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

Supplemental: GCCs and the Structure of Governance
Supplemental: GCCs and the Structure of Governance

From "The Formation of Unionism 1887-1903: A Study in Nationalism" by Roy Jenkins, 1974

"Government in the Union is so very complicated in a very British way. It is simple on paper, but a multitude of layers of interlocking government occur between the Union Council and the Presidential-Regency meant that to analyse Chamberlain’s control of the Union in 1884 was to look at the various committees and Councils that occurred that gave Chamberlain his power, both formal and informal. Now that the resemblance of a party system was coming into place for the Coalition, its best through Chamberlain’s control over his Government in two categories; ‘party’ (although I must stress it wasn’t a formal party at this stage) and ‘authority’ with sub-divisions based on importance in the chain of command.

Beginning with the Party, Chamberlain had direct control over the Democratic Union of Mercia, and had implied personal control of about three others, giving him access to funds for campaigning. Churchill had wealthier backers and the backing of many Conservative Associations who had switched sides, but was directly supported by a few English States in the South East. But there were candidates from all over the country who were beginning to coalesce into one political unit, but still individually remained pro-Government. The main driving force now was the Parliamentary Committee, which engineered much of the policy and interpreted the din of the MPs and Senators into meaningful sentiment. The 1884 Committee met twice a week during session to question the Union Council and began to coordinate the raising of funds to keep the Union Council in power to continue the expansion of the Empire. It also borrowed a practice from the National Democratic Party’s Parliamentary Caucus, and adopted the Whip System to ensure votes were attended and communication could remain open between the backbench supporters and the front-bench, while maintaining discipline and authority.

His control over the levers of authority were more complex, and begins with the Union Council, which meets with the President-Regent and has the authority to advise on what bills to give Assent to. This brought him the check of Senator Ruskin, who as Vice-President, co-chaired the Union Council weekly meeting and as Leader of the Senate, brought him the view of the Upper House to the proceedings. Chamberlain was also, by the constitutional laws, equal to each of his Union Council colleagues, which in essence meant it took the advice of two people to give Assent a Bill - the Prime Minister and the relevant Union Councillor and also that in practice, a whole Union Council meeting was required for decisions to be enforced. Still, the President-Regent and the Prime Minister met each Friday barring absence, and discussed the workings of the Union Council and the agenda for the next meeting. When the Union Council involved Government Ministers of State, it became a Cabinet meeting, and this usually allowed a line of communication between the Government MPs and Senators and the Union Council. These were extra-constitutional, but were important to the effective running of the Government.

The President-Regent was also able to call any other important persons into meetings of the Grand Council, which unlike the Union Council had no effective quorum and was constituted whenever the President-Regent and a Grand Councillor were together. The Grand Council was advisory but the administrative staff in the Grand Council Office became the ad-hoc administration for the President, and took on a number of functions, the most important of which was the Judicial Committee of the Grand Council, which took on the authority of the higher court of appeal. It was selected by the President-Regent but President-Regent Stanley exclusively appointed nominees from the High Chancellor, the top legal authority in the country. The President-Regent had the power of clemency, so his advisors formed the highest court of appeal as their decisions would influence, but not bind, the President-Regent.

Stanley wanted to use this model to create a network of expert opinion in a number of fields. Grand Council Committees, or GCCs, could be formed for any reason, and could be entirely flexible to the wills of the President-Regent. This allowed the President-Regent to assess opinion when his prerogative powers were called upon. Five of these were the most important GCCs that were created in this early period; the IAC, or Internal Affairs Committee, which had been operational for some time and handles Internal Policing Threats across the Union, the Union & State Affairs Committee or USAC, which was the meeting of the President-Regent Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for State Affairs, Henry Drummond-Wolff, and each of the State Premiers, plus any State Councillors or Agents-General who would be of use, the Foreign Affairs Committee, or FAC, which briefed the President-Regent on Foreign Affairs and the Ordnance & Admiralty Committee, or OAC, which provided the President-Regent to receive advice on any military matter and the Colonial & Overseas Possessions Affairs Committee, or COPAC, which was a meeting of the Colonial Administrators and the Colonial Secretary. The President-Regent could make informed decisions and enforce them with Orders-in-Council, should the Union Council agree with the recommendations, and the GCCs aided in sole prerogative issues also - these Committees would be called together to enact a Policing State of Emergency (IAC), conduct Union-State Relations (USAC), brief on Foreign Affairs and declare War (FAC & OAC) and make Colonial Appointments (COPAC). The President-Regent, plus the GCCs, equated to power that was meant to be a match to an overbearing Parliamentary Executive, but they could also, if controlled, offer someone with a weak President-Regent near total power. Thankfully, as we’ll see, President-Regent Stanley was sometimes the brake that Chamberlain and Churchill needed."
Further updates coming in the coming days, just need to put the finishing touches on them. Rolling towards 1887 which is quite an important date, but there is SO much to cover in 1885 so we'll have a few updates that surround this year. Hope that's alright - it'll be worth it.
Part 4, Chapter XXVII
IV, XXVII: The Liberal Democratic Party of the Palatinates

There were pockets of Britain that were relatively untouched by the Coalition’s grip on Government however; the seven state governments and numerous cities where ‘Official’ Democrats still remained in control, pursuing their opposition to the escalation of the Sudan conflict and the compromise with the Tories. Cornwall, Wales, Lancashire, London, Northumbria, Scotland and Ireland all had autonomy in most domestic affairs despite being under the Union’s jurisdiction and while they were officially ruled by Chamberlain’s Union Council and the Presidential-Regency, in most cases State Councils held a significant sway in public life. Cornwall was ruled by a near dominant Liberal tradition, untouched by years of political turmoil. The same could be said of Wales, although a Democratic belt across South Wales was beginning to emerge in the Independent Trade Union tradition. London had its own tradition: the Progressive Party, led by Chancellor Thomas Farrer. The machine, encompassing Independent Trade Unions, Middle-Class Professionals and Traditional Liberals, had been a force in the City since the Provincial Administrations of the late 1860s, and soared in popularity after the Orange Coup. Nowhere was the Republican support more striking than in the Metropolis. White, Green and Red were everywhere, and the embracing of these colours by Farrer made him popular - as did his heroics during the Coup. His organisational skills and the rapid redevelopment of the city after the Coup were much admired, and there was no appetite for change. Some Pro-Government Progressives were elected, but mostly after they had switched sides during or after the election. In the Metropolitan Legislature, he had a comfortable majority and total control over the matters of State. Northumbrian Democrats remained loyal to the Democratic Federation and on the whole, were untouched by the Schism in Parliament, while Scotland was a Liberal Citadel through the Nonconformist Movement, but a burgeoning Land Reform Movement had begun to take the Highlands by storm in their demands for more radical action.

One such state was Lancashire, which had a Democratic Government prior to the election, but the loss of a significant number of members to a new Independent Faction in the Legislature had placed the Liberals, a force in Manchester, Cheshire, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire into a position of kingmaker. True to that position, the Chairman of the Lancashire Liberals was none other than 30-year-old Herbert Gladstone. He decided to compromise with the Official Democrats and form a government with a slim majority of 4 in the Legislative Assembly and a minority of one in the Legislative Council. Jacob Bright, an advanced Radical and Official Democrat became the Chancellor of the State of Lancaster, Gladstone was made Treasurer, a decision ridiculed by some, but presented a budget that was acclaimed in the opening session. Buoyed by this, he sought to build a political coalition that would make Lancashire a solidly Progressive state, like London and entrench Progressive power. He therefore called the Legislators supporting his government, from the Democratic Federation and Liberal Party, and formed the Lancashire Liberal-Democratic Legislative Committee (LLDLC) marking an important first: the first time the name Liberal-Democratic had been used.

3rd Legislature of the Palatinates of Lancaster & Chester Composition

Legislative Assembly

Liberal Democratic 189
Independent Conservative 131
Independent Democrats 54

Legislative Council

Liberal Democratic 20
Independent Democrats 13
Independent Conservative 8

It wouldn't take long for the previously divided forces to merge on a formal and informal level. Constituency Organisations were formed to support the new Government from Liberal and Democratic clubs and although holdouts emerged, most had joined in the United Front against the pro-Government faction in the Assembly. This early organisation was pivotal when the 7 Senate Seats for the State were up for election, as the Liberal Democratic group successfully blocked the nominations of the Senators favoured by the pro-Government faction in the Legislature and re-elected Liberals and Democrats who were anti-War. In response, Patriotic Unionists in Bolton rioted for three days. Liberal Democracy was not yet ubiquitously popular in the Union, it would seem. Herbert Gladstone, aided by an enthusiastic young group of supporters in Lancashire, sought to replicate the Progressive Party's ideology and impress better organisation on Radicalism that had hitherto been made up of disparate strands of support. Progressives had been an ad-hoc group that brought together leaders of the Labour Movement in the city, Democrats and Liberals in pursuit of support of the Union and the Constitutional Laws. It was, however, not an organised political party with a machinery and structure. The group had an informal leader, Farrer, in the Legislature, but consisted as, like the Democratic Federation, of many different groups working in tandem to oppose a renewal of Conservative values in the Capital, including the supremacy of the Anglican Communion over the amassed other Nonconformist and Catholic groups. This reduced the support for pro-Government candidates in the capital to one side of a sectarian line, with the mass of the soon-to-be London Moderate Party (affiliated with the Unionist Movement) coming from the Anglican Communion and the Anglo-Saxon Racial Group. While the support base was similar, Gladstone wanted a rigid group to oppose Chamberlain's followers in the states and protect the diverse religious nature of the State by promoting secular education and religious equality.

He therefore used the opening months of the legislative session to professionalise his creation; he opened a Liberal Democratic Central Office in February 1885, created the Lancashire Reform Union as a propaganda arm of the Organisation in March and by May had called a Party Congress in Manchester's Free Trade Hall that attracted 1,000 delegates from across the State, as well as observers from the National Democratic Party in Ireland and the Progressives in London. They elected Jacob Bright as Party President, Herbert Gladstone as Chairman of the Legislative Committee and elected Charles Swann, Thomas Bayley Potter, James Williamson, Caleb Wright to the Central Committee of the Party. They faced their first test with a series of by-elections to replace a number of appointments from the Legislative Assembly to Union Agencies by the Government, which triggered an automatic resignation of the members. Eight seats were contested by the new political machine in June 1885 - all eight were won by Liberal Democratic candidates. Jacob Bright established a nondenominational schooling system that provided Education to all children to the age of 14 through School Boards run by County and Vice-County Councils in two varieties: State Schools until the age of 12, then through Mechanical Schools that taught basic engineering and science for an additional two years, established new higher education establishments and brought in the first in a long-line of Democratic supported policies in the form of an Act to make employers liable for workers injury. They also reformed the Lancashire Electoral Register and gave local communities a veto on drinks sales, attracting the temperance movement to his coalition. The Liberal Democratic Party of the Palatinates would be a model for opposition to the Coalition Government, and would make Manchester one of the key cities of the Liberal Democratic Movement, along with London, and the National Democratic strongholds of Glasgow and Dublin.
Part 4, Chapter XXVIII
IV, XXVIII: Henry George

"You do not reimburse the thief when the police recover the Swag," said a bearded, American man to a crowd of onlookers in Mayo, January 1885. The man was Henry George, the crowd of onlookers were from the National Democratic Party, and the man who invited him was Michael Davitt, Premier of Ireland. This was George's second visit to the Union, on his first he had been arrested controversially as he entered Ireland with the State in the throws of the Land Agitation. William Shaw declared "he is a shady character designed to ferment unrest in this great State of the Union" but now, three years later, there was no doubting his popularity, and no doubting his intentions - he had arrived in Ireland to propose a scheme of land reform unlike anywhere else in the world.

George's book, Progress and Poverty had become a must-read for many within the Union's Progressives, even from a number within the growing Unionist movement. Over 100,000 copies of the book were sold between 1880-1884, and a growing movement of Progressives were swayed by his ideas. Many lower-income households, benefitting from near-universal literacy, were able to access the ideas and the impact on two States in particular, Ireland and Scotland, was largescale and unparalleled. Elwood P. Lawrence notes that the Georgist Movement had three periods of agitation: in 1882, with George's first visit to Britain (culminating with the 1882 Democratic Congress, in which Michael Davitt proposed a motion in support of a Land Value Tax), this period in 1884-86, and finally in 1888-89 in the aftermath of George's run for Mayor of New York. Reviews of Progress and Property initially after it had been released were relatively meek in their criticism: "A gentleman whose opinions on economical and social questions were well worthy of attention" said the Times. "Many accepted doctrines were propounded with considerable show of plausibility and in a fascinating style... though startling were not so novel as may be supposed."

Arnold Toynbee, a historian who studied the economic condition of the working class was even more scathing in his assessment and would be a trailblazer for the scaremongering around Progress and Poverty. He said, before his death in 1883 that "George is a fundamentally dangerous man. If private property were to be abolished, individual interests will harmonise with common interests and the competition, which we know is often now a baneful and destructive force, will then become a beneficent one" "Its adherence will stymie the development of the Union insofar as the extension of the protection of the State and the scientific study of national problems."

Moderates and the extreme right gave the proposal little attention until the appearance of George on a 'land tour' in 1885. He had arrived four months before the election of the new Legislature but came to Ireland to campaign with Michael Davitt for the upcoming 1885 Irish State Legislature elections. Premier Davitt had called the election early after the Land Tax was rejected by the Legislative Council, so wished to gain a larger majority in the Council to push through his plans. Lieutenant Fortescue fiercely rejected the findings of George, stating in the Irish Times that "Poverty is caused solely by idleness, vice, folly or incompetence" and "his doctrines are as immoral as they are unreasonable." Davitt asked Fortescue to dissolve the Legislature, but Fortescue said if the NDP, which was in favour of the Land Tax were elected, he would have to resign. This brought attention hitherto unheralded of George's ideas to the forefront of Conservative attention. Campaigning for a majority to enact his Land Tax concept, Davitt unveiled with George his plan for a 4d in the pound, or 20% tax on the unimproved value of land, abolishing all taxes except a graduated Income and Land Value Tax. This plan, the "Land Plan", was designed to make the cost of owning land prohibitive to landowners, who would split the land up into smaller parts to sell back to the Irish tenant farmer. The cash generated from the tax was marked to make several social reforms and provide infrastructure projects that would aid the primarily rural economy and provide social policies to alleviate poverty. This link from Land Tax to the elimination of poverty attracted derision, with The Times of London declaring in May 1885, during the Election that "every proposal for restoring the world to its pristine perfection appears exceedingly attractive, but when put to the test, unforeseen obstacles mar it's a success, and it collapses as quickly and completely as the many-hued bubbles which look so lovely and are so evanescent. Mr George's ideal will long be found in his book only and will not gather the attention of the Irish electorate, no matter how common they appear to be."

But George was greeted in his Irish tour by large and enthusiastic crowds in the South and West of Ireland, including a meeting in Westport that attracted close to 15,000 people, reminiscent of the monster meetings that had littered Irish history up to this date. He said to an adoring crowd: "Let me be clear, this is not a matter between Irish landowners and Irish land-workers, this is an ailment of a civilisation, and here in Ireland, we shall take the first steps to alleviate that concern."

Opposition to the plan grew in Ulster, however, where Land Reform was a lesser issue in the Industrial North East. "A papal edict designed to rob honest men of their land and influence, and a design to drag us, the hardworking men of the productive classes of Ireland, of the connection of our trading routes to Clydeside and the North of England," said a Unionist speaker on a soapbox in Belfast, and similarly to a phenomenon in Scotland, the Anglican and Presbyterian working-class began to unite against what they saw as the farmer moulding Ireland in its image, at the expense of the privileged position they enjoyed in the North-East. Workers felt that if Fair Land was instigated, soon fair conditions for Catholic workers, who were shut out from the main Industries: shipbuilding, engineering and textiles, would follow. In and around the 'Greater Belfast' area; Down, Antrim, North Tyrone and North Armagh, a movement was growing to pull themselves away from Ireland and change course. Opposition to the Land Tax centred on this core of opposition within North-East Ireland and began to refer to this Greater Belfast Region as the 'Citadel' - an enclave of Conservatism in a State descending into madness. Thomas Bateson, an Orangeman who had been elected as an Abstentionist MP for Down led this opposition and claimed that should he be elected, he would oppose the Land Tax and "campaign in Westminster and the popish Legislature of Dublin for the restoration of the sane people of this isle, and the subjugation of the insane of this isle."

Thomas Bateson of the Ulster 'Citadel' Movement

Bateson was the first to make the proposal that should the Land Tax be enacted, a Unionist Citadel in Greater Belfast should make a move towards Statehood by combining the Belfast City & County Council area with surrounding areas to create a new State that catered for the Industrial and Protestant population on the Island. Bateson called this the 'Citadel' or 'Ulster Option', and their claims were endorsed by Randolph Churchill as early as May 22nd, 1885, when he said that "if the democratic will of the people gravitates towards the Ulster Option, then we must listen with the intent nature we listened to the Irishman in the South and West of the Country. Their will cannot be held higher or lower than those in the rest of the country."

As the election came closer, the NDP held its Congress to endorse the political programme of their Legislative Candidates on May 28th, 1885. A land tax, a scheme for conciliation between workers and employers, legislation to protect vulnerable workers from unsafe working practices, encouraging a new class of smallholders to engage in cooperatives, more investment in railways to transport goods, food and grain for export and laws extending compulsory education to 14 through Mechanics Institutes were included in the programme, which was supported by the 413 candidates proposed by the NDP for the election to the Irish State Legislature. "Free Land, Free Trade, Free People" was the slogan of the campaign, and Davitt urged voters to back him in the face of Parnell's opposition, which was committed to a constructive dialogue with landowners to diversify ownership. But in the rural South and West of Ireland, there was only one answer: Davitt and George's plan to make the ownership of land prohibitively expensive through tax rises, which would mean the passing of tenant farming land from the landlords to the landless. The reaction in the mainland to the proposals was typically harsh - "A proposal of pure robbery" said the Guardian, decrying the state of affairs in Ireland that "unreasonable demands have taken hold of the imaginations of large numbers of our people by the devilish prophets, Premier Davitt and Henry George and the best way of combating them is by reasonable reforms such as the Allotment Act." In the elections, despite the negative light cast by the papers towards the Land Plan, Irish voters returned Premier Davitt once again with a renewed majority, and crucially a majority in the Legislative Council - but supporters of the 'Citadel' Movement won nearly all the seats in the Greater Belfast area.

Fortescue was unconvinced and believed when the issue was brought to the Legislature, he believed it would be soundly defeated despite the NDP’s agreed programme. He believed that the George Land Plan would destroy the social fabric of Ireland, and would enrage already nervous Ulster landlords. The confirmation that Ireland had returned the Davitt Government was also met in Belfast and North Eastern Counties with a furious rage and this rage was shared with landowners and the Coalition Elite in Westminster. "Ireland chooses madness" declared the Times after the results became clear. "That latest Yankee adventurer and trader on popular ignorance and cupidity has convinced the simpletons of Ireland that his methods are acceptable and applicable. A thief instead of an agrarian philanthropist, George is a hack agitator that should be classed with rouges and vagabonds, thieves, garrotters and imposters who appealed only to the uneducated and the superficial members of society, encouraged by the lazy, improvident and worthless" wrote the Aberdeen Journal, the moderate Orange Newspaper in Scotland. Fortescue met with Davitt privately, and stated to him in no uncertain terms; that despite the Assembly and Council majority, it was believed that any Land Value Tax plan would be illegal, and bringing it into the Legislature would result in the dismissal of his Government regardless of the majority that had been returned. Senior Liberals, the natural allies of the Georgists, also came out against the plan. Senator Campbell, a key Senate Liberal, said: "The Irish election should be of grave concern to all those who believe in liberty, god and democratic will. The world has seen such a preacher of Unrighteousness as Mr Henry George. Here is a man who probably sincerely believes he is a Christian, and who sets up as a philosopher, but who is not the least shocked by the consequences which abolish the Decalogue and deny primary obligations both of public and private honour."

