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

Any changes from canon in india?
The Union of India Act does create a bit of a precedent, as I expect it to further the 'doctrine of lapse' somewhat to unify the colony into one administrative unit, albeit a highly federalised unit. At this stage, the UOI includes more of the Pashtun region within it's remit, so it's physically larger, and Burma has been rolled into the overarching administration. Turn of the century, post-Turbulence India will see the biggest changes.
Will they try to include more Indians within Administration?

What about social reformer like Ram mohan roy and vidyasagar? Will there be some changes there? For example Vidyasagar never received much help regarding woman education and education in general. Most of his money was invested to create schools. The government promised him to help him by providing money regarding those school which they never provided.
Part 5, Chapter II
IV, II: The Socialist Movement

Annie Besant walked along the streets of London in December 1887 to apply for a job that would take her to an unexpected place. Having steadily grown since the 1860s, the Bee-Hive, based in the GFTU offices on Great Russell Street. The Bee-Hive had become the Party Paper of the London Progressive Party, and Besant had arrived to become a beat reporter to the politics of the capital of the Union. Speaking to the interview panel, she quoted Victor Hugo: "I will speak for the dumb. I will speak of the small to the great and the feeble to the strong... I will speak for all the despairing silent ones." She said the matter of the "sweated labour, extortionate landlords, unhealthy workshops, child labour and prostitution” was the key facet of campaigning for the Progressive Party in the post-Orange Coup landscape. On the panel was a man called William Stead, a newspaper editor of the Pall-Mall Gazette, he had joined the Progressive Party in 1885 and after a series of articles written by Stead in the Gazette, detailing child prostitution in London led to a campaign from Chancellor Farrer to raise the age of consent and force the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to investigate and arrest a series of ring leaders. The Stead Acts, as they were known, were soon copied across the Union and Stead received widespread acclaim, along with significant controversy over the morality of the matters he was covering. When the Editor role at the Bee-Hive became vacant, the Progressive Party leadership could see no one else to appoint, and Stead joined the masthead of the paper. Stead was enamoured with Besant and put her to work searching for the next scandal to rear its head in the city, with her tenure at the paper beginning in January 1888, just as the Unionist Government took its infant steps into rule. London had become a diverse and unique political entity in the pre-Unionist period, but there was broad support for both the Republic, to which the Metropolitan flag bore its colours and to the Union.


Annie Besant, Reporter for the Beehive

Progressives were not in opposition to the Government, quite the opposite, and George Shipton, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the London GFTU, was a keen Unionist supporter. London, freer than most European cities politically, became home to political figures of all stripes, and within this melting pot, political meetings and speeches became commonplace. It would be in one such meeting that Besant would realise the investigation that she would need to involve herself with to live up to her pronouncements in her interview. As a woman in the progressive tradition, she surrounded herself with the growing Socialist movement developing the Union and was a member of the Fabian Society, the reformist-socialist society of the Union, popular in London especially. In early June 1888, Clementina Black gave a speech at a Fabian Society meeting, with Besant in the audience. Black described the conditions of employment of female labour, especially the pay and conditions at the Bryan & May match factory. Besant was motivated to find out more. Girls were working continuously for fourteen hours a day for little pay, mostly because of arbitrary fines and deductions.

They earned 4d 3p per week, working from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. But these were little foibles in comparison with the deterioration in the girls' health. Exposure to phosphorus had caused their skin to yellow, to suffer from hair loss and contract bone cancer, primarily in the jaw. Eventually, the rotting of the jaw would turn it green and then black, at which point it was the sign of fatal exposure. Phosphorus was banned in several countries, and the Progressives had passed a law banning its use, but a challenge was placed by the Unionist Legislator Andrew Scoble, after lobbying by Mr Bryant, to the Grand Judicial Committee as a restraint on free trade, which led to the law being vetoed by President-Regent Stanley. Besant prepared her article for The Beehive entitled White Slavery in London; the response from Mr Bryant was to force the workers to sign a statement supporting the company. When a group of girls refused to sign, the organisers were sacked, and in response, 1400 women at the factory walked out. The strike brought the attention of a group that all came from the left of the Progressive movement. William Stead, the editor of the Beehive, Henry Hyde Champion of a rival Progressive paper, the Trade Elector and the final element, the Christian Mission movement leader Catherine Booth, described as the "Mother of the Salvation Army", united to amplify the campaign to a national audience. Fabians in the city rallied to the aid of the Matchgirls, like Sydney Oliver, Hubert Bland and most significantly George Bernard Shaw.


Matchgirls at the Bryant & May Factory, London

National coverage was, however, dominated by the Unionist response to the strike and it would prove typical in the coming weeks. The Times used the strikes to bring to the attention of the political elites that socialism was finally being realised on the streets, through the method of irresponsible socialist agitators: "The pity is that the matchgirls have not been suffered to take their course but have been egged on to strike by irresponsible advisers. No effort has been spared by those pests of the modern industrialized world to bring this quarrel to a head." The newspaper of unionist thought, The Union reiterated the commitment against Independent Trade Unions and called socialism “a spent force in the political sphere, given the unifying doctrine of Unionism to prevent conflict in industrial relations”. In London, however, this mass political culture had put these mouthpieces for capital and a middle-class yearning for stability on the back burner. The Union’s readership was dwarfed by the paper of the resistance, the Beehive. When Stead emblazoned the call for a boycott of Bryant & May matches. Within three weeks, the matchgirls had formed the Matchgirls Union and Besant was elected its President. Soon after, the strike was victorious and a new package was agreed upon, including the end of the hated fines system. Besant’s leadership of the campaign also put a woman at the heart of a campaign for female labour for the first time and cemented the loyalty of the feminist and suffragist movements to the burgeoning socialist movement moving forward. One such was Emmeline Pankhurst, who said "I threw myself into this strike with enthusiasm, working with the girls and with some women of prominence, amongst these the celebrated Mrs Annie Besant... It was a time of tremendous unrest, labour agitations, strikes and lockouts. It was a time also when a most stupid reactionary spirit, under the banner of Teal Unionism seemed to take possession of the Government and the authorities."

The Matchgirls Strike was a seminal moment in British political history for a simple reason: they won. The plight of the Matchgirls achieved national attention, and a popular movement sprung up to defend the girls from the oppressive bosses. Up until now, middle-class and middle-income Britain had been assured, through distance from the workers, that factory owners were working in their workers' best interest, providing them with employment and a means to live. Besant's White Slavery in London blew a massive hole in this theory. Before the Matchgirls Strike, the respectable middle-class saw large-scale proprietors of business that employed mass numbers of workers as benevolent businessmen, working to build the economic future of the Union. Post the Matchgirls Strike, "new money" got a new prism with which it was viewed - as the ugly face of exploitative capitalism. The launching of the Socialist movement as a populist movement begins here: the plight of the matchgirls and the fatal work they undertook was but a mere drop in the ocean - dockers, miners, labourers and millions of unskilled workers had similar stories to share about their plight in the exploitative world of capitalism. 1888 also continued to mark the high point for the economy under the Unionist Government, and from here on, the economic question, at least in the mind of the workers themselves, would be dominated by the division between Liberal Individualist doctrine espoused by the Unionists and Liberal-Democrats and Socialism. This was not the only reason the strike was a seminal moment. For generations, workers had been throwing their lot electorally between Radicals, Radical-Labour, Democratic and Liberal Parties, and each time, their material gains were non-existent. The Unionist Party, purportedly a party of the patriotic working class, had delivered benefits immediately and benefitted from the workers' intervention in the Teal Revolution to secure power, but still represented the business class and landed gentry and when push came to shove, did not back the strikers whom they represented. Suddenly, bringing power into their own hands, rather than delegating it to the upper class, became a viable option. This realisation bolstered the growing socialist movement.

Fabian doctrine had up to now been in the policy of permeation, as in the slow infiltration of either the Unionist Party or Liberal/Democratic forces within the Union by reformist Socialist members. The Matchgirls Strike gave the movement more impedes to charting their course. In July 1888, boosted by the success of the Matchgirls Strike, the Fabian Society joined with a collection of Marxist & Socialist Organisations, the National Secular Society (chaired by President-Regent candidate Charles Bradlaugh) and members of the left-tendency within the Progressive movement to aim for the concurrent controversy in British politics at the time, one that we will discuss further in the next chapter, the suspension of the Irish Legislature. Many of the working class in British cities contained many Irish migrants to the mainland. London was no different, and working-class districts in the East End of the City had an awakening after the Matchgirls Strike, and with their ranks swelling due to the ongoing Long Depression of British Agriculture, workers were now pushed together in slums and tenements, and this awakening spread throughout the workers of the city through word of mouth. The Fabians attempted to harness this support to overturn the decision on the suspension of the Irish Legislature and organised a protest at the State of Emergency in Trafalgar Square, the traditional meeting point between the upper-class west and the working-class east of the city. This protest, coming so quickly on the back of the strike, was considered a flashpoint for violence, and over the wills of George Shipton and Chancellor Farrer, the Home Secretary, Drummond-Wolff declared a minor State of Emergency in the capital and drafted the British Army to support the Metropolitan Police, of which Drummond-Wolff and the Home Office took direct control, to halt the protestors from reaching Trafalgar Square at all costs. Just four weeks after the Rally for the Union, the Unionist Government was preventing a peaceful demonstration on the Union holy site of Trafalgar Square.

The Beehive described 30,000 spectators who began massing in the Square early in the morning, around 5 am, to camp in the Square ahead of the protest. All of the left's main groups were represented and several figures in the Socialist movement, such as George Bernard Shaw, Eleanor Marx and Charlotte Wilson were in attendance. John Burns, Senator William Morris, Annie Besant and Robert Cunninghame-Graham were the primary leaders of the protest, and Besant spoke at the rally and implored the police, numbering 2,000, to arrest her if they believed she was breaking any 'just law of the Union. These 2,000 were backed by 400 troops, also, who consisted of infantry and cavalry. The police declined, fearing a riot if the arrest was completed. Panic spread through the Home Office as a further 10,000 protestors pushed their way into the square from different directions over the course of the day. Fearing a Red putsch attempt, the Unionists ordered the Police and Army to march into the square and dispersed the crowd. James Compton Merryweather, a Unionist donor, offered the use of a 400-gallon-per-minute fire engine to clear the rioters and above the orders of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, the Army accepted the offer on Drummond-Wolff's instruction. A brawl occurred, and police were ordered to march into the square and disperse the crowd with truncheons and by charging with horses, and when this failed, called the fire engine in conjunction with the cavalry and infantry. The fire engine caused a stampede in which 12 people were killed, and a further 75 were badly injured by the cavalry and infantry. 400 ringleaders were arrested, and finally, after several hours, the protest was dispersed. Unionists began a public tour, condemning socialist agitators, anarchists and 'Irish separatists' who desired to drive the Union apart, and the Unionist press emphasised the injuries to the police and army in the demonstration. The event was described by The Beehive as ‘Bloody Sunday’, and the handling of the event was criticised by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and Chancellor Farrer.


Depiction of the Violence on Bloody Sunday, Trafalgar Square, 1888

When the call for further reform and the call for the application of the public will come, the Unionist Government proved themselves to be not up to the task. Unionism had proven itself, within weeks, to flatter to deceive in terms of its populist credentials. Unionism had, however, proven itself to the forces of order and stability to be a useful tool in keeping the material gains of the workers to the absolute minimum. Welfare reforms were generous, indeed, but only worked to pacify provincial workers and skilled workers, not the masses of unskilled and temporary workers that toiled in the cities, keeping the economy moving for little reward. This began the process of changing Progressive Unionism (which I appreciate has only lasted two chapters, if that) into Conservative Unionism, which would be cemented in four years, with the election of the Unionist-Conservative Coalition. Chamberlain finally intervened in the "social question" in early August, reiterating the doctrine that militant Trade Unionism remained the cause of those wishing to foster disunity, but equally blamed unskilled workers for "their adoption of such factionalist means". A revolution in Teal had no room for Red. Those who witnessed their friends, brothers, sisters and mothers die that day would see that. The militancy of the unskilled was a tendency that grew exponentially and fuelled the growth of the Socialist Movements over the coming years. June 1888 would be the beginning of a period of instability amongst workers as they realised that they were on their own after all.
Will they try to include more Indians within Administration?

What about social reformer like Ram mohan roy and vidyasagar? Will there be some changes there? For example Vidyasagar never received much help regarding woman education and education in general. Most of his money was invested to create schools. The government promised him to help him by providing money regarding those school which they never provided.
Earlier than OTL, I'd imagine but not far off.
Part 5, Chapter III
V, III: What is National Democracy?

Ireland's mood was not significantly altered by the Unionist Government’s early success. National Democracy, not Unionism, had become the creed of many within the State of Ireland as Arthur Balfour continued his work as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Lieutenant Balfour in 1887 was informed by the Directorate of the Internal Affairs Committee (DIAC) that anti-Government organisations were preparing to take a violent turn against any Union Government agencies in the State, so Balfour reorganised governance of the state into six ‘zones’ - Dublin, Leinster, Munster, Connacht, Ulster and the Orange State border. Each zone had a centre of power, where DIAC established offices for controlling local administration and had an Assistant Director appointed to oversee Union presence. State employees were, on the whole, either suspended or fired upon Balfour’s arrival. The State of Emergency had given the central government direct influence in decision making, to the ire of the Irish people. To support the Emergency State Apparatus, 6,000 Union Army soldiers were moved to Ireland to support the ‘return of control and order’ to the State in the aftermath of the incredibly controversial decision to establish a quasi-royalist and Orange state in Ireland. Disobedience had been profoundly anti-Unionist in rural areas and had taken a violent turn when a meeting of the ‘Anti-Partition League’ was violently suppressed by Union Army troops in Newry on the borderlands, and 34 lay dead after the brigade rushed and caused a stampede. Such violence further supported Balfour’s messages to parliament, to allow total control over the Irish State apparatus.


Dublin Castle, centre of the Union Administration in Ireland and the home of the Emergency Council

Balfour secured loyalty in Dublin through a strict Dublin Metropolitan Police and through the recruitment of several hundred mainland backups in the Irish State Police. The Irish Criminal Investigation Department was, by 1888, entirely staffed by English detectives. Balfour used connections between closing the offices of The Nation due to an Emergency Ordnance that prevented “press and communications that insinuated anti-Union feeling” and Michael Davitt was informed that he would be better served retreating out of State for his safety. Davitt decided to spend six months raising money for the National Democratic cause, he announced that he had retired from frontline politics in 1888, and instead wrote for an American based journal from Dublin, funded by John Devoy, The Gaelic American. From there, he connected with the Georgist movement in America, which had flourished in the preceding two years mainly thanks to George’s run for Mayor in 1886. The United Labour Party, uniting Trade Unions with the Georgist movement. Davitt’s presence, as the first elected Georgist advocate in the home of George himself, turbo-charged the movement in New York. Irish Americans en-masse joined the movement, supported by a movement within the Catholic Church to support Irish land reform, and therefore land reform groups in America as well. A speaking tour with Davitt convinced George to run a second time for New York Mayor, and the United Labour Party once again nominated Henry George for Mayor of New York City. An energetic campaign featured Davitt prominently, and the former Premier of Ireland worked to ensure that Catholic Irish Americans voted for George and his land plan. Davitt recruited Archbishop John McEvilly of the Tuam Diocese to further the message, representing the social reform message that would culminate with Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum in 1891 and the synthesis between the Catholic Church, the Land Question and the Irish American Community continued.

George was a reluctant candidate, as he had been in 1886, but Davitt and Devoy's financing and campaign organising within the United Labour Party brought swelled coffers and energy behind the campaign. The proof to Irish Americans especially that the Catholic Church in the West of Ireland were on Davitt and George's side syphoned votes from the Democrats but caused problems internally. The alliance of Socialists and Georgists in the alliance brought two very different outlooks on organised religion: Marxists who believed it was the opiate of the masses, and Georgists who would tolerate it in exchange for supporting the Single Tax. Marxists were pleased with the groups' expansion in electoral success but were wary of the corrupt bargain that would bring them to office. This would be a problem for later though, as a coalition uniting against Corruption, Tammany Hall, the Gilded Age and Land Monopoly looked set to swing right past the voter fraud that had been experienced in 1886. The Democratic establishment, especially chief wire puller Richard Croker, nominated Hugh J. Grant, a Roman Catholic, in an attempt to bring Irish Catholic voters back to the Democratic cause and into the Tammany Order. It would not be successful. Davitt's intervention had made all the difference. George won 85,862 votes, Grant 63,221 and a Republican candidate won 42,167. Henry George had been elected Mayor of New York City. The response from the two parties in the city was soon to be typical of the path American politics would progress leading up to the turn of the century. United Labour candidates for the City Council had won 16 seats, Tammany candidates won 31, Democratic Reformers won 2 and Republicans 5. George looked to the Democratic Reformers and wavering Tammany candidates to build somewhat of a majority, but Tammany and Republican members cooperated in the Council. Democrats rallied hard against Georgist candidates and sought to paralyse the running of the administration. Now in opposition, the Democrats were able to hold the new administration's feet to the fire and resorted to propaganda led by members of the Catholic Church who were against the Tuam Doctrine.


