quite important in British politics because of the plagiariser, fellow Russophobe Henry Hyndman. The growing number of voices concerned with the Russian threat validated the concerns first raised by Disraeli, and backed up by fellow senior Conservatives like Robert Cecil and R. A Cross, who began to seem like a sensible option, with their opposition to the Constitutional Laws removed, to Democrats in the middle class and skilled working class. Usually held together by Anglicanism, the Conservatives could make a case that they could form a functioning government to the Public who believed Toryism was dead. Disraeli could finally be looked on as he always wanted to be - truly popular in the eyes of the masses. While nonconformists, usually divided by class, would vote for Liberal or Democratic candidates and Irish Nationalists acting as an Independent force, an electorate that could gain a foothold was emerging as an opportunity but would require an element (Middle-Class Liberals, Working Class Democrats and Irish Nationalists) of the Governing voting coalition to peel away. This would arise as a consequence of the proposed Education Act, which as Disraeli was gaining steam, provide him with an opportunity to divide the governing coalition into its constituent parts and a challenge for Granville to act above party interests.
Part 4, Chapter X
IV, X: The Lustration Process & the Testimony of Gladstone

Sir Henry James took his seat on November 1st 1878 next to A.V Dicey, the Special Prosecutor for the Lustration Commission, and looked across at the man who was to be questioned. He took a large intake of breath, knowing that the line of questioning would shock many within the room. He was confident, however, that the accusations were true, as had many in the Commission knew since the evidence began to come to light.

Your excellency, thank you for attending this committee and agreeing to provide answers to our questions. The Lustration Commission was established to unearth the causes of the attempted Coup and establish the conspirators. While it would be foolish to conclude that you yourself have been a conspirator, the precise knowledge of the attempt to seize power for you has not been established, and your departure from the capital and the nature of your business, as well as the nature of the correspondence between yourself and many of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and your business in Manchester on the date in question has left many questions to be answered. I, therefore, ask the following and seek to understand your perspective of events:

  1. On the night of the 17th August, you boarded a train from your residence in Buckingham Palace to the city of Manchester, what was the nature of the business you had in Manchester and what relevance did it have to correspondence with Albert-Edward of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which you had received two days before?
  2. Despite statements provided to the High Chancellor which were heard in the Provisional Senate which stated you had no awareness of Albert-Edward's criminal case with the Paris Police, evidence has come to light and provided to this committee that this is not the case. Was the statement you gave falsified or was your statement to the High Chancellor knowingly false?
  3. Did you knowingly subvert the investigations of this committee through the destruction of evidence that may have linked you to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha?
  4. Were you aware of any plans for the Coup prior to the correspondence between yourself and Albert-Edward?
  5. Did you, as the First Sea Lord suggested, knowingly withhold the consent of troops from the British Army from entering the capital, forcing the Commander-in-Chief to issue the orders without Presidential-Regency approval?
  6. Did you brief your personal secretary, John Clayton Cowell, to develop plans for your escape should the Coup be successful, and what was the nature of the business between Clayton-Cowell and Albert-Edward?
  7. Did you brief the Warden of the Cinque Ports, Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, to prepare a ship for your escape in the event that the Coup was successful?
  8. Were you aware of plans for the execution of members of the Union Council and Chancellery of the Metropolis in the event that the Coup was successful?
  9. Do you confirm the authenticity of documents provided by Princess Victoria of plans to escape to Prussia under the protection of Albert-Edward should the Coup be successful?

An audible gasp filled the room, as though the air was completely sucked out of the room. William Ewart Gladstone, the President-Regent, stood accused of aiding the forced takeover of power by the Orange Order through his knowledge of the Coup well prior to the events taking place. His long time friend, Prince Albert-Edward, had warned him of the plans and allegedly the plans of the OMC & OPC to arrest and execute him and members of the Union Council. The Lustration Commission, established with Gladstone's approval, had slowly encircled him through finding a number of Civil Servants and members of the Presidential-Regency Administration that had one thing in common - their absence from the capital that morning. One by one, the testimony of these men, including Gladstone's personal secretary, the ceremonial Warden of the Cinque Ports and the private secretary for the estate held by Princess Victoria, Queen Victoria's oldest daughter and wife of the liberal German Emperor, Frederick III, had uncovered a large network of those warned of the Coup by Gladstone and his office in the days leading up to the Coup. Albert-Edward's investigation by the Paris Police surrounding the murder of Madame de Goncourt, a magnate of vices including Horse Racing, had seen hundreds of personal letters leaked, but one correspondence finally led to the damnation of President-Regent himself: a letter ending "Thank you, your Majesty", signed by Gladstone himself along with copies of letters to Albert-Edward’s sister guaranteeing free passage to Prussia and asylum. In the context of the Lustration Process, this was damning and lost Gladstone the goodwill of the people. The People's Will had lost the Popular Will. He was unable to refute the charges and issued clarifications rather than denials. To any layman, it would appear he was complicit.

The scandal surrounding Gladstone; his failure to alert his colleagues of the danger they were in, the failure to perform his duties as an Executive and the failure of him to protect the Union from a nefarious force within it could have torpedoed popular support for the Union as an institution, but it didn't. It created the political will within the Union for a better President-Regent and a better Executive. By the time he stood in front of the Committee, his Presidential-Regency was moribund and most knew that his successor would be Senator Granville, whom he beat in the 2nd Grand Committee to the role, somewhat reluctantly. Granville would be remembered fondly and would transform the office from an active participant in political affairs, the third House of Parliament of sorts, to a politically neutral referee that intervened only in the most serious of circumstances. Britain would become a Parliamentary Union on his election and would stay that way. Similar to the parallel crisis in France in 1877, where Patrice MacMahon dismissed the Prime Minister, Jules Simon, the Parliamentary forces resisted attempts to centralise power in the Presidency and return it to Parliament. The Lustration Process as a whole would seal the fate of Royalism as a spent force, combined with the scandal involving Albert-Edward which was drip-fed to the British Public during the same era. The deliberations, summing sixty days in the Winter of 1878, would unveil a large conspiracy that involved high society, several generals and a number of government officials, some even working in Parliament. So much for a secret coup. The Lustration was however unlike the military courts as it wanted to ask the simple question - how was it financed?

The Lustration Bill was drafted in September to organise informal work by a number of State Police departments into one, Union effort to investigate the Coup. The legislation would provide for a Parliamentary Committee and a Lustration Commission, headed by a Chairman who would have the power to make judgements on their complicity in the Coup and make recommendations for Prosecution for the Courts. It was controversial because there was fear of the Committee of Public Safety style death squad. It was decided that in this spirit, their remit would be limited to the funding question and also a public investigation of political figures who were suspected of being complicit with the Coup's aims. This would be concentrated on many people within elite circles, many of whom were connected to the Conservatives - so much so that when the Act was passed and summons was produced, the Committee called on 6 Conservative Senators and 13 Members of the House. The weight of the investigation, as more and more people, either came forward or were summoned, numbered in the thousands. Eventually, the Lustration Commission was required to devolve tasks to State Lustration Commissions. Testimony was abundant as people came forward to avoid the embarrassment of summons, and many wanted to share stories of attempts by Orangemen offering them promotions and payment for services after the Coup had taken place. They identified three main sources for the funding for the Coup; Legitimist Churches, many of which were situated in rural areas and had a cohort of wealthy landowners in their congregations, a number of sympathetic businesses in Liverpool, Glasgow and Belfast predominantly and a series of loans from French Bank, Crédit du Nord, which Albert-Edward had deposited a number of savings in since his exile. The knowledge of this offshore account came from the investigation of Albert-Edward for conspiracy to murder, and the du Nord account also contained payments to the woman in question. It seemed that the King himself was holding much of the funds ransacked during the leadup to the Orange Coup. Albert-Edward then negotiated a loan to be transferred to an account with a Provincial Bank, which was able to keep a payroll of officers. This payroll revealed that several officers were under the paid instruction of the Order and these officers were referred to special military courts that had been established since the Coup attempt, and also contained the details of 6 of the Conservative Members of the House. These members were expelled from the Conservative Parliamentary Committee immediately by Disraeli but the Committee was unable to expel them from Parliament or to prosecute them, however. They did, however, remove known conspirators from their posts, refer them to the Special Military Courts and exile 15,000 from Britain across all the individual States processes and the Union process.

In late October, leaked letters began to surface from a source within the Paris Police ascertaining a link between the President-Regent and Albert-Edward that was ongoing throughout the history of the Union. The two had remained in touch, and doubt began to be cast upon Gladstone's version of events privately given to the High Chancellor in the aftermath of the Coup. He maintained that he had no knowledge of the Coup, had no contact with the Prince and was not aware of any of the plans of the Order. But as the details of the Coup plot emerged, the executions planned and the correspondence between Gladstone and Albert-Edward, it seemed pivotal to the investigation that the President-Regent give testimony. Over the coming days as the Presidential-Regency Administration was summoned, further evidence was uncovered that placed a huge amount of doubt of Gladstone's version of events and his knowledge of the Coup seemed even greater than first thought. His Personal Secretary, John Clayton-Cowell, who was involved in the safe deposit of funds for soldiers pay after the Coup had occurred, accused him of asking him to arrange passage to Hastings and had tasked him with arranging a ship for him with the help of the Warden of the Cinque Ports, Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood. When the First Sea Lord, Alexander Milne, was brought forward to give evidence, he accused the President-Regent of stating to him that forces in Greenwich should withhold the use of force - which was overruled by him as the extent of the Coup became apparent - until the evening to allow for the direction of travel to be established. Finally, Princess Victoria, Albert-Edward's older sister and wife of the now Kaiser of Germany, provided letters from Albert-Edward, whom she had distanced herself from since her husband's assumption of the Imperial Crown earlier that year in the context of the embarrassing allegations made against him, that Albert-Edward had asked her to receive Gladstone under the protection of the Prussian Crown. The two testimonies and the evidence provided by the Prussian Crown made Gladstone's role as President-Regent seem untenable. Finally, the 28th October publication of a letter sent by Albert-Edward warning him of his danger, along with a reply from Gladstone, sealed his fate. He finally agreed to give testimony on November 1st, although by this time an emergency debate was called for Parliament to discuss plans for a High Court to be established to put the President-Regent on trial for treason. This notion was supported now by many in the Democratic Federation and Conservatives, although senior Liberals within the Union Council stated they would resign rather than try the President-Regent. He believed by cooperating voluntarily, he could avoid the treason charge.

Dicey's line of questioning gave no room for manoeuvre. It linked Albert-Edward, the President-Regent's Personal Secretary and the Warden of the Cinque Ports in a conspirators alliance that sought to save the President-Regent while sacrificing the Government of the Union, as well as several members of the opposition (including Disraeli). Further testimony, from an employee in the President-Regent's office, stated that members of the Personal Secretary's office had been destroying letters and documents from two days after the coup before the Lustration Bill was brought before Parliament, although this was never proven. Gladstone admitted to being warned, but not about the specifics and after the investigations of the G Division in the summer, had assumed a Coup was underway. His plan, he purported, was to establish a Government in Exile in Prussia believing the Prince was not involved in the Coup planning. His decision to withhold troops, he said, was purely to prevent mutiny and he was not aware of plans to execute himself or the Union Council but assumed that this would be the case. He finally stated that the nature of his relationship with the Prince was cordial but not professional, as pointed to the content of most of the publicised letters, mundane tropes on family life, as evidence that there was no collusion. He denied destroying evidence but admitted that this may have taken place and while he did not refute the letter from Victoria was legitimate, did not accept he had prior knowledge of the contents or the drafting of the letter.

