German Historical Institute London:
Bibliography: Research on British History
in the Federal Republic of Germany


DETLEV MARES, Auf der Suche nach dem "wahren" Liberalismus. Demokratische Bewegung und liberale Politik im viktorianischen England, Veröffentlichungen des Arbeitskreises deutsche England-Forschung, 45 (Berlin: Philo-Verlag, 2002), XII + 373 pp. € 50

ISBN 3-8257-0260-X

This book offers an account of popular radical politics in the mid-Victorian era. It suggests a new framework for analysis that is based on British and German discussions surrounding a proper understanding of popular politics. The concept of a "democratic movement" serves to integrate subjects ranging from the republican movement in Britain in the 1860s/1870s and the activities of the First International to the relationships of popular radicals and the Gladstonian Liberal Party. The book argues that the democratic movement failed to achieve institutional independence as a third party since points of contact with the Liberal Party suggested a chance to transform this party into the political force of democracy.

Chapters deal with the institutional dimension of metropolitan popular radicalism in the 1860s and 1870s, the structures of democratic culture as well as the basic concepts of democratic discourse. The study moves on to exploring the relationships of democratic and liberal discourse as well as the claim of popular radicals to give expression to their views in the public sphere. A final chapter deals with the many-sided relationships between popular radicals and the Liberal Party, culminating in an account of the transition from mid-Victorian radicalism to late-Victorian Socialism.

Detlev Mares

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