Henry George campaigns during the 1888 New York Mayoral Election, Michael Davitt (far right on the table) sits and listens
Simultaneously, the Balfour Emergency Council creaked under internal and external pressure. Internally, the mass exodus and furlough of Irish Civil Service men meant further recruits from the mainland, but a campaign of assassinations by a Separatist Republican group, the Irish National Invincibles, made it a hard sell to mainland bureaucrats and ground the administration to a halt - 14 prominent mainland bureaucrats were killed in bombings, shootings and kidnappings by the INI. Pressure on the mainland was increased after the impact of Bloody Sunday and the Irish State Police, strained under the pressure of the Balfour administration, struggled to contain the violence. The National Democratic Party, as they had Parliamentary representation, were allowed to continue to organise, and despite Balfour's insistence on no monster meetings, held a series of monster meetings on 27th October 1888, while Davitt was campaigning in New York with Henry George. Led by a young Horace Plunkett, the largest meeting occurred at the Hill of Tara, the site of the largest of Daniel O'Connell's monster meetings, calling for the Restoration of the Irish State Legislature. Union Army troops patrolled the edges of these meetings, but with nearly 350,000 attendees, they were vastly outnumbered. The protestors were peaceful and calm until the Assistant Director of the Leinster Administrative Zone declared the meeting to be an insurrection, with little to no evidence. The speakers, including Plunkett, were rounded up, and the crowd was scattered by a force of nearly 1,000 Soldiers, stationed in Balrath, Co. Meath, who arrived on the call of the Assistant Director. A subsequent stampede, the second in a year, caused serious injury to nearly 200 National Democrats and the death of 65 protestors. It was subsequently referred to as Bloody Saturday, joining Bloody Sunday in the early list of horrors of the Unionist Government.

The massacre once again changed the complexion of the political mood in Ireland, and for the first time, Orange advocates joined in the condemnation of the Irish Emergency Council's response to the crisis. The Orange State's Legislature, the Grand Council, had been inaugurated after the 1887 Election and was not covered by the State of Emergency, and Moderate ALO members, including Thomas Bateson, criticised the haphazard response from Balfour's administration and called for the Legislature to be restored in a controlled and timely manner. "If our neighbours live in fear, then we must too live in fear," said Bateson, now Premier, in the days after Bloody Saturday. Plunkett was arrested and held in Kilmainham Gaol, and a telegram was sent to Davitt to return immediately. In the Commons, Chamberlain and other Unionist ministers refused to condemn the action of Balfour, a key political ally. "It is our opinion," said Henry Drummond-Wolff, Home Secretary, "that the Irish National Invincibles and groups designed to foster disunity, faddism and violence into our Union. The Emergency, as the His Excellency the Regent's Government sees it, should continue until violence is absent from the daily lives of the Irish people. Until these conditions are met, we shall continue to impose the State of Emergency in the State of Ireland."


Henry Drummond-Wolff, Home Secretary of the Union

National Democrats walked out of the chamber during the statement, joined by their Scottish counterparts, but equally, Liberals in the chamber cried "Shame" as Drummond-Wolff announced an extension of the State of Emergency until the end of the year. Five days later, on the same day as George's election as Mayor of New York, a vigil was held in Dublin for those fallen on Bloody Saturday. There, prominent Liberals and Democrats joined National Democrats in remembering the dead, and Chancellor Thomas Farrer of the Metropolis attended alongside Plunkett and James Shaw Maxwell, a prominent Scottish National Democrat at St Stephen's Green, Dublin. Then, a crowd of 15,000 marched on Dublin Castle, including Irish Civil Servants, land labourers, workers and prominent National Democrats, to "reclaim" the castle for the State of Ireland. Proclamations posted outside the castle read "The Emergency Council will not stand disobedience to the rule of the State during this crisis. Forces will be present, and forces will be fully armed to protect the Union." The crowds ignored the warnings and were met with a shower of bullets. Most were able to dive to cover, but a further 15 men and women were killed in what was called The Dublin Castle Massacre in the mainland British press. The next day, a crowd of hundred Enda supporters battled police in Middle Abbey Street to enter the offices of The Nation. After an hour or so, the protesters pushed their way in and began printing a special edition of the paper, with a front page declaring "A message for Bloody Balfour", calling for a Tax Strike and Rent Strike until the Irish Legislature was allowed to meet and form a new government, or new elections were called. An urgent question was submitted by Senator John O’Connor Power, the Enda Senator for Ireland, to answer whether any investigation would take place and the State Affairs Select Committee summoned John Henry Chamberlain to their meeting to outline plans to restore the Legislature.

After these two Parliamentary interventions gave the impression the public line was softening, the Unionist line softened in turn, and Joseph Chamberlain called on Michael Davitt to return to Ireland to have an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister, Home Secretary, State Affairs Secretary and the Lord Lieutenant. Davitt's office insisted the meeting take place at Dublin Castle on November 28th, and as Davitt arrived in Dublin, he was greeted by thousands of Enda supporters who surrounded the Castle for the talks. Chamberlain and Drummond-Wolff received an intensely hostile reception, with several rotten vegetables being thrown from buildings surrounding the Castle. Despite this, the meeting was productive - Chamberlain agreed to new elections to the Irish State Legislature in the new year and in exchange, Davitt would call on Enda members to end the Tax and Rent Strike. Finally, Davitt agreed not to run for the new Irish State Legislature, the most controversial of agreed terms along with the final term, that Lieutenant Balfour would remain in place. The agreement between the NDP and the Unionists would become known as the Dublin Castle Agreement and was endorsed by the majority of the NDP, the IUA, the General League and the vast majority of the Catholic Church. A minority, allied with the Separatist Movement, remained outside this coalition and became known as the Anti-Agreement NDP. Finally, once the agreement was supported by the majority of the NDP, assembled in Dublin, Lieutenant Balfour dissolved the Emergency Council and issued writs for new elections in December 1888, and a new Legislative Council was appointed. Finally, President-Regent Stanley lifted the State of Emergency on December 1st, dissolving the zones and allowing all suspended civil servants to come back to government jobs and withdrawing the Army from the streets.

Davitt continued to write for The Gaelic American, but his letters and speeches were reprinted in dozens of newspapers in Dublin and beyond. Davitt advocated for Horace Plunkett’s candidacy as well as dozens of other National Democrats across the country. An interesting note about the election was the competitiveness of the races - as the Emergency Council had implemented the smaller Legislative Assembly seat distribution among the counties and cities, reducing the number to 116 MLAs and 50 MLCs, elected in ten-seat provincial constituencies, with a further ten elected to represent Dublin. This meant nearly 400 incumbents were challenging for only 116 seats. Some ballots featured up to 16 candidates for only a few seats, and races tended to feature multiple candidates from the same party running against each other. This meant some more pro-land reform NDP and moderate NDP candidates ran against each other, moderate General League candidates alongside radical General League candidates, and equally those in the IUA who followed Bateson's moderate Orange platform and those who were more hard-line against Land Reform would often appear supported by the same party. The Irish Unionist Alliance had been coy about its chances to take the majority in the Legislature given their unpopularity in the south of the State, but they had supported Charles Stuart Parnell as a continuity candidate for Premier, and while Parnell ran as an Independent, he did seem to have widespread support across much of the moderate and pro-land reform sides for the formation of a ministry without Davitt standing as a candidate. This sentiment seemed to be shared by many of the National Democrats who stood, who believed that Parnell was the right man to bring the country together and move the State out of the Emergency. Unionists also believed that Parnell would resist the call for the Single Tax, believing that without Davitt, a more moderate Government would be inaugurated that would be less ideologically committed to the Single Tax but would instigate moderate land reform policies to bring a pacification and end the political divide.


Premier of Ireland, Charles Stuart Parnell

Despite Parnell's seeming pole position for the Premiership, Davitt continued to dictate proceedings and his input to the election campaign would be the most significant. Davitt was asked by Plunkett to edit a book for the NDP advocating its manifesto, called "What is National Democracy?" before his departure to New York, and when he returned Davitt had written several essays on the subject of what a government in Ireland free from internal interference could achieve, with the vantage point of the 1888 Mayoral Campaign in his mind. This was released in late November 1888 and had several sections printed in major national newspapers. In its preface, he advocated for a wide coalition of all the Democratic forces in Ireland to combine to achieve comprehensive land reform, restore Irish ways of land ownership and justice, promote development and improvement for tenant farmers and workers alike, and attack monopoly and corruption. He continued to write that "While Unionist creed has caused advancement in the mainland at the State level through relief for poor dwellings, public health and the First Programme's legislation on accident insurance and compensation, it's assumption that any difference and tangent from Unity is a threat to the Union is a fallacy. Our tangents, our plurinationalism and our differences maintain the strength of the expression of people's will that was the Constitutional Laws. Ireland especially lives in the gratitude of the Union, recent history aside, and asks for the third time to have the creed that we, ourselves want to live by - National Democracy." The National Democratic creed, he went on, "asks only the respect for our decision to live in a different manner to the Union's family of nations and states, but wishes to, aside from the land question, integrate and cooperate fully with the rest of the Union."

What is National Democracy
then featured essays by many of the NDP movement in Ireland and Scotland, and featured other members of the burgeoning Union-wide movement for Georgism in the rest of the country, like Michael D. Jones and E. Pan Jones, who would soon, with David Lloyd-George, T.E Ellis and W.L Williams, form the third of the four National Democratic Parties, Cymru Fydd. Michael D Jones advocated for language rights, cultural nationalism within the Union and promotion of the plurinationalist character of the British Isles and a section from Henry Jenner, the Cornish language revivalist supported the need for a movement of Celtic Nationalists in State Governments to "resist the all-encompassing hand of Anglicisation". Horace Plunkett outlined the economic policy of National Democracy outside of the Single Tax, promoting Cooperatives as a way for tenant-farmers and agricultural labourers to bring the land back into their own hands and promoting Free Trade above all. The final phrase, coined from the American Single-Tax Movement, said "Free Land, Free Trade, Free People!" The content of the document then spread through Liberal & Democratic circles, and this Cooperative-Georgist Movement would grow within its ranks, exponentially equating anti-Unionism with Georgism. For now. But we'll get to that. The Assembly returned was heavily pro-land reform and in nearly all seats, candidates who were moderate towards or in favour of the Single-Tax or extensive land reform were returned. The National Democratic Party, as the most ardently pro-Land Reform, won a large number of seats and held a majority in both chambers. While Balfour insisted that the Single-Tax would be vetoed, most in the mainland acknowledged that the Single-Tax would be the outcome of the election. Immediately post-election, negotiations to bring a new Government to power indeed brought former INP, IUA, INC and NDP member Charles Stuart Parnell to the position of Premier of Ireland, with a State Council made up of Georgist and NDP members, and the Independent Radical candidate, T.P O'Connor.

Legislative Assembly
National Democratic Party of Ireland 63
Irish Unionist Alliance 26
General League of Catholic Associations 17
Independents 10

Legislative Council
National Democratic Party of Ireland 26
Irish Unionist Alliance 10
General League of Catholic Associations 7
Independents 7

Irish State Council 1888-1891

Premier, Keeper of the Great Seal of Ireland, Deputy Leader of the Legislative Assembly - Charles Stuart Parnell MLA - Independent
Treasurer - Thomas Sexton MLA - National Democratic
President of the State Council, Leader of the Legislative Council - Councillor John Dillon - National Democratic
State Councillor for Internal Affairs - Thomas Brennan MLA - National Democratic
State Councillor for Relief & Public Health - Councillor James Daly, National Democratic
State Councillor for Education - Andrew Kettle MLA, National Democratic
State Councillor for Public Works & Lands - Horace Plunkett MLA, National Democratic
Agent-General of the Irish State Council - Senator John O’Connor Power - National Democratic
Paymaster General - T.P O'Connor MLA, Independent
Attorney General - Timothy Harrington MLA, Independent

Many agrarian reformers were included in the State Council, and plans began early to draw up a comprehensive single-tax plan in the coming budget, regardless of the approval of Balfour. The Plunkett-Sexton Plan, introduced to the Irish Legislature in January 1889 would involve the transferal of all former Crown Lands still under State Control to tenant-farmers, a 'Congested Land Board' which would decide fair rents on congested absentee land and a graduated land value tax on the 'unimproved value of the land, which would be assessed by the newly created Land Registry Office. The most eye-catching part of the reform, the "single-tax" (other duties and rates did still remain) would range from 2d in the pound for smaller estates to 6d in the pound for larger estates, with 1.9% of the wealthiest landlords paying up to 8d in the pound. Finally, the Plunkett-Sexton Plan would involve exemptions for the tax for land used for religious purposes (with an upper limit of 8/10ths of an acre), for Government buildings, for common land and most importantly, for land grouped together into Cooperatives. Plunkett was a keen member of the Cooperative Movement and believed that Irish farmers would naturally collectivise if given the opportunity and the incentive. Opposition was fierce in aristocratic circles, but the overwhelming popularity of the Plunkett-Sexton Plan with tenant-farmers and the urban working class, combined with the popularity in the Assembly, finally assured its passage through the Irish State Legislature.


Treasurer of Ireland, Thomas Sexton MLA

Opposition to the plan did come from the Dublin hierarchy of the church, who came out against confiscation or harassment of land by the State Government. The intervention was intended to publicly scold the Tuam diocese and this seems to have been successful - this is the Roman Catholic Church, after all. This will be the beginning of a conservative turn for the church, many of the relatively independent parishes and priests in the West of Ireland, always a feature of revolutionary spirit in the country, became significantly tamer from here on. Still, as the reality of the Single-Tax was on the table and when they realised it would be charged over large amounts of church property, the church's tune and accord with the National Democratic government became slightly more stretched. Equally many of those in the State Council opposed to the Single-Tax, like Parnell and his deputy, John Dillon, were washed away with public sentiment in favour of the programme outlined in What is National Democracy? Davitt's conduits in the State Council; Sexton & Plunkett, would enact the National Democratic Programme as the true power base of the State Council. The final hurdle, Balfour's threatened veto, would prove to be an empty threat - as President-Regent Stanley indicated that to maintain unity, Ireland should be allowed to implement the Single Tax. Balfour would resign as Lieutenant soon after and would be re-elected to Parliament by 1889.

The long-term implications of the Plunkett-Sexton Plan would be the long-awaited return of Irish land to the Irish people. Absentee landlords sold up in droves, mainly selling their land in compensation deals through the Congested Land Boards, using money from the crippling taxes large estate owners were put under. Most sold up and bought land in the Orange State, or one of the other States, where they would not have the effect of the land-value tax. Most lands ended up in the hands of small, allocated plots handed to Irish tenant farmers, usually the land they had been farming for generations. The twin mental impacts of the reform would be long-lasting; that Irishmen must protect their autonomy and that Irish land must never be handed back to foreign elements, would be pivotal indeed, and while Plunkett's dream of a cooperative Ireland wouldn't come right away, it would be arriving in the distance. As Plunkett exclaimed at the end of his speech in favour of the Land Value Taxation Bill in the Irish State Legislature, "Free Land, Free Trade, Free People" would for now be the creed of the National Democrats, but would soon be a creed of the whole Liberal-Democratic Movement in Britain.
Supplemental: 1888 Association Football Season
Supplemental: 1888 Association Football Season

William McGregor banged his fists on the table "We condemn ourselves if we do not accept this motion" he said. The motion in question was the motion "that ten or twelve of the most prominent clubs in England combine to arrange home and away fixtures each season.”

At the Union Hotel on the 17th of April 1888, the first attempt to bring a National Football League occurred between a number of prominent clubs. Accrington, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Derby County, Everton, Notts County, Preston North End, Stoke, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers met to discuss the possibility of a combination of sides that would play each other at home or away. They would not succeed. The clubs disagreed about a variety of things, but the influence of the BFU was the main source of the distribution of funds between the clubs. Northern clubs wanted to continue Ordinary matches against interstate clubs and surrounding clubs, while clubs from the midlands wanted to solely work within the new proposed competition.

The clubs split into Northern & Central factions, with Accrington, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Everton & Preston North End forming one group and McGregor's Aston Villa, Notts County, Derby County, Stoke, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers formed the other. This split, with further competitions growing up around the country, would be the centre of a vicious split between professional clubs, with the Central faction adding Burton Swifts, Birmingham St George's FC, Small Heath, Walsall Town Swifts, Derby Midland, Derby Junction, Burslem Port Vale and most controversially, Lancashire clubs Blackburn Olympic & Darwen to their ranks over the course of the next few months. In August 1888, the competition was named the Central League by the involved clubs.

These clubs resigned their membership in the BFU and subsequently, all players operating professionally at the 15 clubs were expelled from BFU and made ineligible for Interstate Competition. This had the adverse effect of denying Lancashire player-coach, Jack Hunter, a chance to represent his State in 1888, 1889 and 1890 Interstate Competition.