The admissions were enough to bring forward a debate on indicting the President-Regent and establishing a court to try him for a high crime and misdemeanour. Gladstone tried to convene a Grand Committee to address the charges and brought forward the case that no court could be established that could try a President-Regent, as one could not impeach a King in a letter to the London Times, but when Chamberlain and Dilke both came out against the President-Regent, his time seemed to be running out. Finally, the High Chancellor, Henry James indicated that he should be removed from office and proposed following the lead of the Lord's trial of Queen Caroline, which saw a Bill passed by the Lords which denied her power. In response, the Chancellor and Home Secretary resigned from the Government. Chamberlain nominated Democratic Federation members to replace them but also indicated that he would not accept the intervention or withholding of nomination from Gladstone as justification for the Secretaries to be denied office. Finally, Gladstone's closest associate in the Government, Senator Granville, sought a private meeting with the President-Regent and urged him to resign or he would face both Houses of Parliament passing a bill that would allow for an impeachment process to be brought against the President-Regent and would, in all likelihood, end with his conviction and any attempt to veto it would be regarded as the act of a tyrant. Gladstone had nowhere to go, was promised amnesty should he resign and on November 15th, announced his intention to resign and convene a Grand Committee. High Chancellor James indicated that a Vice-Regent should be nominated to exercise the powers of the Regency for the period until the election, and asked the President-Regent, under the promise of the convocation of a High Court if he refused, to sign over power to a Vice-Regent until the elections. On November 5th, he passed power over to Senator Granville as his Vice-Regent as he was ‘incapable of fulfilling his duties until the convening of a Grand Committee after Parliament was selected as a whole. Upon receiving this, Granville gave up his membership to the Liberal Parliamentary Committee and became independent but was associated with the movement in the coming election. Granville swore in a new Union Council shortly afterwards, which would act as a caretaker administration until after the elections and for the rest of Parliament. Gladstone could still hold onto some personal support, however. He and his Liberals were still popular in the North and the scandal had more bite in Parliament than with the wider public as the public were bitterly divided between Muscovites and Russophobes. His ability to recover, as he had done through his spell on the Council of State, would continue, although, after his resignation from the Presidential-Regency, he decided he would stand aside from Parliament for the first elections.

Vice-Regent of the Union - Senator Granville, Independent
High Chancellor of the Union - Sir Henry James, Liberal
Prime Minister, President of the Union Council, Leader of the House of Commons - Joseph Chamberlain, Democratic Federation
Chancellor of the Exchequer - Joseph Cowen, Democratic Federation
Secretary of State for the Foreign Office, Vice President of the Union Council, Leader of the Senate - Senator Campbell, Liberal
Secretary of State for the Home Office - Frederick Maxse, Democratic Federation
Secretary of State for War - Hugh Childers, Independent
Keeper of the Great Seal of the Union - Charles Dilke, Democratic Federation
Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs - Henry Fawcett, Democratic Federation
President of the Board of Trade - George Odger, Democratic Federation

The Government was now nearly wholly Democratic at this stage, also, and the resentment of Liberals was pronounced after the affair, despite the raising of Granville to Head of State. As the new Government got to grips with the final sessions of the Hundred Days, they attempted to bring forward two pieces of legislation into the Commons. The first was the Political Association Bill, which loosened the laws on Political Associations and allowed free association and assembly across the Union. This passed without much fuss and proscribed that any association that advocated reform within the confines of the law was protected from harassment. The Bill had a large effect on the Irish Republican community, who believed that they could return and campaign for an Independent Irish Republic without harassment from the Police - welcoming the return of members of the Clan na Gael, an American Irish Republican Organisation, to Ireland throughout 1879. The Bill also outright banned the Orange Order, but allowed peaceful and Parliamentary opposition to the Union by groups such as the Loyal & Patriotic Union, should they accept their seats. While they did not in 1878, the first election would see the high water mark for Abstentionist candidates, and gradually the pro-Monarchists factions would return to the fold, especially in the mainland of Britain.

The more controversial of the Bills sought to establish restrictions on Education before State Governments assumed control after the Union Parliament was officially convened. They wanted to guarantee all children were to be given the Right to Education and to compel by Union Law accommodation and provision is provided for every child in every state, that local rates (the funding mechanisms for County Authorities) and State Funding, under the management of County Authorities answerable to State Inspection and enforcement of attendance and Government Regulation, free for all and crucially, unsectarian. This was controversial with the Anglican and Catholic communities, who controlled most of Education in England and Ireland and faced a severe backlash from the two groups: the former represented by the Conservative Party and the latter in large part represented by the Irish National Party. The Bill was presented on November 21st, 1878 by Chamberlain. A parliamentary resistance, led by Disraeli and the Irish Nationalists, sought to protect religious schooling and protect the privileged position of the Catholic, Anglo-Catholic and Anglican schools that had been established in an ad hoc fashion since the Provincial Governments were in control of Education. To Chamberlain, this provision was ad hoc and left many in the Union without proper Education. Disraeli's opposition centred around the late scheduling of the Bill, the lack of protection for religious schools and he criticised Chamberlain for tabling the bill in the period of Parliamentary washup. The Bill passed its first reading but was killed by a coalition of Tories, Moderate Liberals (Whigs) and Irish Nationalists on the second reading. Chamberlain stated his intention to reintroduce the Bill in the next Parliament, causing a rift to develop between the Irish Nationalists in the Democratic Federation, whom the mainland Democrats relied on for support for their majority in Parliament. Two days before the end of the Parliamentary session, the Irish Nationalists, having received their stated goal of Legislative Independence, had a meeting of their Parliamentary Committee and a majority faction if 55 of the 75 Irish Nationalists decided to withdraw their support from Chamberlain's government and enter opposition in the elections and the rest, owing to the strict unity of the group, followed. Butt pleaded with them to stay and believed the issue would split the INP into Catholic and Secular Parties, to the detriment of governance in the state, but to Chamberlain, this was a betrayal and his bitterness towards the Irish Nationalists remained throughout the rest of his career.
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How Indians will be viewed by British in this timeline? Will there be white man's burden? Can we expect to see various political parties in india mirroring that of England? Will we see more universalist interpretation of christianity due to presence of neo vedanta and translation by max Muller? Will we see theosophy and occultist movement mature further due more tolerant mindset? Maybe even create more interfaith Dialogue between religions?
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How Indians will be viewed by British in this timeline? Will there be white man's burden? Can we expect to see various political parties in india mirroring that of England? Will we see more universalist interpretation of christianity due to presence of neo vedanta and translation by max Muller? Will we see theosophy and occultist movement mature further due more tolerant mindset? Maybe even create more interfaith Dialogue between religions?
1.) At the moment much the same as they still regard them as a colonial asset rather than a partner per se.
2.) Yes
3.) Yes
4.) I can see an influence yes, but not until the turn of the century as the Liberal and remaining Democrats outside of the Unionist Coalition, along with the non-Imperialist Socialists & Trade Unionists ally with the INC for more autonomy for India
5.) I'm not sure at this stage, but I can see the mindset shifting to that of more tolerance, just again after the turn of the century. Britain's got to forge the Imperial spirit first and a lot of that leg work will be done under Chamberlain's second spell (sorry for the spoilers) as Prime Minister. Interfaith dialogue will be more prominent, but again (sorry for being a broken record) I think this will come when the Liberals finally get back to running the country.
Do you think there will be something different policy than English Education Act 1835 in india? Any more support to indology and archeology over all?
I see the use of English being something that will be advantageous to the Unionist Government, as I can see Gaelic and Welsh Movements in Ireland and Wales forming part of the opposition to the Unionist Government and their Anglicizing initiatives
If you look at historical facts you will find most of anglo Indians born due to lack of eligible white woman which forced English officials to marry native womans. Many white woman tried to visit India due to their belief that every white official in india is rich beyond belief and acted as proto gold diggers. With high mortality due to climate forced white officials either to marry local girls or with for a white woman who might marry him which was not certain due to fierce competition among would be grooms.
If you look at historical facts you will find most of anglo Indians born due to lack of eligible white woman which forced English officials to marry native womans. Many white woman tried to visit India due to their belief that every white official in india is rich beyond belief and acted as proto gold diggers. With high mortality due to climate forced white officials either to marry local girls or with for a white woman who might marry him which was not certain due to fierce competition among would be grooms.
Fair enough, as I say it’s not my area of expertise so I’m learning as I go
I am certainly enjoying story, your focus to political evolution is superb. But I am mostly looking forward for changes in india and asia. Really like to see some cross pollination between east and west without racism maybe a bit less compared to canon timeline. Maybe more interacial marriages and social changes along with that.
I am certainly enjoying story, your focus to political evolution is superb. But I am mostly looking forward for changes in india and asia. Really like to see some cross pollination between east and west without racism maybe a bit less compared to canon timeline. Maybe more interacial marriages and social changes along with that.
Thanks for the feedback, it’s much appreciated! In my plan, I’m looking at really focusing on India in the 1890s and 1900s, while China will be a focus around 1910. This will build a lot of the world in regards to India and Asia.
I am interested in social Impact. Particularly in Art and Interfaith Dialogue. Do you think Chicago conference will happen in England rather than America? Any plans how you want to write about eastern Philosophy and Vedanta?
Supplemental: The Schism

The change in social life after the Factory Acts saw, for the first time, the concept of work-life balance, and an option for people to discover some form of leisure. With much political instability and strife, leisure formed an pivotal part of the everyday routine of people's lives and by the first years of the Union, music halls, theatre, horse racing and sporting events in general became more organised and common place. The three most British of all the sports; football (both codes), rugby and cricket, developed at a steady pace throughout the post-Constitutional period, and began to crystalize into the structures and forms we know today. The fourth major sport of the Union, caid, would develop after 1884 and the efforts of Michael Davitt and the Celtic Athletic Association. But football would produce the most interesting of the developments in this pre-Unionist, post-Constitutional Law era.

Football has been around for centuries, but the zeroing in of society on mass sporting events involving a ball goes back to the 12th Century. These took the form of large scale events that often enveloped whole towns, and caused injury and death. Eventually, the events were banned, but would return to the streets in London by the 17th century, before being banned again in 1835. Despite this, two competing forces were working to re-establish Football as a social and cultural event. The first were Public Schools and Educational Institutions, like Rugby, Eton and Harrow, Oxford and Cambridge. Clubs of 'Old Boys' formed from the alum of these institutions, and clubs like Old Etonians, Old Harrovians, Cambridge and Oxford University were prominent in the drafting and codifying of the rules of the game. Usually, each of the schools had their own versions of the rules of the game and the distinction between football and rugby would not be clear for a number of years. Rugby Football and Eton Field Game formed two of the precursors that draw closest resemblance to the games of Rugby and Football we know today. The game in Rugby was referred to as the "running game" and Eton as the "dribbling game", but in reality, most schools or institutions that played the game had differing rules on the size of the ball, the length of a game and the number of players in each side differed wildly.

In 1848, an attempt was made in Cambridge to standardise the rules for football, but a final solution was not achieved to many of the questions that had occurred. This effort was led by the Public Schools, but they had competition by 1863, when a second attempt was made, by new institutions coming out of Northumbria. Since the 1857 foundation of Sheffield Football Club, the game in the North had developed quickly and by 1863, there were a number of teams in and around the Sheffield and Hallam area that boasted many football players. At the time of this second attempt, the Sheffield Clubs wanted an input on the discussions and the rules. This was not achieved, and the two codes co-existed but one distinction was made: carrying the ball was banned in both Sheffield and London codes, and the "Football Association", representing the London and Public School clubs, was formed. This caused the divide between Rugby, which allowed carrying, and the Football codes, which did not.

There was still a great difference in rules and the number of players on each side, which neither code proscribed. The two codes moved on differing paths, culminating with the first ever competitive trophy, the Youdan Cup. Twelve clubs competed, but one, United Mechanics, had to withdraw two weeks out from the event due to arrests made in the aftermath of the Northumbrian Outrages which centred on the city. They were replaced by an invitation from Queen's Park, the most famous Scottish club, who finished second in the tournament at the cricket ground in the city, Bramall Lane. In March, the Sheffield Association was formed and claimed 14 clubs and well over 1,000 members, but was targeted by police recruits who had been drafted in from the South, many of whom were commanded by Public School officials, who believed the Sheffield code was less developed and prestigious than the London code, dominated by institutions and Public Schools. This persecution did not stop the organisation of events, and the links between the Provincialists and the Sheffield Code saw the spread of the game into much of the pre-Union Northumbria. The 1868 Cromwell Cup (a successor to the Youdan Cup) saw an expansion to eighteen teams and Queen's Park return, and forced the Football Association to contemplate their own competitor to the Cromwell Cup, which was finally organised in the form of a National Competition, the FA Cup, in 1871. Sheffield clubs, blaming the persecution and restrictions placed on teams, declined to participate. An attempt at organising a compromise rules game between the London and Sheffield Associations was attempted that same year, but refused by the Sheffield Association owing to this dispute.