The Election unveiled a need for the forces in Parliament opposed to the Land Value Tax to come together. While Bateson had advocated his 'Citadel' doctrine that would bring Ulster Conservatives into a dominant position within their state, it was agreed that the opposition to Davitt's Government should be multi-denominational and united against Davitt, believing that it would be in a better position to take the reigns of the Government should the NDP fail in passing Land Value Taxation. Therefore, the Leader of the Opposition, Augustus Stewart, reached out to Charles Stuart Parnell about a merger between the Loyal & Patriotic Union and the National Conservative Party. Elements of the General League, most notably the Eastern Diocese of the Catholic Church, also wished to join the protection of property in the country from Davitt's scheme. Parnell was able, after some delay, to convince his members that an alliance between his middle-class, moderate Nationalist party, and the former Orangemen of the LPU was a wise move. This alliance became known as the Irish Unionist Alliance and would form the second element of the two-party system that would mark Ireland until the Ulster Crisis in 1887. This alliance would be significant as this would be the first time that the moniker 'Unionist' would be officially used to describe a political party in the Union of Britain.

Irish State Legislature, Political Composition 1885
Irish Legislative Assembly
National Democratic Party - 246
Irish Unionist Alliance - 167
General League of Catholic Association - 31
Orangemen - 22
Independent - 5

Orangemen still refused to take their seats

Irish Legislative Council

National Democratic Party - 26
Irish Unionist Alliance - 20
General League of Catholic Associations - 3
Independent - 1

It was in this public spirit that the George travelled from Ireland to Scotland after the election, in July 1885. The domestic situation seemed one of the most stable in the Union: the Scottish Legislative Elections brought a dominant victory for the Liberal Party, with Gladstone himself holding his Greater Lothian seat with a mighty following in Central Scotland. Gladstone himself gave a series of speeches in Edinburgh and Glasgow to great acclaim, but with a more patriotic, nationalistic Government to coalesce under, Conservative elements switched their support away from the Liberals and to candidates professing their support for the Coalition Government. This left a unique situation, as a sectarian divide became more pronounced: Gladstone had a massive base of support from Irish Immigrants, who concentrated heavily in cities and Highland Gaels, who supported his policies on land reform and had a Liberal tradition, Unionists had a growing number of working-class Protestants and moderate Orangemen, who supported the masculine, patriotic zeal of the new Administration. Candidates who supported the Government only numbered 45 members of the Legislature out of 372, but nearly all came from constituencies with a heavily Protestant electorate. Candidates also mixed the patriotic tone with an anti-Catholic tone, which further turned Catholics in Scotland away from support for the Coalition.

Victor Bruce, Premier of Scotland

Within the dominant Liberal Party in the Legislature, divisions were growing between the competing demographics of the group: traditional Whig nonconformists, Irish Catholics and the Highlands Gaels. The Whigs centred around Victor Bruce, who became premier after the 1884 Election, but had a strict Conservative tone and was primarily a strict classical liberal. Irish Catholics and Highland Gaels supported the new idea espoused by Henry George after his recent tour of the Highlands and Ireland. This centred around a group uniting the Crofters and Urban Irish Catholics who were heavily influenced by Michael Davitt and his Georgist sympathies. John Murdoch, Richard McGee, William Forsyth, James Shaw Maxwell and Edward McHugh, spanning Crofters, Trade Unionists, Liberals and former Democrats, formed the Land Restoration League in the Liberal Party, have all joined the new legislature. Bruce did not take kindly to the influx of nee ideas in the Parliamentary Committee and paid little attention to Party Politics in the Legislature. His supporters held a massive Legislative Council majority also, and his largest base was with grandees, rather than the ideological soup that was his Parliamentary Party. When McHugh proposed a report on a graduated land tax, Bruce dismissed the idea in the Legislature, calling it “well-intentioned nonsense”, to save the member's blushes no doubt. Bruce supported the government's Land Reform and believed the matter settled, but when Crofters within the Land Restoration League demanded separate State Settlements with regards to enclosure, Bruce stonewalled them. Public support for Land Reform and the Land Value Tax to be implemented swelled in Scotland as well as Ireland in the aftermath of George’s tour, and the Irish Influence on politics was heavy as Land Reform became the key issue at State Level. Bruce and Gladstone were allies, but Gladstone himself was unconvinced of George's plan and held a Conservative viewpoint on the matter. Edward McHugh, a friend of Davitt, became convinced that a new party would be the best to unite the factions in favour of the George Plan.

He found support from both a number of his natural consistency, Irish Catholics, and from a large number of more moderate nonconformist members who became more and more convinced over the course of George’s tour and its subsequent press coverage that a land tax would be a viable option, but not a 100% land tax as advocated by George. When a Private Bill during the budget was brought before the Legislative Assembly by John Murdoch to create a 4d in the £1 tax on land but excluding public land and several other uses, similar to the Irish proposal, it garnered a respectable 206 votes but was still defeated by a combination of Bruce loyalists, and the pro-Government and Allotment Act members of the opposition. In a similar fashion to Ireland, Land Reform was still the foremost question and even after both the Allotment Act and the Land Act in Ireland, a thirst was still not quenched was reform and the ideas of Davitt, George and Murdoch were growing in presence at the State Level. As Bruce continued to stonewall the Crofters' demands, he began to rely on the opposition more than his initial supporters for votes as the supporters of the land tax continued to hold a ‘vote strike’ until the issue was addressed. These MPs numbered about 180, and while not enough to topple the administration, were organised in obstructing all laws until the land tax amendment was considered. Murdoch was the first on the campaign trail in a series of campaigns, and coined the slogan “No Laws till Land Laws!” Soon a political movement was brewing in Scotland, centred around Glasgow and the Highlands.

In a by-election to the Legislature in Glasgow East, a Land Restoration Candidate topped the poll, beating a candidate supported by the local Liberal establishment. Murdoch decided to act, and founded the Scottish National Democratic Party or SNDP, soon finding himself with 193 Members in his Parliamentary Committee. Murdoch became Party Secretary, Edward McHugh became President and Leader in the Assembly and William Forsyth as Chairman. Bruce, without a party in support of him, saw common ground with the opposition, sacked four left-leaning State Councillors and replaced them with Conservatives. This government is called the Liberal Unionist government, although it was really a hodge-podge of xenophobic nationalists, anti-Catholic Protestant workers and a few whiggish nonconformist middle-class businessmen who were coordinating a conservative response. Bruce kept the State afloat, kept taxes and duties low and held a night watchmen state, rather than an interventional actor in the interests of the poor. McHugh was propelled into a position as Leader of the Opposition but spent the majority of his time on the road campaigning for the land value tax on the road. Murdoch attempted to widen the movement, to include the expanding cooperative movement, and even spoke at the Cooperative Congress in 1885.

Scottish Legislative Assembly Composition, Mid-1885
Scottish National Democratic Party 176
Liberal Party 151
Independents 45

The SNDP began a fundraising mission throughout the rest of 1885, and by the end of the year, had reserves to match the organisations that supported the Bruce Ministry and funds to even adopt the nominations of Trade Unionist candidates in major cities, attracting the nonconformist and Catholic workers union vote alike. While the Liberal Unionists were far from being united, as they would be by 1911 in the merger of the Scottish Liberal Party and the Scottish Unionist Party into the anti-Socialist Progressive Party, the SNDP was indeed a united and powerful force in the country, and discussions for a united front of the Liberal & National Democratic Parties across the Union had begun in earnest around July 1885, between representatives from the London Progressives, Lancashire Liberal-Democratic Party and the Irish and Scottish National Democratic Parties, about a common group in the Union Parliament to combine their resources. While this would constitute the beginnings of a United Liberal-Democratic Party, but would not be until 1889 and the General Strikes when the next Official Democratic Congress including delegations from every State would occur.
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Supplemental: Transcription from “Our Founding Fathers”
Supplemental: Transcription from “Our Founding Fathers”, a documentary for UBC’s “The Union at 120” in 1995.

“The Heart of the Matter was nothing too dissimilar to a modern sex scandal. Dilke had been embroiled in an affair with his brother’s mother in law, a relationship which continued well after his own marriage in 1884. Virginia Crawford, his brother’s sister in law, had an questionable case that Dilke had been engaged in an affair with her since 1882, when she was 19. Crawford sued for divorce, and as the events were unfolding, one of Chamberlain’s young aides, a Welshmen called David Lloyd-George was told to drop a parcel at an office in Pall Mall - the Pall Mall Gazette. After the public shock, Dilke resigned as Keeper of the Great Seal but held his Senate Seat.

Dilke demanded a quick pace to the trial so pushed for it to begin as quickly as possible. High Chancellor Cairns referred it to Court, and over the course of the legal proceedings Chamberlain met with Dilke a number of times, and advised him to refuse to give evidence - he believed the case was insubstantial, and it wouldn’t likely go anywhere. In the end, the case’s findings on August 8th 1885 were not forthcoming of a man who hadn’t done anything wrong - Crawford was guilty of adultery with Dilke, but Dilke was not guilty of adultery with Crawford. The judge saw “no case whatsoever against Dilke”. But lingering questions remained.

The Pall-Mall Gazette, however, didn’t want to stop following the scent. William Thomas Stead, a journalist for the paper, launched an investigation into Dilke to question his respectability and suitability for office. Dilke was incensed and sought the advice of Chamberlain and Primrose, his two formerly ministerial colleagues. While no one can be absolutely sure what happened that night, Dilke came out into the Autumn believing he could clear his name by reopening the case. Some have said the different pieces of the puzzle combine to reveal a trap, some have said he had decided this of his own appeal.

He decided to reopen the case in October 1886 and invoke the Senior Proctor. They opposed the findings of the case (the ones that legally said he was not guilty), but were unable to justify the reopening of the case, so miscalculating horrendously, turning an attempt to question Crawford into admitting he had nothing to do with the divorce, into a cross examination from a brilliant young lawyer called Henry Matthews. This was beginning of the end for Dilke. The case was soon dismissed, but other women were coming forward, and he was being mocked by many in the Union. When the papers ran with the story, they accused him of “lustrous nights of French vice” and having “a love nest” near Metropolitan Square. For some time, it appeared that Dilke would be tried for perjury. Finally, he became the first Grand Councillor to be revoked of his status by President-Regent Stanley. Dilke would spend the rest of his life trying to clear his name and uncover the truth about the Prime Minister and Senator Primrose’s role in it. He was asked to stand down as a Senator, but he refused. “My term ends in seven years and I intend to be here then” he said to a colleague. He was embittered, scuttled in the back of the Senate chamber. The man who once owned the Senate now found himself a pariah in it.

Henry Matthews became instantly one of the most recognisable names in the Union. Stanley was so impressed, he suggested to Chamberlain privately he might be a good candidate at a by-election - Matthews had an interest in politics and in the ultimate kick in the teeth, was elected to the Chelsea parliamentary seat on September 16th, 1885. The seat where Dilke lived.”
Part 4, Chapter XXIX
IV, XXIX: The Balkan War of Independence

The Bulgarian Secret Central Revolutionary Committee was formed on February 10th 1885 and had been founded with the intent of expelling the Russian forces from the state with the eventual aim of establishing a Balkan Federation. They intended to launch a rising, expel the Russians and establish themselves as a fully independent region capable of making its destiny. The Balkans were a tricky area, but essentially they were affected by historical shifts in European Power Balance: the turbulent 1870s in Britain and the unification of both Germany and Italy. While this is a gross oversimplification of the matter, Bulgarian revolutionaries took on Prussian militarism and British Parliamentarianism as a guide and wanted to create a federation across the Balkans independent of Russian, British, Italian or German domination. But through their ally Greece, Chamberlain had wanted to have a hand in this uprising. In exchange for their leaning on Greece to traffic weapons to the BSCRC, Britain got a guarantee of non-intervention with Greece from the Committee, but also, crucially, pledged weapons and aid from Germany and Britain through Greece in the event of a war with Russia. This comprised a secret treaty between plenipotentiaries in Berlin in May 1885.

Plans for an ‘Independence Act’ were prepared by the Committee throughout the summer. The Knyaz, Alexander I, was unpopular with the Russians but popular with the Bulgarian people, and the political elite, stifled by the Russians and the Ottomans, believed that full independence for all the Balkan people should be the aim. Whether Alexander would be the man to do that, would remain to be seen. A large contingent within Bulgarian remained Russophile, with the shared Slavic connections making Russia a likely compatriot in world affairs. But British Diplomats in Plovdiv believed by making them distant from Russia and investing in their shared Balkan heritage, they could undermine two of the three great empires fatally - Austria-Hungary who wanted to gain influence over the region to spread Catholicism, and Russia who wanted to restore the Tsar as the protector of all Orthodox Christians. Underhanded methods would also be the go-to, but more and more advisors from Berlin and London made Plovdiv, their base, “almost like a Borough of Whitehall”. ‘Legitimate Businessmen’ funnelled defence strategy, weapons, cash and medicine to the Committee to be spread around the Province. The situation diplomatically was awkward in Bulgaria: it was a recognised principality within the Ottoman Empire, occupied by Russian forces. So any intervention would bring about a three-power attack in theory: Russia, the Ottomans and the Austrians. Austria had sights of the territory won by the Bulgarians in the Russo-Turkish War, and so did many of its fellow neighbours. One who did not have any ambition was Romania, under Carol I. Romania also had been supporting the developing Bulgarian State, much to the ire of both Austria-Hungary and Russia. Romania considered Austria-Hungary their primary rival, as Romanian control over Transylvania was considered a national aim. Romania also had grown in its distaste towards the overbearing presence of the Russians in the region and secretly provided whatever aid they could give to the Bulgarian Revolutionaries. Alexander and Carol met frequently, and Alexander purportedly suggested that a Balkan Confederation should be formed between the two territories.


Kynaz Alexander of Bulgaria

In August, Russia came out against Bulgarian ambitions to declare total independence from the Ottoman Empire, and Austria supported it. Alexander convened his National Assembly, and Stefan Stambolov addressed the meeting on August 2nd, stating that the Russian occupation must end and the Principality of Bulgaria must become an Independent Tsardom. This was a provocative proposal and Austria and Russia summoned representatives of the Prince to explain themselves. They gave all foreign soldiers, including Russians, 90 days to leave their territory, as claimed as the entirety of the occupied territory by the joint Russo-Bulgarian force. Surrounding countries were incensed, and the Ottomans also sent a legion to Thrace to handle the threat made by the Bulgarians. Needing to sort the mess out sooner than later, both the Russian Foreign Office and the Sublime Porte attempted to orchestrate a coup, and finally, Bulgarian Russophiles and Russian agents were able to infiltrate Sofia, kidnap Alexander I and hastily proclaim a regency. As the Russian actions became apparent, outrage poured from across the Balkan world, and only the intervention of Carol I in Bulgaria prevented Civil War. Russophobes grew in confidence and began to form armed militia units to enforce the expulsion of military personnel. The Agents agreed to return Alexander, but in attempting to return him, Bulgarian Revolutionaries became engaged in a gunfight with the agents, in which Alexander was killed on August 18th 1885. A power vacuum emerged in the State, and Carol emerged from it as the most popular monarch in the country. He spoke at the funeral of the King and was seen mourning with the people in Sofia during the remembrance. During the National Mourning, Bulgarian officials fiercely attacked Russian intervention and appealed to the Great Powers for intervention. When the National Assembly reconvened after ten days, it began discussions on the Head of State. A large minority within the Parliament advocated a Union with Romania to create a Balkan Confederation. Stambolov recognised the call and approached King Carol I on the concept. He received it warmly, and without informing any of the Great Powers, on September 25th 1885, presented an Act of Union between Bulgaria and Romania, with a provisional Common War Office, Treasury and Foreign Affairs Department, with essentially the rest to be recognised later. It passed, narrowly. The next day, a healthier majority in Bulgaria accepted the United Kingdom of Romania & Bulgaria or UKBR, but it was commonly known as the Balkan Kingdom or Balkan Confederation. This would be the provisional state that would prepare the Balkans for Union.

News of the union stunned Russia, the Sublime Porte, Serbia and Austria-Hungary, and each was incensed. Russia for the insolence of two former Ottoman subjects liberated by the Russian Army, the Sublime Porte for the assertion of independence and the intervention by a foreign power in its domestic affairs, Serbia for the threat to its status as the Southern Slavic power and Austria-Hungary for creating a prospective new power directly on its Eastern flank. Austria-Hungary and Serbia signed a pact on September 28th 1885 agreeing to protect the sovereignty of Serbia in exchange for their decision to pursue southern expansion, at the expense of Bulgaria, rather than northward expansion at the expense of Austria & Hungary's lands. In exchange, Serbia would be provided with weapons from Austria to invade and force the dissolution of the Romania-Bulgaria Personal Union. Officially, the King of Serbia had sent a manifesto to his men, indicating that he wasn't engaging in a war against Bulgaria, but to expel the remaining Turks from the peninsular. The Romanian-Bulgarian Armies combined summed up around 80,000 troops, and the feeling of regional euphoria brought a wave of optimism about the defence of their Union. Serbian forces were split in two: one to conquer Sofia, and one to infiltrate south towards Macedonia. "Avenge Alexander" became the rallying cry for the Romano-Bulgarians, whose plan was to expel any invading army from Serbia and conquer invade Serbia to force them to accept the Balkan Confederation.

Britain and Germany’s primary involvement in the conflict were through secret treaties - the British and Germany had been supplying Bulgaria with weapons for months and had plenty of staff on the ground. Austria-Hungary’s support for Serbia's intervention left Kaiser Friedrich in a tricky diplomatically. Support in the Reichstag, controlled by a majority consisting of Free-Minded and Zentrum members, tended to favour the Austrian crown and therefore significant elements of the support for Bulgaria would be kept completely confidential. Officially, Berlin attempted to organise a Conference between the Great Powers, Serbia and a representative from the Balkan Confederation to resolve the dispute. Chancellor Hänel and British Foreign Secretary Senator Primrose’s positions were consistent - Parliaments and processes were made to unify the crowns, so those decisions should be respected. The creation of a Balkan Confederation with an 80,000 strong Russian trained army, asserting its influence and independence while rejecting Russian influence was appealing for their strategic goals: Britain’s to keep the Russians out of the Dardanelles by creating a friendly strong buffer state and for Germany to protect new gains in the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa from Russian or French interference. Both their aims would be aided by the slow disintegration of the Ottoman Empire into British and German spheres of influence. Locking them out of Europe would continue this trend, and was seemingly inevitable by 1885. It was a question of who would lead the Balkan people in the same vein as Prussia to Germany and Piedmont to Italy.

As November came, a casus belli needed to be found by the Serbian High Command, and they found their reason in November, the slow-moving Timok River had shifted, leaving a Serbian border post on the Bulgarian side of the border. Having asked the Serbs to evacuate their position, the Bulgarian Army expelled them by force on November 13th, 1885 (N.S). Romania-Bulgaria had expected an attack on three fronts - from the Russians through Bessarabia and into Moldova, from the Serbs on their shared border with Bulgaria and from the Ottomans through Thrace. In the end, diplomatic politics held sway: Russia was unwilling to risk a further large-scale war in the Balkans and instead directed their anger towards breaking relations between Carol I and Alexander III and the Turks were unable to organise their armies into an effective fighting force to overtake the Rumelian and Macedonian lands. While this created a deep feeling of tension on Romania's eastern border, the reticence to commit the Russian Army to a second protracted Balkan War in less than a decade, combined with the Ottomans' lack of military infrastructure in the region, as they were essentially locked out of the region by the Russo-Turkish War. Russia did, however, comply with the order from the Balkan High Command that military officers withdraw from the country, meaning the Young Army had lost much of its officer corps. This led to the Romano-Bulgarian Joint Forces being labelled the "Army of the Captains" - due to their officer corps, especially in the main frontline between Romano-Bulgaria and Serbia being occupied by the Bulgarian half of the Army, being inexperienced.


