Skip to main content

Liberal Unionists

Liberal Unionists The Liberal government's proposal for Irish Home Rule and land reform in 1886 caused substantial opposition within the party and the fall of the government in June 1886. The opponents of Gladstone's Irish settlement, known to themselves as Liberal Unionists, and to other Liberals as Dissentient Liberals, believed Home Rule would lead to separation. They were of three chief sorts: (a) Lord Hartington and other Whigs who were important numerically and because of the loss of their money and their numbers in the House of Lords; (b) many Liberals in Lowland Scotland and Ulster (those in Ulster forming their own organization) who had become Unionists; (c) Joseph Chamberlain and his group of Birmingham MPs. After the 1886 election, when about 55 Liberal Unionists were elected, and the failure of talks in 1887, several returned to the Liberal Party.

In the 1890s the Liberal Unionists became more closely linked with the Unionists, Chamberlain and Devonshire (as Hartington had become) entering Salisbury's government in 1895. They split over tariff reform in the 1900s, some following Chamberlain into protection, others forming, with some Tories, the Unionist Free Food League. The Chamberlain family maintained control of the Liberal Unionist Council. The Liberal Unionists fused with the Conservative Party in 1912 and their members were admitted to the Carlton Club.

H. C. G. Matthew

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Liberal Unionists." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Liberal Unionists." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/liberal-unionists

"Liberal Unionists." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved September 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/liberal-unionists

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.