The Sheffield Association did, however, organise challenge matches under its rules against a number of surrounding Associations which had been formed in the aftermath of the Sheffield Association, including Birmingham, West Riding of Yorkshire, Glasgow, North Wales, Manchester and Staffordshire challenge matches. In 1872, accusations of interference in these matches between leading figures in the Government and leading figures of the Football Association caused a major scandal in the North of England. In response, the Sheffield Association attempted to bring together a group of Associations under it's leadership into one, rival association for the kicking game. After a year of discussions, the Birmingham, Glasgow, Staffordshire, Manchester, Welsh Associations and the West Riding Association of Yorkshire formed the British Football Union, with Sheffield Association President Charles Clegg as it's head, which was designed to be separate, but non-competitive with the FA and allowed clubs to choose to take part in the FA Cup should they wish. The BFU was a federal organisation which left power with it's constituent associations. This unstable dual power continued throughout the next three years, as the BFU organised the Northern, Midland and some Scottish Clubs, playing the Sheffield Rules, into an alliance of Northern Clubs which were protected from interference by the Football Association. This angered the Southern, Amateur clubs and the divide was increasingly representative of the antagonistic two camps forming in British politics. In 1875 with the resumption of local, consent based policing and the formation of the Provisional State Governments, Sheffield Rules stabilised and events were protected without persecution, giving the BFU the upper hand against the Football Association, largely due to it's more national footing and the increasing geographic and social isolation of the FA Cup.

British Football Union Clubs, 1877:

Albion, Artillery and Hallamshire Rifles, Attercliffe, Brightside, Brincliffe, Broomhall, Crookes, Exchange, Exchange Brewery, Fir Vale, Gleadless, Hallam, Heeley, Kimberworth, Millhouses, Norfolk, Norfolk Works, Owlerton, Oxford, Parkwood Springs, Philadelphia, Rotherham, Sheffield, Surrey, Thursday Wanderers, Wednesday, Druids, Notts County, Remnants F.C, Hawks F.C, Wanderers F.C, Panthers, Queens Park, Darwen, Manchester, Grantham Town F.C, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Christ Church FC, North End, Stoke Ramblers, St Lukes, United Mechanics

Clydesdale, Dumbreck, Eastern, Granville, Kilmarnock, Vale of Leven, 3rd Lanark RV, Alexandra Athletic, Blythswood, Callander, Dumbarton, Renton, Rovers, Southern and Western

In 1877, owing to the continuing animosity between the two organisations, 42 of the 43 clubs allied with the British Football Union withdrew from the FA Cup, with Sheffield never participating, and 15 Scottish Clubs joined the BFU - several teams from the South, Hawks, Remnants and Wanderers, also joined the Union, bringing legendary footballer Arthur Kinnaird, who was opposed to the BFU's endeavours but wished to compete with the best clubs, joining the Committee of the BFU. This was the turning point and became known as The Schism. With 1878 approaching, the 58 clubs participated in a Spring Cup and organised the Union Cup, with the Southern clubs excluded from the competition. On April 6th 1878, the first Union Cup Final was competed between Thursday Wanderers and Darwen FC at Bramall Lane, with Darwen FC winning the game 1-0 in front of a then record crowd of 3,500, with the FA Cup featuring Oxford and Cambridge University facing off. A scandal emerged in the BFU afterwards, as allegations that the Darwen players, especially the Scottish players, being accused of professionalism. Clegg wanted to expel the Darwen players, but fellow clubs supported Darwen and began to angle for a rule change to allow the payment of players. This led a number of clubs to leave the BFU and re-join the FA, who upheld amateurism intently, and led to Charles Clegg joining the Executive Committee of the FA.

The division between the BFU and the FA now was one that divided between professionalism and amateurism and more pivotally between social classes, with factory and workers teams (making up the majority of the BFU clubs) drawing from working-class, industrial towns and academic teams drawing from the social elite. Professionalism was already rampant in several of the larger Sheffield clubs, like Wednesday, Thursday Wanderers and even United Mechanics, but allowing paid players caused several more of the clubs to either defect, fearing uneven contests, or conform. The Spring 1878 Union Cup had seen 16 cases of accused professionalism, the 1878-79 edition, which began in November 1878, saw the registration of 62 professional players. With expenses growing, the selection of Inter-County, Ordinary and Union Cup games as income generators would begin to wear thin, leading to discussion beginning in 1878, that a coalition of clubs looked to develop more regular, competitive fixtures between themselves - this would be the debate that would consume football over the next decade.
Part 4, Chapter XI
IV, XI: The 1878 Union Parliament Election

Britain’s first election to the Union Parliament was the culmination of a political process that lasted the length of the Provisional Parliament. Britain fractured after the Privy Council’s failure to ascend Albert-Edward to the Crown, and was in the process of healing through the shared displeasure of the Orangeist Coup and the conversion of many to the cause of the Union in opposition to the actions of the OMC & OPC. The elections themselves had been prepared for well in advance, with much of the boundary work taking place throughout the early days of the Provisional Parliament. Harrison had continued his work after the division of England, and had developed a system of constituencies based on Counties, with a new unit, the Vice-County, breaking up the larger Counties that would require more than 4 members of Parliament due to their size. The desire for single member constituencies as desired by the left of the Democratic Federation, it was felt, would have to be drawn up with a new act of Parliament and many though a delay until after the elections would be more legitimate, as there was considerable Liberal and Conservative opposition to such a move. Voter rolls were collated with a special census drawn up immediately after the Constitutional Laws were passed, and State Legislature boundaries were drawn up on this data, largely following single member districts. All this background work made the 1878 election the largest and most standardised election in British electoral history. Sixteen million voters would head to the polls, casting ballots for nearly 9,000 elected positions at Union, State and County level.

The election, in essence, came down to the desires of two men - Benjamin Disraeli and Joseph Chamberlain, Leader of the Opposition and Prime Minister respectively, who set their dividing lines domestically in regards to Education, and in Foreign Policy in regards to their respective support of the Ottomans and the Bulgarians. Chamberlain was an extremely popular Prime Minister, but the whole Government had been damaged by Gladstone's actions with Prince Albert-Edward, while Disraeli had been the recipient of a quite remarkable redemption arc. Disraeli's new found popularity was matched by several of his most senior Lieutenants, with R.A Cross particularly gaining a reputation in intellectual circles for his new found radicalism and his commitment to Social Reform. Public attention was captured by the continued capitulation of the Ottoman Empire and the threat caused by growing Russian influence in the Region, and the debate about Education, which split the public on denominational lines: Catholics, Anglo-Catholics and Church of England on the one side and Nonconformists on the other. This division directly affected the Democratic Federation, as the Irish Nationalist component now lined against Chamberlain's Education plan to secularise schooling. Irish Nationalists believed that building up Church of Ireland and Catholic Schools in the State offered the best solution and would allow for a peaceful co-existence going forward, and were growing in their opposition to Chamberlain and his secularised plan. State elections across the Union were dominated by the Education Question, but were still considered very separate to Union Politics. Conservatives were however hampered by a number of electoral issues: the primitive nature of the electioneering machinery, Disraeli's base and connections in rural areas and the fact that many who supported him, especially in the Legitimist Church, were on the backfoot and committed to supporting Abstentionist candidates, rather than Conservatives. Tories struggled to find candidates, and therefore stood 90 less candidates than the Democrats and Liberals, who were nearly ubiquitous in their coverage: Democrats usually running in Industrial Cities and Liberals running in rural areas against the Tories. But the United Front was weakening in the 1879 Election, as the fallout from the Gladstone Affair continued to cause ructions between the two camps. Attacks between candidates from the two parties increased during the campaign, and the effect most felt was that for the first time, vote-splitting became an issue in a way it had not been expected to. Chamberlain also attempted to campaign as the leader of a party which sought it's own majority in the Union Parliament. Granville had privately indicated that as with the Provisional Parliament, Chamberlin would be asked to form a coalition with the Liberals regardless of the result if either had a majority, but Chamberlain believed that a strong majority in the lower house would allow the Democrats to go it alone.

The Foreign Policy element of the debate would become pressing as despite the warning from both the Union and Germany, Russia continued to posture towards occupying Constantinople throughout December, and newspaper reports of a build up of forces continued throughout the campaign. Anti-Russian feeling peaked throughout the Union during the campaign, and Disraeli's speeches on the matter, concerning a robust British presence in the region through the newly acquired Cyprus, was needed to contain the threat of the Russian Bear. He also, somewhat controversially, supported continued Union aid to the Ottomans, which had been ended during the conflict. The difference between this period in the debate and the period during the Russo-Turkish War was the presence of Russian and Serbian troops in Bulgaria, which spurred fears of outright annexation of the new territories despite their nominal independence. Disraeli lampooned the Government response, especially Gladstone's, to the Treaty of San Stefano and insisted that the treaty had allowed for British interests to be hampered. In this climate, Gladstone reversed his decision not to stand and collected support to stand for the Commons in Greater Lothian, a new County created by Harrison in Scotland. He compiled all his acumen from previous campaigns into what is regarded as the first modern political campaign, giving speeches rallying against the dangerous threat to British life that a strengthened Ottoman Empire in Europe would bring. His campaigning was moralistic, designed to divert attention away from the Lustration Affair, and to centre debate on the Foreign Policy issue, which he believed would attract votes from both the Conservatives and Democrats towards the Liberals. He also leaned heavily on his Anglican faith, seeking to present the Liberals as the moral guardians in the country. His campaign attracted ire from both sides and from within his own party however, and prominent Liberals such as Fawcett, Harcourt and even Granville privately urged him not to stand. The modernity of the campaign was unprecedented however, as Paul Brighton noted in his book, The Original Spin in the Union:

What was new about Midlothian was not that Gladstone spoke from the platform. This was already common-place for many front-rank politicians. It was the fact that the campaign was effectively designed as a media event, with specific attention to the deadlines and operational requirements of the journalists covering it and crafted for maximum impact in the morning and evening papers.

This method of campaigning, centred on the print media and designed to bring a local campaign to national attention, was noted by Chamberlain, however, and the lessons learned from the Democratic Federation leading into 1881 were numerous. Reports of the collapse of the Ottoman defences in Constantinople, however, brought each of the major powers to Constantinople a few weeks before the election, denying the services of Senator George Campbell, a key liberal asset in policy-making despite the tradition of Senators, as with the Lords, not to campaign in Commons elections. This ramping up of tensions played more into the hands of Conservatives, especially when reports emerged on December 2nd, two days before the beginning of voting, that Count Nikolay Ignatiev had demanded that Constantinople be declared an open city under Russian and Serbian occupation, with the Ottoman capital relocated to Bursa. This proposal was unacceptable to the British, and Senator Campbell sought clearance from the Vice-Regent to threaten war should the action be taking, with support from Albert Hänel, German Chancellor and Foreign Minister. The two also received support from Italy and France, but the aloof response of Austria-Hungary, who desired the annexation of Bosnia from the Ottomans in the aftermath of it's evident collapse in Europe, soured relations between the new German Government and the Austro-Hungarian Common Ministry. In a telegram from Campbell the next day, the Senator told Granville that the British should demand three things; the removal of all Serbian and Russian troops from Bulgaria and the dissolution of the Provisional Russian and Serbian Administrations, the declaration of Constantinople as an International Zone and a joint occupation by each of the Major Powers. Ramping up the rhetoric, Russia indicated that these demands were out of place, and that their occupation of Bulgarian with Serbian troops was simply to establish order and prepare the country for independence. Britain and Germany in return offered to station their own troops in Bulgaria to assist with this handover, but Ignatiev rebuffed this notion, insisting they were the protectors of the Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire and solely responsible for the handover. This played into Disraeli's hands, and allowed him to concentrate his ire on Gladstone and the Liberals, who were competing directly with his candidates in most seats. He was able to show the former President-Regent as an impulsive leader, shackled by his moralistic crusade to the detriment of Britain abroad. This left Chamberlain, the Prime Minister, as a by-stander in a debate between Gladstone and Disraeli, the old rivals coming head to head once again.


This remained clear, front and centre in the minds of voters as they headed to the polls, and the results produced a murky answer to the question of "Who Governs?" Conservatives did significantly better than expected but were hampered by the small number of candidates. Gladstone, against the odds, won a seat in Greater Lothian but elsewhere outside of the Celtic Fringe, the Liberals had struggled to make an impact in the cities and in rural areas. Conservatives emerged as the largest party but short of a majority and the bickering between the three camps in the Coalition (Democrats, Liberals and Irish Nationalists) meant that despite their greater overall numbers, the disputes between them, especially the Irish Nationalists, made a renewed coalition unlikely. This was confirmed a day after the results, when Irish Nationalist leader Isaac Butt told Granville that the 33 MPs elected into the Irish Parliamentary Party would not support a Union Council formed that supported secularisation of Education, which meant that the Democrats & Liberals would be unable to form a majority administration. With this clear, Chamberlain resigned as Prime Minister and Granville dismissed the Union Council. Taking this into account, Granville called upon Disraeli to form a Union Council & Cabinet on December 9th 1878, and on the 10th, Granville was returned unopposed by the Third Grand Committee as President-Regent. Disraeli brought in former Prime Minister Stafford Northcote as Chancellor, Senator Robert Cecil as Keeper of the Great Seal and Foreign Secretary, Senator Richard Cross as Home Secretary and Vice President of the Council and Hugh Cairns as High Chancellor. Sir James Fergusson, who was involved in the Trade Union Act, was appointed as President of the Board of Trade. Britain, for the first time since Robert Peel, had a Conservative Government.