Carol I of Romania

Carol I arrived with Stambolov at the defensive positions in Slivnitsa, covered by 9 battalions, 4000 volunteers from across the Balkan Confederation and 48 guns, commanded by Bulgarian Major Guchev. Three Serbian divisions arrived on the 16th of November but fell into problems early, with the northern divisions swamped in the Danube. As November 17th arrived, rain welcomed the Bulgarian defenders, but not the Serbian attack as was expected. Carol ordered the Bulgarian Army to seize the initiative and attack the Danube division of the Serbian Army. After a short period in which the Bulgarians held the advantage, the end of the first day saw the Serbians saved by nightfall. Both armies had suffered heavily - 1,200 casualties were reported on the Bulgarian side, and 2,400 on the Serbian side, but the Serbians had not made their breakthrough. The Serbian Army, finding that it was fighting Balkan unification, quickly suffered a loss of morale that saw the divisions pushed far back over the border after an attack by Captain Benderev recaptured the heights on the right of the defensive position, and forced the Danube Division over the river and well into Serbian territory. At dawn on the 18th of November, the Serbians counter-attacked, but deducing that the best strategy for the Confederate Army would be to pull divisions from the defence of the Romanian-Russian and Bulgarian-Turkish border now it seemed the Russians and Turks were not going to involve themselves in the conflict, they held their positions before five days later, Romanian relief columns arrived and the Serbian Army was overwhelmed at the Slivnitsa on November 24th and the Battle was decisively won by Confederate forces.

Slivnitsa became the decisive battle of the conflict. After the 24th of November, the Serbians were on the run and despite their siege of Vidin until the 29th of November, the Confederate Army broke the Serbian lines and the Serbians were forced to abandon Pirot. This forced Milan to call for a general mobilisation of the country's military reservists and importantly brought attention to the scale of the defeat to Vienna. Count Khevenhüller-Metsch, the Viennese ambassador to Serbia, was called to intervene diplomatically in the conflict. Khevenhüller-Metsch visited Sofia to speak to Carol and indicated that if the incursion into Serbia wasn't stopped, then Austrian forces would intervene. Carol's Bulgarian representative in Sofia, Grigor Dimitrov Nachovich indicated that a cessation of military activities must first come with formal recognition of the independence of the United Kingdom of Romania & Bulgaria. The Count told Nachovich that while the Viennese would not accept Union, it would accept and recognise an independent Bulgaria with a conference of the Great Powers to decide on borders.

Stambolov was informed of this ultimatum and met with his Romanian counterpart, Ion C. Brătianu. Brătianu, as a member of the anti-Austrian Liberal Party, was frosty towards the Viennese Court. Brătianu stated to Nachovich that both kingdoms would be brought into Austrian suzerainty with such a deal and that Romania would need to insist on rejecting the deal. With the supplies from Greece, they could propose the division of all of Macedonia between the two and completely extinguish the hope of Serbia uniting the region under its control in the Austrian sphere of influence. Such a deal would mean compromise for the Bulgarians and Greeks, as both saw themselves as the rightful protector of Orthodox religion in the region through their respective exarchates, but the involvement of the Romanian crown, of the Hohenzollern dynasty, calmed the nerves of the Greek George I, who was linked himself to Dynasties in Northern Europe. Carol quelled fears of an expansion of the Balkan Confederation to include Greece with the acceptance that part of Macedonia, the western provinces, would be controlled by Greece. Aegean Macedonia and North Macedonia, as well as a significant part of Western Thrace, would be the prize for the new Union. Both met with Carol, and the King himself observed that as of now, Austria-Hungary’s Army would have to cross through Serbia to fight the Balkan Confederation, which would strain relations between Austria and Russia. A quick victory against Austria in Serbia, while not seem likely, would assert Independence for the joint Kingdom. It was decided that half of the 90,000-strong standing army could be rostered, and the two Kingdoms set quotas for an extra 100,000-man force to be raised, from reservists and volunteers by December 14th. The Bulgarians already deployed continued their way into Serbia, occupying villages and swallowing territory. They captured Niš on December 1st, capturing a third of the Serbian Army with it. Suddenly the Balkan Confederation had a significant number of Slavs under their remit and a large amount of Balkan territory. On December 3rd, Carol rejected the Austrian Proposal and the Ambassador from Bucharest to Vienna delivered a note stating that “due to the attack and the hostile nature of King Milan’s Government, the United Kingdom of Romania & Bulgaria, we have concluded for our Union’s security, we must occupy and pacify the Serbian Army. Any attempt to intervene will be considered an act of war on our people.”

Brătianu made appeals to a wider sense of Balkan unity, allegedly writing an anonymous statement to a leading newspaper in Sofia and Niš, translated into Bulgarian and Serbian stating the “brotherhood of the Balkans, dismissing all influence but our own. To hell with the Austrians, to hell with the Russians, to hell with the Turks - a Balkan’s true friend in a Balkan”. The Romanian Prime Minister had hopped on the Unification train and his Bulgarian counterpart Stambolov sensed a moment and could see a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build a power in Southern Europe to match the powers surrounding them. The Austrians reacted by mobilising their Army to invade Serbia and force the disunion of the Kingdom and the Principality, and within a month, managed to muster 190,000 troops to quell the disintegration of Milan’s Serbia. After the lines had settled around the Morava river, the War had begun to turn into a trench warfare stalemate, but Serbian supply lines had begun to collapse. The new Kingdom’s quick integration and initiative allowed the 25,000 reservists and 15,000 individuals with basic military service (often meaning whether they’d ever held a gun before) to relieve the front. A large contingent, however, would always have to be left behind to guard the Ottomans and the Russians at all times. Austria had a large army, and many, many more reserves to call upon. The initial army of 190,000 from the Habsburgs came from a mix of Croatian, Italian and Bosnians as well as Austrian Commanders and members of the General Staff. They identified Niš as the likely target point for a battle, but Carol’s Army launched a surprise ambush on the Austrian Army at Jagodina as they arrived on December 31st, 1885. The Battle lasted into the early hours of the morning, but Jagodina remained in Balkan hands. Austria suffered three more defeats within a further four weeks, the most serious occurring in Kragujevac. Austria within three weeks of the invasion had crippling problems; a lack of military preparation for the terrain as the Army had not expected an occupation any longer than three weeks, a better than expected opponent and most crucially a mutiny that crippled the Serbian Army.

After the rallying cry of the defence of the Balkans, Serbian soldiers had been defecting en masse, and criticism of Milan’s rule had made his grip on power slip - fuelled by the false manifesto to his troops, which gave many in the High Command serious concerns as soldiers began to refuse to take part in battles against “fellow Balkans”. There was an inkling of momentum towards Balkan unification and hoards of soldiers were willing to back it. Serbian divisions began to spring up from POW camps, and a serious mutiny caused 3,000 soldiers to defect to Carol’s Army and a Bosnian regiment of the Austrian Army. Further troops from Austria-proper arrived in March, but the drive was the Belgrade, not Sofia. An Austrian offensive was met with a vicious Confederate counter-attack which took them 30km from the edge of the capital. Bolstered by Pan-Balkan feeling, Milan had become a prisoner in his capital, with protests over the conduct of the war and pro-Balkan demonstrations breaking out as the Confederate Army neared. Milan was able to muster about 15,000 of his men to join the Austrian ranks to defend Belgrade on January 3rd 1886. After three days, an uprising occurred in Belgrade timed perfectly with a Confederate attack, and the Austrians were pushed out. The battle destroyed the city and left 5,000 Austrians and 3,000 Confederate troops dead. Austrian domestic opinion had begun to turn against the War, and morale had plummeted.

The Austrian General Staff suddenly believed that the war would take significant troop reserves. The fall of Belgrade also horrified Serbia’s other allies, France and Russia, who began to see stepping in as the only way to stop the war. Giers, the Russian Foreign Minister, proposed a conference between the Great Powers to discuss the Balkan situation in light of the instability. The Conference was proposed by Russia and was supported by Italy and eventually Germany and Britain. It was significant for its invitees - Romania-Bulgaria was represented by Nachovich, while the Ottomans would only be partial to a confirmatory treaty, later in 1887 and would play no part in the negotiations. Serbia, Austria, Russia and Romania-Bulgaria would centre around the main talks, but the conference would become famous for two reasons, the Berlin Conference would be the beginning of the scramble for Africa as well as the consolidation of the Balkans. While we will get to the African subcontinent, the main takeaways from all this are the changing balance of power in Europe. Austria was relegated to a loser status with the series of defeats in the field, and Hänel, serving as Germany’s Foreign Minister, spoke to the Viennese Administration after the Conference was confirmed to stress the need to “see the politics of this issue as they exist on the ground: with the dominance in the Balkans of a new great power”. After the battle in Belgrade, Senator Primrose and Hänel officially recommended to the President-Regent and Kaiser respectively that they should recognise the United Kingdom of Romania & Bulgaria, they did so, and they were followed quickly by France, Greece and Italy. Despite their borders still waiting to be decided by the Great Powers and their power structures to be finalised, a kind of Revolution occurred: one of spontaneity, anti-Great Power feeling and a sense of regional commonality over commonality with Imperial neighbours. This was, for the Balkans, 1848 of sorts. In another sense, this could be Romania’s unlikely turnaround to put Carol at the centre of a renewed drive for Balkan unity.

Balkans Map after the Balkan War of Independence

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Part 4, Chapter XXX
IV, XXX: The Cavendish Murders & The Orange State

While what was becoming known as the Balkan War of Unification had been developing in Europe, Britain too had been dealing with strife. A renewed series of Orange attacks swept over the Union in August 1885, which saw 17 dead over four bombings in Liverpool, Dublin, Belfast and Glasgow. This was triggered by a key policy of the Chamberlain Government - a concordat with all major religions to remain apolitical in exchange for the unrestricted practice of worship and no government interference in their land, revenues and governance, meaning religion and politics would be completely separated. This was of course unworkable in practice, as the Catholic General League, with heavy influence from the Catholic Church in Ireland held seats in Parliament. The Union’s Catholics, who tended to form tighter communities and therefore experience a high degree of suspicion from workers in major cities, perceived the existence of the Concordat as a threat. For once, Orange agitators agreed, and while the Legitimist Church’s leadership did agree to the concordat if it allowed the Church to operate freely, many individual congregations did not. Belfast and Liverpool represented two of the communities where anti-Concordat agitation was at its highest, and Belfast saw an increase in attempts on political figures as the well-established networks of anti-Union terrorist groups had shrunk over the years but developed into a committed fighting force with a steady stream of revenue and the understanding that the Legitimist Church would protect them.

This increased agitation in Loyalist Communities and with the Orange Movements structures better financed, they were able to conduct a series of high-profile bombings to signify their opposition - all four were, for the first time, targeted at Legitimist organisations. The bombing in Belfast garnered the most attention, as the former leader of the Loyal & Patriotic Union and popular Unionist figure Augustus Stewart was killed on the 15th of August. The murder of Stewart forced people across the Union to demand better policing and investigations to prevent future attacks and arrest the networks. In response, the Home Secretary, Senator Spencer Cavendish called IAC and proposed that a permanent Secretariat be formed reporting to the IAC about inter-state crime. As a result, DIAC, or the Directorate of the Internal Affairs Committee, was formed. It was headed by a Commissioner and was initially tasked with finding the resources of these Orange movements and arresting the coordinators in the network. Senator Cavendish’s brother, Frederick Cavendish, was chosen to oversee the investigations, and the two travelled to Belfast to assess the situation on September 5th. Belfast had been a violent city for over a decade now, and this had been caused by a multitude of factors; Belfast had a huge, rowdy, deeply religious and deeply monarchist Protestant working class. Now a percentage had accepted the reality and began moving on after the early years of abstentionism, a significant number of the most radical of these Protestant workers, as in Glasgow, were deeply hostile to the Union. They burned Republican Flags, they burned effigies of Michael Davitt and one official visiting Belfast noted that “as we entered the main square, a man beaten to death propped up the corner of the station wall took my gaze, he had a green, white and red ribbon on his lapel. My guide said to me that wearing those colours is a death sentence.”

There was also a deep disconnect between the city's police and these Protestant Communities. Since the mass boycotts of the Police after the Constitutional Laws and the subsequent unrest, policing in the city had been overwhelming taken up by Catholics, giving further resentment. A large number were sent up from Dublin, which further simmered feelings and led to an unresponsive population working against the police force. Criminal elements used this paralegal activity to use the leadership of this Protestant working class to create a mob mentality in the city. Many Catholics had left the city for surrounding counties and cities elsewhere, like Derry, and the population of Catholics was around 50,000, while the Protestant population boomed as the reverse occurred and Protestant loyalists left the surrounding counties for Belfast, Antrim and the Down area. The outcomes of the Orange Movement in Belfast had changed dramatically. The Citadel Movement and the Orange Movement had been drawn to the same conclusion: the British Isle is, for the moment, lost, but a Protestant Citadel for Loyalism in Belfast could be achieved. How to achieve that was the question - the Orange Movement chose the murder of all Union and State officials who entered the city and attempt to rid the Catholics of the city. This all combined for the weakest State Control in all of the Union.

The Cavendish’s went to Belfast City & County Hall, where the head of the Greater Belfast Police was due to meet them. A bounty had been set on the Commissioner of the GBP, and as the two exited the building, a bomb thrown into the doorway by a man on a bicycle killed the Cavendish brothers and the Commissioner. The killer was never found, but in the hunt, the GBP murdered 16 Legitimist leaders in the city and the head of the Orange Workers Association. Figures within the Ministerial Benches began to call for a Coercion Act to be passed to enable the police to round up the perpetrators. DIAC was assigned the case, and combined with Irish State Police’s G Division, a cell was discovered that was responsible and eight were hanged. In the trials, the links between the Citadel Movement and the Orange Movement shocked many, and several MPs and MLAs in Belfast were put under surveillance. This tighter security forced the movement further underground, and this never say die attitude still commanded the support of masses of people in Belfast. The city was ungovernable and now attracted more attention from the higher echelons of Government, especially Henry Drummond-Wolff, the State Affairs Secretary.

Drummond-Wolff’s concern was that the power of the Irish State was unable to control the social forces that were unleashing in the North East of Ireland. This was furthered by the continued efforts of the Irish Government to enforce the Land Plan, to return the control of the land to the Irish People, the land that was currently in the hands of the aftermath of the Protestant Ascendency. While the murder was tragic, some within the Conservative elements of the Unionist Party held strong sympathy with the Ulster cause, and many held sympathetic views within the Union Council to the Ulster Citadel proposal. Thomas Bateson ascended to the position of the most powerful Northern Unionist after Stewart’s death, and with him brought a significant movement against Davitt’s Government, and towards the idea of the creation of a separate North-Eastern State, the Citadel. The hatred of George’s ideas and Davitt’s intention to implement them spurred an awakening of religious feeling in the region, and there was a sort of Orange Revolution, a total rejection of Union rule. Drummond-Wolff had become acutely aware through reports of the daily mass demonstrations, violence and rebellion that Belfast had fallen to the Orange Movement. The murder of two of the most prominent politicians in the City had just placed Belfast at the centre of political discussion. It had also left a quite large hole in the Union Council - Senator Cavendish was thought of well in the Union across the divide, and his brother had been Private Secretary to William Gladstone and a popular figure in Whitehall and the States. Their funerals were attended by 30,000 people in London on September 18th, and they were attended by all State and Union leaders, as well as the President-Regent. In Belfast, civil unrest caused by a ‘monster meeting’ of 40,000 people descended into vicious violence on both sides of the Community, as impromptu Orange Worker Volunteers began rounding Georgists, Catholics and ‘Collaborationist’ Protestants onto the Shipyards where they were beaten for hours ok end. They burned houses, businesses and markets associated with the Catholic community, in response, GBP shot at unarmed civilians. At the end of the day, as night began to descend, 125 people had been killed. Reports filtering through to the papers horrified mainland Brits and Irishmen alike. Chamberlain had taken over the duties of Home Secretary in the immediate aftermath, but sought to advise from President-Regent Stanley on his successor: Stanley said “bring me that man, the legal supreme who outfoxed Senator Dilke”. And so, at that moment, the cycle was complete - Matthews had managed to swap seats with Dilke in a matter of weeks. Henry Matthews was sworn onto the Union Council on September 20th, 1885. Charles Dilke stopped attending meetings to the Governmental Committee shortly before, and became a crossbencher around the same time, strangely.

Matthews wasted no time: he commissioned a report into the situation, and in the immediacy, requested that both USAC and IAC be convened, and a State of Emergency be declared. Union Army troops were brought in to bring an end to the violence, but the delay in their arrival allowed five days of uncontrollable violence that became the First Belfast Uprising. Northern Unionists seized on the anti-Davitt momentum and the Citadel Nationalism that was emerging, and united the Orange and the Citadel Movements in Belfast as Thomas Bateson, with the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Josias Leslie Porter, declared the Orange State - an Independent State in Belfast that sought protection from the Papal State of the Union, Ireland. The Police Force, City Council and the Mayor were all exiled from the city, and calls for new elections were issued to Lieutenant Fortescue. While Matthews outright rejected this plea in public, himself, Churchill, Drummond-Wolff and Lieutenant Fortescue met to discuss the matter and were convinced now for the first time that partition may be the only way to prevent all-out, ruinous conflict in Ireland. Premier Davitt was not invited to these meetings. While the rising was finally crushed by the Union Army, Bateson and Porter were released when charged with treason in January 1886, much to the disgust of many within the remainder of the Irish State. In Belfast, those adherents of the Revolution; Presbyterians, the Orange Movement and the Citadel Movement all coalesced into one organisation: the Association of Loyal Orangemen, under the Orange Flag of the Orange State.

The catalyst for the unrest, the Multi-Denominational Concordat, was signed by the Anglo-Catholic Congregations, the Continuity Church of England, the Legitimist Church of England (Official), a number of Nonconformist Churches and finally the Catholic Church in Ireland and England. The congregations who refused to sign the concordat formed the Free Legitimist Church in Belfast and took with them several Legitimist and Presbyterian Congregations. Leslie Porter was named as the official Moderator and was also made Chairman of the Central Committee of the Grand Lodge of the Orange State, with Bateson becoming the Vice-Chairman. Orange forces had been united in the Union, and for the first time, they were centred on a central point - the Citadel. How the Government would respond would set the tone for the politics of the 1887 Election.
Supplemental: 1885 Sporting Review
Supplemental: 1885 Sporting Review

From "History of English Cricket"
by Jack Williams, 1998

"The sight of a leisurely game of cricket in an field somewhere in the Union is as common as anything associated with the culture of Britain, but in the aftermath of the Constitutional Laws, the slow flight of the aristocracy left a vacuum in the governance of several key institutions that managed the sport. The Marylebone Cricket Club, the guardian of the laws of the game and the centre of Cricket in the Union, had by 1875 lost over half of it's membership, and Lord's, the home of Cricket, had fallen into a great level of disrepair. In Progressive London, the aristocracy that maintained the game and more crucially provided funds for the upkeep of the game had left for surrounding states. Elsewhere, the County Cricket Clubs were in a state of ruin by 1885 - Somerset and Kent were unable to raise a team for 1885's county matches, and several others had considered pulling out of county fixtures for the year. Chancellor of the Metropolis, Thomas Farrer, was concerned about the state of the game, and encouraged the creation of a Committee to manage the MCC, Lord's and attempt to organise and revitalise the game and provide regular fixtures for the venue to raise funds. The Metropolitan State Council agreed to buy Lord's in December 1884, fund it's redevelopment and rent it to the MCC at £58 annual rent. The Committee, robbed of many of it's former members, agreed to the purchase, and appointed Edgar Willsher as the MCC President. Willsher had been an overarm bowling pioneer, and had also created a touring side in the 1850s and 1860s, the United South of England Eleven, and wanted to create a team at the MCC to compete against other county teams and represent the Metropolis in the County Championship. He therefore founded the All-Metropolitan Eleven in March 1885, advertised for players and gentleman to join, and organised matches for the 1885 season against Yorkshire and Lancashire at Lord's to raise some of the £58 annual rent.