The Lancashire Clubs would tour around the Northern States looking to find clubs to join their league, with Bootle, Ardwick, Newton Heath, The Wednesday, Sunderland Albion, Sunderland, Middlesbrough Ironopolis, Sheffield Heeley, Lockwood Brothers, Lincoln City, Lincoln Lindum, Sheffield, Grimsby & District and Wrexham joining the league as they looked to impress a greater number of games on their clubs - most of these clubs came from the Football Combination, which had been formed in 1885. These clubs were also affiliated with the BFU (as the Combination had always done), which meant access to the BFU Cup and Interstate Football for the players involved. The member clubs, 20 in all, met in May 1888 in Preston to declare the formation of the Great Northern Football League, which would be the first of the 'Big Seven' major leagues to be formed in the Union.

Scottish clubs were put in a precarious position by the split of the English clubs, but the BFU held more weight with the Scottish FA in the State. Therefore, they responded to this by forming the Caledonian League, a league initially exclusively for Scottish clubs (although Orange State and Irish teams would eventually join. These clubs were Clydesdale, Dumbreck, Eastern, Granville, Kilmarnock, Vale of Leven, Third Lanark, Alexandra Athletic, Blythswood, Callander, Celtic, Rangers, Dumbarton, Rovers, Southern and Western.

The Season went off without a hitch for the three professional leagues, but the question on everyone's mind was who was better - Great Northern League Champions Preston North End, who had gone 19 games unbeaten in the inaugural competition or McGregor's Aston Villa, who boasted a better squad on paper as well as winning the league perceived as 'better' by the establishment of the game. It wouldn't be until the BFU Cup, organised between all the sides in the Union, that an answer would be found. The competition would see a final four of the Great Northern League's Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End, and the Caledonian giants Third Lanark and Dunbarton. Third Lanark defeated Blackburn after a replay in the Semi-Finals, while Dunbarton, the Caledonian Champions, were seen off by Preston North End.

27,000 fans packed into the Kennington Oval in London for the 1888 BFU Cup Final, to see Lancashire's new Interstate star, Fred Dewhurst and Scottish Interstate Footballers, Jimmy Ross and Sammy Thomson score each of the goals for Preston North End to seal the victory. After the win against the titans of Scottish Football and the winner of the Scottish FA Cup the year before, the North End team were dubbed The Invincibles. Their unbeaten season wouldn't be matched for nearly 110 years. The Manchester Guardian declared them, having won the first ever 'Double', to be the first All-Union Football Champions on April 2nd, 1889. Furious at the oversight of his Villa team in the National conversation, the Central League began negotiations to rejoin the BFU that would be completed in 1891.

Football took a formative step in 1888, but the workings of the Union football season would be formalised in these opening years. Southern clubs were less forthcoming to the professional game and would have to wait until the formation of the Metropolitan League by Woolwich Arsenal and their allies in 1891, and the formation of the English Football League in 1892 for the chance to play at BFU sanctioned level, and in 1891, with the EFL organised for the next year, the BFU decided to grade and sanction competitions across the union in three Classes; A, B & C. The Great Northern, Central, Caledonian, English & Metropolitan Leagues would be regarded as Class A, while several other competitions were classed as Class B, and county competitions, the lowest rung, comprised Class C. The Celtic League would receive Class A status in 1915 and the final competition to receive Class A status would be the Great Western League in 1920, which would encapsulate the Wessex, Cornish and Welsh clubs after a split with the Southern clubs in 1918.

1888-89 British Football Season League Tables
Great Northern League.png

Caledonian League.png

Central League.png
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Supplemental: Newspaper Digest, April - November 1888
Supplemental: Newspaper Digest, April - November 1888

From The Beehive, Friday 6th April, 1888: "Murder in Whitechapel"

"Mr. Wynne E. Baxter held an inquest on Saturday, at the London Hospital, with regard to the death of Emma Elizabeth Smith, aged 45, a widow, lately living at 18, George-street, Spitalfields.
Mary Russell stated that Smith had been a lodger at 18, George-street, for some months.
On Bank Holiday she left the house in the evening, returned home between four and five o'clock the next morning severely injured, and said she had been shockingly treated by some men.
Mr. George Haslip, house surgeon at the London Hospital, deposed that the woman was admitted suffering from severe injuries. She told a witness that at 1.30 on Tuesday morning she was going by Whitechapel Church, when she saw some men coming. She crossed the road to get out of their way, but they followed her. They assaulted her, and robbed her of all the money she had. She could not describe them, except that one looked a youth of 19.
After her admission to the hospital she gradually sank and died.
On Wednesday morning witness made a post-mortem, and found that the injuries had been caused by some blunt instrument, which had been used with great force. The instrument had penetrated the peritoneum, and so set up peritonitis which caused death.
The coroner said that from the surgical evidence it was clear that the woman had been barbarously murdered. Such a dastardly assault he bad never heard of, and it was impossible to imagine a more brutal case.
The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against some persons unknown."

From The Star, Tuesday 7th August, 1888: "A Horror in Whitechapel"

"A woman, now lying unidentified at the mortuary, Whitechapel, was ferociously stabbed to death this morning, between two and four o'clock, on the landing of a stone staircase in George's-buildings, Whitechapel.
George's-buildings are tenements occupied by the poor laboring class.
A lodger going early to his work found the body.
Another lodger says the murder was not committed when he returned home about two o'clock.
The woman was stabbed in 20 places. No weapon was found near her, and her murderer has left no trace. She is of middle age and height, has black hair and a large, round face, and apparently belonged to the lowest class."

From The Pall-Mall Gazette, Friday 31st August, 1888: "Horrible Murder in East London - "Whitechapel Mystery"

"Scarcely has the horror and sensation caused by the discovery of the murdered woman in Whitechapel some short time ago had time to abate, when another discovery is made, which, for the brutality exercised on the victim, is even more shocking, and will no doubt create as great a sensation in the vicinity as its predecessor.

The affair up to the present is enveloped in complete mystery, and the police have as yet no evidence to trace the perpetrators of the horrible deed.
The facts are that as Constable John Neil was walking down Bucks-row, Thomas-street, Whitechapel, about a quarter to four o'clock this morning, he discovered a woman between thirty-five and forty years of age lying at the side of the street with her throat cut right open from ear to ear, the instrument with which the deed was done tracing the throat from left to right.
The wound was an inch wide, and blood was flowing profusely.
She was immediately conveyed to the Whitechapel Mortuary, when it was found that besides the wound in the throat the lower part of the abdomen was completely ripped open, with the bowels protruding.
The wound extends nearly to her breast and must have been effected with a large knife.
As the corpse lies in the mortuary it presents a ghastly sight.
The victim seems to be between thirty-five and forty years of age, and measures five feet two inches in height. The hair is dark - features small. The hands are bruised, and bear evidence of having been engaged in a severe struggle. There is the impression of a ring having been worn on one of deceased's fingers, but there is nothing to show that it had been wrenched from her in a struggle. Some of the front teeth have also been knocked out, and the face is bruised on both cheeks and very much discoloured.
Deceased wore a rough brown ulster with large buttons in front, a brown dress and a petticoat which bears the name of the Lambeth Workhouse. The clothes are torn and cut up in several places, bearing evidence of the ferocity with which the murder was committed.
A night watchman was in the street where the crime was committed, but he heard no screams and saw no signs of the scuffle. The body was quite warm when taken to the mortuary at half-past four this morning."

From "The Boss, Central News Office, London, the Metropolis", Thursday 27th September 1888

Dear Boss,
I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. With what's going on in the city, I don't blame them. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal.
How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I hear a man of the Union calling me an Socialist, this too put me in fits - I am nothing of the sort. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I cant use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha ha. The next job I do I shall clip the lady's ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn't you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight.
My knife's so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance.
Good Luck.
Yours truly
Jack the Ripper
Don't mind me giving the trade name. Wasn't good enough to post this before I got all the red ink off my hands curse it. No luck yet. They say I'm a doctor now. ha ha”

From "The Evening Star", Saturday 6th October, 1888: "Acclaim for the Metropolitans and Charles Turner"

"The members and spectators of the Canterbury Cricket Club were astounded as Charles Turner, who has earned the moniker "The Terror", took his 250th wicket for the 1888 season in the Willsher Cup against the All-England XI, an extraordinary bowling feat performed by one of the greats of the game.

The cup, which has acted as the final days of the cricket season in the Union for three years was claimed by the Metropolitan club as Turner sent down six overs, five of which were maidens, for just two runs and ten wickets. Six of the ten wickets were taken on successive balls, with four clean bowled and one caught."

From Hardwicke’s Science-Gossip, Saturday 3rd November, 1888: "Letters Section"

"I beg to call attention to a remarkable circumstance which occurred in this immediate locality on the night of Saturday, November 3rd. At a time as near eight o’clock as possible the tens of thousands of sheep folded in the large sheep-breeding districts, north, east, and west of Reading were taken with a sudden fright, jumping their hurdles, escaping from the fields, and running hither and thither; in fact, there must for some time have been a perfect stampede.

Early on Sunday morning the shepherds found the animals under hedges and in the roads, panting as if they had been terror-stricken. The extent of the occurrence may be judged when we mention that every large farmer from Wallingford on the one hand, to Twyford on the other, has reported that his sheep were similarly frightened, and it is also noteworthy that with two or three exceptions the hill-country north of the Thames seems to have been principally affected. We have not heard, nor can any of the farmers give any reasonable explanation of the facts we have described.

The night was intensely dark, with occasional flashes of lightning, but we scarcely think the latter circumstance would account for such a widespread effect. We would suggest the probability of a slight earthquake being the cause, but, perhaps you or some of the readers of Science-Gossip may be able to offer a more satisfactory explanation."
Part 5, Chapter IV
V, IV: The Cleveland Street Scandal

With the advent of Unionism, Conservatives had put aside Monarchy as an active political issue, but many had placed their faith in the vagueness of the Constitutional Laws. In theory, a simple constitutional change passed as an act of Parliament could restore the crown and end the Regency. Finding a candidate for the Crown, however, was a challenge few could agree on. Some, like Senator Robert Cecil, advocated that despite the Orange Coup, Albert-Edward should be restored to the Crown, but most had put their weight behind Albert-Victor. Albert-Victor had a significant amount of mystery surrounding him, but with his father never abdicating the throne, he was left in limbo. Albert-Edward had also been missing for two years, having remained in Paris for a short time before setting off... somewhere. The ‘Restorationist’ leader had, by 1888, been missing 24 months. It’s been a hard few years for Senator Cecil, remember - some peasants burned his house down during the Teal Revolution, and now his King had vanished. Tough times. Albert-Victor, by 1889 had become the uncrowned King of Great Britain.


Prince Albert Victor, House of Saxe-Coburg Gotha

Albert-Edward saw his chance to return to London in 1886, disliking his father as much as anyone in Britain and gained a little brief popularity upon his return, changing his name to his middle name; Albert Victor Christian Edward to show his compliance with the new trend away from aristocratic titles. Soon he was known as Ace (for A.C Edward, as he often was often cited by the Press), or Eddy, and gained notoriety in the press as a bit of a joke figure in London’s social circles for his behaviour. Ace was a philanderer, a slight sex pest and to be frank, a bit stupid. Most people who knew Ace certainly didn’t think he was ready for the throne and at best, he could be matured under the guidance of the Conservative movement to be restored after Albert-Edward’s death. He had studied to be a Naval Officer but was a conscientious objector on the subject of the Oath. Quickly, A.C Edward was becoming yesterday’s man: his assets had been passed to the State Governments for management, and with Royalist funds drying up, he was resorting to essentially sofa hopping by 1888. Moderate Royalists began to collect funds to get him back on his feet, and figures within the Unionist Party advocated to help Ace, supplemented by the release of state funds that were earmarked for essentially a harmless kid. But Royalists began to campaign for him to become King, didn’t they?

If there’s one thing Unionists hate, it’s disunity, and the efforts of various Restorationists to purport Albert-Victor for the Crown. They argued that the public campaign, which received a large amount of backing, to release Sandringham House to the Prince indicated support for restoration, which the State of England did in January 1889. So they planned monster meetings and a public tour of the proposed monarch, to gauge public opinion. Initial meetings in England were positive, led by English Revivalist supporters, things went so well that when ‘King Eddy’ returned to Sandringham House in May 1889, 30,000 people turned out to see him from all over the Union. This worried senior Unionist leaders. Chamberlain called a cabinet meeting, comprised of all the ministers and Union Council members, to quash any ideas of a restoration on the agenda. The Return to Sandringham worried many Liberals and Democrats too, who feared a Second Orange Coup could come soon to ascend Eddy. Chamberlain urged his key ministers that the tension caused by the re-emergence of the Royalist movement is of great concern to already agitated urban workers. Especially in London, the angling of Albert-Edward’s ascension was treated as a betrayal by the Unionists. Unrest there would paralyse the state, and conveyed this to President-Regent Stanley, who agreed that agitation for the restoration of the monarchy was as much a threat to unity as socialist agitation. Stanley called Gorst into a meeting of IAC a few days after Sandringham to control the situation, and Eddy was essentially put under house arrest. The Government literally did not know what to do with this problem. That was until July 1889, when Metropolitan Police uncovered a brothel on Cleveland Street.


Chancellor Thomas Farrer of the Metropolitan Government

Chancellor Thomas Farrer, acting as Head of Internal Affairs, offered a note from the Met to Drummond-Wolff - ‘This may be of use'. Under interrogation, a client list had been revealed - including several members of Eddy’s entourage and the male prostitutes claimed Eddy had visited a number of times. Homosexual acts were strictly illegal and faced two years of hard labour if found guilty. Several other aristocrats, especially the younger children of royalty that had dispersed to join their cousins on the continent, were implicated. Eddy’s implication was the most valuable of all. The Unionists leaked it to their press and the Liberals and Democrats to theirs. After the press brought the Royal Scandal to the forefront, public pressure forced an investigation to be made. Eddy did not respond well, attempted to bribe a number of officials and worse, succeeded with a number. A plot to rig the trial was uncovered by local investigative journalists, mainly because of their shoddy work - one meeting note by a conspirator was left in a public building with the full names of the group in the West End of London, where royalism was still most prevalent. Payments made to a member of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Augustus Stephenson, from a royalist MP were uncovered literally days after they were made. Eddy was sentenced to two years of hard labour, and monarchist sentiment in the Union was essentially dead. No one protested the decision, but when he attempted to flee, he was returned to Britain from France, and when he arrived, he was jeered by as he made his way off the boat by sarcastic onlookers. Monarchists' great hope was once again diminished. Across the spectrum and the world, attention was on the King- The New York Times ridiculed him as a "dullard" and "stupid perverse boy", who would "never be allowed to ascend the British throne and has, in effect, killed the institution".

Keeper of the Great Seal, George Goschen, was tasked with investigating the undue influence of Royalists on the judicial system in August 1889 by Joseph Chamberlain, and together with Hardinge Giffard, the High Chancellor, they sought to find those who had been implicated in the attempt to keep Eddy from being convicted. Forty-five payments were made to various officials across the High Chancellery and Judicial Committee, most of whom, embarrassingly for Chamberlain, were Unionist appointees. The level of corruption within the Judiciary was far too high for Chamberlain to stomach, and twenty-one individuals were arrested and sentenced as part of the Affair. Chamberlain met with President-Regent Stanley on August 9th, 1889 and discussed the allegations and came to the same conclusion: Giffard would have to be dismissed as High Chancellor. Giffard has suspected loyalties and concerns had been rising about the 'flexibility' of his legal doctrine - he had shown an ability to use leeway in legal decisions to allow the most palatable legal decision for the strength of the Union. Stanley asked for recommendations from the Union Council, and one name came up more than most - A.V Dicey, the Assistant to the High Chancellor currently. Dicey would be appointed High Chancellor on August 11th and would have a large impact on the coming crisis, rapidly approaching.
Part 5, Chapter V
V, V: The Second International

The Second International brought the different forces within the Socialist movement together. Well, not together, this is the left after all. It brought them all to the same city. Paris wasn’t high on anyone’s list of British subjects' preferred holiday destinations, with the animosity between the two countries, but many of the factions of the slowly expanding socialist movement came together in the city for five days in 1889. Because this is the international left, there were of course two congresses held simultaneously. The split was essentially an overspill from the split in the French Socialist movement between the Marxists and their French Workers Party, led by Marx’s son-in-law, and a ‘Possibilist’ faction in the Federation of the Socialist Workers of France. The Possibilist faction desired a more reformist approach, working within democratic structures, while the Workers Party advocated only total revolution to bring about the required changes. Debates like this were also being held in Germany in the largely reformist Social Democratic Party, with divisions between Marxists who advocated for more direct measures, and those who were intent on working for better conditions from within the Reichstag. British Socialism did not have the outlets and national organisations that their counterparts had, so the division of the individual societies shows us a lot about where the British Socialist Movement was in comparison to its neighbours. Socialists had found a welcome home in the National Democratic and Liberal Democratic Parties, as Independent Trade Unions allied with old Democratic politicians, and National Democrats often allied with the small Irish Labour movement during this time.