1st Union Council
President-Regent of the Union - Lord Granville
High Chancellor of the Union - Hugh McCalmont Cairns, Conservative
Prime Minister, President of the Union Council, Leader of the House of Commons - Benjamin Disraeli, Conservative
Chancellor of the Exchequer - Stafford Northcote, Conservative
Secretary of State for the Foreign Office, Keeper of the Great Seal of the Union - Senator Robert Cecil, Conservative
Secretary of State for the Home Office, Vice President of the Union Council, Leader of the Senate - Senator Richard Cross, Conservative
Secretary of State for War - Hugh Childers, Conservative
Vice President of the Council of Education - George Francis Hamilton, Conservative
Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs - Gathorne Hardy, Conservative
President of the State Governments Board - Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Conservative
President of the Board of Trade - Sir James Fergusson, Conservative

EDIT: the Infobox says the wrong number for the Liberals, it’s meant to be a three at the beginning, not a six.
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Part 4, Chapter XII
IV, XII: Disraeli's Conservative Government, 1879-80

Joseph Chamberlain looked sullen through the windows of his new home, Highbury Hall in Birmingham. The 43-year-old had up until a few weeks ago had the world at his feet. Now he was an innocent bystander in the worst purgatory imaginable - opposition. His party's defeat in the 1878 Election had seen the Democratic Federation, a United Front he forged, at its weakest point and he wanted to find answers to revive them.

"Empire, loyalty, land and patriotism," said Chamberlain to the Democratic Premier of Mercia, Jesse Collings. "That is what the people want and need." Chamberlain had learned in the winter of 1878 that despite the security and loyalty of a number of members of Parliament, nothing could be guaranteed in the bearpit of electoral politics, especially with the new-found realities of an engaged population of voters. On this note and using his position as President of the Democratic Federation, he convened a special Democratic Congress in Birmingham to meet in July 1879 to discuss the way forward. Chamberlain had one goal in mind - to end the coalition between the Liberals, led once again by Gladstone in Parliament, and the Democrats and ensure that the next government of the Union would be solely controlled by the Federation. Chamberlain had blamed the defeat on Gladstone and believed that breaking the coalition would be the only way to ensure that the Democrats could form the next Government. He chose Birmingham as the centre of his political power and as the home of one of just two Democratic Federation controlled States - Collings had a strong majority in the Mercian Legislature and had continued his role as Premier of Mercia following his appointment as the Provisional Chairman of the Government, which alongside Thomas Farrer's Government in the Metropolis, were the only State Governments in the Federation's controlled, with most remaining non-political and aloof from the groupings of National politics.

Uniting the strands of Radical opinion had always been a goal for Chamberlain and his deputy, Charles Dilke, but the two had grown detached over the involvement of the Liberals in the Government. Chamberlain had wrongly believed that the Coalition would be moribund by the time of an election of the Union Parliament, which Chamberlain believed would deliver a Democratic majority. The election had revealed a more conservative rural working-class and a more radical industrial working-class, which the Democratic Federation firmly based in the latter but with few sympathies in the former. They also struggled with the answers to the religious question, with many believing that the Education Bill, designed to remove the church from matters of education, was a key driver to the unifying of opposition to the Union Government, as well as a further split between the Liberals and Democrats. The first session of Parliament provided more troubles for the grouping, as Disraeli's Home Secretary, Richard Cross, introduced the Employers and Workmen Bill & Conspiracy and Protection of Property Bill, introduced to continue the Conservative offensive on the working-class vote. These laws created, with the Trade Union Act, the legal framework for Trade Unions to exist, picket and made offences surrounding Trade Unionism a civil matter, rather than a criminal matter. Democrats flocked to support the act but Liberals, fearing the political ramifications for the fusing of Trade Unionism with Conservatism, opposed the measures. Equally, the new more bellicose jingoism surrounding the Ottoman Crisis, as the new Foreign Secretary, Senator Robert Cecil of the Salisbury Family, sought to posture more aggressively to stop the Russian threat to Constantinople. Receiving tacit support from Granville, Senator Cecil sought an audience with Chancellor Hänel in January 1879, soon after the election, to indicate that Britain was willing to deploy warships to prevent a takeover of the straits by the Russian Empire. A diplomatic cable to St Petersburg from the British made such a threat clear, and public opinion at this time was vociferous in its Russophobia, dealing further damage to the Liberals and Democrats, who favoured cooling of tensions between the two parties and supported the Bulgarian Nationalist cause. In truth, the Coalition seemed on the wrong side of public opinion on nearly every matter.

Benjamin Disraeli, the Prime Minister and Leader of the House was in very familiar, but very different surroundings. He had been in the House of Commons for many a year, had led the country and a party into power and had spoken at the dispatch box many times. This time, however, he did it as the Head of Government of a Federal, Parliamentary Republic. The week following the Grand Committee, which saw Senator Granville finally become President-Regent Leveson-Gower (known more commonly as President-Regent Granville), Disraeli chaired the first meeting of the 1st Union Council, the Executive Government of the new Union of Britain and began to prepare a programme of Government. Much of his focus had been similar to the Liberal party of Peel - that political reform was completed for now and the Government in the country would be better focused on alleviating concerns of the people. Now, with universal suffrage and the large constituency of working-class voters, this needed to concern the ordinary person, and it was in this sphere that Disraeli believed his Government could win support. "Housing, savings and labour relations", he proclaimed to the room of Secretaries of State, "This should be our concern and this should be the issue to resolve in this legislative session." Alongside the introduction of the Employers and Workmen Act and the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, Cross also introduced the Friendly Societies Act, which encouraged and regulated the formation of Friendly Societies to aid in savings, life insurance and cooperative banking, which received warm support from the Cooperative Societies and the Cooperative Congress, it's decision-making body. He also bolstered Imperial Spirit within the Empire with the purchase of shares in the Suez Canal Company, to improve control on the British access to the sea and further protect themselves from Russian aggression in the Mediterranean.

Disraeli was interested in one piece of political reform and summoned Sir Michael Hicks-Beach and Senator Thomas Hare to commission a Report on electoral boundaries and the electoral system. Disraeli was concerned about the growing numbers of his supporters in the cities and in Ireland, where often the single non-transferable vote would ensure a clean sweep of victories for the Democratic Federation and Irish National Party respectively. Disraeli asked for Hare and Hicks-Beach to conduct a comparison of voting machinery, with Senator Hare being a popular choice with Liberals and Radicals due to his association with John Stuart Mill and Mill's advocacy of his designed system, known as the Hare System. Richard Cross also was keen on the idea of an electoral system that allowed for the representation of minorities in two cohorts that all happened to be in favour of a Conservative Government - Moderate Royalist Anglicans in Major Cities (Villa Tories) and Unionists in Ireland, both of whom were crowded out by prevailing constituencies. Hicks-Beach proposed an extension of the 'limited vote', which was used in several constituencies at the State and County level, where the voter would have one less vote than the seats available. Radicals, however, believed that single-seat districts should be the preferred method of reapportionment. Liberals believed that they also served to gain from multi-member constituencies, as they often were able to work with Radicals (now Democrats) and force uncontested three-seat constituencies of one Democrat, one Tory and one Liberal. A mathematician called H.R Droop gave evidence that in single-winner systems, two parties tend to appear, but with essentially three parties (plus the Irish Nationalists), the system was due to lead to large scale apathy with the electoral process and urged the Commission to adopt a system that would ensure total minority representation. Hare's system gained prevalence and Hicks-Beach indicated that he would prefer a trial run of the system. A Senator for London, Senator John Lubbock and a Senator for Cornwall, Senator Leonard Henry Courtney, issued testimony supporting the Hare scheme and its extension to all multi-member constituencies and prepared a Senate Motion in support of the Hare Scheme for the Commons multi-member seats.

Charles Dilke, who favoured equal districts, decried the attempt from the Upper House to impose a new electoral system on the Lower House and said that the scheme "was certain to prevail a dominance of the Conservative Party in the House of Commons." Hicks-Beach recommended that the limited vote be used for all multi-member constituencies at the next General Election with plurality for all single-member districts, but the House would restore University Constituencies, which would be elected by the Hare System. John Lubbock formed the Proportional Representation Society during the debates on the Act and around 90 MPs and 25 Senators had joined the Society, split equally between Democrats, Liberals and Conservatives, with Conservative Lewis Carroll forming the Conservative Committee for Proportional Representation soon after and C.P Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian affiliating the Democratic Representation League with the Democratic Federation not long after that. The two groups rallied against the Hicks-Beach proposal, which also had cross-party support, and lobbied for the Hare System to be rolled out nationwide. Lubbock and Carroll were able to convince Disraeli of the utility of the Hare Scheme through the advocacy of Richard Cross, and in the Senate, amendments to introduce personal representation (Hare’s official term for his system) were brought onto the Order Paper. The amendment proposed a scheme for all multi-member districts to use the Hare Scheme for one election, with a Commission convened to analyse and evaluate the results, chaired by Sir Michael Hicks-Beach. After a fierce debate in the Senate, the measure was passed by 56 votes to 51, bringing the amendment to the Commons. In the Commons debates, low turnout on the side of the anti-reformers and low turnout from the rank and file of the Democratic Federation saw 91 votes for, and 89 against, passing the act. Lubbock continued his campaign at the State level, with supporters of the Proportional Representation Society gaining similar victories in Ireland and Northumbria, where the prospect of control of Education brought more out in favour, as religious interests across denominations were desired. This was yet another defeat for the leadership of the Democrats, as Dilke and Chamberlain were against the proposals, with their desire for equal apportionment of constituencies and single-member districts.

Losing further ground to the reforming zeal of the Conservatives, Chamberlain needed a rallying cry and a unifying policy, and continued his drift towards the Agrarian wing of his party, believing that the wooing of rural voters would harm the Conservatives and offset the gains they were making within the working-class. Most importantly, this was a policy that Chamberlain believed could gain a greater foothold in Ireland. In October, during the Hundred Days, a meeting of tenant farmers in Mayo produced a manifesto, reported in the Connaught Telegraph, that was produced by members of the Irish National Party, then associated with the Democratic Federation, for land reform in Ireland to be included as part of the legislative programme of the Provisional Parliament in its final session. This document, entitled The Land of Ireland for the people of Ireland, was the precursor to a national campaign for Land Reform. In the spring, the first of many 'monster meetings' were held in Mayo in support of Land Reform for Ireland, attracting 10,000 people to Castlebar, backed enthusiastically by the leader of the Fenian Party, Charles Stuart Parnell. Groups protesting excessive rents from absentee landlords popped up throughout the countryside, with much support from elements of the Irish National Party, but faced stern opposition from Conservatives in the Union Parliament. After a poor 1878 harvest due to wet weather and nosediving agricultural prices had left many to be unable to pay their rent as a result of the economic downturn, meaning an acute crisis was emerging in the Irish tenancies. In April 1879, the Irish Land League was formed. Chamberlain understood that the fusing of the Radical elements between Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Northern and Central England produced the pathway to victory, as had happened in the electoral victories in the 1830s, 1840s and the 1871 election. With political reform now subsiding as a unifying aim and most of the original aims of the Chartists achieved (only equal constituencies and the end to plural voting remained), Chamberlain and many of the Democratic Federation believed that the next fight would be over Land and believed that this was a fight that the Tories, with their citadel of support centring in the landlords, would not be able to muster an army to fight. The presence of this Irish dispute over land would provide the perfect spark for the powder keg. Dividing the Irish National Party, which had prevented the Liberal-Democratic Coalition from retaining its majority, would be a key aim and would prevent the Conservatives from holding onto their grip on power.

The Irish National Party, seen nearly as a ubiquitous force in Irish politics, was not as ubiquitous as it quite seemed. Held together by the unifying presence of the Premier of Ireland, Isaac Butt, the party had survived being affiliated to, but not included in, the Democratic Federation and having achieved its aim of Home Government, Butt felt a degree of loyalty to Gladstone, but none to Chamberlain. The party was liberal in the O'Connellite sense: a party of Christian Liberalism that espoused free worship and freedom for Ireland within the context of a federal state. With this achieved, the INP suffered a drift from focus, and Butt's health provided yet more fuel for the fire of discussion between the varying wings of Irish Nationalism as to the correct course for the State of Ireland and its future within the Union. Adherents of Butt founded their doctrine in the need for the Irish Legislature to build the economy of Ireland and modernise the country without land reform.

