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The origins and development of the Labour movement in west London 1918-1970

Humphries, B. (2019) The origins and development of the Labour movement in west London 1918-1970. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

This PhD will look at the origins and development of the labour movement in Ealing and Hillingdon from 1918 to 1970, with a focus on the Labour Party, trades unions, co-operative movement, Independent Labour Party and Communist Party. Written as a ‘history from below’ and based on extensive archival resources, it will assess the role played by different sections of the working class, including ethnic groups (Welsh, Irish and Asians from the Indian Punjab) and women, in forging and sustaining Labour’s presence in west London. In particular, it examines how population change altered the political landscape via large-scale industrialisation in the 1920s and 1930s and the building of new housing estates. Suburbia is considered as a mixed area of working-class communities and middle-class commuter land, feeding into analysis of Labour’s electoral fortunes at the general and local level. Ultimately, the thesis concludes that population change was not responsible alone for the political changes that took place over the century. As important was the building of political organisation at a ‘grassroots level’, thereby necessitating an emphasis on industrial and community organisation. Finally, the thesis evaluates the relationship between national political developments and local politics, feeding into a multi-faceted thesis that contributes to wider debate as to the fluctuating fortunes of Labour in and out of government.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Worley, M.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Humanities
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:85254
Date on Title Page:2018

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