Members of the Second International (taken from the Zimmerwald Exiles Conference in 1907)

In response to the recent labour unrest, various Trade Councils had called together a meeting of the independent Trade Union Congress, which had lay relatively dormant until now with the all-encompassing direction of the GFTU. The dismissals of key TUC-affiliated members of the Executive Committee of the GFTU over their opposition to the election of Trade and Labour Secretary, George Shipton as President of the GFTU Congress in 1888 had caused the Socialist movement including moderates like the Fabians to cool on their support for the Unionist Government. Chamberlain was keen for Shipton to unite the Industrial Workers movement under Unionist leadership, and Independents grew continually weary of attempts to push them out of their institutions. With anger about conditions and pay rising and labour unrest increasing around the world, the TUC passed a motion for a Congress of Independent Workers in February 1888 which led to an International forming in Paris the following year. The TUC’s call was answered by the Possibilist faction in France and the SPD in Germany. At the same time, Marxists and all revolutionary groups held a conference at the same time in the same city and they discussed... unity with the other congress, which split the two congresses even further. Socialists, am I right?

Further complicating matters was the ongoing conflict in Spain, which pitted Socialist and Anarchist Internationalists and the Conservative Kingdom. Some delegates from the FTE, Spain’s main Socialist group, were present, but the Anarchist FRE-AIT remained aligned with the First International and its anarchist wing. FTE representatives were outlawed in France, so the delegates were hidden. Seven FRE-AIT members were arrested on their entry to France.

In reality, the Congresses settled on two very similar programmes and are today considered the Second International as a whole; the Marxists agreed on an eight-hour workday, support for the Federation in the Spanish Civil War, night work, improved labour conditions for women and children and the abolition of permanent armies, while the Possibilists agreed on similar labour legislations, support for the FTE, universal suffrage and added the means of creating a permanent congress of autonomous socialist and workers groups. One decision that would have a great impact was the designation of May 1st as International Worker's Day, which remains the case to this day. The two would keep meeting and would continue until the Turbulence, and would have a significant impact on the Socialist movements across the world. The British Marxist and revolutionary socialist scene tended to be smaller than the TUC-affiliated delegation, but some 20 made the trip, including Keir Hardie, representing the Scottish Labour in the Scottish NDP and The Bloomsbury Socialist Society, an affiliated group of the Progressives in London. 59 members made the trip to Paris for the Possibilist Congress, including several Union bosses, Annie Besant and Henry Hyndman, who created a large kerfuffle about ‘validities of mandates’ for the two Congresses to merge. Hyndman was, theoretically, the most important Socialist in Britain but was disliked by nearly everyone in British Socialism. His attempts to unify Socialism in Britain under his leadership had irked some, and his position as the most famous Socialist and most experienced Socialist stifled the ability of, well, someone other than him to be in charge. Short version, Britain wouldn’t have a Socialist Party until Hyndman slung his hook, as he was the natural leader until he... wasn’t. The Second International’s twin congresses did bring everyone involved into the same location, however, and allowed the Social Democrats of Britain, scattered about the country within and outside of the emerging Liberal Democratic Party, to all discuss aims and strategy.

Six main groups constituted the broad definition of "Socialism" in Britain in 1889, which would have to be negotiated to create a coherent Socialist movement that could challenge Parliamentary or State Elections: Trade Unionists, Marxists, Anarchists, Scientific Socialists, Christian Socialists and the Cooperative Movement. A further group, the Georgists, were considered part of the Socialists Movement but a separate (and in truth, more successful) element that would align totally with the Liberal-Democratic Movement, mainly because of Ireland. Consequently, the Cooperative Movement became allied with Georgism and National Democracy in Ireland and Scotland, with Horace Plunkett, a cooperative advocate, especially making a name for himself within the Irish National Democratic movement. Liberal Democratic Parties at State Level dominated the 1888 Cooperative Congress, with Senator George F.S Robinson being selected as President of the Congress, a sign that Parliamentary Liberalism and the Cooperative Movement's alliance remained in Liberal Democratic circles, rather than Independent or Socialist ones. Candidates completely aligned with and funded by Trade Unions, usually taking the moniker Independent Labour or Radical-Labour, were usually considered more Moderate and aligned with the Democratic Caucus as well, and were usually either moderate trade unionists, Georgists or Christian Socialists.

To describe the various Liberal, Democratic, Liberal-Democratic and National Democratic Parties as Socialist wouldn’t be at all correct, but usually, Socialists did find their home in these movements. Revolutionary Marxism was little represented outside of the Bloomsbury Socialist Society, and their relationship with the Progressives was distant at best, mainly through the Trade Union movement, and would eventually, later that year, found the basis of the radical wings of the London Trade Council in the coming months, and would stand purely on a Revolutionary, anti-Parliamentary level and adopt the old Monarchist tradition of abstentionism from all elections except the Trade Union Congress. The TUC did not condone violent behaviour, however, and sought to reconcile with the popular institutions, rather than actively agitate them. This wing also featured some anarchists, and after several anarchist assassinations across Europe of senior diplomats and politicians, the TUC did not want them associated, so offered them only affiliate status in Congress. They would become the Metropolitan Socialist League after the events of the coming weeks, but here the consequences of their affiliation with anarchism were typical, as the Second International began without the support of the anarchists, and anarchists excluded them from both Congresses.

Paranoia about Socialism had spread after Bloody Sunday in the Union, and had spread on the continent after a range of anarchist assassination attempts, some successful, which gave the authorities the excuse to suppress the Socialist movement in general, explaining the anarchist’s omission from the International. Domestically, this fear spread especially throughout the religious community in the wake of a growing awareness of the philosophy in the upper echelons of the Union. The Union had said as early as 1886 that "Socialism is profoundly anti-Unionist and therefore the anathema of the philosophy that has been endorsed repeatedly by the electorate of this country. It seeks to divide, Unionists seek to unite. Socialism by all its variants or congregations: those following O'Brien, Henry George or Marx and Engels seek to supplant one group with another - to create a society built specifically against the Union."
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Part 5, Chapter VI
V, VI: Fusionists & Independents

1889 saw a change in optics for the Socialist Movement in Britain. In the aftermath of Bloody Sunday and the subsequent Socialist response, the debate about political objectives dominated all else. Two factions emerged within British Socialists in the hunt to bring the socialists to power and harness their support - ‘Fusionists’ and ‘Independents’. Fusionists believed the best way to get socialist ideas into Government was the creation of a unified opposition against Unionism, deemed a venture of capital against the workers, could take power, and then would provide the base for the creation of a united socialist party that could take power in the aftermath of this united opposition. Independents believed that direct action and advocacy now was the key to success, and this couldn’t be achieved with a coalition with Liberal Individualists. It is essentially a replay of the Radical Republicans, they were a faction who believed that they didn’t need anyone’s help governing, and if creating alternative structures and institutions of Government represent the best solution, then we shouldn’t be waiting around for Opportunists to hop on board. Even with the crackdown on Socialist Groups, most Socialists still believed in the current structures of Government, but wanted to create the party of labour now, and bring a direct voice into Parliament and Power now, rather than giving the floor to some factory owner for the sake of coalition. Fusionists tended to draw from the Cooperative Movement, the Christian Socialists and the Moderate Trade Unionists, while Independents were largely the Marxists and the Scientific Socialists, as well as the Radical Trade Unionists. The small anarchist tradition, following their exclusion from the Second International, operated Independently.

Socialists from across this spectrum were largely linked to the Independent Trade Union movement and were boosted significantly by Bloody Sunday and the national attention it had given to the Socialists. Equally the Matchgirls Strike, and an equally pivotal if less heralded strike by Gas workers in early 1889, had seen the 'New Unions' coffers swell significantly. Leaders of the New Union movements, like Ben Tillet, John Burns, J.H Wilson and Will Crooks, showed organisational zeal towards their Unions and had begun to receive donations from all echelons of British society. The Trade Union Press generated significant amounts of income, and their affiliation with the equally growing and asset-rich Cooperative movement had seen the growth of a portfolio of property that could be used for meetings, rallies and revenue raising. There was also a spurt of workers' sports teams and cycle clubs formed in the aftermath of the momentum gathered from the strike victories in London, encouraged by the Fabians and Social Democrats to keep workers together in groups united by themselves, not their employers. Especially in the capital, but in major industrial cities with high numbers of semi or unskilled workers in heavy industry, mining, shipbuilding or textiles, working was becoming a rewardless task. Working regimes had seen pay increases after the beginning of the First Programme quietly chipped away with similar fines and charges to the Matchgirls, and the economic stimulus had begun to wear off in some areas, for example in shipping, where a round of contract deadline extensions in March 1889, from two to four years, meant that fewer hours were required, and labour demand was decreased. Lower wages, taking effect across much of shipbuilding throughout April, were the result as shipbuilders didn’t want to lose the workers.

A feeling of unease about the economy occurred, spurred on by high debt prices, which made some of the financings for major infrastructure projects at the state level increase in cost in the first half of the year. This triggered deflationary pressure on the currency, so factories made further cuts to wages in June 1889, one of which was a planned cut across the Matchgirls and Gasworkers. The Unionist sugar rush had worn off quicker than expected and brought in sluggish economic growth. But workers weren’t angry at the Unionist Party elite, more Unionist donors, state legislators and councillors - most of whom were their bosses. Workers in many cities looked to the close relationship between the major employers and began to term them ‘Trusts’. Trusts, it was said, were fixing wages to keep them low. The reality is slightly more complicated, but the essence of what is happening is roughly the same. All employers kept wages at a consistently low level to prevent the transfer of workers from one employer to another, furthering resentment. A feeling of lingering resentment in labour relations is evident, even in newspapers: Annie Besant wrote in The Beehive on July 2nd, 1889 that “the factory owner offers nothing but his name on the door” adding “it is up to workers to demand that the trusts be broken”, while The Times wrote that “like an abscess or a gangrenous foot, Socialism and militant trade unionism must be cut out of our society - any implication of the power of trusts is merely the main contributors to the prosperity of the Union. This contributor is free enterprise and it seems a defence against socialism is required.”

Support for free enterprise caused a split between Liberal Democratic networks. While Socialists had always found a home in the Liberal Democratic movement (and more so in the National Democratic movement), the growing exuberance and confidence of the Socialist and Trade Union movement made Free Traders and Gladstonian Liberals twitchy. While Labour and Trade Union support had always traditionally lay within the Democratic & Radical Parties, Liberals held a distance from the movement, seeking recognition for Trade Unions rather than their active role in developing policy. The growing platform enjoyed by the Socialist movement put them in a sense of unease, and they felt that the genie must be put back in its box, so to speak. Robbed of middle-class, professional unions who worked through the Unionists, the Gladstonian wing of the Opposition felt cornered between two agitated elements of Labour - skilled and unskilled workers. Senior former Radicals, like William Harcourt, were staunch anti-Socialists and felt any association with the worker's movement would be detrimental to the faction's electoral successes going forward.

Eric Hobsbawm noted that this period, and the subsequent unrest, "marks a qualitative transformation of the British labour relations, the Socialist movement and the Trade Union movement. The year is associated with the General Strike, the foundation of the SDF and the anti-Unionist opposition. The reality was that 1889 was the beginning of the class conflict opening in the Union."
Part 5, Chapter VII
V, VII: The London Trade Council

In a smoke-filled room in the East End of London on August 14th, 1889, Ben Tillet, John Burns, Will Crooks and Tom Mann, with around 18 others, held a tense meeting. They were the Executive Committee of the London Trades Council, coordinating the worker representation for the whole City-State. They had received no reply from the Home Secretary within the timeframe set, and their offers to meet the Government had been rebuffed. There was no more preventing the crisis. There was only one solution - a Third General Strike. “In 1831, 1842 and today, the sovereign did not respect the people's will. In that frame, there is no choice but to stand together again,” said Ben Tillet. Weeks earlier, it had seemed impossible. It looked possible today. A national worker movement in Britain again looked feasible, and an alliance against the Unionist government looked credible. They voted 16-2 in favour of advocating a walkout. Trade Unionism, the Worker and the Government’s relationship would change over the next month irrevocably. British Society would change. There is a significant difference between the 1831 and 1842 walk-outs and the 1889 General Strike: workers led the movement.

The strikes began in the dockyards, where unskilled workers earned smaller and smaller wages and lived in a terrible kind of poverty. G. R Bert, the General Manager of the Millwall Docks, explained, "The poor fellows are miserably clad, scarcely with a boot on their foot, in a most miserable state ... These are men who come to work in our docks who come on without having a bit of food in their stomachs, perhaps since the previous day; they have worked for an hour and have earned 5d.; their hunger will not allow them to continue: they take the 5d. in order that they may get food, perhaps the first food they have had for twenty-four hours.” Workers were incensed, therefore, when bosses began a round of cuts to bonus pay. With strikes increasingly common, 3,000 workers walked out of the Millwall Docks and went on a one-day strike, supported by two crucial Dock Unions; The General & the National Union of Dockworkers. Neither of these Unions declared the strike, it was spontaneous and unplanned, but men like Tillet used their proximity to events to expand the scope of the strike. Workers presented a list of demands to the East & West Docks; a minimum wage, maximum working hours and the restoration of bonus pay, or the one-day strike on August 6th, a week-long outage would follow. The owners of the Docks, however, John Lowther du Plat Taylor, a Unionist member and ally of the Government, responded by staging a lock-out on the Docks. Tillet and his associate, John Burns, met later that day, as workers moved to respond with demonstrations that evening. By candlelight, 8,000 workers marched to the docks with their wives and children, demanding they reopen the following day. When it came time for the docks to reopen, the gates remained locked. So the workers remained, and as more workers arrived for work, they joined their colleagues.


Ben Tillet, Leader of the London Trade Council

When Taylor himself arrived to discuss the matter, he indicated that unless workers identified the ring leaders to dismiss them and drop their demands, he would permanently move the business to other docks those workers were less demanding. Burns and Tillet hurried to the scene. They spoke opposite the dock, demanding a show of hands to vote on the offer. Nearly every hand went up to reject the offer. This offer to bring work to the other docks to kill off the strike incensed workers in the surrounding dockyards, and as work began to arrive from the East & West ships, workers in all of the Cities Dockyards went on strike in support of the East & West the next day. All the workers across the city heard about events with extra editions of the Beehive, and privately Chancellor Farrer summoned Taylor to the seat of the Metropolitan Government on August 9th. He demanded that Taylor rescind his threats and reopen the Dockyards, or Chancellery would withdraw the significant amount of State Government contracts. His proximity to these Trade Unions and the success of the Matchgirls Strike had made success in any labour dispute unlikely. When Drummond-Wolff and John Henry Chamberlain heard of the details of the meetings, they were furious at the response of the Metropolitan Government.

The two asked Stanley to convene a joint meeting of USAC (the Union-State Committee) and IAC to discuss the situation. At the discussion on the 10th, in which Prime Minister Chamberlain, the President-Regent, Drummond-Wolff, J. H Chamberlain and the Secretary of the Committee, Treasurer of Mercia Austen Chamberlain and Chancellor Farrer, attended. All agreed that they needed to find a solution quickly, but the attendees disagreed on what to do. Chamberlain believed that the leaders were agitating with the workers, and backed up by the Unionist members of the Committee called (all but Farrer), the best course of action would be the deployment of the army to clear the East & West and to use the GFTU to intermediate a strike. DIAC began identifying the leaders, and the Metropolitan Police received orders to arrest them. Farrer protested and called a special session of the Metropolitan Legislature without the authority of the Mayor, Gathorne Hardy, the former Colonial Secretary and now a firm Unionist. Hardy joined the group of enraged Unionists when Farrer divulged the secret meeting to the Legislature and called on Progressives to support a solution by Taylor withdrawing his demands.

Hardy wanted to dismiss Farrer and dissolve the Legislature, allowing him to appoint a caretaker and essentially rule directly until the strike was over. Drummond-Wolff proposed the Army’s deployment to control the strike. However, the Union Government would have to centralise power and dissolve the Metropolitan Legislature. With the labour dispute threatening peace in the city, the whole Metropolitan Chancellery condemned the proposal. Drummond-Wolff met with them and presented two options on August 10th: continue as the Metropolitan Government but with the acceptance of the State of Emergency, or be replaced and put under the direct rule under Mayor Hardy. If they were to continue without direct rule, then Metropolitan Police would be allowed to control the situation. If they refused, DIAC would take control with the British Army and return the workers to work. Faced with the option, the Union Government prevented Farrer from delivering a speech to the Metropolitan Legislature. He decided to call Drummond-Wolff’s bluff and resigned with his entire Chancellery.