The 1878 State Election in Ireland was a crowning glory for Isaac Butt and his campaign with English Radicals for Home Government for All. The Irish National Party had romped to victory under Butt's leadership. The election had been contested between the National Party, the small Liberal Party in Ireland, Fenians who advocated for an Independent Irish Republic outside of the Union and the Loyal & Patriotic Union, a haphazard grouping of those opposed to Home Government who would abstain from the sittings of the State Legislature. Orangemen, on the defensive after the Orangist Coup attempt, had been forced into retreat or were jailed at the time of the election, meaning that Loyalism was represented in its most moderate form. The victory of 121 of the LPU candidates meant that the Irish National Party in effect had a supermajority in the Lower House, which was elected by universal suffrage in equal constituencies, and the Legislative Council, which was elected in four equally sized Provincial constituencies. Butt was provided with the majority he craved and the mandate to form the first Irish State Council and was reappointed by Governor Fortescue on May 7th 1878. He retained several important Irish traditions in the political process, most notably declining the role of Leader of the Legislative Assembly, instead asking he be appointed to the role of Deputy Leader of the Legislative Assembly in honour of the eternal leader of the Irish Parliament, Daniel O'Connell and he attempted to continue to build a cross-party Government to strengthen his position, appointing Charles Stuart Parnell of the Fenians and Sir Rowland Blennerhassett, an Irish Liberal Catholic, to the State Council responsible for Education. Bringing together the 'Grand Coalition' of the forces within the Irish Legislature allowed Butt to build the 'usual channels' - a forum for the managed democratic conversion of Ireland into a functioning state. The Irish Legislature was opened by President-Regent Granville on January 2nd 1879, with the Parliament meeting at the Royal College of Science for Ireland, and the meeting was greeted with a candle-lit vigil in all major cities in Ireland and several major cities in England with Irish populations. This phenomenon was repeated as State Legislatures were opened in the heartlands of Provincialism, with the largest of such vigils attracting 30,000 in Leeds to celebrate the opening of the Greater Yorkshire State Legislature.

1st Irish State Legislature, 1878-1881
Irish Legislative Assembly

Irish National Party 216
Loyal & Patriotic Union 121
Liberal 39
Fenian 20
Independent 4

Irish Legislative Council
Irish National Party 19
Loyal & Patriotic Union 10
Fenian 5
Liberal 3
Independent 2

The inclusion of parties in an ad-hoc extra-Parliamentary cabinet formed part of what Butt called the 'New Departure' - a policy of coalition and co-option of the spectrum of Irish Politics. Butt, a Nationalist also met with the leaders of the Loyalist factions, Augustus Stewart of the Loyal & Patriotic Union, who promoted cooperation between the Whig and Tory loyalists, and Thomas Bateson, who led the exclusively Conservative organisation, the Loyal Irish Union, both of which boycotted both the Union Parliament and the State Legislature - to garner opinions on the running of the state. While Bateson was usually uncooperative, Stewart and Butt retained a friendship until his death. An impromptu council, meeting officially in secret, was formed between Butt, Parnell, Blennerhasset and Stewart, known as "The Four", to oversee the successful first State Ministry. This was centred on the principle that "the only thing we agree is that we all agree", and helped to hammer out a compromise between the Unionists, Republicans and Nationalists and between the Anglo-Irish Protestant minority and the Catholic majority. Its first challenge was a cross-denominational Education Bill to increase access to education and create a single Ireland State University. This would involve merging the former Queens University of Ireland and the Catholic University of Ireland into one federated unit, including Trinity College. There was fierce opposition within Unionists against State Control of the Queen’s University of Belfast and Trinity and after much debate between the Irish Legislature and the usual channels, State Councillor for Education Sir Rowland Blennerhassett made an amendment allowing the two institutions to be exempt - a move which angered Irish Nationalist MLAs who saw the single, state-funded university as a key aim of nation-building and those who believed that the Protestant educational facilities were being improved at Catholic ratepayers expense. These legislators formed a committee within the Irish National Party called the General League of Catholic Associations, led by James Daly and supported by Archbishop Thomas Croke, a leading Irish Nationalist and land reformer as well as around 30 of the INPs Assembly Party. The Nation’s readers decried the exemption on its letters page, one submission describing the Act as “an attempt to build a state within a state in Ireland, outside the legal confines to protect noncompliance with our Constitution.”

1st Irish State Council 1878
Premier, Chief Secretary of the State Council, Deputy Leader of the Legislative Assembly - Isaac Butt, Irish National Party
Treasurer, Keeper of the Great Seal of Ireland - Michael Davitt, Irish National Party
President of the State Council, Leader of the Legislative Council, State Councillor for Internal Affairs - Councillor Charles Gavan Duffy, Independent
State Councillor for Trade, President of the Irish Board of Trade - John O'Shanassy, Independent
State Councillor for Relief & Public Health, President of the Poor Law Board - James Daly, Irish National Party
State Councillor for Education - Sir Rowland Blennerhassett, Liberal
State Councillor for Public Works & Lands - Charles Stuart Parnell, Fenians
Agent-General of the Irish State Council - Senator John O'Connor Power, Irish National Party (ex-officio)
Attorney General - Hugh Law SC, Independent
Paymaster General - John Ferguson, Irish National Party

Butt's consociationalism was encouraged by Governor Fortescue, who wanted to ensure that the delicate ethnoreligious tensions didn't spill over into violent conflict. So far, an uneasy peace had remained with the help of ad-hoc deals struck with the LPU had stabilised matters such as the Education Act. Stewart had established himself as a conduit for the Loyalist Community, although his moderation did nothing to further his reputation with the heavy Conservative Unionists concentrated in the North West of the State around Belfast. Stewart had privately confided to Butt that he had hoped that the Loyal & Patriotic Union could transform into a party that was Patriotic but fought inside the Legislature to protect the interests of Unionists in Ireland. In the latter days of his Premiership, Butt had developed new proposals to improve harmony in Ireland through limited social welfare and a commission to study new Poor Law policies and Public Health initiatives, hoping to quell resentment of land reform. Butt, however, felt that Land Reform would almost certainly be vetoed or heavily amended by the Parliament in the mainland if it was passed, and sought to avoid a constitutional crisis by refraining from introducing any law with a Conservative Union Council that would surely be thrown out by President-Regent Granville at the behest of Disraeli. Debate within the Irish National Party was split on the approach that should be taken to the Land Question, with one half, led by Charles Stuart Parnell and Irish Senator, John O'Connor Power, demanding immediate action as their right as a state, and Isaac Butt and the moderates who believed the process should be slower and more restrained. Looking for a way in, Chamberlain believed that the public clamour within Ireland for Land Reform might outstrip the desire for a Catholic Education system.

Butt’s health continued to decline throughout April but managed to introduce the first major pieces of legislation into the Irish Legislature in his severely ill state. Meetings with “The Four” revealed a great desire to introduce Land Reform legislation, with support across denominational lines. The most hostile opposition was in the landowners, however, who sought to protect property rights, and these were represented heartily in the LPU. Augustus Stewart was in opposition and urged Butt to prevent a Bills presentation in the Irish Legislature. Conservatives spoke early about their desire to veto any Bill brought forward, with Sir Michael Hicks-Beach stating at the State Government Board that any attempt at bringing forward fixed rents in Ireland would be heavily discouraged in any discussions between the Union Council and the Presidential-Regency. As the Irish Nationalists were relied on by the Tories for their majority, Butt was urged in his final meeting of the Irish National Party on April 30th to threaten Disraeli with a no-confidence vote unless the threat of veto was withdrawn, and Hicks-Beach removed from the Union Council. Butt couldn’t finish the meeting, however, and was rushed home to Dublin to recover. In his absence the next day in the Irish Legislature, Davitt, his Treasurer and a land reformer stepped in to deputise the Deputy Leader of the Assembly and proposed to the Speaker of the House to debate a motion on land reform, which enraged Butt so much, he asked his friend AM O’Sullivan to make a note of his final thoughts, where he said that he did not understand the desire to rush a complicated issue. “I have been swept aside. Alas, that is how the wind blows” he wrote on May 2nd. Four days later, he would be dead.

A hastily convened meeting of the Irish National Party’s Legislators selected William Shaw, a Protestant Nationalist who had served outside the State Council but had attended several meetings of the Four as a notetaker, and was well-liked by Sir Rowland Blennerhassett and Stewart, but had a much frostier relationship with Parnell. These cracks in the Great Coalition would weaken the Conservative Government in Westminster, as the unity of the INP, who were wary of supporting the Government anyhow, would deny Disraeli a majority if they were to split.

Shaw held the Great Coalition together as best he could, but Land Reform was becoming the most pressing issue, and several in the State Council were becoming willing to break with Shaw over bringing immediate Land Reform and backing it with the threat of bringing down the Government. Charles Stuart Parnell, the Fenian Minister who, along with Michael Davitt and Charles Gavan Duffy, the most prominent land reformer, resigned from the State Council on June 18th 1879, stating that he could not work in a Government that would not make Land Reform a pressing issue. Duffy and Davitt followed and the Irish National Party’s grip on the Assembly weakened ever so slightly. The presence of returning Republicans from the United States in the aftermath of the Political Associations Act also bolstered the electoral support and the finances of the Fenians, but they were limited by their extremely Radical image. General Leaguers were opposed to the Fenians on moral grounds due to their connection with terrorist cells in America, Canada and the Union, and Parnell thought Fenians were not seen as a credible party of Government at the State or Union level. Parnell had only sat in the Irish Legislature and did not seek election to the Union Parliament stating the Irish Legislature was the only Authority, and only swore an oath to the Union to serve after a series of attempts to have it removed. He had joined the Government to promote an active United Front, but his small group had its allies devoured by the Irish National Party. With land reform, he felt the ability to harness popular feeling for Land Reform into an electoral coalition to take power in Ireland but felt the Fenian Electoral Organisation lagged way behind the fee-paying subscription of the National Party. There were crossovers in the INP, and sections of the party were ideologically close to the Fenians and their desire for total independence. Davitt believed the existence of British influence in Irish land decisions was an example of why the ‘compromise’ of Home Government was only a temporary step on the road to full independence, for example. Duffy used The Nation to promote the cause of the “Three Fs” of Fair Rent, Fair Tenancy and Fair Tenure and outside of the State Council, had more time to devote to the printed media and poured scorn on an Irish Government that did not promote land reform.

Parnell believed a new party, dedicated to land reform could succeed with the mass of rural momentum for reform. He believed that shaking off some of the Republican policies, most notably Abstentionism at the Union level, would allow for maximum exposure to the cause of land reform, and he wanted to present an opposition voice to the INP-Conservative Government, which delayed it. He met with a returning Republican from the United States, John Devoy, who proposed that the American fraternal organisation for Irish Republicans, the Clan na Gael, establish a Parliamentary and Legislative Committee within Ireland, and sponsor candidates for election. Clan na Gael in Ireland would achieve three things; the promotion of the Irish way of life, the extermination of rack-rents and the introduction of land reform and redistribution and the promotion of Irish Nationalism and Independence. Parnell jumped at the chance and established an ‘exploratory committee for an Irish Nationalist Alliance for Land Reform’ with himself as Chairman and Davitt, Devoy and Duffy as Vice Chairman. Soon this became the Clan Na Gael Legislative Committee and took 78 MLAs, from the Independents, Fenians and INP with them. Parnell was elected Chairman and after his speech declared an interest in working within the Union Parliament structures and advocating that the Political Associations Act allowed for the advocation of both Irish Separatism and Land Reform peacefully, 6 members of the House broke relations with the INP and joined Clan na Gael, reducing the minority government’s already small workable majority. A minority group led by the Revolutionary Nationalists led by Matt Harris and Thomas Brennan rejected the calls to work within the Union and a rump Fenian Party remained in the Legislature as an independent force.