"The reaction of established cricketers and traditionalists was outrage to the whole plan to subsume the Home of Cricket into the State Government. William Gunn, a Nottinghamshire cricketer, described the plan as an "affront to the apolitical element in the spirit of the game" and described the All-Metropolitan XI as "a farce in the face of tragedy". Willsher persisted, and the two test games organised for Lord's attracted healthy attendance, saw two wins for the Metropolis and raised £14 for the MCC. A further game saw the MCC face the All-Metropolitan Eleven on the week of September 15th 1885 at Lord's attracted a further healthy game, and numerous MCC members returned from their self-imposed exile in the Home Counties and outside of the Metropolis to return to the home of the game. At the game, W.G Grace approached Willsher and in the clubhouse and criticised his involvement with Farrer's Progressive Government in renovating Lord's. Willsher allegedly replied - "I would like to see a man such as yourself revive the game". Grace responded "then that is what I shall do" and stormed out of the clubhouse. He resigned his membership to the MCC and founded a new organisation based at the Kennington Oval, the All-England Club.

"The All-England team brought together a significant number of players from counties that had struggled to field teams in the 1885 season: Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, and was spurred by a growing movement in those counties in the South and East of England - English Nationalism, that had been converting former loyalists away from the restoration of the Victorian Monarchy, and towards the establishment of an English, Protestant State that, in their eyes, would act as the metropole for the Anglicans in the Union. Willsher, having worked with the Metropolitan Government and seeing the benefits of State Government and the Union, remained aloof from this concept but their beliefs were well established by 1885. For over a month the two men, to borrow a cricketing term, engaged in sledging mutually in the press and in private functions. The All-England Club barred it's players from playing for or against any club or county who had met the MCC or All-Metropolitan Club in a competitive or representative fixture, and organised tests against a number of other teams organised by Grace, playing it's first game against a 'Players XI' at The Oval. Further matches were planned against a side from the Midlands, representing Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire, the All-Mercian Eleven in January 1886. A fund was raised at the game, and enough money was donated to place a deposit on the land to buy it from the Union Estate. Several Unionists advocated the All-England Club over the MCC and the All-Metropolitan Club, and political support lay with Grace's institution.

"The bitterness continued into early October, when tragedy struck and Willsher died unexpectedly, leaving Grace absolutely devastated at his conduct towards the end of his life. While the All-England Club would remain, Grace decided to advocated for the merger of his county side, Gloucestershire, and Somerset to create a new side, the All-Wessex Eleven, and organised a memorial series of fixtures to bring all of cricket together, at Lord's, to raise funds for Willsher's Estate. This series would see the first in Interstate Cricket, with the interesting caveat that England as a separate geographical concept was included for the second time, after the English soccer team, based in South & East of the Union Mainland. Mercia, Wessex, England, Lancashire, the Metropolitan XI and Yorkshire all competed, as well as the MCC and a Players XI that was raised from additional players who had not been included in the other teams. William Gunn, who had been so critical of Willsher, completely flipped and captained the Mercian team who after four weeks of fixtures were unofficially awarded the State Championship. The final game of the series was between the All-Metropolitan XI and the All-England XI, a grudge match in which the All-Metropolitan side won by an innings and 106 runs. At the end of the series, a special trophy, the Willsher Cup, was awarded to the Metropolitan team, and the two sides would meet, and continue to meet on October 7th, the date of his death, to this day."

From "Interstate Football: A History" by Professor Tony Collins, 2004

"In 1885, the dispute between the BFU and the FA had seen the BFU put themselves and the professional club game take a commanding position, leaving the FA in a cloud of dust. Since the split, the ambitious clubs, seeking higher gate revenue and income, aligned with the BFU and leaving the amateur FA in a state of paralysis. FA Chairman, Charles Clegg, looked to seize the momentum back for amateur football and against the rise in professionalism. To do this, he sought to create a competition that would supersede and grow to larger prominence than club football. Clegg looked to Interstate Competition as a method for growing the amateur game and growing receipts and revenues to support amateur clubs. Attempts at International matches had occurred throughout the previous two decades; an 1871 game organised between England and Scotland was cancelled at late notice due to the withdrawal of northern soccer players, led by ironically by Charles Clegg. Clegg wanted to attract the countries top players to play in a tournament over the course of the summer of 1885, so sought to organise a tournament that would take place at the end of the FA Cup season, when players would be available, and attempted to bring a rapprochement between the BFU and FA by allowing all professional players to partake (although not to receive payment for playing) for their State.

"The BFU Council met to discuss the proposal and allowed players to participate, in the same vein as the FA Cup. Heads of the Constituent Unions of the BFU, now organised on State Lines in the North (as had been the case in Cricket) met with Clegg to organise the workings of the competition. Like in Gaelic Games and Cricket, a mixture of States, Countries and amalgamated States would compete; Scotland, Ireland, Wales & Cornwall agreed to send teams, Northumbria, the Palatinate of Lancaster, Mercia and Greater Yorkshire would send teams and a West England/Wessex combined team, a Greater Anglia-Southern England team and a Metropolitan XI would be selected from the best footballers, based on their State, Nation or Region of birth. The tournament envisioned between by Clegg, a knockout in a similar vein as the FA Cup, would not come to fruition however. States could only agree to Interstate matches in an unorganised format, as disputes between Northern, Southern and Celtic Unions and internally between Unions - mirroring the growing disagreement between the Greater Belfast area and the rest of Ireland, a Belfast team was formed of just players from Belfast clubs, and the two refused to recognise each other. Clegg had, however, set in motion Interstate Soccer - still a fixture of the sporting landscape of the nation. To encourage clubs with better facilities to host the fixtures, it was agreed that gate receipts would be split between the host club and the FA.

"Fixtures took place between March & June, each as a set piece fixture and part of no larger competitions, although newspapers began informally collecting the records - the Welsh team and the Scottish team led by Charles Heggie led the way and took most of the plaudits, but encouraging attendances saw 12,000 crowds at the highly anticipated England vs Scotland match, 8,000 at the Yorkshire vs Lancashire match, and 9,000 at the England vs Ireland match. Total gate receipts raised £2,970 for the FA and for venues, and interest formed part of the culture. Like the creation of the All-England team, the Nationalities of the Union expressed themselves through their State teams and over the course of the first period of fixtures, soccer turned from a pastime with an engaged community around it to a growing member of the zeitgeist and alongside cricket, a popular obsession for Britons."

Interstate Soccer Season, 1885


Wales 0-7 Metropolis
Cornwall 3-4 England
Lancashire 3-4 Yorkshire
Scotland 7-2 Ireland

Wessex 3-0 Lancashire
Metropolis 7-0 Cornwall
Belfast 5-0 Wales
Yorkshire 2-0 Mercia

Wales 1-4 Scotland
Cornwall 0-0 Belfast
Ireland 0-6 Mercia


Metropolis 5-1 Lancashire
Belfast 0-5 Northumbria
Scotland 7-0 Cornwall
Ireland 2-5 Wales
England 2-0 Mercia

Cornwall 1-1 Ireland
Northumbria 2-5 Scotland
Lancashire 3-1 Belfast
Yorkshire 4-6 Metropolis
Wessex 7-6 England

Metropolis 5-1 Wessex
Belfast 0-2 Yorkshire
Scotland 3-0 Lancashire
Ireland 1-6 Northumbria
Wales 6-0 Cornwall


Northumbria 0-3 Wales
Lancashire 2-1 Ireland
Yorkshire 1-1 Scotland
Wessex 5-3 Belfast
England 3-6 Metropolis
Cornwall 1-5 Mercia

Belfast 1-4 England
Ireland 1-4 Yorkshire
Wales 4-1 Lancashire
Cornwall 2-7 Northumbria

Yorkshire 6-0 Wales
England 3-5 Scotland
Metropolis 2-1 Belfast
Lancashire 4-3 Mercia

Scotland 3-1 Metropolis
Ireland 3-7 England
Wales 0-0 Wessex
Cornwall 0-5 Yorkshire
Northumbria 1-6 Lancashire


Yorkshire 4-4 Northumbria
Wessex 5-4 Cornwall
England 1-3 Wales
Metropolis 4-1 Ireland
Belfast 0-7 Scotland

From "The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football" by David Goldblatt, 2007

"The Club game had been developing since the establishment of the BFU, but the unsustainable mix of professional players, no competitive fixtures outside of the Union Cup and a need to continue to maintain a larger array of permanent staff, from groundsmen to Manager-Secretaries, to Treasurers had led to calls by 1884 for the establishment of competitive play outside of ordinary and Union Cup fixtures to allow revenues to be more consistently raised. An article from The Union concerning the establishment of collegiate sports leagues in the US spurred a debate about the future of the competitive structure of the game, and the BFU attempted to bridge this gap by introducing Interstate Club Fixtures from the beginning of the 1884-85 Season, meaning that sides across State boundaries could play ordinary games for the first time. "Measures would be taken to form a new football league, with a schedule containing two championship games between every two colleges composing the league" the article said, and similar ideas had began to circulate amongst a number of Soccer Clubs, especially in the North and the Midlands.

"A group of clubs around South Yorkshire; Sheffield Heeley, Wednesday, Lockwood Brothers, Lincoln City, Lincoln Lindum, Sheffield, Grimsby & District, Grimsby Town & Horncastle, decided to act, and informally created the Northern Football Combination in late 1884, which would provide the clubs with regular fixtures over the course of the season. One club secretary, of Lincoln City, John Henry Strawson, said "the maintenance of the ground, the payment of our professional players and the continued expansion of areas with which to contain supporters and subscribers makes necessary the need for regular competitive fixtures." After the first season, completed in May 1885, the concept was widely ridiculed: it suffered from fixture dropouts, no points system and actually had a shared Champion, as Wednesday and Lincoln Lindum had the same number of wins despite Wednesday playing more matches. The seeds, however, for the league system were planted. Within three years, leagues would be a consistent part of club football. "

Extract from, the official website of the Celtic Athletic Association, 2022

"A teacher is responsible for the pandemonium that obsesses much of the Union of Britain today, the sports organised by the Celtic Athletic Association. Every year at one of its many pilgrimages, culminating in the All-Union Tailteann Games at Croke Park in Dublin, a yearly two-week event in which the All-Union Senior Championship Semi-Finals and Finals in Caid, Hurling, Shinty and Bando/Bandy are played. The week also sees the All-Union Handball Championship, Rounders Championship, Cornish Wrestling Championship and exhibitions of ancient games, such as Cornish Hurling take place. It’s origins lay in a meeting in 1884 that took place in the turbulent early days of the State of Ireland. Michael Cusack, a teacher at a prep school for Civil Service graduates in Dublin, became known for his drilling of students with Gaelic Games, with clean living and an athletic lifestyle. Cusack, believing in a national education system and better adherence to Irish and Celtic customs and traditions, joined the National Democratic Party and at was sent as a representative for Thurles at a meeting with Scottish National Democrats and members of the Liberals in Wales, found common ground on the loss of their heritage and a desire to preserve it. When he returned, he met with a group of men who wanted to he’d been talking to about reviving Gaelic Games, and on November 1st, the Gaelic Athletic Association was born.

"The announcement of the revivalist organisation peaked political interest, and prominent leader of the General League, Thomas Croke gave his approval a few weeks later, and quickly the association gained approval across the Nationalist lines - both Premier Davitt and Charles Stuart Parnell advocated for the organisation. Davitt encouraged Croke and Cusack to form a fraternal organisation with other Celtic sporting organisations, and suggested a pan-Celtic Sporting Association with a month of the GAA’s founding. Despite the universal praise, the association was met with the most enthusiastic circles by the NDP and as before, it’s Interstate connections would provide a route for expansion of the concept. By 1885, the GAA had expanded to include a number of other informal bodies designed for the protection of Celtic Culture, and the first County Committees, the subunit of the Association, were formed in Ireland and Scotland. 1886 saw the first admission of Welsh, Manx and Cornish Counties, as well as Counties formed in the mainland areas with high Irish and Celtic Immigration into the organisation, and the organisation would hold its first All-Union Congress, renaming itself the Celtic Athletic Association on November 1st 1886."
Part 4, Chapter XXXI
IV, XXXI: Imperial Context & The Berlin Conference

A million words have been written about the 1886 Berlin Conference, Unionisation and the Imperial Policy of Joseph Chamberlain. This book is a study of British Political History over 130 years, and any book studying that period needs to look at the period between 1882 and 1902, in which British Imperial Policy launched the world into a destructive period of conflict across the world. Chamberlain, quite rightly, has shouldered his share of the blame, but policy never exists in a vacuum. This chapter will provide us with a myriad of opinions surrounding the 1886 Berlin Conference, and its consequences for Africa and the Balkans, but will also examine the historiography surrounding the beginnings of the Unionisation process, which began with the 1886 Union of India and Union of Canada Acts. This chapter will look at the Unionisation process and the Empire, and the next will look at the International context.

The period after the Anglo-Egyptian War had seen a growth in British influence in its empire to unprecedented levels. They had annexed Basutoland in 1882, Walvis Bay in 1884, and a section of Somaliland and Bechuanaland in 1885. They’d also declared a protectorate in Niger that same year. Holdings were concentrated in the Arabian Peninsula (Aden, Somalia & Egypt), India (including Burma and Hong Kong), Australasia (including New Zealand and the colonies of Australia), Canada and the Caribbean. Further territories, such as Malta, Gibraltar and Cyprus also allowed fast shipping lanes around the Gulf and into India.

Sir Robert Herbert, Colonial Secretary

Sir Robert Herbert, the Colonial Secretary, had a mishmash of Protectorates, directly controlled Dominions and an informal sphere of influence to maintain the Union’s interest, and he did so with the watchful eye of many key figures within the Union Council - Chamberlain and Primrose especially believed that reform of the British Empire was a key point that would increase domestic popularity for the Government. Herbert began working on a Report in January 1885 that would inform Imperial Policy into the next administration, and with the July 1886 Berlin Conference approaching, would inform the methods of control that would be applied to any new territory that would be gained in the negotiations.

This Report was influenced by three events in established British foreign holdings; Madagascar, Canada and India, with the North-West Rebellion & Panjdeh incident respectively. The two came within weeks of each other, and each caused concern at the Colonial Office on the matter of the effective control Britain had in two of their most important colonial holdings. The North-West Rebellion of March - June 1885 concerned the Métis peoples in Saskatchewan who rebelled and formed their Provisional Government in the District. Thomas Bland Strange, an officer in the British Army, was sent to the region and defeating the Saskatchewan rebellion played a key part in organising the Canadian Army, unifying elements of the force and reforming its workings to be a better fighting force.

The second in March 1885, concerned the security of the Emirate of Afghanistan. The Russians in March had attacked a border town in Panjdeh in the North of Afghanistan, and the perceived slackness of the Emirate's response as the news reached Britain in April caused Herbert, Senator Petty-Fitzmaurice & Senator Primrose to have consternation about the response. Chamberlain met with the three and asked for preparations for War to be drawn up. The Union Army in India was called to fight alongside the limited Emirate forces, but under the command of Sir Frederick Roberts, the Union Army took its obligations in the Treaty of Gandamak seriously and repelled the threat of the Russian forces, forcing them to parley with the British and withdraw from Panjdeh within a few weeks. Russia then agreed to respect the boundaries and halted its planned construction of the Trans-Caspian Railway to extend into what was nominally Afghan territory. The Emir, however, had called for calm and had resisted large-scale military action in the region and had made many enemies in the process within the Colonial Office. When a further war in the region, the Union-Burmese War, occurred and Upper Burma was annexed, Herbert proposed to merge the units into a single administrative unit with a single High Commissioner, Consul-General and Governor.

Rainilaiarivony, Prime Minister of Madagascar

The third crisis that Britain had faced, however, attracted military engagement with France several times: they had come into a disagreement in Madagascar that had seen French soldiers fighting the British-backed and trained Madagascan Army. Their Prime Minister, Rainilaiarivony, had sought the services of the British in holding off a long-time French attack on the country and had, at the Government's request, established a British Protectorate on December 16th, 1885, one day before a deadline for a French offer to the Monarchy in exchange of their protectorate. Germany and Italy recognised the Queen, Ranavalona III as the ruler of Madagascar, and supported British claims to the Islands. The French Mission under Admiral Pierre was well armed and able to seek it out, and it was here that the first of several proxy wars between Britain and France. Further rebellions were supported in relatively pacified Sudan by French finances, and continued rebellions, fuelled and trained by French officers in neighbouring territories, undermined British control over the Gold Coast. Herbert and Petty-Fitzmaurice presented a vote to raise a credit to fund the Madagascans in their War against the French and became the first to do so in open diplomacy. Two gunboats, three cruisers and a scouting ship were sent to disperse the expedition and force it into retreat. After a French gunboat fired on a cruiser, the Madagascan Dispatch destroyed the French fleet. French diplomats and the Council of Ministers were furious, it caused a political scandal back home, and after they appealed to the other Great Powers, while Germany and Italy did not approve of the methods they did not come to their aid. Foreign Minister and Prime Minister Charles de Freycinet resigned, and the National Assembly was dissolved in France, with an election being called in January 1886, which saw the Left parties gain the upper hand. In the reshuffle, a General and a friend of Georges Clemenceau, Georges Ernest Boulanger would be shuffled into a position at the Ministry of War as an enthusiastic patriot. They also thought he was a Republican and an ally of the French Third Republic.

These shocks to the defences of the Empire forced the Government to move quickly to ensure peace in its larger territories and take care of their defences, under British supervision. Herbert proposed that a new body, the Union of India, be established across Afghanistan, the British Raj and Burma, with a single High Commissioner and Governor-General, administering British rule in the region and the relationship with the Princely States (which would now include the Emir of Afghanistan) and represent British rule in India. The Governor-General was intended to function as the Head of State in place of the President-Regent and would appoint the High Commissioner, who would represent the Indian Raj in Inter-colonial and limited foreign engagements (although would receive instruction from the Governor-General who would, in turn, be instructed by the President-Regent) and a Consul-General, who would advise the Governor-General on the day-to-day running of the Indian Civil Service and Government. In keeping with this lexicon, he also proposed a Union of Canada, which would take more direct control of the Territories not yet included in the Confederation and would include Newfoundland for the first time with a Union Parliament alongside the Provinces, which were reconstituted as States. Parliament was presented with two pieces of legislation; the Union of India Act and the Union of Canada Act, which established the two territories as separate states in a new status - Union - rather than the Dominion status which had been unofficially created by Canada's confederation in 1867. The two were not equal to Britain, but Canada retained a large amount of self-governance, but was subject to a veto from the Union Parliament, while India was reorganised to aid its defence from the Russian Empire. These two acts began the process of Unionisation, which would continue throughout the British Empire until the early 1900s. This movement began at pace in 1885-87 and sought to 'rationalise' the Empire and streamline British control. This process, and the political tension behind it, would also be the backdrop for the Anglo-French elements of the Berlin Conference.