Officials from the Home Office took direct control offices of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. They began to order the Policemen to disperse the crowd and use violence if necessary. When they arrived to see children and women in public, they decided to use a more moderate force in dealing with the strike. When this failed to move much of the mass of people, 8,000 strong, the Met returned to monitoring the situation, mainly in decent humour with the strikers. Orders returned from Whitehall demanding that Met Police use force, and to the surprise of everyone, the Met officers in the square refused the orders of the Home Office. Drummond-Wolff spoke to the President-Regent shortly after he found out the news and asked him to declare a State of Emergency in the Capital. Stanley reluctantly agreed, wishing the Metropolitan Government could have maintained peace in the capital. Stanley was moved to the South East for most of the crisis and would follow events via telegram, mostly from Chamberlain and Drummond-Wolff. When the Union Council issued the Order-in-Council on the morning of August 12th, it announced the dissolution of the Metropolitan Legislature. Mayor Hardy, a Caretaker Government and an appointed Commission could make decrees themselves. It had seemed, however, that the Army was all too well prepared for the State of Emergency.


Home Secretary, Henry Drummond-Wolff

Drummond-Wolff had instructed the staff of DIAC (or, to use its more common name, The Directorate) to prepare for unrest in the capital. The Directorate’s Permanent Secretary, Kenelm Edward Digby, noted, “the workers of the capital do not have the required enthusiasm, as shown by others across the Union, for the enthusiasm of the Teal Movement. We should use our force to remedy their passions”. They would be Unionised. Soldiers plastered pro-Unionist messages over walls and public buildings, and strikers woke up to Unionist control of the capital.

Republican Flags were taken down that evening and replaced with Teal and Union Flags. The Army already secured key buildings, most notably the Metropolitan Legislature at the Guildhall and Spring Gardens, the seat of the Executive Committee of the GFTU, which Soldiers surrounded. Strikers were defiant and returned to picket the next day to demand they address their grievances. When the Army would not let them into the public grounds around the dockyards, they set up on Mare Street in Hackney, blocking all the traffic on the road and setting up a sit-in. The Soldiers guarding the street didn’t fire on them yet and allowed them to carry on as they weren’t technically in the docks. When Besant, Tillet and Burns arrived to make a speech, workers spread the word through the streets of Hackney that something big was occurring. Crowds from surrounding factories in Hackney, irked by the presence of soldiers in the city, congregated around Mare Street. Workers from around the area joined the strikers around the district who had walked out in excitement to investigate the sense of disruption in the area, and they found a significant number of Army men loitering on the edges. Most were armed with sabres and rifles but were not intruding or projecting force. Five hundred soldiers were deployed to the district, joined by a small number of police officers from the local constabulary.

Drummond-Wolff was made aware of the growing crowd and asked the army command to control the number of workers congregating in one area, but bottlenecks around the city delayed the delivery of the message. Protests were always a free right in the Union, even in the State of Emergency, they thought. The Beehive covered the events as the evening approached and printed an edition which arrived at about 6 pm. Most of the strikers had returned home by this time, but Tillet and Burns remained. The news of the suspension of the Legislature and the situation on Mare Street had brought thousands of onlookers who believed the protest was still ongoing to two places; the Guildhall (seat of the Legislature) and Mare Street. Farrer was way ahead of anyone else planning to protest at the Guildhall and had, by 5 pm, already assembled groups of his supporters outside the building. Some 2,000 protestors arrived outside there, including Sir John Williams Benn and many of the Progressive Legislators. They began to demand that the Army reopen the building for an emergency debate. When the Army refused their request, members of the crowd mentioned to Farrer the people gathering on Mare Street. He stated that the masses should walk just over an hour to join them. Of the 2,000 protestors, a number were members of the Metropolitan Police, who featured a small number of armed officers in their party, against the will of the British Armed Command in the city.

As Farrer's followers began filtering into Mare Street, the orders arrived to shut the area off to further civilians and prevent real unrest. This order, however, would cause massive consternation and anxiety amongst the crowd as a further 50-60 soldiers filtered, believing it was their job to disperse the crowd. The Met officers had been, on the whole, somewhat annoyed at the takeover by the Union Government. The Union Government had appointed James Monro, Commissioner of the English State Police, to become Metropolitan Commissioner in an emergency capacity. Monro was an unpopular appointment. When they arrived, they attempted to work as a go-between between the protestors and the Army. The units stationed did not welcome their intervention, and soldiers told them to back off as night fell. As more people from the Guildhall demonstration joined the Mare Street demonstration, the soldiers finally intervened and blocked access, shutting the remaining demonstrators inside the two ends of Mare Street. In St Thomas' Square, where Farrer had set up a soapbox to give a speech, the Army finally moved to arrest the Chancellor of the Metropolitan Government (until this morning), and it was then that the Met decided to act against the Army. A private guarding an entrance point to the Square tried to stop two Met officers from talking to the command, and a scuffle occurred. As usual in these events, someone fired a shot in the air, and panic began to spring around the erstwhile calm of the protests. As night followed day, the shot randomised shots into the crowd followed, but the effect was twofold: a stampede and crush occurred at one end of the square and killed six protestors (three of whom turned out to be Metropolitan Policemen) on the other.

The reaction to the shootings was stark - workers, calm up to now, attempted to force the Army from the whole street and were successful with the help of the Metropolitan Police. After the violence grew, orders came to withdraw from the road and attempt to open passage routes out of Mare Street, but rather than flooding out; more workers began to flood in. A group seeking protection forced the soldiers out of the street entirely. Drummond-Wolff ordered the Army to withdraw to the Liberty of Westminster, solely controlled by the Union Government. This news made it to the extra edition of the Beehive, printed at 10 pm. It featured an editorial from Burns and Tillet urging workers to show support and stand up to the Army. They told workers across the capital to resist "the tyrannical direction of Governance from the Unionist Party."

Fifteen thousand answered the call and held a night vigil for those who had fallen that day. After the vigil, Benn spoke and urged the restoration of the "democratically elected Legislature of this State" and said, "the Union Government must extend the respect given to the Constitutional Laws to the States Act - this is no more a welcome act than the attempted seizure of power by the Orange Party". Down the road, protestors had taken over Hackney Town Hall, and there Burns and Tillet were joined by John Benn to coordinate the response to the evening's events. Burns and Tillet said that for their demands to be taken seriously, they would have to provide a more democratic mandate than the Emergency and an alternate source of legitimacy. Benn suggested that a Committee, or Council, could provide a united front for all the opposition to the State of Emergency. Tillet and Burns suggested forming a London Trades Council, a United Assembly of all Workers representing their interests during the State of Emergency. They brought in a press, printing 5,000 leaflets calling for a demonstration at noon the following day. It called for ‘tradesmen of every type and workers of every industry to amass to elect representation on their behalf”.


Workers at the East & West Docks gather together during the Strike

This request to elect representatives worked to further the growing strike action, link it to the suspension of the Metropolitan Government, and in the eyes of the Government, make it a severe threat to the Union’s authority in the capital. Commissioner Monro ordered all Metropolitan Police Officers to muster the following day, but a significant number refused - preferring to join the demonstrations and aid in protecting Mare Street. That morning across the city, workers arrived at their factories. By a show of hands, they voted for their representatives and voted to walk out of work until the President-Regent restored the Metropolitan Government. At St Thomas’ Square at noon, a vigil was held for the dead attended by 30,000. They occupied every building on the street and, after the vigil, held a vote to elect a London Trade Council to negotiate the return of the Metropolitan Government.

Tillet called on the elected representatives, one from nearly all the factories in the city, to hold a plenary session in the Town Hall to elect an Executive Committee to act as a Standing Committee while the Council was out of session; they did so, with the 200 odd members electing a 22-man delegation which was to steer the organisation. News of the London Trades Council spread throughout the city, meetings took place across the Metropolis to discuss the last few days' events and most came to the same conclusion - there should be a General Strike. Workers from across the class divide came to this conclusion: Railway workers shuttered all the cities railway stations, Lawyers stated they would come out for a three-day sympathy strike, Clerks in all Government buildings said they would not come to work until they restored their old State Civil Service bosses, and finally, the deposed Metropolitan Police Commissioner supported the strike and said that officers “should leave the bloodshed to the Army”. The plenary session of the Executive Committee met to confirm what was already happening in most of the city - a mass walkout and a General Strike. Sixteen voted in favour, two voted against, and four abstained, believing they would be all killed if they voted in favour. The Metropolitan General Strike, which would soon become a National General Strike, had begun.
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Part 5, Chapter VIII
VI, VIII: The Escalation

As soon as the new London Trades Council decided to call for an immediate general strike, messengers raced around the working-class neighbourhoods to bring out workers in a large-scale show of solidarity. This call, made at 6 pm on the 14th, gathered workers in front of their factories in the warm summer air. While many had already shut their doors, the rest, unaffected, chose to join them. The working class mobbed factories owned by Unionist supporters, but despite the fervent mood, the workers remained peaceful. This peaceful show of defiance continued long into the night. As they filtered home, one question lingered in the heads of the leaders of the LTC, the Union Government hiding in the Liberty of Westminster and the Metropolitan Government sitting in the Tower of London - what now?

The following day brought an uneasy calm. The Army Command ordered troops to stay overnight in the Liberty of Westminster. Calls in the morning to the Metropolitan Police only mustered about a third to join them. The rest stayed home - many people did that day, and Annie Besant, covering the first day of the strike for The Beehive, commented that “the usual din and noise are absent of working London. There is only quiet.” Chamberlain convened an emergency meeting of the Union Council that morning to discuss their appropriate reaction to the crisis but found that only 6 of his Union Council could attend with the railway stations shuttered. The meeting did include the Home Secretary, the State Affairs Secretary, and a few select members. Still, the High Chancellor and the Attorney general were absent. Most significantly, the absentees included George Shipton, the Trade Secretary and head of the GFTU who was attending a local union meeting in Glasgow.


Workers occupy factories in the East End of London

They believed the best course of action to restore order in the capital was to take the remainder of their forces in the Liberties and enforce an upgraded State of Emergency. The State of Emergency would prevent unauthorised public gatherings. It would also allow troops in the city to arrest any ring leaders of the strike should they try to lead such demonstrations. They also sought support from factory owners to declare employers would permanently dismiss any strikers from their jobs.

Three notices were placed in The Union and distributed around the city. The first informed strikers of the upgraded State of Emergency, and the second, from the GFTU Executive Committee, told strikers that the LTC was not sanctioned and called on them to return to work. The notice proclaimed that only the GFTU could negotiate with the Government. The Government listed George Shipton as a signatory of this notice without his knowledge. The final note was from the Emergency Metropolitan Government. The message insisted that Metropolitan Police officers absent from their posts would be dismissed and arrested under the Treason-Felony Act. They indicated that, in their view, they had accepted orders from an extra-legal authority in the form of the now-deposed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

In response from his jail cell, Chancellor Thomas Farrer declared that the State of Emergency was illegal and Londoners to strike. He also commended the London Trade Council as “the true representative council of workers in our city”. Having been made aware of Shipton’s proclamation but unaware that he did not draft or sign it, Farrer denounced Shipton as an “agent of authoritarianism dressed in the clothes of a worker”.

The Executive Committee of the London Trade Council met in their Mare Street HQ, surrounded by Metropolitan Police and bands of workers armed with clubs and sticks. They decided they would issue a proclamation declaring the ultimate aims of the strike. To determine this, they called on a “peaceful assembly of the Plenum of the London Trade Council to direct the Executive Committee in its actions and aims for the stoppage.” They added, “this meeting should ensure the peaceful and nonviolent nature of the rightful assembly of workers to issue their demands to the Union Government.” Despite its supposed peaceful nature, the Executive Committee ordered the meeting to take place at the Guildhall on the 17th of August. The British Army had heavily guarded the building, and a clash would be required to gain access. Some of the more violent elements of the strikers, egged on by the revolutionary Bloomsbury Socialist Society, took this location as a call to arms. Strike leaders in the most radical industries began to stockpile rifles and clubs. These included the dockers, iron workers in West Ham, and the primarily Irish communities working in factories in the East End. They also began to work with individual vestries of the Met Police in sympathetic neighbourhoods to prepare for what would be an almighty assault.

The coming escalation caused Drummond-Wolff to bring a more significant assortment of troops and reservists into the city, calling an extra 1,000 troops, mainly from the Essex Regiment, into the city. The Mayor of London also authorised police officers from the English State Police and Mercian State Police, numbering around 2,000 men, to join the Metropolitan Police who hadn’t abandoned their posts. The Government considered the Mercians and English State Police the most loyal in the Union, so they were armed with rifles and asked to guard the Guildhall building. The Bloomsbury Socialist Society didn’t make the LTC aware of the armed element of the strikers attempting to take the building. Members of the Bloomsbury Socialist Society did planning in secret. They had spent the previous few days radicalising parts of the workers in the Docks, led by A.K Donald, the Scottish barrister who had been in London since last Saturday. He advocated for the forceful takeover of the Metropolitan Government and arrived at the Guildhall at noon with a band of around 1,500 armed workers. These workers were armed, however, with out-of-date pistols, clubs, and pipes. The Metropolitan Police, who had resisted the call to muster in support of the Union, numbered around 700. They had a more significant amount of up-to-date pistols and rifles. Their leadership instructed them to enforce peace between the Army and the Workers. These police officers became known as the ‘unauthorised’ Met Police.

At 1 pm, Tillet and Burns left Mare Street for the first time since the gathering of the London Trades Council, and several Progressive State Legislators joined them. Together, they made their way to the front steps of the Guildhall and pleaded with the Army to step down and allow them to enter the building. Once again, the Army fired on the crowd and attempted to arrest the leaders. In the melee, Burns was struck by a bullet to the neck and died, and soon after, A.K Donald’s militia fired back at the British Army. Crowds of workers fled the scene, but the militia had great success with the element of surprise on the Army units and broke the lines of the English and Mercian State Police guarding the Guildhall. After about an hour of fighting, they forced their way into the Guildhall and managed to disperse the Union forces from the surrounding area.


Workers make their way to the Guildhall for the Plenary Meeting of the LTC

The Government called the Army to reinforce the Police, but strikers and unauthorised officers built roadblocks in the entranceways to keep the Army from entering Basinghall Street. Colonel Thomas Reed of the Essex Regiment, who was in command of the forces in the capital, then ordered a retreat to the Liberties once again, leaving the stretch of land in control of the workers. Tillet called for calm, urging that restraint must be used, but this was rendered mainly useless as the strikers, militias, and unauthorised officers now reinforced their positions. Strikers began to attack armed units as they retreated using irregular columns. The Army command informed Drummond-Wolff that East of London was primarily now in the sole control of the strikers.

Drummond-Wolff met with the President-Regent and Grand Councillors in Canterbury to discuss the news. Commissioner Monro and Colonel Reed presented several options to the senior officials to contain the strike. One option weighed over them in a more significant manner than the rest. Reed stated that it could be best if the Army withdrew entirely from the East End of the City and launched a siege on the worker's districts to force them to surrender the buildings gained. A blockade would take some time to organise, but Reed indicated that the Army command could arrange this within a week. The first stage would be to retreat the Army to positions in friendlier neighbourhoods in the west and set up roadblocks in Croydon, Lambeth, the Liberty of Westminster, Camden, Haringey, and Enfield, as well as the eastern borders of the Metropolis with the State of England. English State Police and the Essex Regiment would handle the eastern roadblocks. At the same time, soldiers from the Hampshire Regiment, Mercian State Police, and the remaining Metropolitan Police would patrol the western block. The Government would ground all travel except for trains running to transport soldiers. Despite this, Colonel Reed believed that the number of troops necessary to envelop the troublesome districts would exceed 30,000, significantly more than the 15,000 the police and Army units provided. Other companies were stationed in the Empire and could only return after about a month.

Therefore, reliable irregular forces must gather from somewhere to make up the numbers. Chamberlain had an idea. Why not use the loyal, Teal-clad workers of Mercia and England in a militia to save the Union from Socialism? Reed was named Commander of the Metropolitan Forces at the meeting by the President-Regent. President-Regent Stanley tasked him with finding 15,000 men from the streets of Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, and rural England - the most loyal States - to quell the violence in the capital. They would be lightly trained, lightly armed, and let loose on the city while the more experienced units would man the blockade. The decision to arm the Teal wave was controversial amongst the assembled Grand Councillors, who needed to be approved by Parliament if the Union paid them. “Such a measure will die in the Senate, Joe,” said John Gorst in a letter to Chamberlain a day later, “paying our party supporters to control the whims of the striking workers is fantasy.”
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Part 5, Chapter IV
V, IV: Unionism Prevails

The speed at which the crisis took hold surprised many, not least the scatter-gun opposition to the Government. The events in the city blindsided most of the State level opposition, and Liberal Democratic groups struggled to grasp a course of action. Some, like William Gladstone, urged calm and the workers to return to work; others, such as the National Democratic leader in Ireland, Michael Davitt, saw the suspension of the Metropolitan Government as a further act of vandalism against the Constitutional Laws. Davitt was also motivated by the heavy Irish Catholic elements in the striking workers. This support was matched by Catholic fury around the country, especially in Scotland and the Industrial belt of the North, where Catholics were in higher numbers. Rallies in support of the strikers occurred on the 16th, but there were pro-Government rallies in many cities across Mercia and England, and it was here that the Union Government attempted to make hay.