1st Irish State Legislature, July 1879-1881
Irish Legislative Assembly

Irish National Party 151
Loyal & Patriotic Union 121
Clan na Gael 78
Liberal 39
Fenians 11
Independent 2

Irish Legislative Council
Irish National Party 14
Loyal & Patriotic Union 10
Clan na Gael 9
Liberal 3
Independent 2

It is right about now that Joe Chamberlain decided to pounce. With the Democratic Congress approaching, he sought to pass a resolution that advocated for a wide-ranging agrarian revolution, using the endowment from the disestablishment of the remaining established churches and selling unused land to fund plots for grazing for agricultural workers. The moderates in his party were not in favour, preferring the libertarian, individualistic model of economy, like Henry Fawcett who also favoured continued coalition with the Liberals. Even Dilke was concerned, likening it to the Governments proposal to give State Public Works Departments and County Authorities the right to purchase slum dwellings, which the majority of Radicals were opposed to. Chamberlain urged the Radical Republican wing of the Party to support measures to address the agricultural question to “do as we have done for the Industrial Class - win their freedom and respect.” The Congress opened on July 18th 1879 in Birmingham, and before proceedings could begin, the Congress as a whole, with one delegate from each of the organisations affiliated with the federation present, were presented with a series of reforms to the Congress’ administration drafted by Francis Schnadhorst.

He proposed that the Congress elect an Executive Committee of fifty members would have the sole right of procedural and administrative initiative, as well as the sole right to propose motions to the Congress, then the Congress would be expanded to include affiliated organisations proportionately to their size who could question, approve or reject the motions or procedural amendments. Schnadhorst presented these changes as more Democratic and more streamlined and the measures were adopted, with further delegates, most of whom were already present, ballooning the Congress to over 4,500 delegates. The Committee of Fifty had, however, reserved 10 seats for the Parliamentary Committee, 10 for the General Federation of Trade Unions and 5 for the Trade Union Congress. This meant the Executive Committee was only half elected, and Chamberlain, Dilke and Shipton had control over the majority of seats. The three were in vague agreement about the primary cause of the Congress - ditching the Liberals - but differed on their views on many policies. Chamberlain convinced them that their goals could be achieved by Land Reform; attacking the Conservatives on the state of the agricultural economy (which had been in decline due to free trade flooding the market with cheap grain throughout the Union’s existence), uniting the Irish and English Radical movement again (which was seen as a key indicator of success for Radicalism) and securing loyalty to the Union for agricultural workers that could advance the cooperative movement and potentially creating a movement big enough to compete against the Conservatives and Liberals, securing a Democratic Majority. Chamberlain painted the picture of a fiercely patriotic party of the Union, underpinned by the commitment to social and labour reform and land reform - securing the loyalty of the Industrial and agricultural workers across all the British Isles with a land reform plan seeing plots to, paid for with the breaking up of church endowments and lands, as well as the Crown Lands. This proposal was radical and a departure from the radical doctrine of old. Motions in support of the disestablishment of the Church, the sale of Crown Lands and universal secular education were all passed, but the land reform sections were proposed but rejected by the Democratic Congress. As Chairman of the Executive Committee, Chamberlain proposed a second debate, but it was quashed again. Chamberlain, it was said, had prepared Davitt and Parnell to join the Congress as guest speakers once the motion had passed, but told them to ‘bide their time’. Dilke and Shipton, as Vice Chairman, were unconvinced for now of the utility of land reform as a major issue being urban and industrial but elsewhere, a Scottish Legislator and member of the Democratic Federation, Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, would be demanding the same changes for another group, the Crofters of the Highlands & Islands, who wanted similar land reform rights and in doing so, formed the Scottish Land League. Chamberlain could see the potential to bring a large coalition together against the Conservatives on the issue of land.

Discontent in the Democratic Congress was centred on the issue of centralisation by the Executive Committee. The Federation was called as such because it was an umbrella for different causes in favour of the Constitutional Laws, and political difference swayed between the Opportunists who believed that following Chamberlain was the only way to achieve functioning popular government and the more Radical Republicans in the group. The Democratic Federation was made up of a number of different parties and leagues that wanted to further radical reform of the political system and most were still functioning independently as well as within the group. These included the Northumbrian and Mercian Radicals, Commonwealth League, the Radical-Labour Group, Trade Unions and Artisans Organisations, the Irish Nationalists and the Progressives, the Liberal-Labour Group led by Thomas Farrer in London. While the Opportunists, spread across all the parties and alliances, tended to be more pro-Union than pro-Republic, but also more pro-Union than pro-Crown, Radical Republics concentrated in the Trade Unions and Radical-Labour Group contained many who were in favour of radical solutions to the emerging social question and land question, and also clashed with the Liberal coalition in contrast to the moderates in his party who favoured continued coalition, most notably Fawcett. Having drifted from them during his time in Government, Chamberlain now leaned to combine his efforts with the Radical Republicans and Irish Republicans, believing an energetic campaign of land reform could invigorate the two and unite the Radical elements in Parliament once again. To do this, he believed the Democratic Federation should become a Party with a much more organised structure and aims, which ran against the elites of the various parties that made up the Democratic Federation, organised in various movements usually confined to a state or series of states. These, along with those who wanted to steer the movement away from Land Reform and towards more niche causes (or fads) were termed the ‘faddists’ by Chamberlain, and they were opposed to radical land redistribution as espoused by Chamberlain. For now, they would be joined in their opposition by the Trade Unions, who were still opposed to redistribution of land. Chamberlain found favour within the Cooperative Congress, however, as they believed the redistribution of land should be conducted in the endeavour of creating a new base of cooperatively held farmland, giving control of the land to the people themselves.

The Cooperative Congress at this stage only nominated a small number of candidates to the Union Parliament and held an arm's length relationship with the Democratic Federation as they had adopted a position of political neutrality, but Chamberlain wanted to grow this number to bolster the Parliamentary presence in favour of his reform. The opportunity arose when Lewis Majendie, MP for St Augustine's in Kent, resigned in August 1879. Chamberlain convinced the local Democratic Club to support John Thomas Whitehead Mitchell, the President of the Cooperative Congress, to stand as their candidate. Mitchell campaigned in the rural areas of the seat on a campaign of reform of ownership of land and establishing rural cooperatives. Chamberlain went to campaign in the seat and for the first time went public with his demands for land reform and found keen ears in Scotland, Ireland and the North of England, the key radical strongholds. He also attracted the attention of the Agricultural Union leader, Joseph Arch, a member of the Democratic Federation as the President of the National Agricultural Labour Union and hailing from his area, in Birmingham. While Mitchell narrowly lost the seat to the favoured Conservative candidate, the Democratic candidate was well received and Mitchell was later elected in the same Vice-County for the State Legislature. Arch approached Chamberlain along with Parnell, Macintosh and Davitt after the by-election to discuss the formation of a United Front for Land Reform either within or outside of the Democratic Federation and a coalition between the Irish and Scottish Land Leagues and English Radicals. All were warm to this idea, and the five met in late August to discuss a common front, with Arch claiming 30 Members and 16 Senators were willing to join such a group.

In September 1879, the public discourse once again pivoted to Anglo-Russian Relations, this time with the crisis in Afghanistan. Afghanistan was the frontier of British India and well within the British sphere of influence, but at the time and since the Union, Russian influence had been growing in the Emirate. Since Granville's tour of the Colonies, India had been governed by a Council of High Commissioners, and Gladstone had failed to make an appointment that could appease both sides of his coalition after the dismissal of Baring, who was favoured by Chamberlain to continue his role. Disraeli, in June, had reorganised Colonial Administration to remove inconsistencies occurring from the absence of Monarchy in the British Colonial Empire. The role of Viceroy of India was abolished, and all functions were placed in the Governor-General, who was appointed by the President-Regent. On Disraeli's recommendation, Granville appointed Robert Bulwer-Lytton as the Governor-General of India and had tasked him with countering the worsening state of control of the Emirate and the increasing influence of the Russians in Afghanistan. Before his election, in the cacophony of noise surrounding the worsening Anglo-Russian relations, the current Emir, Shīr ʿAlī Khan, had admitted a Russian Envoy into Kabul for a second time, after the first arrival in 1875 soon after the discussions that formed the reason for Thomas Baring's dismissal as Viceroy. The British Indian Army represented by its Commander in Chief, Frederick Paul Haines, demanded that an envoy be accepted by the British, which was refused, further antagonising the British. They sent Neville Bowles Chamberlain, a distinguished military officer to negotiate with the Emir, who refused his entry to Kabul in November 1878. On the 21st November, during the Lustration Crisis in a story that was lost on most in Britain, British Indian Armies were sent to invade Afghanistan and quickly occupied Kabul. Shīr ʿAlī fled and died early in 1879 and his son, Yaʿqūb Khan, was raised as Emir promising suzerainty in the Treaty of Gandamak in May 1879.

This triumph was short-lived, as on September 3rd 1879, Sir Louis Cavagnari, the British Indian envoy to Afghanistan, faced a revolt from inside the country. Neither the new Emir nor the Treaty, were popular in the country and Afghan soldiers from Herat demanded back-pay from the British. Cavagnari refused the request, and with the help of a riotous Kabul population, they attacked the British Residency in the City, killing 200 occupants. Yaʿqūb Khan refused to intervene. In the context of heightened tensions, and with the Bulgarian Crisis still ongoing, this was perceived as an Act of War and Disraeli & Lytton decided to reoccupy the Emirate in October 1879. The brilliant military general, Sir Frederick Roberts, a veteran of the first campaign, was recalled to identify the killers, place them on trial and if needed, execute them. Despite Yaʿqūb Khan's presence amongst the military personnel for the British, the Afghan Army resisted the invasion and a battle was fought at Charasiab. Roberts won the battle and reoccupied Kabul, but resistance from the Afghan Army and opponents of the British, funded by the Russians, continued to resist and several Afghan armies marched on Kabul leading up to Christmas, leading to the British Army retreating to the more defensible position. While they retook Kabul on Christmas Eve, Yaʿqūb Khan was considered complicit and forced to abdicate. Without a ruler, Afghanistan remained under British & Indian military occupation, with no civilian authority whatsoever as the new decade arrived and the British occupation was harsh, with firing squads and hanging reported as the insurgency had brought the belief amongst Roberts and his leadership that all were complicit in the anti-British violence. William Gladstone made a speech to the House of Commons echoing Liberal opinion in Britain decrying the savage treatment of the locals - "By what right, in public law or moral justice, do we now affect to treat the conquered people as rebels, hang their generals and their priests, each of whom led them to defend their country?" Gladstone continued to advocate for the Afghans: "Remember the rights of the savages, as we call him. Remember that the sanctity of human life in the hill villages of Afghanistan among the winter snows, is as inviolable in the eye of Almighty God as can be your own." Roberts maintained he used appropriate force to pacify the Afghans and maintain law and order and curbed the "natural fanaticism" of the Afghan people, but Liberals and Radical alike argued for the maintenance of law and the protection of the ethnic sensibilities in the region. The campaign was also enormously costly and had dragged the British Indian Army into a military conflict that had sunk any chance of Lytton (and Baring before him)'s primary concern - much needed Economic Reform of India.

Discussions on the future of the Emirate raged in Britain in the context of a new concept being touted by Joseph Chamberlain - Federalisation. Federalisation was first mentioned in regards to the Union's relationship with Australia. Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of New South Wales and the most high profile politician in the Australian subcontinent, believed that the best way to ensure stability in the Empire was to create larger, federated units that would take on a greater degree of autonomy and would coordinate with the Mother Country on matters of Imperial Defence and Free Trade, a more cost-effective strategy than the current situation of provisions being made available from Britain and reliance from the mother country. Parkes envisioned a stronger, more autonomous colony in Australia on the same lines as the first Federated Colony, Canada. With Federalism being introduced to the British Isles in 1875, obsession with Federalisation became fervent among a new breed of Democratic Imperialists within the Radical cause, and united Charles Dilke and Joseph Chamberlain on their colonial policy. Knowing that a failure to develop a coherent Foreign Policy had cost the Democratic Federation dearly during the election, he commissioned a series of pamphlets in The Beehive, published by a collection of Democratic Imperialists, such as John Morley and the relatively unknown Albert Milner, in favour of the "natural continuation of the Union process to encapsulate all the Anglo-Saxon Colonies". They argued that larger units combined several colonies outside of the Anglo-Saxon Colonies on a regional basis in a semi-autonomous state. Chamberlain utilised this argument in his column on Afghanistan to argue that the breakup of Afghanistan and its absorption into British India as a series of ethnic Presidencies; Pashtunistan, Balochistan (merged with the British Indian Agency in the North West of British India) and Badakhshan, co-opting regional leaders that could gradually transform into a political Union like the Union of Britain. This process could be completed elsewhere in the Union, with Australia, Southern Africa and Canada forming the basis of a worldwide "Union of Unions", securing British interests with a watch-tower on every corner of the globe. Further "Unionisation" could occur in the colonies to bring the British system of Government around the world. The debate had one noticeable absentee - Disraeli, who throughout 1879 had been privately suffering from ill-health that brought others, most significantly Stafford Northcote, to the forefront of the party once again. Disraeli, a keen advocate of the intervention, did not partake in any debate on the matter from November 1879, and many within the Tory benches considered a Senatorial role perhaps more suitable for Disraeli, with the less frequent sittings and less exposure to public scrutiny.