The Unionisation Process sought to standardise and rationalise the direct and indirect elements of the British Empire:

Extract from Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2022

"Distinguishing between formal and informal empire (the areas of influence and control that extend beyond areas under the formal administrative rule) is an important concept to convey to students. The key point of understanding then becomes that imperial expansion could be influenced by a range of factors – local and international – and were historically and locally contingent.This opens up the idea that imperial expansion, especially after the introduction of ‘free trade’ occurred, was experienced differently in different places and at different times. It challenges the hegemonic notion of imperial control that is promoted through the use of maps with distinct boundaries, and also an uncritical response to the notion of ‘free trade’ itself.

The debates above tend to break down the notion that the New Imperialism was completely a break with the Free Trade that went before as Free Trade is itself seen to rely in significant ways on forcing open markets and compelling economic interactions. However, significant parts of the world were carved up between a limited number of imperial powers at this point and the rhetoric of Free Trade disappeared; maps with clear boundaries seem to demonstrate this. The debates on informal rule etc. help to give nuance to the many ways in which imperial control operated locally even during this time.

The British Government, inspired by the Imperial Federation movement and the interest sought to divide 'interests' from 'territories' - that is the States that Britain was in direct control of the government and governmental structures, and the States that Britain had control over through influence, financing or military support. Colonial planners divided their territories into three categories; Category One - self-governing territories, Category Two -territories with British Administration and Category Three - territories with native administration and British protection.

Unionisation sought to combine self-governing territories that were in proximity to one another into larger units, administer and 'prepare' territories with British Administration for being combined into larger units and use the military and economic force through Army recruits and trade combined by the two categories of territory to continue the suzerainty and favourable trade conditions of the third kind. Prime Minister Joseph Chamberlain, Robert Herbert, Senator Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice and Senator Archibald Primrose all worked to enact these policies."

This plan, to classify and control all British holdings directly, and use the streamlined holdings to influence an 'informal empire' of vassal states would see countries like Egypt and Madagascar subject to a renewed system of financial and military control, saw an overbearing British military and economic presence in countries that were vassals. Success in Egypt had seen the financial influence of the British grow in the Colonies:

Transcript from "Our Greatest Leader: Joseph Chamberlain in Retrospect", UBC Productions, 1974

'The rescuing of the Egyptian finances eased pressure on Britain in two ways; it allowed the occupation to become less of a burden on the British taxpayer, and therefore less explosive a political issue and also the occupation became more secure not only because it benefited Egypt but because the Caisse could exert less leverage as no loans were required.

The success of the Egyptian campaign led to a drive from Herbert to push for greater financial control over the informal empire across the sphere of British Influence. Consul-Generals, modelled on Baring's role in Egypt, were rolled out to all Protectorates to manage the finances of native governments and this placed a greater administrative presence in territories under British Protection.

The Consul-General system would persist well into the creation of the Commonwealth of Unions. This included sending a Consul-General to Basutoland, which angered the local establishment in the Cape. Opposition to this interference brought the electorate of the Cape to the attention of a Diamond Magnate, Cecil Rhodes. Rhodes would have a profound effect on the development of British holdings in Southern Africa.

Above these Consul-Generals, High Commissioners for the six departments of the Colonial Office; General, North American, West Indian, Australian, African, and the Mediterranean, were appointed to manage the individual Consul-Generals. This hierarchy; of the Colonial Secretary appointing six High Commissioners, who in turn appointed territorial Consul-Generals, would remain until the full plan of Unionisation was completed. These offices were later copied by the War Office to map the internal security of the Empire and assist in British missions to vassal states across the world.

British policy followed the principle of extending control informally if possible and formally if necessary. To label one method "anti-imperialist" and the other "imperialist" is to ignore the fact that whatever the method British interests were steadily safeguarded and extended."

In the heated atmosphere of British politics from 1885-1887, a fierce rally around Unionist institutions had provided enthusiastic and raucous public support. The heat of the Turquoise Revolution continued, and enthusiastic movements coalesced around the Government. Intellectual movements and the popular feeling were swayed by the desire for more Empire. Opposition to this at this time, therefore, was both difficult and followed financial, rather than ethical lines. One side, the Imperialist side believed that this was the beginning of a new era and the other believed it was too costly. This was soon to change.

The Imperialism of Unionism, John Gallagher and Ronald Robinson, 1953

"Historians such as Seeley and Egerton looked on events in the formal empire as the only test of imperial activity; they regarded the empire of kinship and constitutional dependence as an organism with its laws of growth. In this way, the nineteenth century was divided into periods of imperialism and anti-imperialism, according to the extension or contraction of the formal empire and the degree of belief in the value of British rule overseas.

Ironically enough, the alternative interpretation of imperialism, which began as part of the radical polemic against the Imperial Unionists, has in effect only confirmed their analysis. Those who have seen imperialism as the high stage of capitalism and the inevitable result of foreign investment agree that it applied historically only to the period after 1885 when Chamberlain's Democratic Federation ties were cut and he became unbound by anti-Imperial and "little Englander" feeling within his Parliamentary support. As a result, they have been led into a similar preoccupation with the formal manifestation of imperialism because the pre-Unionist and early Unionist era was one of spectacular extension of British rule.

Consequently, confirmation of the opposite point of view is their opponents' contention that this era's expansion was a sharp deviation from the innocent and static liberalism of the Second Liberal Era and the National Party rule of the state in the late-Victorian British Monarchy. This alleged change, welcomed by one school, and condemned by the other, was accepted by both. This would too, as we saw in the 1860s and the rise of the Radical Party, provide the nucleus for existing political parties to flourish - in this case, the long rise of the Liberal Democratic Party."

Opposition to the Unionisation plan, or at least elements of it, was opposed from within the colonies too, and one organisation, in particular, would have a profound effect on this colonial opposition to Unionisation: the Indian National Congress. Although made into a Union under the Union of India Act, India did not transform into a Federal, Self-Governing State. As the region contained both Category Two and Three states in the Presidencies and the Princely States, the Colonial Office believed that it was a unique situation that was deemed unsuitable for full Unionisation (and therefore legislative independence with British suzerainty). India was unique however as the transition from Company rule to rule of the Raj had leaned more heavily on an English-educated Civil Service, who tended to be more familiar and friendly to the Union's Parliamentary system and were inspired to recreate it in India. A retired Indian Civil Service Officer called Allan Octavian Hume founded the Indian National Congress as a method to bring forward civil and political reforms from this new class of English-educated bureaucrats. In 1883, he wrote;

"Every nation secures precisely as good a Government as it merits. If you, the picked men, the most highly educated of the nation, cannot, scorning personal ease and selfish objects, make a resolute struggle to secure greater freedom for yourselves and your country, a more impartial administration, a larger share in the management of your affairs, then we, your friends, are wrong and our adversaries right, then are Robert Herbert’s noble aspirations for your good fruitless and visionary, then, at present at any rate, all hopes of progress are at an end, and India truly neither desires nor deserves any better Government than she enjoys."

Allan Octavian Hume, founder of the Indian National Congress

As part of the Unionisation process, Hume was granted the ability to create an Indian National Union, affiliated with the government and designed to act as a consultative organisation for all Indians. Hume and the Indian Intelligentsia came together on October 12th 1885 to produce the "Appeal from the People of India to the Electors of Great Britain and Ireland", which asked electors to support sympathetic candidates in future elections and further the causes of Indian policies in Britain. The appeal was a total failure, and attempts for speakers to address debating societies and associations were completely rebuffed. In December, Hume dissolved the Union and created an entity that would represent Indians without the support of the Government. On December 28th, 1885, the Indian National Congress was formed and this time, it attracted support from Scottish and Irish bureaucrats within the Indian Civil Service, Scots especially. Concentrated in the Bombay and Madras Presidencies, the INC met annually between 1885-1905 and produced aims for the organisation. These concentrated on Civil Rights including Freedom of Speech and the Press, and the Right to Organise, Administrative reforms to remove administrative abuses, constitutional changes to increase constitutional input from Indians and economic reforms to introduce modern industry, Indianize public services and abolish the salt tax.

At this meeting, among the well-wishes included a telegraph from the Premier of Ireland, Michael Davitt, who said "I wish the Indian National Congress the utmost success in the pursuit of National Democracy as we have attempted to pursue here in Ireland. Ireland shall always stand with Nationalities wishing to express their destiny and will."
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Part 4, Chapter XXXII
IV, XXXII: The Berlin Conference

A million stories have been told about the Berlin Conference, so rather than rake over the coals again with an uninspired view, this chapter hands the task to those who have studied the subject in more detail, focusing on four subjects; the change in German leadership, the British view of the Balkan question, the Berlin Conference from the Arabian perspective and the view of the Berlin Conference in the context of it's relationship to the Turbulence.

The Early Parliamentary Period in the German Empire and United German States, Katja Hoyer, 2021

"A reaction to the Foreign Policy objectives and the anti-Austrian bent of the ideology of the Hänel Chancellery saw a backlash at the polls in mid 1886. Having won a renewed majority with the Zentrum Party in 1884, Hänel's Free-Minded Party lost 40 seats in the Reichstag and had lost the support of several Catholic majority states in the Empire over the course of the Balkan Crisis. Conservatives in the North of the Country played on this fear, and gained 51 seats to put them in a strong position to form the next Government of the Empire. Kaiser Fredrich III still held sympathy with those from a Liberal outlook and the Free-Minded Party, but his adherence to Liberal and Constitutional values led him to appoint Rudolf von Bennigsen, the Conservative Liberal from Hannover, as Chancellor on April 9th, 1886.

Bennigsen wished to maintain the positive co-operation with the British Empire, to particularly isolate France on the Imperial stage and maintain their access to the Suez Canal and to the Rotesmeer Colony, but wanted to extract a larger number of concessions in the upcoming Imperial Conference. His motivation was creating a more profitable Imperialism for the German Empire."

The Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, 1783-1919, George Peabody Gooch & Adolphus Ward

"The conclusion of the Balkan War of Independence placed a number of other foreign policy issues firmly on the in-tray of Foreign Secretary, Senator Archibald Primrose, as he prepared for the Berlin Conference. Two issues were the primary focus of the Conference: a settlement on the Balkan Peninsular and to end the unregulated colonisation of the African subcontinent. Primrose met with President-Regent Stanley, Prime Minister Joseph Chamberlain and the plenipotentiary, Edward Malet GC in a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Grand Council two weeks before the delegation set off for the Conference, to discuss British aims and goals for the Conference. The Regent and the Union Councillors summarised that Britain's aims in the Balkans would be the establishment of a strong, Independent state that would act as a bulwark and protector of Greece's independence, and protecting the neutrality of the straits of the Bosporus. In Africa, they wanted to establish procedure for protectorate status, set rules for their hinterland expansion and prevent costly wars between the European powers as had been seen in Sudan and East Africa."

Berlin 1886, 133 years on: Remembering the conference that divided Africa, article for Sawt al-Arab by Patrick Gathara, 2019

"On a sunny afternoon in 1886, an international conference was opened by the chancellor of the newly-minted German Empire at his official residence of Wilhelmstrasse, in Berlin. A horseshoe-shaped table was surrounded by representatives from every European country bar Switzerland, as well as the United States. The only clue as to the purpose of the gathering of white men was hung on the wall - two large maps; one of Africa, and one of the Balkans. The map of Africa was said to be "drooping like a question mark", said Nigerian historian Professor Godfrey Uzoigwe.

The conference would last 104 days and in the 133 years since, the conference has come to represent the late 19th century European Scramble and Partition of the continent. In the popular imagination, the delegates hunched over a map with rulers and pencils and carved out national borders on the continent with no idea of the ground they were parcelling out. This is mistaken. The Berlin Conference did not being any scrambling - it was already well underway. It did not even partition the continent - the only state created was perhaps its worst legacy: the short-lived horror that was the Congo Free State, although even this was not created at the conference.

The conferences aim was establishing the rules for the conquest and partition of Africa, in the process legitimising the ideas of Africa as a playground for outsiders, its mineral wealth as a resource for the outside world, not for Africans and its fate as a matter not to be left to Africans.
From the very start, the conference laid out the order of priorities. “The Powers are in the presence of three interests: That of the commercial and industrial nations, which a common necessity compels to the research of new outlets. That of the States and of the Powers summoned to exercise over the regions of the Congo an authority which will have burdens corresponding to their rights. And, lastly, that which some generous voices have already commended to your solicitude – the interests of the native populations.” It also resolutely refused to consider the question of sovereignty, and the legitimacy of laying claim to someone else’s land and resources.

Uzoigwe notes that: “Bennigsen… stated in his opening remarks that delegates had not been assembled to discuss matters of sovereignty either of African states or of the European powers in Africa.” It was no accident that there were no Africans at the table – their opinions were not considered necessary. The efforts of the Sultan of Zanzibar to get himself invited to the party were summarily laughed off by the British.
American journalist Daniel De Leon described the conference as “an event unique in the history of political science … Diplomatic in form, it was economic in fact.” And it is true that while it was dressed up as humanitarian summit to look at the welfare of locals, its agenda was almost purely economic. Few on the continent or in the African diaspora were fooled.

A week before it closed, the Lagos Observer declared that “the world had, perhaps, never witnessed a robbery on so large a scale.” Six years later, another editor of a Lagos newspaper comparing the legacy conference to the slave trade said: “A forcible possession of our land has taken the place of a forcible possession of our person.” Theodore Holly, the first black Protestant Episcopal Bishop in the US, condemned the delegates as having “come together to enact into law, national rapine, robbery and murder”.

The outcome of the conference were two General Acts signed and ratified by all but one of the 14 nations at the table, the US declining to ratify. The first General Act established the borders of the United Kingdom of the Balkans and established it as a neutral, independent nation that was not able to ally with any of the Great Powers (although in reality it had already allied with Britain, Germany and Italy), it also created a neutral Serbia which was ruled as a de facto Kingdom, but a de jure condominium between Austria-Hungary and the Balkan Kingdom.

It reduced the Ottoman influence on Europe to the straits of the Bosporus and Constantinople, but guaranteed all Great Powers would have shipping access - all guaranteed without Ottoman approval, which would be achieved sometime later. A key victory for the French was the regaining of their access to the Suez Canal, their own creation, from which they had been locked out since 1882 and recognition of claims to West Africa.

In Africa, the main features were the establishment of a regime of free trade stretching across the middle of Africa, the development of which became the rationale for the Congo Free State, under King Leopold's personal sovereignty, which unleashed a 13 year horror in the region, the abolition of the overland slave trade (a goal for PR reasons) and the principle of 'effective occupation'. This principle was to become the catalyst for military conquest of the African continent with far-reaching consequences.

When the conference gathered, 80% of Africa lay in traditional and local control. Europeans had influence only on the coast. Following the General Act, Europeans were licensed to grab chucks on land inland, ultimately creating a hodgepodge of geometric boundaries that were superimposed over indigenous cultures and region of Africa. However, to get their claims over lands accepted, they had to demonstrate they could actually administer the area. This benefitted the British, Portuguese, Spanish and French, who had already held large swathes of land, but hurt the claims of the new players, Germany and Italy. Germany were able, with British support, to expand their influence in East Africa and in Central Africa, but the Italians claims were considered frivolous, causing consternation between for the Southern European power.

Often, military victory proved to be the easy part. To govern, they found they had to contend with a confusing milieu of fluid identities and cultures and languages. The Europeans thus set about reorganising Africans into units they could understand and control. As Professor Terence Ranger noted, the colonial period was marked “by systematic inventions of African traditions – ethnicity, customary law, ‘traditional’ religion. Before colonialism Africa was characterised by pluralism, flexibility, multiple identity; after it, African identities of ‘tribe’, gender and generation were all bounded by the rigidities of invented traditions.

The Turbulence: A Study 1896-1916, by Hans Ulrich Wehler. 1976

The political boundaries of Africa developed in earnest between the Berlin Conference and the Turbulence. The Berlin Conference's agreements and borders paid scant regard to Africa, let alone Africans.

Prior to the Berlin Conference, few of the present boundaries of African existed. Those that did were limited to settler territories, in the north between Algeria and Morocco and in the South to protect Basutoland against Boer encroachment, around the South African Republic and the enclave of Walvis Bay.

East Africa was divided between a German Sphere, British North and Portuguese to the South. Portugal control over Mozambique and Angola. Equatorial Africa was divided into the Congo Free State, French and Spanish Sphere. In West Africa, French Ivory Coast was separated from British Gold Coast, Sierra Leone was defined in relation to Liberia and the two enclave colonies of The Gambia and Portuguese Guinea were defined from surrounding territory. By the turn of the century almost the whole of southern Africa was divided in precisely the way it is today. The sole exception was the Anglo/Portuguese boundary where the powers could not agree.

The star of the Conference was King Leopold, who managed to further his aspirations in the Congo Basin, fighting French claims to the region, and establish the Congo Free State under his personal control. None of the plenipotentiaries agreed to this, there was no mention of this, but the Congo Free State was established regardless on January 1st, 1887.
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Part 4, Chapter XXXIII
IV, XXXIII: English Revivalism

The Provincialists who drove the Constitutional Laws didn't much care for the concept of England. The unity of England had, in their view, been historically a force against decentralisation of power and towards the Anglo-Saxon, Anglican lifestyle being imposed on the people of the rest of the British Isles. "English" became a pejorative term in the Northern States, Mercia, Ireland, and Wales for monarchist, anachronistic and conservative tendencies from another era: one of conflict and pointless reaction. This led to the political concept of England changing considerably in the time between the passing of the Constitutional Laws in 1875 and its tenth anniversary in 1885. Sometimes, things that seem minute at the time can have an exceptional bearing on the public zeitgeist, and the connection between several coherent political strands, with a dollop of sporting jingoism, seems to have spurred a movement that would adjust the State settlement in the Union.

The Southern English Question had been prominent in the debates for the State Boundaries, but the political settlement was dominated by Democrats who suffered from this anti-English prejudice. It was felt for the better running of the Union and the better running of the States, smaller units would need to be created. This manifested itself in the states of Southern England, Greater Anglia, and the partition of West England and Wessex. Southern England, the Province from the period of the Orders, had been maligned and suffered from a sort of political narcolepsy: attendance was poor, and measures were rarely passed.

The Administration was continuously castigated as lazy and politically inept by Democrats who built the Order system. Still, in reality this was a political choice - there was no feeling of need for a local administration and a distance from the political concept of 'Southern' England. Opposition to the Union had manifested itself as Monarchism throughout the late 1870s and early 1880s through movements like the Abstentionist faction of the Conservatives. As the old party lines were dissolving, English Nationalism stepped in as the unifying movement in the South of Britain to bridge the gap. This was purely a regional phenomenon and did not spread over the whole of the former territory of England: South-Eastern Counties and Eastern Mercia were the primary regions that were affected by this movement, which became formally known as English Revivalism or English Nationalism.

Adrian Hastings, the Union Historian and Grand Councillor who later worked for The Times, wrote in his analysis of the English Revivalist Movement that it cornered on a number of unifying factors; the status of the "First Settlement" of Anglo-Saxons as the metropole of the Union and Empire, Anglican Revivalism, Patriotism that was unleashed by the jingoistic policies of the Coalition Government and support for the "Anglican State" - the concept that alongside Ireland as a Catholic State and Wales and the Northern States as Nonconformist States, Anglicans deserved their homeland within the union and were wrongfully denied this.

