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House of Lords Reform: A History

Volume 1. The Origins to 1937: Proposals Deferred- Book One: The Origins to 1911- Book Two: 1911–1937

Peter Raina

One of the peculiarities of British history is the development of a constitution headed by the Crown and the two Houses of Parliament. This system emerged to become a balance of democracy, efficiency and moderation that became the admiration of the world.
The contribution of the House of Lords to this balance is all too often overlooked. In this richly documented two-volume work, the author offers a detailed examination of the Lords’ constitutional position and the predicament they faced as the Commons increasingly championed popular rule. With a landowning membership based on the hereditary principle, the Lords struggled to adapt. Yet, valiant attempts were made. The author gives us the first thorough, full-length history of the Lords’ ambiguous responses to the new democracy and the stream of arguments, proposals and bills raised for reform of their House.
Drawing on speeches, letters, reports and memoranda of the times (some never previously published), the book brings to life the inner wranglings and arresting personalities, the hopes and anxieties and the sheer frustrations of a House divided between entrenched interests and idealism, and often threatened by progressives outside.
The two books in Volume One cover the period from the medieval origins of the House of Lords and proceed, through many tumultuous events, to the outbreak of the Second World War.

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House of Lords Reform: A History Oxford · Bern · Berlin · Bruxelles · Frankfurt am Main · New York · Wien PETER LANG Peter Raina House of Lords Reform: A History The Origins to 1937: Proposals Deferred Book One: The Origins to 1911 isbn 978-3-0343-0749-9 (print) isbn 978-3-0353-0577-7 (eBook) © Peter Lang AG, International Academic Publishers, Bern 2011 Hochfeldstrasse 32, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland info@peterlang.com, www.peterlang.com, www.peterlang.net All rights reserved. All parts of this publication are protected by copyright. Any utilisation outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without the permission of the publisher, is forbidden and liable to prosecution. This applies in particular to reproductions, translations, microfilming, and storage and processing in electronic retrieval systems. Printed in Germany Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche National bibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: Raina, Peter K., 1935- House of Lords reform : a history / Peter Raina. v. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Contents: v. 1. The origins to 1937: proposals deferred -- ISBN 978-3-0343-0749-9 (alk. paper) 1. Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords--Reform. 2. Legislative bodies--Great Britain--Reform. I. Title. JN621.R35 2011 328.41’071--dc23 2011024591 For Halina Contents Preface xi Acknowledgements xxv List of Illustrations xxvii Chapter 1 The Evolution of the House of Lords: The origins to the Restoration 1 Chapter 2 Eighteenth Century Reforms: New peers 47 Chapter 3 The ‘New Nobility’...

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