Political Authority for Roberts eroded as the new year beckoned, with the news that Abdur Rahman Khan, son of a previous Emir, had fostered an Army in the North of the country to fight the British. Sir Lepel Henry Griffin, a senior diplomat, was sent by Lytton to act as a 'Political Chief of Staff' to supplement Roberts' military authority and attempt to bring peace. Gathorne Hardy, the Colonial Secretary, sent a communique to Lytton, Roberts and Lepel Griffin to resolve the situation "to the full extent of the Union's interests in Central Asia" - which Roberts took to mean the military pursuit of Abdur Rahman, Lytton took to mean the annexation and division of Afghanistan into ethnic territories with British India and Griffin took to mean the de-escalation of tensions. In the end, none would occur during the life of the Conservative Union Council. Roberts was nuzzled out of the decision-making, due to his antagonising of the native population, by Lytton and Griffin, who believed a peaceful solution could be achieved with Rahman. The two negotiated, a settlement to make Rahman the Emir of Kabul, an independent Emirate under British influence, with occupation continuing in the ethnically diverse regions of Pashtunistan and Balochistan - but while suzerainty would be continued, local leaders would be responsible for domestic affairs, similar to some of the Indian States. This concept was generated by the reality on the ground - Kandahar continued to be relatively quiet, but the North of the country was descending into civil war, and Lytton, Griffin and Hardy believed one of the warring parties would accept British hegemony in the future. Sher Ali, the cousin of the deposed Emir, was declared the Emir of both of the Southern States and was given his own army with a British Garrison for support. Northcote stated to the House in place of Disraeli describing the situation, which by now had become notorious in the British public's eyes as a costly, derisory failure. Chamberlain turned the political knife, supporting the measure but decrying "the lack of evidence to support the reality of the myth of the Leader of the House" in late January 1880. Three days later, a game of musical chairs occurred: Richard Cross resigned from the Senate to fight a by-election in Southwark on the 13th February, which he won, beating the favoured Progressive in the seat, and a Senate seat arose in the Metropolis, which James McGarel Hogg was requested to appoint Disraeli to. Hogg considered resisting but Gladstone recommended he take the request seriously - "it'll deny them their only hand outstretched to the working man, and leave them with the derision of Northcote, Mr Mayor. They'll be gone within the year."

He was pretty accurate about that.
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Part 4, Chapter XIII
IV, XIII: The Disraeli-Northcote Government, 1880-1881


Stafford Northcote, Leader of the House of Commons 1880-1881, Prime Minister April 1881-December 1881

With Disraeli's move to the Senate confirmed, the Union Council was dissolved and reappointed by President-Regent Granville on 16th January 1880. Little had changed, but Northcote was appointed President of the Union Council and became Leader of the House of Commons following the convention that the Leader of the Conservatives in the lower house took precedence, with Disraeli serving as Vice President of the Council and Leader of the Senate. Seven Ministerial by-elections were called as a result, and while six were uncontested, Gathorne Hardy, the Colonial Secretary, was challenged by a Radical-Labour candidate from the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, Tom Mann in Oxfordshire. Mann ran an energetic campaign and had recently been introduced to a relatively new concept in the political lexicon - socialism. Reading the Radical press of the time; William Morris and John Ruskin, became convinced of the political ideology that Industrial workers should use their vote to force the power of the state to equalise society. Only 24 years of age, Mann campaigned vigorously, attempting to engage Industrial workers in Oxfordshire to collectivise, especially unskilled workers but lost and became convinced of the inherent ineffectiveness of Parliamentary democracy. Others, however, noted his enthusiasm and while Ruskin and Morris were already Parliamentarians, noted that Mann was the first candidate to run an outwardly socialist campaign and the candidacy gained nationwide attention in Radical circles and was featured heavily in The Beehive, by now well established as the official newspaper of the Democratic Federation. Henry Hyndman, leader of the Democratic Federation's far-left, found in the aftermath of the campaign that many others had avowed to some kind of socialism and the electorate, especially the unskilled working class, had more of an appetite for social reform along socialist lines since the social reforms of Disraeli's Government. Hyndman formed a group of the far-left Parliamentarians with a disposition towards socialism in February 1880, dubbed the Research Clique or Research Group. This included Senator John Ruskin, William Morris, Edward Aveling and most notably, Charles Dilke. Dilke saw socialism as the only method to continue the political revolution climaxing in the Constitutional Laws and believed that the group represented the ideology that would dictate the Democratic Federation's political will for the coming years.

2nd Union Council
President-Regent of the Union - Lord Granville
High Chancellor of the Union - Hugh McCalmont Cairns, Conservative
Prime Minister, President of the Union Council, Leader of the House of Commons, Chancellor of the Exchequer - Stafford Northcote, Conservative
Vice President of the Union Council, Leader of the Senate - Senator Benjamin Disraeli, Conservative
Secretary of State for the Foreign Office - Senator Robert Cecil, Conservative
Secretary of State for the Home Office, Keeper of the Great Seal of the Union - Richard Cross, Conservative
Secretary of State for War - Hugh Childers, Conservative
Vice President of the Council of Education - George Francis Hamilton, Conservative
Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs - Gathorne Hardy, Conservative
President of the State Governments Board - Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Conservative
President of the Board of Trade - Sir James Fergusson, Conservative

This presented the Democratic Federation with two, competing visions for the party: the Industrial Socialism represented by Dilke and the Research Clique, and the agrarian revolution advocated by Chamberlain and the Land Leaguers based on land reform. While the domestic policy was still not the focus of attention in the British public, an uneasy truce in the Great Powers over the Ottoman and Central Asian lands commanded significantly more press attention, the declining economy had convinced many in the Opposition that an economic debate would take primacy in the coming years, and the heart of the Democratic Federation was at stake for its founders and leading lights, and the debate would pit the two unifying forces of pro-Union Radicalism, Dilke and Chamberlain, against each other. It also continued the deepening split between the General Federation of Trade Unions, the coalition of moderate Trade Unions, with the Trade Union Congress, who represented mass unskilled unions - as the GFTU contained Joseph Arch, head of NALU, the agricultural union and supporter of Chamberlain's emerging land programme. George Shipton, the head of the Executive Committee of the London Trades Council, leaned towards the research clique, however, and its ideology.

Northcote was never a popular figure in Conservatism outside of the cult of Disraeli. He was a unique figure and had already been Prime Minister very briefly, again after Disraeli in 1870, but he was a subdued and responsible man who attacked his opponents with measured arguments, not firebrand speeches. Modern, mass electoral politics demanded showmanship and this form of politics was completely unsuited to the learned, quiet man of politics. It is a tragedy that such a capable politician is only ever equated with the collapse of the last Conservative Government, and the creation of the division between the Tory Radicals and Tory Traditionalists that would become the division between the opposition and support for the Chamberlain Government in 1887. Northcote, combining the Presidency of the Union Council with the Exchequer portfolio, prioritised rationalising and reducing the deficit. His major economic achievements were the creation of a sinking fund, but the ferocious dynamism on the domestic front that characterised the first year of the Disraeli Government was lacking in 1880 to the frustration of Tory Radicals. Disraeli submitted the only other major piece of legislation to Parliament, the Artisan's Dwellings Bill, which created a fund between all the States for the States to purchase Artisan's dwellings and demolish them, and Northcote was side-lined during the debates by Richard Cross. Senator Robert Cecil (increasingly becoming known as Senator Salisbury), the Foreign Secretary, murmured to Disraeli that he wished to resign his Senate seat and take a seat in the Commons, but Disraeli was able to convince him to stay in the primary Foreign Policy chamber, the Senate. Northcote's floundering was worsened by his own party, as the reforming zeal slowed. A group within the party, the "Fourth Party", had begun to challenge the leadership within the Conservatives and its approach to Government.


Lord Randolph Churchill, Leader of the Fourth Party

The Fourth Party was a small Parliamentary grouping led by a man who lived with a zest for showmanship and an active impatience owing to his belief that his life would be short - Lord Randolph Churchill. Churchill had been elected to the City of London seat in the Commons in 1878 and had immediately set about demanding a radical redistribution of power in the Union to secure the long term loyalty of the working-classes to Conservatism. His cohort of supporters included John Gorst, who was not yet in Parliament, he was the Leader of the Opposition in the Southern English Legislature, opposing the inertia of the State Council of Sir Charles Tilston Bright. In Westminster, the group included Arthur Balfour, member for Hertfordshire, and Henry Drummond Wolff, the member for Southampton. Churchill, Drummond Wolff and Balfour vigorously demanded a more ferocious Government, decried the influence of the weak and tepid Northcote and hailed the vision of their ideological leader, Disraeli. Their tactics included firebrand speeches in Parliament attacking Northcote directly, with Churchill referring to him in the Commons as "The Right Honourable Member, the Goat", earning him a suspension from the House. Churchill believed that Northcote was subverting the opportunity given to the Conservatives to dictate the emerging politics of the Union and believed in a Radical programme that would create a more content working-class, keener to back Conservative Governments. He also believed that the haphazard party structure, in opposition to the Army of Organisations representing the Democratic Federation, was weak and would not be able to withstand another campaign. He believed that Government should be used to alleviate the condition of the people, as Disraeli had advocated. Most of all, he believed the patriotic fervour to the Green, White and Red of the Union after the Orangist Coup could be the catalyst for a new Imperial realm that would be the hegemonic world power, and agreed with Disraeli that a vigorous British presence in its Imperial territories would strengthen the Union and preserve it's Great Power status infinitely.

Opposition to the tepid Foreign Policy demanded by Northcote to preserve the national finances flared up as a further revolt in Afghanistan, this time in directly administered Kandahar, was met with a small response that saw a further pretender to the Emir of the whole country, in opposition to the British backed partition, overwhelmed by a force ten-times it's size. It was revealed the Northcote had ordered the detachment from British India be cut in half, and the Colonial Secretary, Hardy, resigned on the spot. Disraeli even broke the pact of collegiality in the Union Council to express his disappointment of the decision and Northcote's standing was tarnished badly. Some even considered breaking the convention of Commons supremacy and allowing Disraeli to reassume the position of Prime Minister from the Senate, with Richard Cross taking over as Leader of the House and Keeper of the Great Seal to serve as co-leader and Vice-Chairman within the Commons Party. Northcote continued, but even as the Afghan rebellion was put down, in September, the authority within his party began to erode. Churchill learned from Chamberlain's organising skills in the National Radical Federation and his more recent work with the Democratic Federation and wanted to build a mass movement for Toryism in the Disraelian model. With Northcote assuming the top job in the House of Commons, it was believed by the Fourth Party without Disraelite leadership within the Commons, the Social Reform movement within Toryism would subside and they would descend back into an oligarchy of the landed interest. This was the hypothesis that led to Hyndman leaving the Tories and joining the Democratic Federation, as a conversation between Hyndman and Disraeli about the need to support reform in 1872 had seen Disraeli reveal that he felt the vested interests of land would prevent such a move to a mass movement. A mass movement attached to Toryism, especially the new, patriotic and pro-Union Tories, Churchill felt would be key.

Northcote faced twin problems that increased the agitation against his Government from within and outside Parliament: an intensification of the Land War, and an emerging conflict in Southern Africa. The latter would be the cause of the Conservatives defeat in the 1881 Election, but the former would be the major stick for Churchill, Chamberlain and the growing opposition on both sides of the House of Commons in November and early December 1880. Parnell, now in charge of Clan na Gael, split his members in the INP decisively from the Government by declaring a rent strike in conjunction with the Land League. His Lieutenant in Clan na Gael, Michael Davitt, began to advocate for the policy of confiscation without compensation and drew scorn from the Conservative benches for his plan except for the Fourth Party. Churchill and the Fourth Party received further criticism from within their party and began to be referred to by Senator Robert Cecil among others as 'Tory Democrats' - a pejorative term against their philosophy as pro-Social Reform. Knowing that he would continue to be a hindrance to the work of the Northcote Government, Disraeli sought to install Churchill as a State Politician and found him a role as Parliamentary Undersecretary to the President of the State Government Board, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach. In this role, he came into contact with Parnell, a great rival as an advocate for Irish Independence over Union and Jesse Collings, Premier of Mercia, as well as a raft of reform-minded State Councillors and members of State Chancelleries, most notably Thomas Farrer, Chancellor of the Metropolis and Democratic Federation member. Notes at these early attempts to press for reform at the State level would not be complete, however, without the most significant development at the State level, that of the crisis emerging in the Mercian Legislature against the popular Collings administration.