This belief was widespread and gained much support in the Union Council - Drummond-Wolff, Churchill, and Gorst, in particular, were in opposition to the James-Harrison Report of 1885, and they had a large grouping of support in both the Greater Anglian Legislature and the Southern English Legislature. In the Legislature of Wessex there was support too, but this was concentrated in areas like Hampshire and East Wessex. Cultural unification was achieved through means such as the formation of the English State Soccer XI and the All-England Club, confusingly based in the Metropolis. Further, it fostered this sense of unification between the peoples of England. The Revivalist movement now had unstoppable support from within the English States, and a veteran of the North-West Rebellion, Thomas Bland Strange, would provide the unifying rallying point for English Revivalism.


Thomas Bland Strange

Depending on your political outlook, Strange was either a bigot and a jingoist or a patriot and a unifying figure for the 2nd largest state of the Union. Strange by name, Strange by nature. Strange had been a pivotal military leader in the suppression of the North-West Rebellion, and in Canada had found a country that was experiencing it's own Revivalism of sorts. He took from the defeat of the Provisional Government of Saskatchewan that the English, not the Britons, were the superior force in the Union's conquest of the world. "The Englishmen provides the fire for the project of Union, but fails to reap the reward of his toil" he said in a speech upon his return from Canada in August 1885. As a commander in the much-publicised conflict in Canada and it's subsequent Union, Strange became a celebrity upon his arrival in Southampton. Large crowds listened to his speeches, but he was not a natural public speaker - newspapers ridiculed him for his unusual speaking style. After a number of events, Randolph Churchill appeared at his speech in Canterbury, and stated on record that there "was support in the Union Council and the Ministerial Majority for a review of the James-Harrison Report" to great acclaim. The trouble, was that he had not consulted Chamberlain on this, and the news came as a great surprise to members of the left-wing of that Ministerial Majority. While ‘Jingo Strange’ went back to service, Churchill met Chamberlain to convince them of his merits, and seek his association with the Government.

The growing profile of the English Revivalist Movement also attracted the attention of the Orange Movement, which was itself going through a transformation. The Grand Lodge voted to establish a new policy - the New Departure. Bateson had convened the Orange Assembly and with the presence of the Union Army and attempted to convince the amassed members to agree to a policy of negotiation with the Union Government to establish the Orange State as a State within the Union. This was a radical proposal, but the presence of the Union Army in Belfast and the surrounding counties of Antrim, Down and sections of Londonderry and Armagh had actually been welcomed by many as they had in many cases replaced Irish State Police and the Union Army commander was none other than Jingo Strange himself. Strange attempted to gain control by winning favour with the rebellion, one he had fierce sympathy with. The new Home Secretary, Henry Matthews also held sympathies with the Orange Movement in the North of Ireland, believing that the State would be the only way to finally settle the Orange Question in British Politics. Chamberlain remained unconvinced, as he had supported the James-Harrison Report in 1878 and didn't want to complete a U-Turn to supporting either an Orange or English State in the Union. Matthews and the State Affairs Secretary, Drummond-Wolff used Churchill's support to bring Chamberlain round a review of the James-Harrison Report. Chamberlain had preferred the project the left of the Ministerial Party had been advocating for - a comprehensive municipal government plan to standardise the running of Municipalities union-wide and to allow certain City & County Authorities to have the right to declare themselves as separate states, by accepting a vote to secede from a State by a City & County Council, where approved, as fulfilling Sections 5-8 of the States Act, which governed State amalgamation, secession and boundary reform.

The ALO was split on the issue, with some favouring the continuation of physical force to achieve their aims, and some advocating moral force. The reality was that now that Thomas Bateson's New Departure, the influence of the Citadel Movement within the wider Orange Movement and the physical congregation of ALO members in the North-Eastern Coast of Ireland meant that the Statehood option, which would include dropping any claims and support for the return of the Saxe-Coburg dynasty, was achievable with sufficient political support behind it. Should the Orange Party move in the direction of abandoning abstentionism, then they would be in a position to bargain for their own State within the Union. This realisation for many ALO members was matched by many within the English Revivalist Movement, who had a similar journey towards conditional support for the Union in exchange for the granting of English statehood from the areas of Greater Anglia, Southern England and parts of Wessex. A private report, commissioned by an organisation called the Union of Conservative & Constitutional Associations was drafted by Henry Cecil Raikes and redrew the districting of the States in the South between Wessex and England, which would be constructed out of the most common proposal for the boundaries of a modern English state. The Raikes Plan was endorsed by Churchill and Drummond-Wolff in a letter to The Union in November 1885 saying "the Southern settlement is not satisfactory, and we believe that the Plan submitted by Mr Raikes is the fairest solution to encourage unity amongst our people".


Thomas Bateson, leader of the Association of Loyal Orangemen

Raikes, Drummond-Wolff and Churchill began to work together to force the issue through the legal means provided in the States Act. The Act provided that if a majority of both the Greater Anglian and Southern English Legislatures passed an act calling for unification, then the Government could table a new act authorising the creation of an English State. To bring about the recognition of the Orange State, Churchill believed that the upcoming Local Government Act could provide the legal means for Orange Statehood. The Local Government Act was designed to standardise City & County, County and Vice-County system and their powers, and establish the municipalities as independent corporate entities that could combine, merge and secede independently of State Governments, who up to now had organising power of Local Authorities and the ability to establish and abolish municipal organisations at a whim. This would allow them to be completely separate entities, with their power devolved from the Regency, rather than the Lieutenancy, which would make their control and reform responsible to Parliament, rather than individual State Legislatures. This allowed them the option of seceding, and would provide the legal basis for the creation of new states from County territories.

Chief in opposition to the Raikes Plan was Jeremiah Colman Jr, the famous Mustard Magnate and Premier of Greater Anglia. He believed that any English state would be subsumed by Kent, Sussex and the South-Eastern Counties. While he had initially been an Independent Liberal who controlled a coalition government that spanned the political spectrum, Colman's opposition to the creation of an English State alienated him from much of his Ministerial support, and he found himself without a majority in the Greater Anglian Legislative Assembly. Drummond-Wolff met with English Revivalist supporters in February 1886 and began to plan for the collapse of Colman's State Council and the transfer of power to a State Council that would lay the foundations for English reunion. Support was nearly ubiquitous for the Raikes Plan in the Southern English Legislature, but the Greater Anglian Assembly was held around half in support, half in opposition. Therefore, a crisis was engineered around the payment of workers on Union Lands, where Independent Conservatives, who had been in support of the Government since the last election in 1884, withdrew their support and collapsed the State Council. Lord Lieutenant of Greater Anglia, Henry Fitzalan-Howard, a future Unionist member, dissolved the Legislature and called elections for the Greater Anglian Legislature, and on the same day, Drummond-Wolff advised that Lieutenant of Southern England, John Townshend, do the same.

Elections were held on the 19th April, 1886 in Mercia, Southern England and Greater Anglia and in preparation, candidates in favour of English Unity formed a group called the Party of Unity to fight the election. 365 candidates were endorsed by a co-ordinating committee, headed by Raikes himself across the two states. At the same time, each of the Assemblymen for Hampshire, in Wessex, resigned and fought their by-elections (held on the same day) as Party of Unity candidates and on the same day, Council Elections were held in counties under the occupation of the Union Army. ALO and Party of Unity candidates won the majority of seats in both the Greater Anglian Legislature and the Southern English Legislature, and Jeremiah Colman resigned as Premier of Greater Anglia. Henry Fitzalan-Howard resigned as Lieutenant of Greater Anglia and advised that Townshend should be appointed the Lieutenant of both Greater Anglia and Southern England, President-Regent Stanley obliged and in September 1886, the two Parliaments voted separately to unify. Drummond-wolff presented the Local Government Act and Government of England Act to the House of Parliament. Many Liberal and Democratic members abstained from the voting on the Government of England Act, but Ministerial benches allowed the passage through both the Senate and Commons within a few weeks, with the law receiving Regency Assent in November 1886 coming into effect on January 1st 1887.

The Local Government Act's provisions on Statehood were due to become active on July 1st 1887 after the first completely aligned elections to County, Vice-County and City & County Governments. This meant that the ALO would be able to compete for these elections to the relevant County Governments on secession from the State of Ireland, with Bateson able to do this in three steps: win County Elections, unify the Counties into one administration under a City & County designation and thirdly secede from their State. This would be a campaign that it was widely expected that the ALO would win, and they would most likely be joined by a number of cities elevated to State status, and Hampshire, whose branch of the Party of Unity expected to win control of the County Government and secede to join the newly established State of England. Free from his Union Office, Henry Fitzalan-Howard was even appointed as the 'Shadow' Head of the Provisional Administration of the State of England, charged with drawing up elections to an English Constituent Assembly that would draw up a Charter of Government to be sanctioned by the President-Regent. England was reborn.
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Part 4, Chapter XXXIV
IV, XXXIV: Parliamentary Redistribution & The Orange State Crisis

November 1885 has seen the tenth anniversary of the passing of the Constitutional Laws, and not to miss an opportunity to break out the pomp and ceremony, the Union got ready to host its first 'jubilee' of sorts since the collapse of the Monarchy. This jubilee, however, took place in the backdrop of an intense Social Revolution - the Turquoise Revolution, which had begun to convert enthusiastic Republican support and enthusiastic Monarchist support into enthusiastic support for the Union. The centrepiece of the Anniversary celebrations was a series of nationalistic events; the awarding of an "Anniversary Medal" to those with great service to the Union, a special Anniversary Atlas of the Empire by John Francon Williams and the unveiling of the "Hall of Busts" in Buckingham Palace, featuring a bust of each President-Regent (controversially including Gladstone) and attended by all four living President-Regent and/or Chairman-Regent (John Bright, William Gladstone, Granville and President-Regent Stanley). The President-Regent visited the grave of former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, and held a dinner for 50 World Leaders, including President Grover Cleveland of the United States and Kaiser Fredrich of Germany, celebrating the achievements of the Union. Then a special Conference of Colonial Administrators, High Commissioners and Consuls-General was held, and a special meeting of COPAC and USAC was held. The anniversary also heralded the first major review of boundaries and the size of the Commons and Senate since the founding of the Union, which held greater political attention with the passing of the Government of England Act.

The legislative restrictions around the Commons and Senate's size were held to a few provisions in the Parliament Act; the nexus stipulating that the Commons must be as close as practically possible double the size of the Senate, the restriction that no State could have more Senators than Members of Parliament, and that no State could have less than two Senators and no more than fourteen. These restrictions meant that each State required a minimum of three MPs. Drummond-Wolff, the State Affairs Secretary, was selected to lead and commission this review and brought a Select Committee together to make recommendations. This committee heard throughout 1886 and into the early portion of 1887 that Parliament's current size was too small, and should be increased to 400 members, therefore meaning the Senate required 200. It also recommended that State Legislatures be made smaller, with a cap of 200 MLAs and 60 Legislative Councillors. Many State Elections had suffered low numbers of candidates and high numbers of uncontested seats, so it was felt fewer, larger electorates were needed with fewer seats in certain states. The new States were encouraged to stick to the new arrangements in their initial Assemblies and established States soon prepared. Several, mostly Liberal states, abolished their Legislative Councils during the period of 1884-87, and its use by 1887 was limited to larger States.

Pre-empting the Municipalities Act, which allowed County Councils to secede from States with a majority vote and consent from their State Legislature, the final recommendations would wait until the first unified elections to County Councils, in May 1887. Particularly, wire-pullers looked at County Councils in Hampshire, Manchester, Merseyside and Liverpool, Lincolnshire, the Orange Region, Cheshire and the remainder of Wessex brought the most attention. Voters in each of these districts returned Councils that supported secession from their State - Hampshire, Kesteven and Holland Council Councils supported their annexation by England, Manchester and Liverpool voted to become Independent of Lancashire, Cheshire, therefore, voted to join Mercia. The Wessex and Western England Legislatures voted in the aftermath of this to merge and form one state, Greater Wessex, in June 1887.

This transformation of the States was not unexpected: many had expected the provisions of the Municipalities Act to provide some turbulence, but the scope of the dissatisfaction with the Harrison Plan was evident. Areas had been trapped in States poorly representative of their feelings, their patriotism and their allegiance. The implementation, however, would be complicated in Ireland. The National Democratic Party, supported by many within and outside of the Ministerial Coalition, indicated that it would refuse to allow its end of the constitutional process - voting to consent to secession - to take place in regards to Orange Statehood. Backed by groups recently engaging in terror, the Orange State, in the mind of Premier Davitt they were unfit for Statehood and the matter was an internal issue. With much support inside the Irish Legislature, Premier Davitt indicated that he would not bring the secession of the Orange Counties to a vote in the Legislature, and they supported elements within the Councils affected that resisted the secession calls. Provisional Committees in these Counties representing Catholic majority areas in West Derry and West Belfast declared their opposition to secession from the State of Ireland, led by City & County of Belfast Council Opposition Leader, the NDP's Thomas Sexton. While these ramifications continued to rumble on, Raikes would continue his plan to reform the Senate and Commons. Leaders from all the political factions and the Ministerial Coalition agree on a 'General Revision' of the Senate and Commons distribution of seats. In a meeting of Drummond-Wolff, Senator Robert Cecil and Senator George Campbell agreed to a compromise for the Senate to allow it to increase to 200 members; Universities would be given two Senators for the first time and eleven Members of Parliament, the upper threshold for Senators would be increased to 18 and the disparity in representation between smaller and larger states.

Liberal, Progressive and Democratic State Governments opposed the redistribution, so Senator Campbell and Senator Cecil were forced to call a meeting of all opposition-supported State delegations to discuss and agree on the matter. The disagreements centred on recognition for the Orange State, not yet a state but included in the recommendations and the representation for England. Finally, a compromise was reached that meant that saw the six largest states (Ireland, England, the Metropolis, Mercia, Scotland and Greater Yorkshire) receive 18 Senators, up from 14, Wessex, Manchester and Northumbria receive 16, Lancashire and Liverpool, the Orange State and Cornwall receive four seats, and a minimum of five MPs. Further to this, Liberals and Democrats asked for the creation of a new state to counter the Senatorial balance of the Orange State, so it was decided that territories on the North Coast of Britain, the Shetland and Orkney Islands, be constituted into the State of the Northern Isles. This agreement, which did not involve the Irish delegation who refused to accept Orange Statehood, was part of the "Arlington Street Compact" on June 5th, 1887, which was the colloquial name of the agreement brought between the parties, but members of the Scottish NDP were equally as incensed by the Northern Isles plan as Irish NDP members were about the Orange State Plan. They walked out of the delegation and split with the Liberals and Democrats over the issue, and would continue to support each other in their opposition to the Orange and Northern Isles Statehood plan which was included in the Senate redistribution. Such was the assumption that the Orange Statehood plan would pass that no thought was given to any issue with the Irish State Legislature, despite the fierce opposition within both houses of the Legislature. Senior State Affairs figures within the Government approached Davitt to urge a compromise: President-Regent Stanley would clear the way for the Land Value Tax in Ireland if they recognised the Orange State. Davitt refused and used the States Act to defend the right of Ireland to provide opposition to the secession.

Randolph Churchill, a key proponent of English Revivalism and supporter of the Orange Movement in the late 1880s

Churchill claimed publicly that Orange Statehood was next on the agenda for the “Unionist Government” in his ‘Blenheim Promenade’ when a reporter asked him on his evening walk on June 27th, 1887. Premier Davitt and his NDP immediately withdrew their support for the Government, and refuse to bring the legislation to the State Legislature. This caused a loss of majority for the Government, and the legislative process ground to a halt as no other organised opposition has been formed. Chamberlain concluded after ten days of the Parliamentary session without any progress that sterner action. Churchill had urged him to make a stronger show to force the Popular Will, which in the mainland was in a majority for the proposed changes, especially in the areas most affected by the Turquoise Revolution. Chamberlain had always been sceptical of the Orange Movement but became more concerned that the breakdown in order and the defiance of Davitt would be a matter that would bring the Union into strife. Centrism, a key tenet of Unionism, demanded that the majority will of the Union not divert its attention away from that and towards factionalism or faddism. Anti-Orange sentiment in Ireland was deemed by many within the Ministerialist Coalition to be an obstructive and factionalist stance, which Unionism sought to avoid. Therefore, all means necessary should be used to maintain Unity and promote patriotism from as many for as long as possible. Therefore, President-Regent Stanley informed Lieutenant Fortescue that further measures would be required should the impasse not be resolved. The President-Regent also called a meeting of USAC to attempt to resolve the issue, including a boundary commission and recognition for West Derry and West Belfast, but Davitt refused to negotiate the territorial integrity of the Irish State. Drummond-Wolff and Churchill recommended to Chamberlain that suspension using the Emergency provisions of the States Act to pass legislation to create the Orange State.

Chamberlain informed Fortescue that this was an option being discussed by the Grand Council, and instructed him to ask Premier Davitt to reconsider. Without further elections, it was deemed that a majority within the Legislature could not be found, so Fortescue informed Davitt that he would have to negotiate or face further consequences. Fortescue did, however, insist that he would not appoint any new State Councillors that did not have the support of the Legislature. On July 5th, 1887, Chamberlain personally pleaded with Davitt to accept the negotiation and when he refused, asked Fortescue to suspend the Irish Legislature. When Fortescue refused to do this, Drummond-Wolff insisted that the plan to suspend the Irish Legislature needed to be completed so advised Chamberlain and President-Regent Stanley to remove Fortescue from his position, which the President-Regent finally agreed to on July 7th. He then appointed Arthur Balfour, a supporter of the Orange Movement, to the position of Lieutenant of Ireland, and he in turn suspended the Irish Legislature. In response, Davitt and the Irish State Council submitted their resignations to the new Lieutenant and indicated that until Fortescue was restored, or Balfour removed, they would not serve in any Irish State Council. Irish politicians of all stripes were incensed, and support for the Union Government in Ireland collapsed. Balfour searched for a replacement and was spectacularly rebuffed by Charles Stuart Parnell, who insisted that he would not serve in a State Council without the support of the Legislature. Therefore, it fell to the unknown David Robert Plunkett to be the third Premier of Ireland in an Emergency capacity. Plunkett appointed a four-man Emergency Council, and this Council finally agreed to create an Order-in-Council supporting secession on July 9th, 1887 and the Union Parliament was recalled on the 10th of July to discuss the bills that would reformulate the States. Five Bills; the Government of Manchester Bill, the Government of Liverpool Bill, the Government of North-Western Ireland Bill, the Government of the Northern Isles Bill and the Government of West England & Wessex Bill, formulated the changes and were passed through the Commons with uneasy speed on July 12th, of all dates. The Parliament (Amendment) Bill legislated for the change in the Senate composition. Balfour indicated that until the Government in the Orange State was established, the Irish Legislature would remain suspended and the Emergency Council would remain in place.

Arthur Balfour, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland

The refusal of the Lieutenant to restore the Legislature galvanised the opposition to the secession, which centred around the NDP. The universal opposition from all sections of the country continued until serious rioting broke out again in Belfast, in which 106 died in five nights protesting the Irish State Council's continued opposition. Nearly 35,000 Catholics fled to the Western portions of the city that, while still governed by the Union Government through the Emergency Council, was still policed by two Irish State Police stations and whose Provisional Committee Chairman, Thomas Sexton, pledged support and safety for Catholics fleeing the violence and officially asked the Union Government to respect his request, but instead, Thomas Bateson, the Lord Mayor of Greater Belfast City & County Council, was asked for his decision on the matter as he was the County Representative for the Region. These twin scandals brought a wave of anti-Government feeling and resulted in the political question changing from one of separatism to one of direct violence against innocent Catholics in the city and attracted scorn from moderate 'Catholic Liberals' from the middle-class and moderate Unionists. This violence saw the remaining Unionist-leaning General League members and several Unionist leaders, including Charles Stuart Parnell, publicly defect to the NDP and support Davitt. While the Catholic Church maintained the concordat with the Union Government, many senior figures condemned the violence and urged the Government to intervene to stop the violence. A letter from William Walsh, Primate of All-Ireland, to Arthur Balfour stressed the need for the restoration of Civic Government - "our needs, our wants and our desires are fulfilled with the State of Ireland - our bearing on Union politics only to the most pressing concerns to us, but our civic politics the central rallying point of our nation."