Parliament convened on August 17th in a temporary home in Canterbury, and President-Regent Stanley addressed a specially convened 6th Grand Committee. Due to the dislocation in transport, around 100 members could not attend, but members packed out the chambers of the English State Legislature. Stanley called on all subjects of the Union to choose peace, but it was Chamberlain’s address that held would impact the country the most. He asked Parliament to approve a national State of Emergency, which would allow them to raise a volunteer force to retake the capital from the striking workers. Cowed and missing a significant number of opposition members, Parliament approved the measure. When the two chambers sat for sessions separately, he introduced an Emergency Bill, which allowed the Union Council to raise the force. Circumventing all legislative norms, the Bills passed both houses in a single day, and the Act received assent from President-Regent Stanley.


The English State Legislature in Canterbury, the meeting place for the 6th Grand Committee

The workers, meanwhile, unaware of the machinations of the emergency Parliamentary session, convened at the Guildhall and deliberated their final demands. Some 2,000 delegates attended and packed the aisles and viewing gallery of the chamber, and members noted the session’s persistent din. The LTC voted to form a 200-man Standing Committee, which would sit in permanent sessions to produce a list of demands to give to the Executive Committee to negotiate with the Union Government. Professional unions joined workers from the East. With the streets in the East patrolled mainly by unauthorised Met Police and the Workers Militias, a peaceful optimism returns briefly to the City. This Standing Committee produced a series of requests to the President-Regent. These included new Metropolitan Legislature elections, the release of political prisoners, and amnesty for those who participated in the strike. They also asked for a 6p an-hour minimum wage for all workers in the capital. Some on the radical side had asked for the resignation of the Union Government. Tillet intervened, saying, “we do not ask our fellow countrymen to give up their Government, but simply for the restoration of our Government.”

The LTC attempted to send demands via Telegram but found that the Government had cut the lines. There was no way for them to message the negotiators. The Union Government had also withheld the gas supplies, meaning there were no lamps, plunging the City into darkness. The LTC Standing Committee met by candlelight in the halls of the Guildhall. Seeing this action, Tillet grew concerned. He asked for the support of the Trade Union Movement nationwide. In a letter to The Beehive, Tillet’s called on workers to show defiant support across the Union. The early morning edition carried a message from Tillet, the proclamation of a State of Emergency, and the passage of the Emergency Act. The passage of the Emergency Act had caught the LTC and many members of the Parliamentary Opposition by surprise, and Parliamentarians made their feelings known in editorials to the liberal-leaning papers in the papers the following day.

William Harcourt MP, one of the hundred MPs denied a vote on the Emergency Act, voiced his displeasure in a letter to the Manchester Guardian. He said, “All Democrats should meet this authoritarian turn by the Government with condemnation, but equally, the violent measures undertaken by the strikers are not in keeping with the desire across the Union for Parliamentary Sovereignty.” Having seen his son’s administration suspended, Senator William Gladstone also weighed in on the proceedings and had similar feelings. “The true face of Unionism, that is to say, reaction, has emerged. The actions of the Government have broken the truce that allowed the passage of the Constitutional Laws, and we must enact reforms to protect the State Act.” The various Socialist Parliamentarians also launched bitter tirades against this reactionary turn while urging calm by the strikers - Keir Hardie, a Christian Socialist member of the National Democratic Party, wrote that “the bloodshed of workers is wasted if it diminishes our cause.” Most significantly, several Unionist Parliamentarians voiced protest. Two members of the Union Council resigned as a result of the Emergency Act, the first being George Shipton, who was furious at the unauthorised use of his name on proclamations, the second being Senator John Ruskin, who called the Emergency Act a “stain on Unionism.” With about 15 other Parliamentarians, they would sit with the Unionist Party for the rest of the term but operated as an internal faction. They would become known as Progressive Unionists, who were separate from the main party and acted independently.

Mainstream Unionists, however, urged the party line. Premier Collings supported the Emergency Act and stated, "A party of Order - that party being the Unionist faction - must take steps to bring the country together in the spirit of the Union that has provided advances beyond our comprehension. It is an undeniable truth that Unionism is the driving force of our progression. We must put workers' agitation by rouge forces to an end.” Collings used government offices in Mercia as a recruiting ground for volunteers, with literature distributed in Mercian Factories, still operating, on the whole, stating:


The most essential Rally for the Union is at hand! In the capital, foreigners and alien forces have captured the attention of your fellow workers. They must be stopped!


The Mercian Volunteers recruited 6,000 to its ranks over the first week of the drive, while the Government raised similar brigades in Liverpool and Glasgow. Usually made up of Protestant Orangemen, these men were low-paid workers looking to raise some extra cash and hungry for adventure. They were lightly trained and ill-disciplined. As they arrived in London and other major cities that were on strike, they were referred to by the strikers pejoratively as “the County Divisions” or “Teal Divisions,” a reference to the bands who terrorised the workers in the 1830s. The Unionists also recruited unemployed young men, who often carried sectarian prejudice. One group formed in Liverpool were known as the “Paddy Bashers,” created out of the gangs from the city. They were known for committing raids on Irish Catholic neighbourhoods and smashing up Catholic-owned businesses in Liverpool. Several divisions were made up nearly entirely of Orangemen and linked to the supposedly illegal Orange Order.


Jesse Collings, Premier of Mercia

Workers from across the Union and a movement of intellectuals and professionals were incensed by the Unionist Government’s actions. On the 18th, demonstrations occurred in several cities, supported by the non-Unionist State Governments who found their operations suddenly suspended. The Premiers of Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Chancellors of Lancaster and Manchester, and hundreds of State Legislators signed a joint letter condemning the action of the Government. Still, enthusiastic praise from Unionist Government leaders followed. A renewed spring of Teal rioting occurred in Unionist states against the opposition, culminating in an arson attack in Birmingham at the Democratic Club, a key opposition political club in the city. In Glasgow and Liverpool, sectarian violence exploded, while in Dublin, anti-Unionist protesters ransacked the Headquarters of the Irish Unionist Alliance. Britain was falling to pieces yet again.

Chamberlain knew he had to act now, so he moved to arrest all the leaders of the LTC. He launched a raid to storm the Guildhall on August 19th, imprisoning them in the West of the City. Among them was Ben Tillet. News reached the cities, and in response, workers formed Trade Councils in several cities and towns and declared their own General Strikes. Trade Union leaders in Manchester urged the workers to sabotage “the Armed bandits who aim to spill the blood of the workers and patriots, as they did in the events of Bloody Saturday and Bloody Sunday”.

Britain was now convulsing in two mutually exclusive directions - workers in cities who began to wave the Republican flag once again and Unionist workers in sympathetic states who started to simmer with Teal steam rising off them. Britain was heading for a significant fight, but this time Chamberlain was ready and knew he had shock troops on his side. In just over a week, the Government raised 15,000 men. Nearly all came from three sources; the Orange State, unemployed Protestant workers in Liverpool and Glasgow, and agricultural workers in England. Armed usually with very simple pistols and forming irregular columns let loose on the capital, they began to launch ambushes on unauthorised policemen in the capital and ‘softened up’ working-class districts for the Army to retake control. The Catholic Cardinal Manning appealed to the Government to stop the violence and travelled to the streets of London to visit the workers and the Union Council in Westminster. The LTC endorsed this call and sought a way to de-escalate the conflict with mounting needless losses. In response, Manning declared in the new Catholic periodical, The Universe, that "the Unionist Government, having secured the unwavering loyalty of men in their strongholds, have used that to spill blood indiscriminately. God will not forgive those who slaughter the innocent."

They were ruthless but effective, and without the need for the Siege, the Teal Division had broken the strike within a week. The LTC, fearing further bloodshed, called off the General Strike and other cities followed their lead on August 22nd, a week after it had begun in the capital. The breaking of the strike was a victory, but it had come at some cost; 8,000 workers were killed, most unarmed, at the hands of Teal Divisions and the Army. Eight thousand were arrested in the capital and held in a camp outside of Canterbury, with a further six thousand arrested in major centres of the strikes. The central Government dismissed all the State Governments in areas that had succumbed to the strike. They were replaced by ‘Reorganised’ or ‘Emergency’ State Governments. However, there were two exceptions: the Unionist State Governments in Greater Yorkshire and Northumbria. The Government placed the whole country under the State of Emergency, and they placed severe restrictions on freedoms in the Union. The Union Government had prevailed. Chamberlain celebrated in Birmingham with the members of the Teal Divisions, addressing them as Teal flags and banners could be seen in all directions. He said, simply, "Unionism prevails," to a mass of roaring crowds.
Part 5, Chapter IX
V, IX: The 1889 Democratic Congress

As normality returned to London after the strike, Parliament returned for an Emergency Session called on the 21st of August. They met to discuss the response to the crisis that had just unfolded. Fifteen thousand troops and Teal Divisions provided an uncomfortable welcome for the members who were not part of the Unionist Party, occupying the train stations and public buildings, and unease was the order of the day. Both the House of Commons and Senate met, with a statement from the Prime Minister as the keynote event of the day’s proceedings. “We have defeated the foreign elements within our city, and we can say with delight, Mr. Speaker, that order has returned to our streets,” he said to cheers from the Government benches.

All did not match the delight shown by supporters of his Government. A number on both sides of the chamber had grown concerned at the dictatorial line taken by the Government. Normalcy did return somewhat in the week after the strike. Chamberlain was in attendance on the delayed final day of the Interstate Cricket Test between the Mets and Mercia the previous day. There was a low crowd at The Oval of around 3,000, and most were afraid to attend, most of the attendees being the stationed Teal Divisions from Mercia in the city. The absence of five of the Metropolitan team due to their arrest was a reminder of strife that had engulfed the Metropolis - and Mercia showed their advantage with a crushing eight-wicket win.


The All-Metropolitan Cricket XI, "The Mets" play in 1890. Five of their players were jailed for the full 1890 season due to the First Emergency.

The Opposition in the Commons had united against the Government and had a renewed sense of purpose at the events. William Harcourt led a tirade against the demagoguery of the Government from the Opposition dispatch box in response to the Statement. He found himself cheered on by a front of Liberals, Democrats, National Democrats, and Radical-Labour members, who coalesced around their distaste at his ministry's actions. The Progressive Unionists also launched attacks on the Ministry, which was more concentrated in a Senate debate later in the afternoon. Still, the Parliamentary arithmetic had proven once again in the Unionists favour: motions condemning the violence of the Teal Divisions were defeated in both the Commons and Senate on that first day of the session.

Drummond-Wolff had spent the week preparing new legislation to control the masses and alleviate Socialist elements in the Union. The Government placed bills on the order paper for the week’s proceedings. Dubbed the Anti-Socialist Laws, these statutes would forbid the forming of any Socialist organisation, advocating socialism publicly, showing symbols of socialism publicly, holding meetings, and raising funds for Independent Trade Unions. It also extended the existing emergencies for two years. The bills aimed to kneecap the Socialist movement and secure control over the workers for the Unionist Movement. When Drummond-Wolff presented the bills to the Commons, howls of “tyrant” came from the opposition benches and further galvanised the anti-Unionist elements within Parliament. The opposition within the chamber matched private fury from socialists across the Union, who suddenly found their associations and meetings illegal.

Parliamentarians covering all aspects of the opposition decided to act to provide a united front against the new laws. Harcourt called together a meeting to discuss their actions and proposed taking a common whip for the entirety of the Parliamentary term to coordinate their efforts and resist the Unionist Government actions, and found support from the individual factions of the opposition. However, the Democrats in this meeting wished to ensure public support with a national congress of national, state, and municipal lawmakers and affiliated organisations by reviving a meeting not called in some time - the Democratic Congress. This plan had support from most but received pushback from the Liberals led by Harcourt, who feared such an act would receive pushback from the Government, a counterproductive measure. Despite this, plans went ahead to convene the Democratic Congress through enthusiastic State Legislators, and two key members of the Opposition, Michael Davitt and Herbert Gladstone, issued a call for the gathering of the meeting on August 25th.

With much of the mainland under a State of Emergency, the meeting was set for Dublin, as it had remarkably not been placed under emergency measures in the aftermath of the General Strike, meaning political discussions could go on. Since it contained many Parliamentarians, the Government were relatively powerless to stop them from gathering in the Irish capital, and Premier Parnell did not want to risk upsetting the politically powerful Davitt from holding such a meeting. The factions represented spanned the political spectrum, with Whigs, Liberal Democrats, Republicans, Cooperative Georgists, Moderate Socialists, and some Scientific Socialists represented. Some Progressive Unionists, like Senator John Ruskin, were in attendance. Wisely, the organising committee barred any Anarchists from attending, not that they were interested in the first place.


Herbert Gladstone, a key organiser behind the 1889 Democratic Congress

The purpose of the meeting was simple: they were to create a united party to oppose the Unionist Government after its authoritarian turn. Nearly a thousand delegates from State & Municipal Governments, Political Associations, and Trade Unions (both affiliated and unaffiliated with the GFTU) met for the plenary session, where they elected Senator Ruskin as their honorary president, despite his membership of the Unionist Party. In response, Chamberlain was furious at Ruskin’s subordination and expelled him from the Parliamentary Unionist Party at the next meeting of the 1884 Committee. While the group didn’t agree on an extensive range of specific matters, they decided that the Unionist Government was causing the breakdown of civil political discourse in the Union and condemned using militias to break the strike. The Congresses Parliamentarians also agreed to take a common Parliamentary whip, and a sub-committee of State Legislators decided to cooperate when the Government restored State Legislatures to bring down Unionist administrations. They also agreed that the party would be federated and agreed to write a party constitution for approval at the next Congress.

With these basic terms of alignment agreed upon, the disagreements began. These disagreements were primarily between the Georgist, Socialist and Marxist groups in the Democratic Congress. Attendees had initially met to reform the Democratic Federation. Still, Liberals like Harcourt and William Gladstone, as well as his son Herbert Gladstone, had wished to remain outside of the Anti-Socialist Law remit by not explicitly mentioning Socialism, which they opposed. They passed resolutions on workers' rights and the right to form Independent Trade Unions but stopped well short of the common ownership of property or the means of production. The Scientific Socialists had wished for a socialist platform to be included. Still, even moderate socialists like Henry Broadhurst and Keir Hardie had resisted this call, believing a united front that the Unionist Government banned under the Anti-Socialist Laws to be no use at all. With Broadhurst representing Radical-Labour and Hardie representing the Scottish National Democratic Party, they wanted to include a Georgist platform of a national land-value tax. Still, they were under no illusions that this would be included in the platform. They represented Fusionism, meaning that a united party could work to gain control of Parliament for a Democratic Party, then allow the rollback of the Anti-Socialist Laws to advocate for the right to strike and socialist measures. The Liberals, to the right of the Congress, were happy to support this under a platform of liberty. They were not, however, going to advocate for outright Socialism, which they opposed.

The Congress saw the reemergence of William Gladstone, too, which irked the Socialist delegates. They had not forgiven his involvement in the Orange Affair and believed he would damage the new party's cause. As the week drew on, it seemed impossible that they could find common ground with the rest of the factions represented. All these sections sought a compromise between the groups: the right of the Congress agreed, with the rest of the assembly, to advocate for the declaration of a Republic and a secular education system, while the Georgists and Moderate Socialists agreed to a programme of moderate reform including the repeal of the anti-Socialist Laws (once they had passed) and reform to labour relations, primarily breaking up the powerful and reactionary GFTU. A programme was agreed upon, but Scientific Socialists and the left opposed its conclusions. Harcourt wished for them to be excluded from the party anyway, so they worked out a motion that proposed the disestablishment of the Democratic Federation, long assumed a fact, and advocated for the merger of all Liberal and Democratic parties at the state level and a new federation to be formed.

Socialists saw their chance to dealign, voted against the motion, and voted as a separate group to continue the Democratic Federation. The remaining delegates, except for the Progressive Unionists bar Ruskin, reconvened in a different committee room and voted to found the Liberal Democratic Party of Great Britain, encompassing all existing Liberal and Democratic parties in Britain, including the National Democrats. Finally, the continuity group voted to amend the name to include their stated platform and became the Social Democratic Federation. The LDP and SDF were founded in the same building, in different rooms, and would have wildly different histories in their first fifteen years. Chamberlain rubbed his hands in glee as the Socialist troublemakers had voted to show themselves in the light of day. He would use this to attempt to crush them.
Part 5, Chapter X
V, X: The Fall of the Third Republic, and État Français

The French Third Republic had been born out of chaos and lived in chaos throughout its existence. The unhappy compromise had faced threats from the right and the left since its founding in 1871. While Republicans had made gains in the Parliamentary elections in its 18-year history and occupied the government benches in the National Assembly, the existence of a famous general had brought its newest crisis, leading into the September and October elections in 1889. The British General Strike set the backdrop of a campaign fought with apathy from some voters and antipathy from others towards the Republic. The right-wing Ligue des Patriotes and the left-wing groups, including communards and Blanquists, had coalesced against the Republic. The left particularly had yet to forgive the regime for its brutal crushing of the Paris Commune that occurred as the Republic emerged and asserted itself.

