Conservatism, imperialism and appeasement: the political career of Douglas Hogg, first Viscount Hailsham 1922-38

Cooper, Christopher
Conservatism, imperialism and appeasement: the political career of Douglas Hogg, first Viscount Hailsham 1922-38. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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By using the political career of the leading Conservative Douglas Hogg, 1st Viscount Hailsham, as a prism, this thesis explores important aspects of inter-war British politics. Considering that Hailsham held key posts during the 1920s and 1930s, his career has attracted less historical coverage than one would expect. By charting his important role in the policy-making process, this study sheds light upon the major challenges facing Conservative leaders and enhances our understanding of British politics during this turbulent period. Hailsham helped shape the moderate form of Conservatism that asserted itself at this time and became intimately involved in formulating Britain’s imperial, defence and foreign policies. Hailsham’s contribution to the Conservatives’ response to the rise of the Labour Party during Britain’s newfound age of mass democracy emphasises the intricacies of inter-war Conservatism. Notwithstanding the overwhelmingly working class electorate, the Conservatives were the dominant party at the polls and this study demonstrates that Hailsham played no small part in the Conservatives’ highly successful inter-war appeal. By the end of the 1920s, he had assumed such a prominent position that a number of high-ranking Tories regarded him as Stanley Baldwin’s likely successor. During the 1930s, Hailsham confirmed that he was a committed imperialist. He was amongst those who defined Britain’s policy as the Empire was transformed into the Commonwealth. He also made important contributions to the interplay between the National Government’s foreign and defence policies. He was one of only a handful of ministers whose continued presence allowed them to make interventions in Britain’s disarmament, rearmament and appeasement policies during the era of the European dictators and the rise of militaristic Japan. Hailsham’s contribution is even more significant because he has strong claims to being the first cabinet minister to express disquiet over the mounting German menace.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2012-08 (completed)
Subjects: ?? JN101 ??
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Histories, Languages and Cultures
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2013 10:13
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:38
DOI: 10.17638/00008817
  • Dutton, David
  • Peel, Mark