Walsh's writings on the subject were leaked to The Nation, and support for the Catholic involvement on the side of the Church irked Chamberlain, who believed that their intervention had broken their concordat with the Union Government, but as Davitt rightly pointed out in a monster meeting in August 1887, now a regular subject of the Union - "What does a Concordat with Chamberlain mean? It means nothing. He is a man who breaks as many Concordats as he makes" referring to his concordat with Chamberlain in exchange for supporting his Government. The Government of North-Western Ireland Bill had one hurdle to pass - the Senate - and the Opposition to Orange Statehood rallied around the efforts of Senator William Shaw, who first managed to get victories slowing the Bill, then take it to the Committee stage to examine the bill but on October 1st, 1887, it managed to pass with the support of Conservative and Independent Liberal Senators, as well as several crossbenchers, a significant number of which were Irish landholders. It passed by 5 votes and was signed into Regal Assent that day to hold elections for the Provisional Assembly in the Orange State to draw up a Charter of Government with the upcoming Union Parliament Elections. The other Bills were each supported by a wide majority of the Senate, but the vote boiled down to the wide range of opposition Liberal, Liberal-Democratic, Progressive and National Democratic, working together in the name of Federalism and State Rights, the unity of the Opposition was noted by The Union, who said: "for the first time have we got an Opposition?". They still lost. They'd get used to losing, but the Liberal Democratic Party just got the first of their unifying points: State Rights. Having overcome the opposition, the Berlin Conference, the Balkan War of Independence, the Dilke Crisis and Sudan to name a few, Chamberlain now, in October 1887, would set about constructing with Churchill a new political ideology to lead the Turquoise Revolution - Unionism, and the instrument with which to achieve it - the Unionist Party.
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Part 4, Chapter XXXV
IV, XXXV: What is Unionism? The Teal Book

Chamberlain spent much of October and November 1886, after the Berlin Conference, planning and scheming in his house in Birmingham, Highbury Hall. He had met with senior Independent Conservatives and Democrats over their plans for the next General Election. Many had assumed that they would return to their respective parties and break apart the Coalition, but Chamberlain and Churchill had other plans. Over the course of the 1884-87 Parliament, Chamberlain became convinced that a national organisation that harnessed popular revolutionary energy and divert it towards cooperation with the Government would be the only way to secure power long term. Chamberlain identified that a National Party, competing at State and Union level with discipline not offered by the Ministerial Coalition, would be the most effective force to continue the power of the Government and secure its long-term future and believed that such a party now represented a Centre ground in British politics. "The present situation, with dual leadership, no State party structures and no fundraising mechanism, will not be sustainable past the ongoing enthusiasm for our Government in the country," said Chamberlain in mid-October to the Governmental Parliament Committee. Chamberlain had been discontented with this organisation and wished to have a full functioning, new political machinery in place for the 1887 Election, but disagreements between the varying factions meant any such arrangement would need to be temporary for the 1887 Election, and finalised after the vote.

Chamberlain based his proposed party organisation on the 1878 plan for the Democratic Executive Committee but extrapolated it to the new Union reality, nine years later. He theorised a party that brought together four sections; the Governmental Parliamentary Committee, State Movements and Legislative Organisations in support of the Government, the National Agricultural Labour Union and the General Federation of Trade Unions. He theorised a fifth column, the Party Congress, that would bring together all delegates together in a decision-making Congress, meeting yearly. All members would be members of the National Party, however, instead of State Parties affiliated with a Federal National Party, as had been the case with the Democratic Federation. To bring the elements together, work had begun earlier than 1886, in December 1885 for a cooperation council for State leaders, that would, in turn, provide more support, and therefore more Senators in support of the government. Chamberlain had in 1885 envisioned the National Democratic movement having a role in this party, but by 1887 this was unsurprisingly dropped. Chamberlain began fundraising for a re-election campaign in the Autumn of 1886, with some spent on the re-election of Jesse Collings' Democratic Union of Mercia in their 1886 Election, and Churchill began courting Conservative opinion in early 1887. Both coordinated this campaign, and began both internally and publicly spoke of the plans for a second term, and part of this would be the “process of supporting State Governments and actively championing the Unionist cause at the state level”, as Drummond-Wolff, another re-election conspirator, put it.

In anticipation of the expected reunion of the Democrats and Conservatives, many associations had even nominated one another’s candidates in the selection process for the 1887 election, but rigid party lines had begun to emerge in Ireland and Scotland, Yorkshire, Mercia, England, the Orange State and Wessex, with strong Governments that had developed a rapport with their Coalition counterparts. Premier of Scotland, Victor Bruce led a delegation of State Leaders to Highbury Hall in early August 1887, and Chamberlain offered support and access to funds accrued from his early financial canvassing in 1886 if they would establish branches of a new National political organisation designed to be a party of government. Jesse Collings, Premier of Mercia, advocated that his counterparts in Yorkshire, the Orange State, Wessex and the Shadow Administrator of England, Henry Fitzalan-Howard form sections of this National organisation and preparations, including the purchasing of campaign offices, distribution centres for The Union and even the hiring of basic staff, began in August. While no new parties were formed during this period, State politicians now began openly referring to themselves as Unionists. In two States: Scotland and the Orange State, the problem was more complicated. Scotland did not have the ideological unity, nor the political base, to found a party and Bruce’s hold over his MLAs was tenuous.

The Orange State’s primary institution, the ALO, was fiercely independent and unready to merge into a larger organisation. Similarly, the Irish Unionist Alliance did not believe its interests were best served by joining a national party, especially one led by Chamberlain. Despite this, a solid number of States were willing to join the pact. Chamberlain agreed with the remaining Unionist leaders in Ireland later, in November 1887 that they would support his government, but the IUA was allowed to remain independent of any National Party, but still within the Parliamentary group, which was followed by similar deals with the Scottish Parliamentary Caucus, which represented pro-Bruce Scottish MPs and the ALO. An All-Union Congress of Patriotic Democrats, a conference of all the State Delegates in the Union in broad support of the Government, was convened in September 1887 as a precursor to further integration. Chamberlain and Churchill attended the Congress, as well as Drummond-Wolff and Gorst, Jesse Collings, Victor Bruce and Arthur Pease, an up-and-comer in the Northumbrian Legislature that was making a name for himself in the State. They discussed and planned and plotted what they should do next.

A sizeable meeting of the National Congress of the GFTU would be next on the hurdles to cross for the national association he wanted. They were, understandably, more to the left of the Government's support, but they appreciated the Trade Union Act and continued to support Chamberlain’s endeavours for it - the GTFU split with the Democratic Federation officially in 1886 but had been making overtures to Chamberlain much of the time. At the grassroots, especially in the non-Celtic states, patriotic feeling swelled amongst skilled workers and therefore in broad support of the Government. This meant the GFTU was essentially a Government organisation and Chamberlain wanted to institutionalise it, by bringing all Unions under the control of the GFTU, and all workers of all types affiliated with it. Chamberlain wanted to reappoint George Shipton as head of this Organisation and wanted the Secretary-General to sit on the Executive Committee of the New Party, but he also wanted the head of the National Agricultural Labour Union, Joseph Arch, to join the Federation, which he verbally agreed to in September 1887, a few months before the election. A few weeks later, it was narrowly passed by Congress, and the minority split from NALU. They formed INALU, the Independent National Agricultural Labour Union, the first of the Independents, groups of Trade Unions that split with their majorities and took a swath of members too. They’ll never cause any trouble, right?

Shipton, the current Secretary of the Executive Committee of the London GFTU, affiliated with the Progressives under Thomas Farrer, was pressured into submitting a motion to the National Congress to unify with NALU and become a single Federation of All Workers in the Union. Individual Unions voted on the measure and opposition came from Unions in the Celtic Nations and the Northern Cities who en-masse joined the Independent movement. In the South, adoption was significantly higher, and most Unions supported conciliation. In the South, “One Big Union” had essentially won out, in the north, Independent Unions were the order of the day. While most of the Unions, Independent or not, were largely absent of ill-feeling with one another, the divide was palpable. This split would fester throughout the first Unionist Party Government and towards the strike wave that dominated the mid-point of the Unionist Government's first full term in 1889, which split the Trade Unions firmly into two camps. Churchill attempted to win favour in the closing session of the National Congress, flanked by Chamberlain, with his "New Programme" which was a plan to "kill the opposition from the workers with Kindness". Chamberlain had proposed an exchange - Chamberlain would lead the Radicals to support Statehood for England and the Orange State, which he did if Churchill would support moderate Social Reforms, conducted through his key policy proposal, a centralised Federation of Trades that would administer Poor Relief, basic Unemployment and Health Insurance through a yearly block Government grant. Churchill also provided limited State Old Aged Pensions. The catch was that to receive such benefits, a worker would have to either be affiliated with or a member of the GFTU. The "New Programme" founded a central corner of real, existing Unionism in Government after 1887.

The "New Programme" along with a series of essays on the British sphere of influence, the history of the unity of Britons and their leaders, the Metropole of England, were placed together in the “Teal Book”, written by Gorst, Chamberlain and Churchill in the summer of 1887, so-called because of its cheap Teal paper cover designed for mass production. The Books official title was ‘What is Unionism’ and covered a Foreign Policy of expanding the British Sphere of Influence with an Economic Policy wholly reliant on the creation of new British market spheres abroad. New colonies needed to be founded to spread the ideology of Parliamentarianism and Union, and new markets made friendly be occupation and suzerainty for British goods by the growing Army from across the World. It heralded science and technology and wanted to expand minimum Education provisions for States to follow, and construct a basic social welfare system through Worker’s Associations and Societies, the programme also called for greater investment in Interstate infrastructure, bringing the Union physically closer together through railroads and telegraph lines, to improve communication. Chamberlain’s ideology on Civic Governance would also see Municipalities and Cities take on Utilities, like Gas, Water and Coke facilities run by the City and County Administrations. At the centre, was a recommitment to the Unity Programme: Unity, in all endeavours and not working to undermine the Union, Patriotism towards the Union and the Empire, and Centrism and remaining at the centre of all spheres of life. Large-scale, national reforms that would be conducted at scale in Britain. This design for a party went deep into the construction of a new way of thinking about the way Government could be applied to help the stability of the State.

Copies began to spread like wildfire throughout a cadre of young, patriotic Englishmen, the sons of the Second Industrial Revolution and brought up on heroic stories of Union and Empire. Chamberlain combined his experience of the various Programmes and campaigns run across his political career to create the centre stage for the inevitable creation of a single party, which was already the prevailing motion. His political survival, he bet, was on the ability of the pro-Union coalition to entrench power, through the Union of the Patriotic Working Class, Agricultural Workers and the Educated and Industrious Bureaucratic Class, led by Conservative, Moderate Britain. Chamberlain had in effect, made himself and his cartel of former Tories and Democrats, the centre of the British political world. He did this by exchanging ‘unifying the country through bringing past and present together in Union for the betterment of the Union and Empire’, essentially entrenching a mesh of the aristocratic benevolent landed gentry with a class of surging energy from a burgeoning demographic of men 20-40, who grew up in the struggle, turbulence and violence and saw the Unionist Government as a stable presence and sought opportunity in it.

So many young respectable set joined their local Associations, that West Riding of Yorkshire Society for the Rally of the Union, soon to be the West Yorkshire Unionist Party Division, had to place an advert in The Union to stop any “applications for chairman from those who have masters in Classics”. Mass enthusiastic action to re-elect the Government with the promise of pensions and fair gas and water brought many on board with the Unionist’s support. Chamberlain was once again telling the people what they wanted to hear because he had diverted his internal pressures into massive, revolutionary reform to the Economy of Britain. Posters with slogans of the Teal Book began to appear on building all over the country, Teal ribbons were tied to lampposts and poor workers in Manchester, a Liberal Democratic heartland, held vigils for the Unionists to pass their reforms. In fact, except for the Goats, Chamberlain’s programme drew pretty much universal praise, but after failed attempts at passing a comprehensive land reform, few agricultural workers would buy that Chamberlain would deliver all he said. “He has been in office for six years,” one Liberal Democratic in Manchester said “when’s he going to do something he talks about?” These failings in the previous Parliament were, thanks to success in Sudan and Madagascar, success in the Berlin Conference and in dealing with the French, able to be masked by Foreign Policy exploits and an air of intellectual analysis from both Chamberlain and Churchill, but also Gorst, Drummond-Wolff and Senator Ruskin, who contributed a whole lot to the book. Opposition was localised and did not have a coherent answer to the

Gorst, in November, decided right about now would be a great time to declare the Second "Rally for the Union", a series of monster meetings across October 1887 forming a significant part of the 1887 Election campaign. 1887 was a large campaign with many State races, thirteen in total, with only the suspended Irish Legislature and the Mercian Legislature not up for election. One of the authors of What is Unionism attended monster meetings in each of the Thirteen States, with leaders making most of the trips to their home State. Churchill made 30 such speeches, one a day, in England during the 1887 State Election there, and Gorst spent so much time there that halfway through the campaign, he was convinced by State leaders in England that he should run for the English Legislature and be the leader of the Unionist Movement in the Government of England. Victor Bruce, officially still a member of the now moribund Scottish Liberal Party, sang the praises of the New Programme and advocated that voters for the Scottish Liberal Party vote with the Unionist Government. This wasn't unusual - while many in the Liberal and Democratic movement standing expressed interest and support for Chamberlain's reforms, he was the only leader who directly jumped from officially Opposition supporting to Government supporting and converted his party into a vehicle to do the same. Over the course of the campaign, all the elements supporting Bruce, just because labels and semantics want you to suffer, joined the Scottish Liberal Party, which supported the Unionist Government in opposition to the National Democratic Party and their Liberal Democratic allies. Crowds of up to 150,000 gathered in the main Rallies in Canterbury, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds, Bristol, Newcastle, Lancaster and Belfast. Crowds held Teal flags, graffitied the walls with Unionist slogans and everywhere they went, rejected the old flags of the Union Jack and the Republic and plastered the new Union Flag across the walls. "Unionism or Death" became a common sight across many states. Not in Ireland, of course, where campaigning was strictly controlled by the Emergency Council but there was an inevitability entirely localised in the State - the inevitability of a National Democratic opposition to form amongst the newly elected MPs.

Election day arrived and feeling across the spectrum led to the inevitable victory of candidates aligned to Chamberlain, a final Rally for the Union was scheduled conspicuously for ten days after the General Election when State Legislatures were due to elect their Senators for the Parliamentary Session. When the counting was completed and the results were in, an extraordinary. Unionist candidates had won a 30-seat majority in the Lower House, with the Unionist-backed candidates in the mainland winning 173 seats, the ALO winning 4, the Scottish Liberal Party winning 18 and the Irish Unionist Alliance attracting a reasonable 19 seats. Opposition was scattered amongst Liberal-Democrats, Progressives, National Democrats, a small number of Labour candidates, and the Goats, who won 11 seats, with the largest factions being Independent factions of Opposition Liberals. When State Legislatures met, Unionist organisations had won majorities in England, Scotland, Wessex, Yorkshire, Northumbria, Lancashire, Liverpool and the Orange State. They returned 87 new Senators, giving the Government a majority in both houses. In the State Hall of Mercia, in Birmingham, 200,000 people attended the final Rally for the Union and the centrepiece of the event was a Congress of County, State and Union representatives, the 665 newly elected members of State Legislatures, Senators and MPs, and the Executive Committee of the GTFU all met in the Convention Hall to elect an Executive Committee for a new organisation, designed to promote the philosophy of Unionism within the Country. In this mass of Teal and Turquoise, Chamberlain declared: "I call to order the First Congress of the Unionist Party of Great Britain and Ireland, founded from the Parliamentary, State and County Organisations gathered here today. Unionism rejects class, rejects difference and rejects anything but Patriotism, Centrism and Unity. This organisation shall always espouse these ideals, and any Union or State Government led by members of this organisation shall do the same." It is therefore best to look at the 1887 Election results after the formation of the Unionist Party, and the numbers they posted collectively gave them considerable strength in the new Parliament and the State Legislatures and County Administrations.

On that day, Eleven new State branches of the Unionist Party were also formed, controlling five of the six largest States in the Union, the House of Commons and the Senate. Chamberlain had finally made the party of the revolution, but ironically, he needed Tory help to bring it all together.

1887 Election Results

House of Commons Results

Unionist Party 173
Irish Unionist Alliance 19
Scottish Liberal Party 18
Association of Loyal Orangemen 5
Unionist Party Caucus 215

Independent Opposition 59
Independent Labour 8
Independents 12
Progressives 25
Liberal-Democratic 19
National Democratic Party (Ireland) 26
National Democratic Party (Scotland) 19
Conservative Party 11
General League 7

Senate Results

Unionist Party 88
Scottish Liberal Party 18
Association of Loyal Orangemen 4
Unionist Party Caucus 120

Independents/Crossbench 27
Liberal-Democratic 20
Progressive 18
National Democratic Party (Ireland) 7
Independent Opposition 11
Conservative Party 7

State Election Results

England - Unionist Party Government (led by John Gorst, Premier of England)
Metropolis - Progressive Government (led by Thomas Farrer, Chancellor of the Metropolis)
Scotland - Ministerial Government, Scottish Liberal Party & allies (led by Victor Bruce, Premier of Scotland)
Yorkshire - Unionist Party Government (led by Walter Morrison, Premier of Greater Yorkshire)
Wessex - Unionist Party Government (led by Charles James Monk, Premier of Greater Wessex)
Northumbria - Unionist Party Government (led by Arthur Pease, Premier of Northumbria)
Liverpool - Unionist Party Government (led by John Bigham, Chancellor of the Cities & Liberties of Liverpool)
Orange State - Association of Loyal Orangemen Government (led by Thomas Bateson, Premier of the Orange State)
Manchester - Liberal-Democratic Party Government (led by Jacob Bright, Chancellor of the Free City of Manchester)
Wales - Independent Liberal Government (led by Thomas Gee, Premier of Wales)
Cornwall - Independent Liberal Government (led by Leonard Courtney, Chancellor of Cornwall)
Northern Isles - Independent Government (led by Leonard Lyell, Premier of the Northern Isles)

Not up:
Ireland - Emergency Council (Non Party)
Mercia - Unionist Party Government (led by Jesse Collings, Premier of Mercia)

6th Union Council - 1887-1889
6th Union Council

Prime Minister, President of the Union Council, Leader of the House of Commons - Joseph Chamberlain, Unionist
Vice President of the Union Council, Leader of the Senate - Senator John Ruskin, Unionist
Chancellor of the Exchequer - Randolph Churchill, Unionist
Secretary of State for the Foreign Office - Senator Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, Unionist
Secretary of State for the Home Office - Henry Drummond-Wolff, Unionist
Secretary of State for War - Senator Edward Stanhope, Unionist
Secretary of State for Education - William Harris, Unionist
Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs - Sir Robert Herbert, Unionist
Secretary of State for State Affairs - John Henry Chamberlain, Unionist
Secretary of State for Trade - John Morley, Unionist
Secretary of State for Agriculture - Joseph Arch, Unionist
Keeper of the Great Seal of the Union - George Goschen, Unionist
Part 5, Chapter I
V, I: A New Course

Senator Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, British Foreign Secretary, and Joseph Chamberlain travelled to Berlin in January 1888; Chancellor of the German Empire and Minister-President of Prussia, Rudolf von Bennigsen, took him aside early on to brief him on a secret that would affect the world significantly should it be made public. Kaiser Friedrich III was seriously ill. A heavy smoker, he had begun to succumb to cancer of the larynx and had lost the ability to speak. Any examination of the lead-up to the Turbulence must examine the crossing between two pivotal moments - the ascension of Wilhelm II and the ascension of the Unionists, so to speak - to put it all into perspective. Had he smoked a little less, Friedrich may have ruled until his 80s. But he didn't.