Franco-British relations had soured due to the bellicose colonial policies of both Governments. Clashes in Madagascar and West Africa complimented the pain felt by the French at the ignominious Suez affair, which left the French locked out of the Suez Canal. The site built by Frenchmen was now operated and occupied by the British, Italians, and Germans. Franco-German relations had remained strained since the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War, and the occupation of Alsace and Lorraine, alongside the Suez debacle, left many Frenchmen wondering if their time as a military power was at an end. Even significant colonial expansion, such as their protectorate of Tunisia and their expansion into the Far East, brought aggressive posturing from other Great Powers. The Italians fiercely contested their occupation of Tunisia due to many Italian settlers in the country, who outnumbered their French counterparts three to one. France felt locked out of diplomatic relations and yearned for their place in the sun.


General Boulanger, future Constable of France

General Boulanger served as Minister of War in previous governments and, to many, represented the great hope of France during the late 1880s. Boulanger represented the promise of a New France that did not accept the place allotted by the ‘Little Concert’ of Britain, Germany, and Italy. The affair stemmed from public fury over his dismissal after the Schnaebelé Affair, which saw a minor French police officer's arrest nearly turn into war thanks to the posturing of Boulanger. Due to Kaiser Friedrich's level-headed diplomacy, war was averted, as Schnaebelé was released. The French Government saw the sabre-rattling of Boulanger to be counterproductive. After he brought a bill to the National Assembly to mobilise forces, he was defeated and dismissed as Minister of War.

Boulanger used his newfound freedom to put himself at the centre of a coalition against the Third Republic, combining an unsteady mix of Monarchists, Bonapartists, and Socialists who were ready to take action. To show their strength, National Assembly members began to resign to allow Boulanger to run in by-elections, which he would win handsomely. Throughout 1888, he had increased his popularity with critical groups, furthered by the funding of Anne de Rochechouart de Mortemart and a robust right-wing press supporting him. He received the backing of Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte while visiting Switzerland and greatly profited from the resignation of President Jules Grévy after his son was caught selling awards to personal clients. Boulanger and the Ligue des Patriotes, the party that most supported him, received supporters from across the spectrum, including Leon Gambetta and the writer Victor Hugo. The Comte de Paris, the heir to the French throne, even urged his supporters to rally to the General, who became known as General Revanche. Boulanger soon had a broad coalition of support. The scandals in France involving high-level corruption and the lack of an impartial judiciary further fuelled the fire that the Republicans were solely in power to enrich themselves. Boulangerie, the coalition of supporters of the general, delivered scathing anti-British, anti-Italian, and anti-German tirades, accusing President Carnot and the Government of cowering in the face of insult to the French Nation. Boulanger ran a simple campaign on the slogan of Revision, Revenge, and Restoration: to revise the Constitution, gain Revenge against the Little Concert and restore the Monarchy or strongman rule in France.

The 1889 elections saw the Anti-Boulangists, made up of Liberals and the Opportunist Republicans, face off against a coalition of these Monarchists and Socialists that was uneasy at best. The events in Britain further contributed to the Socialists' dismay, and their defeat finally convinced many that socialism through democracy was impossible. After Boulanger indicated that he would nationalise critical industries should he form a Government, the Possibilist faction supported his quest to take power. While Republicans rallied and secured a wafer-thin majority, the Boulangists parties posted a better-than-expected result with the help of Independent Socialists, who stood down in several constituencies to pave the way for their candidates. Boulanger’s allies also won several constituencies in Paris to further encourage their coalition. Boulanger was forbidden from running in the election himself. Still, he united his forces in the National Assembly after the election into what is now called the Rally of Boulanger, which advocated his ascension to power. Boulangists gave violent threats to several members of the Republican parties.


Crowds demand that Boulanger take power, 1889

In the heat of the moment, the moderate and radical forces within the Republicans could not form a coherent Government, despite President Carnot’s request for Prime Minister Tirard to form a Government. On October 18th, Boulanger’s supporters concluded that a coup d’etat would be the only way to secure France's stable government. Thirty thousand of his supporters marched on the National Assembly the following day and Count Dillon, one of his key supporters, declared the disestablishment of the French Third Republic. Disunity between the two main groups that made up the Republican majority failed to react in unison, and most of the Opportunist Republicans fled to Belgium. Dillon declared the establishment of a provisional État Français, headed by a five-man provisional government of Boulanger, Dillon, Alfred Joseph Naquet, Paul Déroulède, and Arthur Meyer, with Boulanger declared Chairman of the Provisional Government. This news filtered through to Britain in the following days and worried the Foreign Office greatly. Cables were sent to Foreign Ministers in Berlin and Rome, indicating that the events posed a great danger to all of the states in the Little Concert and its wider allies. German Kaiser Wilhelm II even partially mobilized the Imperial Army to reinforce positions along the border between the two countries. Italy followed suit, and Britain began to deploy patrols along the channel in preparation for a French naval assault. To them, the era of French isolation was over. Boulanger was now the master of France and would take them in an aggressive direction in the next few years.
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Part 5, Chapter XI
V, XI: Socialist Repression & Its Opposition

With the formation of the LDP & SDF, the Unionists finally had competition in terms of organised political power. Uniting the opposition elements into these two groups had presented the Government with a problem, however, chiefly how to respond. While the LDP contained many accepted elements within Parliamentary politics, the SDF’s formation posed a direct challenge to the Anti-Socialist Laws passed in the aftermath of the crisis. Drummond-Wolff was disappointed that the two groups did not unite, as he had seen an opportunity to throttle the opposition before it could draw breath. Still, forming the SDF as a separate socialist organisation allowed the Directorate to flex its muscles and show strength in the face of the flouting of their political laws. After the Democratic Congress, many Socialist meetings occurred across the country in October, and Drummond-Wolff received the backing of Stanley to use the Directorates' resources to crack down on Socialists in the aftermath of these meetings to show the laws had teeth.

Part of this crackdown involved the Teal Divisions, which remained in active service after the Strike. The Government reorganised these divisions into the Directorate of the Internal Affairs Committee Enforcement Division, or DED. DED agents swore an oath of loyalty to the Union rather than alongside individual states, as had been the case with State Police. The President-Regent personally controlled these men through the Director of the Agency. Commissioner James Monro was appointed Director in October 1889 to oversee the Directorate's operations after his successful mission to break the strike. Monro and his men then set about breaking up meetings of Socialists, often violently, and arresting leaders. This began with his appointment in October and continued uninhibited throughout the month. A further 3,000 socialists across the Union, most prominently in States under reorganised governments, without recourse for the Directorate. The crackdown also encompassed the tearing down of Socialist posters and symbols and Republican flags across the Union. In light of this crackdown, SDF members began to wear roses and the colour red at any opportunity, often facing repressing for doing so. Concerns over the heavy-handedness of the officers were raised in Parliament by Harcourt in late October. He received support for his opposition to the actions, continuing the trend of uniting the LDP against extreme measures taken against the Socialists.


William Harcourt, a Parliamentary Leader of the LDP

Despite the strike and the aims of the Trade Councils, the LDP believed that the measures taken amounted to tyranny. “We did not create together this Union to enhance the coercive measures of the state, rather empower liberty,” said Harcourt in the Commons on October 26th, “our opposition to the actions of this agency, acting in the Regents name, remains absolute.” Harcourt received support from many Independent Labour members in the commons, who were protected by the long-standing principle of Parliamentary privilege despite their Independent Trade Union links. Among these was a member of the Senate, William Morris, who was deeply disturbed by the crackdown. Nominally an independent, Morris had supported the Unionists First Programme and was ostensibly a liberal, but endorsed the Strike and found the Directorate’s actions unforgivable. When Drummond-Wolff drafted an Order-in-Council to allow the interment of potential socialists without trial and explicitly named some Independent Labour Parliamentarians outside of the new LDP in its interment list, Morris decided to act. He joined the SDF, giving the party its first Senator.

With his home state, the Metropolis, under an emergency, the Lord Mayor attempted to withdraw his place in the Senate but was blocked. Morris was a popular Parliamentarian, and the Unionists feared that throwing him out of the Senate and arresting him would give the Moderate Opposition a point of common ground with the Socialists. However, key movement members, including Annie Besant of the Beehive, were interned. A campaign by her paper brought many LDP to the side of those interned, and the Fabian Society, to which she was a member, defied the banning order and held protests under heavy police presence to request her release. The LDP Parliamentary Committee met on November 2nd to debate a course of action, and pressure from State Legislatures, who had seen their members interned in great numbers, forced them to act. When advocates held a second public meeting, despite the Emergency, DED officers brutally beat the crowd into submission. Harcourt and the LDP had enough and asked the Speaker for an Emergency Session of Parliament.


James Monro, Director of the Internal Affairs Committee of the Grand Council

The LDP set about two competing methods of fighting what they described as an unjust law. Firstly, Harcourt introduced a motion to subject the Directorate to Parliamentary scrutiny, hitherto unavailable due to its nature as a Grand Council Committee Directorate. Secondly, LDP members organised an appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Order-in-Council as a violation of the Civil Liberties & Processes Act, which prohibited the suppression of Political Associations that supported the Union’s Constitutional Laws. This appeal to Judicial Committee brought the support of hundreds of lawyers, who began to organise the offer of legal help to those who were victims of the suppression of the Socialists. Many of these members would go on to join the SDF and would play a prominent part in waves of suppression to follow. The Parliamentary motion was passed with the support of the LDP, Independent Labour members, and some Progressive Unionist MPs, who rebelled against the party line to vote for the motion. Their success was a sign of the growing power of the LDP. Still, despite this, the action had no effect - the GCCs could only submit to Parliamentary scrutiny with the President-Regent’s approval. Stanley was urged not to give in by members of the Union Council. When Parliamentarians established a Select Committee to look at the Directorate’s workings, Director Monro failed to attend.

The second measure taken by the LDP - judicial review - would be successful in theory and provide an outlet for opposition members to temper the wave of crackdowns, but in the short term would provide little respite for the Socialists who were the victims of repression. Judicial review had only a tiny part in the constitutional history of the Union. Still, the existence of legislation granting powers to states and allowing them legislative independence was a key aim of the revolution. Despite this, it had little protection under parliamentary sovereignty, allowing the Government of the day to cut these guaranteed powers under the Constitutional Laws' emergency provisions. Liberals had been pushing for more significant safeguards for some time after the emergencies declared in Ireland. With a more extensive band of states suffering restrictions on the legislative powers, LDP and SDF members at the state level felt that an appeal to the highest judicial body in the land could be the method for which the Judicial Committee could overturn these measures. They filed a case with the Judicial Committee to overturn aspects of the Coercion Order as incompatible with the Civil Rights & Processes Act, which forbade unjust internment.

The opposition felt they had a decent chance of a favorable verdict on the case, as the new High Chancellor, A.V. Dicey, was a legal purist, believed to favour the legal methods and upholding Parliamentary Sovereignty above all. The use of an Order-in-Council, rather than a Parliamentary Act to justify coercion, was an illegal use of power by the Government to supplement the State’s monopoly on policing powers granted to them by the States Act. After seven months of deliberation, 3,500 were interned without trial, including many leaders of Independent Trade Unions and some parliamentarians; the Judicial Committee handed down a verdict that the Order was indeed illegal, and many were released temporarily. However, under the advice of Chamberlain and Drummond-Wolff, President-Regent Stanley vetoed the decision using his powers under the Executive Authority Act, and most were detained again in November 1890.

This decision proved to the LDP members that further safeguards and judicial reform would be a crucial part of ensuring stability in the future, and States would also require some safeguards for constitutional laws. The principle of constitutional strengthening would form a vital part of the 1891 Newcastle Programme, the LDPs first national programme for an election. It would be a critical policy stance throughout their Government in 1896. The LDP would finally remedy it in the judicial reforms that formed part of the constitutional laws in their first majority government in 1903. More and more, though, the success of the LDP came from its coherence in opinion on matters of policy, and the success of the SDF would come from the popular movement to resist by judicial means the suppression its members faced. From then on, lawyers and jurists would offer legal opinions to interned workers and win a series of minor legal victories for their fellow Social Democrats. The Unionists responded with a wide-ranging internment law that would form the legal basis for the repression of Socialists and wouldn’t allow themselves to be open to such decisions of legal purity again. They would resist the introduction of judicial review when the LDP formed a government in 1896 and would only relent when they finally had their claws loosened on the parliamentary arithmetic.
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Part 5, Chapter XII
V, XII: The Parnell Affair

On Christmas Eve, 1889, a story broke that would divide Irish politics forever. Premier of Ireland, Charles Stuart Parnell, had been named by Captain William O’Shea in the divorce proceedings to his wife, Katherine O’Shea, as a co-respondent, accusing him of fathering three number of her children. What had been an open secret amongst Parliamentary colleagues was thrust into the open, and the interference of Union officials, the Catholic Church, and Irish high society divided the NDP again. This would be the last division of the party until the 1912 Dublin Lockout but would have ramifications about the kinds of politics done in the state. The revelations crushed Parnell, and the man who jumped to the winning team so often, but this time he could not find a clan to call his own. Both major parties in Ireland, the NDP and the General League disowned him. The cleavage between the two, however, would shift to the two traditional camps of Irish nationalism - National Democracy and Political Catholicism. The scandal would transform the General League from a minor player in Irish politics to one of the major parties for the coming decades.


Charles Stuart Parnell, Premier of Ireland

Parnell began to court O’Shea in 1880, and her husband, Willie O’Shea, had, according to Katherine O’Shea, encouraged the relationship despite challenging Parnell to a duel in 1881. Katherine had personal connections to the Liberal elite in Westminster due to her family and used these connections to act as a go-between for several of the deals struck between Irish Nationalists and political elites: she had been present when Chamberlain and Parnell negotiated the Land Act, for example. When the news of the affair became public, Catholic Ireland recoiled in horror, matched by the nonconformist mainland. Chamberlain insisted that he resign, and the President-Regent told the Lord Lieutenant, Lawrence Dundas, that he expected a new Premier to be appointed. Initially, Legislators sought to keep Parnell in his post until everyone knew all the facts. Still, Chamberlain compounded the controversy on Parnell by releasing testimony from Richard Pigott in The Union, which tied Parnell to violent Irish Separatist groups during the 1880s. This double assault forced Parnell to defend his commitment to the Constitutional Laws and his relationship with O’Shea.

As the new year approached and the twin controversies tarnished his reputation, the Lord Lieutenant told Parnell that he would dissolve the Irish Legislature and call recent elections if he didn’t resign, believing lawmakers had lost confidence in the Premier. Without revealing this to the NDP, he called a meeting of Government legislators on January 3rd, 1890, and passed an internal vote of confidence. Lieutenant Dundas responded by giving an interview to The Nation, a critical Enda-supporting newspaper, revealing the details of the meeting between him and the Premier. The Enda caucus in the Irish Legislature met the following day again and passed a motion of no confidence in Parnell and expelled him from the caucus. Dundas dismissed him just hours later.

Attention then turned to his replacement, and three candidates attracted support. The first was NDP man Justin McCarthy, a conservative Catholic who had come out early to denounce Parnell and call for his resignation. The Second was John Redmond, a more progressive candidate who represented a continuity candidate and had supported Parnell but broke with him just before the resignation. Neither were single-taxers, however, and the most popular candidate was Michael Davitt. Many in the Irish government, including Plunkett, urged Davitt to accept the candidacy for a vacant seat in the Legislature and use the campaign to return as Premier. However, Davitt refused. He had promised Chamberlain that he would avoid Irish politics and believed that Chamberlain would use his return as an excuse to extend the state of emergency to Ireland. Therefore, Redmond and McCarthy were the only candidates. A meeting of NDP legislators was called for on January 8th to discuss the leadership. Other party members were also invited, with only the Irish Unionist Alliance not represented.

In the lead-up to the meeting, backroom discussions had seemed to produce a positive outcome, with Dundas indicating that he would appoint whoever supported the NDP. Still, the meeting produced a deadlock, and neither candidate could get sufficient help to carry the party and the Legislature. McCarthy’s supporters indicated that they would not support a government headed by a Parnell loyalist, and Redmond’s supporters took this indication as a sign of McCarthy’s faction’s disloyalty to the NDP. A letter from Redmond after the meeting produced no result to Davitt indicating his support for the former Premier to take over. Still, he refused again, citing his work with other parties in Celtic states to advance National Democracy and the LDP. “Winning power for the LDP across the Union is still our primary task,” Davitt said in his reply. After the failure of the meeting to select a leader, the Catholic hierarchy viciously attacked Parnell and Redmond and fiercely supported McCarthy as the next Premier. “Adulterers and their apologists do not have the decency to control the levers of state power,” said the Archbishop of Dublin in a sermon after the meeting. The Catholic press, including in the mainland, called on the NDP to rescue all who supported Parnell and appoint McCarthy. Supporters of the NDP were furious with the interference, with Plunkett writing, “if it were rather the rule or the Crown or the rule of the Bishops, I would rather the Crown,” and “if the Lieutenant appoints McCarthy as Premier, Rome Rule will be achieved.”