Jesse Collings, Premier of Mercia 1879-1880, Leader of the Mercian Legislative Council 1880-1881

Collings was appointed as Premier of Mercia during the provisional State Council and retained the support of the Legislature after the elections in 1879, but this majority had dwindled after the passing of his first budget. Opposition to measures designed to increase funding to nonconformist schools, in preparation for the expected bill to secularise education in the next Legislature, was defeated by a campaign in the lower house orchestrated by Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, the leader of the Conservative anti-Ministerial faction in the Legislature. Eardley-Wilmot introduced the measures through a Legislative Councillor, and the Conservative majority in the Upper House passed an amendment to cut the funding to nonconformist schools, causing a riotous atmosphere in Birmingham, Collings (and Chamberlain)'s base of support. At the same time, Chamberlain called for a meeting of the Democratic Parliamentary Committee to discuss his plan for land reform again with members of Parliament, and after it was once again rejected by the Parliamentary party, he resigned his post as President of the Democratic Executive Committee, as a member of Parliament, and as Leader of the Opposition, in protest at his faction's unwillingness to accept the reforms, on 8th February 1880. Three days later, after the Mercian Budget was brought before the Assembly, it was defeated in a confidence vote which brought down Collings' State Council. Lieutenant Dixon, a Democrat, was forced to appoint Eardley-Wilmot as Premier, but a counter-offensive by Collings brought his government down with a motion of no confidence twelve days later with Collings' administration restored. He decided the majority was not enough to secure the Mercian State Council's position, so asked Lieutenant Dixon to dissolve the Mercian Legislature and call for new elections. Collings was serious about the Education Reforms he wanted to implement and wanted to ensure that cold feet at the behest of the more moderate members of his caucus in the Legislature could be resisted with a healthy majority. Collings recruited Chamberlain and asked him if he wanted to stand for a seat in Birmingham. Chamberlain, at a loose end and willing to show the power of State Legislatures as an organ for change, accepted the nomination.

Chamberlain used the Mercian Election in 1880 as a launchpad for his populist land plan and quickly overtook Collings as the most widely known campaigner in the election. Within six weeks of campaigning, Chamberlain had organised and masterminded a campaign that toured the rural countryside and cities alike building support for an ambitious reform plan for the State. Land Reform, Municipal Improvements, Slum Clearance, Free Education for All and the purchase of utility provision by the State formed a programme he called the "Union Plan", which sought to unite the industrial and agricultural workers in the State with social improvements and reform. To support the passing of this programme of reform, he sought the backing of the Mercian Federation of Trade Unions, the professional federation which affiliated with the GFTU, and the Mercian Agricultural Labour Union, which he received during his tour of Mercia ahead of the election, and while touring, also signed candidates and voters alike up to his plan, with 300 candidates supporting the Union Plan by the end of the campaign. With this coalition, Chamberlain and Collings's grouping won 256 seats, and after discussions with Dixon, Chamberlain, not Collings, was invited to form the State Council. Chamberlain made it clear to Dixon that he would resign his post at the dissolution of the Parliament, expected in Autumn 1881, and would handover to Collings, who ascended to the Legislative Council and took up the role of Leader of the Council and a member of the State Council, responsible for the Education Reforms. Collings was happy to stand aside for Chamberlain, and Dixon was delighted to see the King of Mercia returning to his home state. Chamberlain was confirmed in his post on March 2nd 1880, and a full list of State Council appointments was published a day later. This list was littered with Chamberlainites in Birmingham, and the Government became known as the Birmingham Clique, in an obvious rebuttal to the Research Clique in Westminster. "Hyndman thinks about governing. We govern" said Chamberlain at the first meeting of the Mercian State Council. Govern he would.

Lieutenant of Mercia - George Dixon
Premier of Mercia, Chief Secretary of the State Council, Leader of the Legislative Assembly - Joseph Chamberlain
Treasurer - Charles Cecil Cotes
Keeper of the Great Seal of Mercia - Councillor Robert William Dale
President of the State Council, State Councillor of Education, Leader of the Legislative Council - Councillor Jesse Collings
State Councillor of Internal Affairs - Joseph Farndale
State Councillor of Relief & Public Health - Richard Chamberlain
State Councillor of Public Works & Lands - A. Follett Osler
Agent-General of the Mercia State Council - Senator Thomas Anson (ex-officio)
Attorney General - Sir William Beale
Paymaster General - Councillor J. T. Hibbert

At the opening of the Legislature, Chamberlain delivered an address as Chief Secretary of the State Council, the de-facto Premier of the State. He was blunt. "My stewardship of this administration shall be only for a relatively short period, but it is with hast that I shall deliver the Union Plan that my colleagues and I have been elected to enact. We will clear the air, set in motion the building of the elements of modern society, vanquish squalor, educate our children and provide a decent standard of living for this great State and its people. His excellency, the Lieutenant has supported the programme of legislation and reports to be presented to the members assembled in here and in the other place in the coming session: Report on the issue of Land Reform, Municipal Authorities Bill, Artisan's Dwellings, Municipal Housing and County Authority Bill and Education (Mercia) Bill. These with the State Council's Budget, to be presented in a fortnight, represent the legislative programme of the Union Plan, delivered to the people of this State by its Government."

Chamberlain set out to use his expected year in office to set out the basis for his plan to transform the whole country, and press attention to the Mercian Government came from across the Union and Chamberlain's statements, as a powerful individual in the Union's political structure, even began to attract more attention than the Prime Minister. Chamberlain also used his platform as the Premier of Mercia to make scathing attacks on the lacklustre progress of reform in the Union Government, as the Tory Democrats began to attract more followers against Northcote's premiership and direction. His first task was to prove that Land Reform could be achieved at the State level or the very least, how State influence could be used to improve conditions for agricultural labourers. Ending the widespread practice of enclosure was a key aim for the agricultural labourers, but land confiscation was unthinkable, and as A. Follett Osler warned, a widespread subsidised sale of former Crown Lands, now in the hands of the Mercian Department for Public Works & Lands, would leave land underutilised and the crossover as farmers accessed this land, which was not nearly enough in Mercia to serve the nearly 600,000 agricultural labourers, would cause underutilisation of some lands, and overutilization of others. Such a problem rendered the process of Land Reform seemingly a non-starter before any considerations and deliberation made by the Mercian State Legislature. This debate raged on for the opening weeks of his Premiership of the State and attracted contributions from across the Radical spectrum in British Politics. Chamberlain sought to avoid the devastation of "confiscation without compensation" or accusations of such that had made a nervous time for Liberal businessmen who feared that similar projects could be used against their property and businesses. While not in the majority and not holding the balance of power in the Legislative Assembly, Whiggish Liberals held a balance of power in the upper house, the Legislative Council. Despite a 50/50 split of votes when taking into account an Independent Radical for Birmingham in the Council, Independent Liberals and their 9 Council seats were the division between any measures success or failure. The whiggish Liberal sentiment was frightened by the concept of this, but with the hefty campaigning of the Chamberlainites on Land Reform, public sentiment and the Democratic majority in the Assembly meant that a solution needed to be found. Chamberlain decided to schedule a debate on the matter in the Mercian Legislature, in which he presented a populist and bellicose line against landlords, dubbed the "Robber Speech".

"What has happened in consequence of the agricultural labour not having a voice in this legislature? They have been robbed of their land. They have been robbed of their rights in the commons. They have been robbed of open spaces. It may be said that these proceedings, which I have not characterised in language a whit too strong, have now come to an end. They are going on still. The agricultural labourers are still being robbed. You cannot go into a single country lane which you will not find that the landowners on each side of the road have already enclosed lands which for centuries belong to the people, of that they are on the point of enclosing them. There is no protection against the steady absorption continually going on of open spaces which belong to the people but are being included in the estates of the landowners. That is not all. It is not merely with reference to the land that this injurious operation is going on. It is going on also with respect to the endowments of the poor." Joseph Chamberlain's speech on the Land Reform debate, April 16th 1881.

While land reform floundered in the Mercian Legislature, other improvements were well in motion by the end of his first months of office in Mercia. An Education Bill, designed to finally secularise Education in the State, passed the Legislature with a healthy majority and managed to pass the Council also. This created a singular employer for teachers, the Mercian Department of Education, which opened schools according to need in areas, paid for by State Taxes and Rates levied on businesses and individuals with a certain level of income. He also pushed through controversial legislation that forced slumlords to pay for improvements to dwelling, and a scheme allowing County Authorities to clear slums with compulsory purchase in line with the Artisan Dwellings Act. Chamberlain also allowed for municipalities to take Water and Gas Companies under common ownership, dubbed "Gas-and-Water Socialism", which was taken up by several cities in Mercia, most notably Birmingham. Owing to his political base in the city, he allocated State funds to develop Birmingham alongside Derby and Nottingham, and his government provided funds for an irrigation scheme to bring clean water to the state using a consortium of Municipal Water Corporations. The early part of his Premiership concentrated on the legislative basis for large-scale projects alongside finding room for debate on the Land Reform question. Three days after the Robber Speech, however, normal politics was suspended as two-time Prime Minister, Leader of the Senate and founder of Tory Democracy, Benjamin Disraeli, died. Northcote ascended to the undisputed leader of the Union Council and would begin to sink under the tides of a failed war effort in the Boer states, and growing criticism within his party, and would see his political capital run dry by the dissolution of the next Parliament.
Part 4, Supplemental - Disraeli's Funeral
Supplemental: Memorials of Senator Disraeli, reprinted from the Standard (Macmillan & Co., 1881).

The Coffin lies on it's bier in an alcove leading out of the modest hall of Hughenden Manor. But of its material, one might almost say it's dimensions, nothing can be seen. It is literally one mass of floral beauty. Here are wreaths from every member of the Union Council, and a bouquet of primroses sent by the President-Regent, with an inscription attached to them saying they came from Osborne Hill and are the sort which Senator Disraeli loved. Here are garlands of gardenias and camellias, of rose-buds and Lent lilies, of crocus, and hyacinth, and daffodil.

As each visitor enters the drawing room, he is received by Senator Lowry-Corry, Disraeli's Private Secretary, who utters only a few words and those with baited breath. Ambassadors, statemen, diplomatists, Union Council members past, present and future; country gentleman who years ago occupied a seat in the House of Commons, since retired and who probably, since the Constitutional Laws, have no intention of returning to parliamentary life; professional men doctors, lawyers, and littérateurs are all here together.

The following Saturday, April 30th, President-Regent Granville, accompanied by his Wife, paid a visit to the tomb, and the vault, which was again reopened to receive the Presidential offering of affectionate respect, was afterwards finally closed. Granville attended in strict privacy, the secret most faithfully kept by the whom it was confided. Senator Lowry-Corry was summoned to Buckingham Palace, when the President-Regent's wife, Countess Granville, expressed her desire to visit Hughenden churchyard and lay on the coffin of the deceased Senator another wreath.

Arrangements were made for securing the desired privacy without exciting public curiosity, which for several days past had been sensitive in the district in consequence of the trench leading to the vault not having been completely filled in. Rumour accounted for the fact by asserting an iron door to close the aperture was in course of construction, when the masons were employed on Saturday to re-open the trench, it was generally believed this was the case.

After ten minutes stay within the church, the Presidential visitors walked across the greensward to the inclined excavation leading to the opening to the vault. They were followed the Private Secretary of the Presidential-Regency Administration, who carried a wreath and cross, formed of primrose and porcelain, brought in by the Presidential Carriage, formerly the Royal Carriage, from Buckingham Palace. For a few seconds, His Excellency paused at the head of the incline and stood sorrowfully down the vault. Followed by the Private Secretary of the Presidential-Regency Administration, the President of the Union Council, Premier Northcote, Senator Lowry-Corry and the provisional Leader of the Senate, Senator Robert Cecil and Secretary of State for the Home Department, Richard Cross. His Excellency walked into the tomb and placed the wreath and cross upon the heap of floral offerings, which completely obscured the lid of Senator Disrael's coffin.

When, at least, the sad visit was concluded the President-Regent and his consort emerged slowly from the excavation, and, walking to their carriage, drove from the churchyard with heavy drops of rain falling. Senator Lowry-Corry indicated to the President-Regent that the vault would be closed soon, as the masonry work was far advanced. The President-Regent expressed a desire that the vault should not be reopened.