Friedrich III, Kaiser of the German Empire 1878-1888

Two events, three weeks apart, would set the tone for the oncoming crisis of the early years of Unionism - Kaiser Friedrich III died on June 5th, 1888, leaving a question mark over Foreign Policy in the country. A few weeks later, the Matchgirls would walk out, beginning the domestic strife that would be the critical point of the early part of Unionist reign - the strike. Friedrich III had been the impedes to the rapprochement between the Union & the German Empire, born four years apart, that had held a swaying influence on the European continent. He had encouraged, with von Bennigsen, the policy of isolating France, which had seen the expansion of the Balkan Kingdom in the Peninsular. The ascension of Wilhelm II, the Crown Prince, would dictate a ‘new course,’ the left turn that would end in the fire and grapeshot of the Turbulence, and eventually, after he vowed to continue the fight even as the rest of Europe grew exhausted and fell, would hasten the end of the German Empire. The walkout of the Matchgirls changed the optics of the working class on a new generation of opposition, growing up as Socialists rather than Democrats or Liberals, and their victory would galvanise the Trade Union movement amid the growing centralisation of labour relations by the Government. This would decisively rear its head with the General Strike of 1889, which would forever change the relationship between the Unionist Party and the working class. It would, itself, represent a 'new course.'

Hopes in the Unionist doctrine of Unity would not be found, but political centrism would be sought. While the base would be narrow, confined to nationalistic working-class districts, primarily in England and the conservative middle class, it would grow to represent a conservative, order-focused movement of patriotic nationalism and imperialism. Unionism would become the creed of choice for professionals, technocrats, the military, the navy, the police, and state apparatus - promising more of the same. While intelligentsia and the working class would begin to decidedly turn to Liberal Democracy and Socialism, especially after 1889, a minority of the former would become the legal advocate for the latter during The First Emergency and would fight to pull back the centralising nature of Unionism together until the First Emergency's end in 1891 and resist the Anti-Socialist Laws in 1889. During this time, the Union had successfully grown its territory through the work of the British South Africa Company, chartered in 1888, and under the political pressure of Cecil Rhodes, embarked on the quest for the 'Cape to Cairo Railway' - a whole sphere of British influence stretching from the Mediterranean to the Southern tip of Africa. It would also begin the process of creating the fourth of its collection of Unions, starting the Union of Australasia of all British territories and colonies - first established in 1892 (comprising all of the Australian portions of the Empire by 1901 when Western Australia finally joined).

The cast iron block of State Governments, State Officials, Senators, and Parliamentarians who feared the social results of the unrest after the 1889 General Strike worked together to keep Unionists in office through whatever means necessary. This block, after the Cleveland Street Affair, encapsulated Royalists as well, and after the Liberal Democrats and remaining SDF members not already in prison worked hard to deny the Unionists a majority in the 1892 Election, they would face consternation at the Coalition and tacit support between the Unionist Party and the Goats, which would see the beginning of the 'Conservative Unionist' period of rule from 1892-1903, punctured only by the first Liberal Democratic Party Union Government, formed in the aftermath of Randolph Churchill's death which would last two-and-a-half tumultuous years before the Unionist return to power in 1898.


Senator Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, Foreign Secretary of the Union

Now, in January 1888, as Senator Petty-Fitzmaurice visited Berlin, optimism in the Union seemed to be the order of the day. The Speech from the Regent delivered on January 12th, 1888, the week after the Prime Minister's return from the meeting with Rudolf von Bennigsen, saw the introduction of the ‘First Programme,’ the Unionist Government’s agenda for the beginning of the new Unionist era. In the First Programme, the Unionist Government brought a raft of legislation to the Commons designed to improve the condition of the workers in Britain. Chamberlain and Churchill knew that a cohort of the working class would be required to achieve electoral success and wanted to ensure the loyalty of workers and the expansion of the new Unionist Party's policies to the whole of the Union. Chamberlain's State Affairs Secretary, John Henry Chamberlain (surprisingly unrelated), brought forward a series of 'minimum standards' bills to the Commons in January 1888 and had been working on them for some time in the latter stages of the last Parliament with Prime Minister Chamberlain and Churchill. Four bills were proposed - two aimed at establishing a minimum standard for Public Health and Accident Protection and one creating a Pension service administered directly by the Government, with a final section that we'll get to in good time.

The work had been done long ago. However, Chamberlain had set the wheels in motion within the Party very quickly, abled helped by the Teal-blooded army of enthusiastic legislators and the support of large sections of the middle class, the technocratically minded aristocracy, patriotic workers and bureaucrats, who relished a managerial role in building the new state. Chamberlain set about gathering a policy forum at the Unionist Party Central Office in Abbey House, London. What would become known as "Progressive Unionism" was founded in the early days of Unionism and the heavy radicalism that undercut it. Churchill recommended Thomas Brassey to Chamberlain, and he was tasked with reporting and proposing a workable policy for workplace injury insurance, accident insurance, and old-age pensions. Brassey convened what became known as the Unionist Social Reform Committee, which directly consulted artisans, workers, agricultural workers and employers through individual Unionist County Parties surveys and consultations throughout mid-to-late 1887. Brassey's Committee proposed radical changes to the structure of social welfare; the creation of accident insurance paid for by "sickness funds" contributed by both workers and employers covering six pay and medical treatment for 12 weeks, before a second scheme would take over for accident insurance; the creation of a Union-wide Department of Health to address emergencies and apply inspectorate work to Public Health in States and a system of pensions for over 70s paid for by a tax on workers wages.

The Brassey Report, as it became known, caused the Conservative elements of the Unionist Party to erupt in Parliament along with Whig elements in the Liberal movement. These groups opposed interference from the Government in these matters and represented landed gentry and "new money" respectively, were both opposed to the idea that these things should be managed by the Union Government. Despite this, the reaction from other elements in the British political system was warm to the reforms: Liberal-Democrats and National Democrats welcomed intervention in these matters on behalf of their working-class members, and Independent Labour members were happy with an approach to social reform but stated that they would oppose any attempt to co-opt Trade Unions into a Government department and were particularly concerned at the intentions of Gorst, Churchill and the old Fourth Party. Those on the left were generally satisfied on the whole and after the release of the report and a majority voted in favour of a Parliamentary Select Committee to investigate this and prepare legislation, which was brought to the House of Commons in March 1888. Three bills were introduced; the Health Insurance Bill, Accident Insurance Bill and Pensions Bill - that outlined the creation of the basic social welfare system in the Brassey Report. Churchill also kept the reforming pace high by introducing a budget which increased spending on infrastructure in conjunction with States and financed the construction of several new railway lines. He proposed a small rate change in some schedules of taxation to pay for the railways and introduced a bond to finance new canals and the purchase of gas and water provision for the County Administration, which guaranteed clean water and reliable gas supply to the vast majority of the Union. States were allocated initial funds for the preparation of sickness boards, and funding municipalities to build new hospitals. They were also given a larger grant to enable the creation of new educational institutions in states without them. The latter “gas-and-water unionism” of building social infrastructure alongside business infrastructure was pushed heavily by Chamberlain, who believed that social reform had to be a key tenet of Unionism in the creation of a ‘National Centre’.


Thomas Brassey, Chairman of the Unionist Committee on Welfare

Chamberlain managed to secure the bill safe passage through the Commons, with 206-45, and Churchill’s budget was also passed through the Commons but in the Senate, several amendments were made: the provision for one-third of the funding to come centrally was removed by a coalition of these Conservative Unionists and Whig Democrats, the former to protest the expansion of the state, the latter in opposition to restrictions to States Rights to legislation for Poor Laws. The Acts received Assent, but opponents of the Bills received a hostile public reception from supporters of the Government - and progressive opposition - unified to apply several public pressure to members in both the Senate and Commons. Senator Robert Cecil, the traditional Independent Conservative, spoke publicly against the bill and found his home of Hatfield House burned to the ground in Wiltshire after a crowd of 1,000 protested his opposition to the Bills. In Birmingham, a Conservative speaker who opposed the act was beaten by 30 workers brandishing both clubs and teal armbands. A subsequent meeting, attracting workers and intellectuals alike, attracted nearly 100,000 attendees in support of the Government. Chamberlain and Churchill began to understand the depth of their popularity at this moment and operated the public on a string for the following days. Chamberlain attacked “faddism” which led to the opposition to the Bill: blaming conflicting interests, graft and corruption he expressed concern that party conflicts from the “Goats and the Whigs, the two bygone relics of an antiquated era” would drive the country back into a division - therefore support for the Bills, which were designed to drive the Union apart and deny any workers rights. Senators, most of them the old Goat faction of the Conservatives, still held about 10 of the 200 Senate seats, and while not a major element, held several elder Statesmen, including Senator Cecil, influenced many of the old guard, who in turn had an influence on many more Senators, creating a solid block concerned about the cost of the insurance programme and particularly old age pensions.

“In my opinion, the Teal enthusiasm for the Union is not all that chaotic. Students and workers held a meeting of 100,000 in Birmingham and captured those who are purveying methods of instilling division. Appeals have been issued for subjects to control themselves and leave matters of internal security to the States and the Union Government, but when passions are enflamed, the Popular Will of the Union will take both a violent and a conciliatory tone. We must not, at this stage, reorganise the Youth Unionist League; let us wait. Decisions taken in the heat of the moment will only do harm. Hurry is the order of the day - the Bills were hurried through Parliament, such is the nature of the crisis and hurt felt by the working patriot and the reaction of those patriots was concluded with hurry. The issuance of my feelings in "The Problem of Faddism" was itself a hurried exercise. My feelings are such - let the patriots go into the street to support the fine work of the Unionist Government. What is wrong with going into the street to show your patriotism? Let faddists and factionalists quiver.”


Monster Meeting in London, with processions from the President-Regent, May 1888

Such none-too-subtle warnings to opponents of the people’s will concerned the opposition greatly, and equally concerned the more moderate elements within the Unionist Party. Chamberlain’s bravado had seen him summoned to a meeting of the 1884 Committee, where Unionist Members and Senators addressed their concern for the safety of their fellow members. Chamberlain, allegedly pressured and visibly nervous in the meeting, retorted with a clarification of the aims of Unionism - “it is the passion, the patriotism and the energy of all peoples for this Union that powers and drives our agenda to develop dignity and respect for all who dwell within it. I love the Union and the English, feel safe in this Union and with the English and as long as we continue to reciprocate this love, we will continue to face safety. People overflow with energy, and while we must guide it and move it in the correct fashion and outlet, we must accept its presence and accept its guidance. We are not the rulers, we are the representatives of the rulers and the nation. The people have declared themselves in league with the aims of this committee: for Patriotism, Unity and Centrism - should we not live these ideals in our legislative programme?”

Angst became the order of the day for those in the Conservative, former aristocratic elements of the Unionist Party and concern spread into the Liberal-Democrats as the anxiety over Chamberlain's popularity grew. Herbert Gladstone, chairman of the Lancashire Liberal Democratic Party and Premier of England, wrote to Churchill to convey his fears. Gladstone referred to Chamberlain as “the English Robespierre” and said “those in the New Tradition of Tory Democracy are taking on a Jacobin outlook in their support for the Union" and "does Chamberlain represent the new incorruptible? If so, will you represent Danton?"

Despite this, the Union went through a fundamental transformation in the first two years of the Unionist Government: building boomed, the economy grew towards an impressive peak and wages and prices fell. Workers were contented with their reforms and believed that the Unionist Government were alongside them, marching together in a crusade of reform and action. In 1885, for example, the Consett Steel Company in County Durham posted £60,000 for profit, by 1889 that had grown to £615,000 as the construction boom surged demand for Steel. Similarly, associated manufacturing industries boomed, giving the Unionist Party a more powerful base of support - from a cadre of large business owners who supported the stimulus. They donated heavily back to the Unionist Party, giving it swelled coffers to establish its party regime. William Jenkins, the General Manager of Consett Steel Company, would become the Premier of Northumbria in 1892, and a number of 'monied men' became associated with the Union Government.

The Government had broad support, also. Many of the Liberals, Democrats and National Democrats believed that the lethargic inaction and gridlock of previous Governments lay at an end. Violence quelled in the aftermath of the Chamberlainite Welfare Reforms and their passing, and the structures of the Union appeared stable. This connection between the patriotic working class and Chamberlain ensured a mass following for Unionism as the answer to all ills, and both State and Union Governments worked in tandem to deliver the reforms passed by the Union Parliament. Even Senator Cecil conceded four months after the passing of the reforms that “Britain is at ease, in no small part thanks to the world of The Regent’s Ministers and Union Councillors.” The working classes, especially in urban areas, believed that the Welfare Reforms represented both a political liberation and an expansion of their political influence on the state. This manifested itself in two ways: Worker organisation rapidly increased, and the patriotic working class looked to Progressive Unionist candidates, tied to this organisation, to be the conduit for ideas and reforms that could continue the work of the First Programme. Workers finally believed that their political rights and voice had been secured. Combined with the energetic enthusiasm the Teal Movement showed, they thought that the Union stood for meritocracy, reform, and an increased and dignified role for workers. Workers began to join the Unionist Party en masse, defect from Independent Trade Unions or demand their Trade Unions support the Unionist Government.

While violence ended, two months of “monster meetings,” some addressed directly by Chamberlain and Churchill, brought popular support for the Government into the public eye and, with it, brought vast Progressive support. In London on May 29th, 1888, a Rally for the Union in Trafalgar Square, the site of the beginning of the resistance to the Orange Coup, brought Chancellor Thomas Farrer, Prime Minister Chamberlain, Senator Ruskin, and Randolph Churchill together on the same stage, where Ruskin stated that “here, a short of a decade ago, this nation bound itself to the institutions of Unionism. This Government, This Union & This Nation knows no abound - we shall continue to bind ourselves, reject the poison of faddism and embrace the Union, the Empire, Patriotism, and Centrism.” The adoring crowds looked forward to a prosperous future and a stable life. With them was John Gorst, who, as Premier of England, had spent much of the year enacting Unionist reforms at the State level, improving dwellings within the State, taking an active part in improving education and the condition of children in the state, and using the Commissioner of the English State Police, James Monro to pursue child Labour infractions with relentless intensity. Monro, a frosty Scot with an axe to grind after his dismissal from the Metropolitan Police, worked quickly to end a series of urban sweatshops to much press acclaim. Gorst introduced minimum housing standards and empowered the Poor Law Board to intervene and clear slums and relocate workers to new housing in all Cities and Counties in England. Similar schemes were proposed in Mercia, the Metropolis, and some of the Northern States, held by Unionist and non-Unionist governments. There would also be new faces appearing in Mercia in August as Jesse Collings ascended to the Senate to fill a vacancy for the state. This began the "family business," as Richard Chamberlain replaced Collings with Austen Chamberlain as his Treasurer - and Austen became Chairman of the Mercian Division of the Unionist Party earlier that year and, after the 1887 Election, had growing control over the party in Joe's home state, while Richard exerted State Power in the Mercian Legislature.


Adjutant-General, Garnet Wolseley

The Second Element of the First Programme was not as well promoted or celebrated but was significant in the Union's history and the world. The Naval Defence Act 1888, was passed by Parliament the week after the Trafalgar monster meeting and days before Kaiser Friedrich III's death. This facilitated the Union Government's relationship with the navy by promising to spend £18,500,000 on new equipment and warships and compelled the Union Government to maintain a "two-power standard" on the size of its fleet - bigger than the next two navies combined. This showed another side to Unionism hitherto neglected by this particular study in the leadup to this Government - fear of Great Powers eclipsing Britain. Unionism positioned itself as a masculine political movement: one of the men of all classes uniting for action. It was combined with greater investment in the Union Army to protect the colonies, something requested by Commander Garnet Wolseley, who had now taken on the civilian(ish) role of Adjutant-General. This brought him into the strategic planning of the forces, and he used this time to thoroughly modernise the Army and fully implement the last of the reforms first proposed by Edward Cardwell. Shorter service and a second 'phase' of reserve service would allow more and more reservists to enter the conflict and get an experience of armed combat and service. The Army and Navy Programmes saw the Army hold onto more modern equipment and ended the last of aristocratic privileges in the military, and the Navy reforms would see the Union Navy receive ten battleships, thirty-six cruisers and twenty torpedo gunboats added to the Union Navy. Eight first-class battleships from the Sovereign class and two second-class battleships were ordered. This secured the loyalty of the military establishment, who had grown neutral to Parliamentary politics in the wake of the Lustration Affair that saw many of the colleagues arrested and detained during the Investigation. Democrats and the military had always held an arms-length relationship. Still, Chamberlain and Churchill, with Senator Edward Stanhope, the War Secretary, wished to build unity with the Armed Forces.

The First Programme would inform State & Union Government policy for the next two years and set the tone for the Unionist Period. Large infrastructure projects began to emerge, soaking up workers, and bringing masses and masses of works, bridges, canals, and public buildings constructed during this time. Shipyards received work on Government contracts to meet the two-power standard; workers built railways, bridges, and carriages in ironworks. It would permanently pot-mark the Union to this day. More importantly, it would dictate the public's thoughts and feelings toward Unionism. Unionism, a vague concept up to now, would resemble patriotic action by State and Union Governments to encourage the betterment of society. This betterment, this relentless drive for meritocracy, would have an unintended consequence, as discussed: bolstering the mood of the workers and bringing working-class people's thoughts to the forefront of political opinion. Suddenly, workers felt validated and hungry for more significant reforms. The First Programme was luckily timed to coincide with an outlook that felt decidedly more positive than any point since the Outrages. The economy began to boom, fuelled by Government spending akin to wartime, and wages were held artificially high.

By 1889, the economy would start to slow, but even before then, workers began to notice and become conscious of things they felt were out of their control, like welfare, suddenly being within their reach. When wages soon fell, workers looked to the Unionist party for societal reforms to help the patriotic working class. Chamberlain and Churchill, however, were through with societal reforms and paid only passing belief in equality and meritocracy, only to keep Unionists in power as a permanent institutional revolutionary organisation. Instead of fostering revolutionary opinion, the First Programme aimed to contain revolutionary feelings amongst the workers and buy their loyalty. They had asked and received, but a problem would arise when they asked for their next reform. Unionist Party members and legislators believed this question would be asked in the future. Still, just a few days after the passage of the Naval Defence Act into law, the Matchgirls would be lighting the fire that would burn throughout the Union in the form of an Emergency.
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Any investment in colonies like India?
Not at this stage. Welfare Reforms are Union focused - the actual governmental structures of India, with Presidencies and Princely States, is as yet unchanged. There is a reluctance from anyone in the Colonial Office at this stage to interfere in Indian Governmental structures insofar as they do not particularly want to be in charge of India, just control it, if you understand.

The Liberal elements of the Parliament will be more interested in a pluricontinental solution to welfare, but again, there is reluctance to involve themselves in domestic affairs in the Colonies.