McCarthy’s supporters hatched a plan to seize the initiative and called for another meeting to discuss the leadership crisis. It would be a meeting that had momentous consequences for Irish politics. They abstained from the following leadership vote and, with the support of the Archbishop of Dublin, allowed John Redmond to become the chairman of the NDP caucus in the Irish Legislature. They then, en masse, resigned from the caucus. Twenty-one MLAs and six councillors joined the General League, the Catholic Party in Ireland. The enlarged General League caucus then elected McCarthy as its leader and hatched an agreement with the Unionist Alliance to form a coalition government. Chamberlain was keen to pressure their Unionist allies in Ireland to accept such an agreement and wanted to repeal the single tax. Still, enough of the defecting members supported the single tax to ensure that its repeal was not part of the platform, although a rate reduction was agreed upon. Lieutenant Dundas appointed Redmond as Premier, then called a special session of the legislature, where the General League-Unionist Alliance camp, now in the majority, passed a motion of no confidence in the Government. This paved the way for Justin McCarthy to be appointed as Premier of Ireland. This arrangement would last until the end of the legislative session in 1890, but an agreement to postpone elections to the Legislature until the end of the Parliamentary term in the mainland in 1892. Enda supporters were incensed by the Parliamentary coup that had taken place and deeply divided Ireland by the actions. Some believed the NDPs association with Parnell had fatally weakened the concept of National Democracy; others thought that the influence of the bishops, now in cahoots with the treacherous Unionists Chamberlain and Churchill, represented a profoundly concerning trend in Irish politics. More importantly, while Redmond was a capable organiser, most believed that the NDP wouldn’t be able to lead without Michael Davitt rejoining the Irish Legislature.

Legislative Assembly
National Democratic Party of Ireland 42
General League of Catholic Associations 38
Irish Unionist Alliance 26
Independents 10

Legislative Council
National Democratic Party of Ireland 20
General League of Catholic Associations 13
Irish Unionist Alliance 10
Independents 7
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Part 5, Chapter XIII
V, XIII: A New Constitution for France

After emerging from the death of the Third Republic as the most powerful man in France, Boulanger disappeared from public view for several weeks. His absence was noted by The Times, which wrote, “it seems the Black General has decided to celebrate his power by using none of it and declaring a holiday for himself.” The British press caricatured him as a wannabe Napoleon with less skill and vigor than the former Emperor.

Boulanger was not taking a vacation during his weeks away but instead meeting with figures across the political spectrum to hammer out a programme for government. His Ministers, in contrast to the General himself, released a flurry of diktats to secure support. Boulanger appointed Victor Henri Rochefort as Finance Minister, and he announced the nationalisation of the French railways and telegraphs immediately, improved working conditions introduced new tariffs, and announced a freeze on the price of food. The political leader of the regime, Count Dillon, announced a constitutional convention to meet in February 1890 to decide the country's political system. The Minister of War announced more investment in the French Army and Navy, increasing the number of troops by 25%. They arrested remaining Third Republic-era officials, and around 25,000 persons connected with the now-defunct state fled to Britain and Belgium. The French State Government asked Belgian King Leopold repeatedly to arrest and deport the officials to France for corruption, but they refused. Soon Wallonia blossomed with French ex-pats who fled repression in Boulangist France, creating dire consequences in the future for the shakily assembled state.

By February 1890, delegates selected by Boulanger met to decide on the next political system for France. Dillon chaired the convention, and it worked for three months to produce a document draft. When the Constitutional Convention made its draft, it was a work of the Boulangist philosophical mesh of radicalism and conservatism. Boulanger attempted to restore the crown but found that monarchists could not agree on a candidate for King of France; Boulanger’s most passionate supporters wanted him to be proclaimed Emperor, the Bonapartists wished for Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte to be crowned, Orleanists wanted the Comte de Paris and Legitimists wanted Juan, Count of Montizón to ascend to the throne. Ultimately, Boulanger quietly sidelined his Restoration promise, entrenching the French State but not as a Republic. Dillon meshed the old and the new, reviving the Great Offices of France. These included the Grand Constable, Great Chancellor, Admiral, and Marshall of France. Boulanger would occupy the Great Constable role, a political sun initially appointed by the Convention, to which all would revolve, with the ability to nominate the Great Chancellor (the head of government), the Admiral (head of the Navy) and the Marshall (head of the Army).


Count Dillon, Grand Chancellor of France

Boulanger’s role as Great Constable would be subject to review by referendum every decade, and he would have the right to nominate a successor who would be subject to the same approval by referendum. The other three would be answerable to him and him only, but other members of the Great Chancellory (acting as Ministers of State) would be subject to “regular review” by a unicameral Legislature, the 660-member Legislative Assembly. This assembly would be popularly elected for a six-year term by universal suffrage but would swear an oath of loyalty to the Great Constable and the Nation. Boulanger would also have personal veto power over candidature and had two kinds of legislative veto: he could place any law he did not agree with to be subject to a referendum or veto it entirely himself, although a two-thirds majority vote from the Legislature could overturn the latter. Traditionally second in command to the King of France, the Great Constable was elevated to the primary figure in French politics. The role was designed to give Boulanger total control of the French State.

The final draft was approved by the Constitutional Convention in March 1890 and approved by the voters in April, with a lavishly choreographed referendum accompanied by banquets, public parties, and speeches from Boulangist dignitaries. The perception and public face of the proceedings were harmonious, but the reality was significantly different. Few were entirely happy with the final constitution: Orleanists and Legitimists believed that Boulanger had betrayed the call for restoration, Socialists believed he had revived the hated apparatus of the Monarchist regime of pre-revolutionary France, and the rest had their suspicions confirmed that Boulanger was attempting to centralize power for himself. Boulanger was himself unhappy with the arrangement and had expressed disappointment to both Bonaparte and the Comte de Paris in letters after the draft was delivered. In a grand ceremony, he was appointed Grand Constable of France on April 18th, 1890, after the referendum had a victory of 71% to 29%. These numbers were telling in themselves: Bonapartist referendum always passed with greater significant margins. In consternation, the French State was truly born. Boulanger appointed Count Dillon the Great Chancellor the next day, and a few weeks later, the first Legislative Assembly was elected with the Boulangist coalition receiving a healthy majority, unsurprisingly.

The period had acted as the bookend on a tumultuous one in World History: the Japanese had adopted the Meiji Constitution in February 1889, the US had, by the end of the year, founded states from coast to coast with North and South Dakota, Montana and Washington achieving statehood this year. The US had also held the first Pan-American Conference in October before two revolutions; the disestablishment of the Brazilian Monarchy and the upcoming Revolution of the Park in Argentina seemed to show that South America was moving in a Republican and radical direction once again. The world was changing, and France had returned to the international stage at a time of opportunity for growth. This threat to the balance had alarmed three global economic powers, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States, to come together to ensure that a bellicose French State under Boulanger would not be part of a breakdown of the international order. The three powers would send delegates after the ascension of Boulanger to a meeting in Washington to discuss a sticking point in relations: the Pacific. This meeting would result in the birth of the Third Union in the Unionisation project started by Chamberlain, the Union of Australasia.
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Supplemental: The 1890 German Federal Election & Aftermath
Supplemental: The 1890 German Federal Election

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

"German-British relations had been practical after the election of the Conservative government of Rudolf von Bennigsen in 1887, and the relationship had been good between von Bennigsen and Chamberlain. The establishment of the bellicose French State in 1889 had changed matters and had been on the mind of voters as the DKP looked to renew its mandate in February 1890. There were two interesting outcomes from the election: no party held a majority in the Reichstag, and the Catholic Zentrum faction emerged as the largest bloc, despite only winning 18.55% of the vote, good enough for fourth place. This result meant Zentrum had the opportunity to continue with the Government of von Bennigsen or demand the appointment of a new Chancellor to Kaiser Wilhelm II.

The second, however, gave a great indication to the SDF as the direction of travel of European politics. The SPD, or Social Democrats, had secured nearly 20% of the vote and 35 seats in the new administration. Emergency laws put in place by von Bennigsen had dissolved the administration in response to the unrest in London and the involvement of the Possibilist faction in the new French State, but despite that, its candidates had built up immense personal popularity and the Party saw its deputies elected despite the prohibitive three-tiered suffrage system used in elections to the Reichstag. The popularity of the SPD gave a significant boost to the DFP, who, despite finishing second in the popular vote, had returned 100 deputies.

Zentrum leader Ludwig Windthorst indicated to Kaiser Wilhelm that his faction would not support a Chancellery formed by Rudolf Virchow, leader of the DFP, but would also not support a Government supported by von Bennigsen either. They would, however, support a Government that would act as a coalition between the liberal forces in the Reichstag. Kaiser Wilhelm summoned Leo von Caprivi to the Imperial Palace to form a Government. Caprivi would need a mandate within the Reichstag and the Prussian Landtag to be appointed, so wire-pullers arranged a vacancy for him to fill. He was appointed Minister-President of Prussia and Chancellor in April 1890 and called together a cabinet that included the DFP and Zentrum. To the Catholics, he promised an educational reform to increase the church's power and its factional power within German governance. To the Liberals, he proposed a loosening of tariffs and the restructuring of the state to lessen the influence of Prussian Junkers. Aristocratic opposition to his Government began almost immediately and tarnished Wilhelm's prestige among the Junkers by the decision not to allow the DKP government, popular in Prussia, to continue. Caprivi appointed both Windthorst and Virchow to positions within his ministry, and the Government secured enough support to pass a budget in May 1890, confirming its confidence within the legislature.


Leo Von Caprivi, Chancellor of Germany

Caprivi's desire for Foreign Policy was informed by the need to protect itself from French aggression, now a real threat. Kaiser Wilhelm, retaining the right to appoint his own Foreign Minister, appointed the son of former Chancellor Otto con Bismarck, Herbert bin Bismarck. This decision was motivated by the need to retain some support among the Junkers for his new ministry. Caprivi’s support was granted for his appointment as he shared the desire to isolate France through a web of alliances. The new direction of Foreign Policy, therefore, pushed him towards the support of Great Britain, and he held a meeting soon after his election between himself and Prime Minister Chamberlain. Both were under no illusions about the threat faced by Boulangism and agreed to continue cooperation. Chamberlain wanted to lessen the influence of both French and Russian power on Europe. With the Reinsurance Treaty due for negotiation, he indicated that Caprivi should push for Wilhelm to abandon the alliance with the Russian Empire and pursue a more active partnership with the United States to corner France and prevent it from making its objectives beyond its borders. German and Russian relations had been good throughout Frederich's reign, but the "new course" sought by Wilhelm desired Germany to take more of an active role in world politics. The meeting ended with a tacit agreement between the two men about the course chosen. Caprivi would indicate to Wilhelm that a more active relationship with Britain, and a more arms-length relationship between Germany and its allies Russia and Austria, would be beneficial. Wilhelm was happy to cast aside Russia but felt more sentimental about the relationship between Germany and Austria. Despite this, the Reinsurance Treaty was not renewed in 1891."
Part 5, Chapter XIV
V, XIV: The Birth of the System of 1890

The Great Tariff Debate of 1888 divided American politics. Since the end of the American Civil War, the budget had required tariffs to lessen the war debt incurred and steer the nation back to financial health, but throughout the 1880s, the country had been running at a budget surplus. Both sides, Democratic and Republican, sought to reduce the surplus. Still, both had differing views on achieving this: the Democrats believed lessening the tariff burden would be most effective. In contrast, Republicans believed increasing the tariff would reduce imports and decrease the overall take. William McKinley, known as the “Napoleon of Protection,” used the 1888 midterm campaign to advocate for a tariff and was rewarded with a healthy majority in both the House and Senate. He planned to introduce protectionist reform policies and force other nations to trade on favourable terms, with a plan to reduce tariffs to comparable levels to the ones American manufacturers paid to enter markets. A Republican trifecta, with the party controlling the House, Senate, and the Presidency, ensured this vision would win out. McKinley was elected as Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means and advocated a new tariff bill to President Benjamin Harrison, elected in 1888 alongside the Republican legislative majorities.

The Tariff debate had exhausted political engagement and led to widespread apathy in American politics. It was developments in New York that would puncture that apathy. The victory of Henry George in the New York City mayoral race united several independent strands of public opinion. The triumph of the third-party candidate and the subsequent disintegration of the seemingly-indestructible Tammany Hall machine had made the prospect of ending the Democratic & Republican duopoly on power a little closer. American politics post-Civil War had been defined by geography, with a solidly Democratic, formerly Confederate south and a Republican Union-loyal north. The growing cleavage would be between East and West, Farmer and Worker, and the Progressive Northeastern elite. After George's victory, time was running out for the Democratic and Republican Parties.

After George's victory, elements interested in forming a permanent third party would challenge the Democrats and Republicans in St Louis in December 1889. This convention would see a grouping of "the working man," including Farmers Alliance members and The Grange, Labor groups like the American Federation of Labor and the Knights of Labor, the Georgist National Democrats from New York, and members of former minor parties like the Greenback, Silver and United Labor Parties. This meeting would hash out a unified party to raise funds and nominate and elect candidates to State Legislatures and Congress under a single platform.

While the groups had differing motives and approaches to some aspects of the program, the meeting was successful. The Farmers Alliance movement of the 1870s, especially in the South, had become estranged from the Democratic Party after President Grover Cleveland's veto of the Texas Seed Bill. The alliance between the Farmer and Labor groups against the moneyed elites, which kept wages and payments low, was ingrained in 1886 when there was a Great Railroad Strike in the Southwest. After Farmer's groups supported the strike, hopes of an alliance between the Knights of Labor and the wider Farmers Movement grew. The final group, mainly Irish Catholic Georgists in the Northeast, had grown estranged from its Democratic roots thanks to the success of the NDP in Ireland and increasing disapproval of the corruption of Tammany Hall. The solidly Democratic Catholic base began to wither. Hibernophobia threatened to divide the alliance between these three groups, but for now, they would remain.


Meeting of Farmer and Labour delegates in Nebraska in 1890, no images exist of the founding convention in St Louis in 1889.

This meeting incorporated not all organised labor. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) sent delegates to the forum. Still, it refrained from joining the formal confederation, with its leading figure, Samuel Gompers, fiercely opposing the alliance between the Populist movement and his federation of Trade Unions. His opposition held the primarily protestant workers away from the union and created segregation in the worker's movement in the United States. While the predominantly Catholic Knights of Labor supported confederation, Protestant workers rejected it. A similar phenomenon would occur in Great Britain, as Irish and Anglo-Catholic workers would support the TUC and the SDF, and Protestant workers would affiliate with the GFTU and the Unionist Party.

Equally, Northern, Southern, and the "Colored" associations divided the Farmers Alliance movement, the latter representing black farmers in the South. This organisation attempted to join with the Southern Farmers but was barred. The Southern Alliance had tried to bar Southern blacks from entering the convention. Northern Farmers blocked this attempt, recognizing that black farmers would be a useful counterweight in winning Republican loyalties alongside Democratic. Also, sheer numbers would prove useful to the group - the Colored Farmers Alliance boasted over 1.2 million members. This issue would remain until Southern Farmers primarily dissipated from the movement at the turn of the century. The various Farmers Alliance groups, the Knights of Labor, the United Labour Party in New York, and others associated with the convention had a combined membership of well over 5 million active fee-paying members.

A unified plan was indeed agreed upon, becoming known as the Macune Plan after its author, Charles Macune. It advocated for an eight-hour workday (a vital aim of the Knights of Labor), a graduated income tax, the freedom to coin its own money, and the freedom to borrow money from the government to buy land. It also advocated for the kind of moderate Georgism promoted in Ireland, including a significant estate tax based on the Sexton Plan. Elsewhere in the platform was the direct election of Senators, breaking up national banks, and collective bargaining with railway operators. The agrarian "Sub-Treasury Plan" would follow this plan in 1891, forming a vital element of the campaign to elect James Weaver as President in 1892.

The groups ended the convention by inaugurating the Farmer-Labor Confederation, which would initially become known by many names: the Populists, the People's group, and the United Party, but it would settle by 1892 on a single title stemming from its founding organisation: the Farmer-Labor Party. The Farmer-Labor movement would form groups to support the new party's work: In 1889, Charles Macune launched the National Economist, which became the national paper of the Farmer-Labor Party. A National Executive Committee was formed with members like Henry Loucks, James H. Kyle, Silver-advocate John Edward Jones, Henry George, and Mary Lease as members. Lease would also head the Women's Farmer-Labor Association (WFLA). Finally, Macune formed the National Reform Press Association: a group of newspapers that advocated for the ideals of the Farmer-Labor movement. Voters would test its unity and success at the upcoming elections of November 1890.