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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

Women's Rights, Religious Discrimination, & Military Reform
In 1907 the House of Lords, who were predominantly Conservative, rejected most of the legislation the Liberals presented. The PM, Campbell-Bannerman suggested that if a Bill could not get through the Lords then a small group of Peers and MPs should meet to see if a compromise could be reached. If this failed the legislation should pass through the Commons again and the Lords and if necessary an ad hoc committee of both. If this process did not work for a second time, then six months later the Bill would become law in its second form. This resolution was carried in the Commons, the Lords ignored it. Richard Haldane, the Secretary for War passed reforms for the army based on the German command system.

Richard Haldane
Richard Haldane
RICHARD HALDANE (1856-1928) First Viscount Haldane

  • A liberal politician and lawyer
  • Entered Parliament in 1879 and became Secretary of State for War 1905 to 1912
  • Reformed the army on the basis of the German army introducing a proper general staff, a British Expeditionary Force and a Territorial Force
  • Resigned as Lord Chancellor in 1915 but broke with the Liberals
  • Became Chancellor of the Exchequer in the first Labour Government, in 1924

did you know?
In 1907 the Caribbean suffered an earthquake which killed hundreds of Jamaicans and the Dutch East Indies suffered a tidal wave which killed 1,500 people.

Extract From G K Chesterton's Diary, Illustrated London News 1907
I incline to think that a great mass of women voting just at present would make just as little difference as a great mass more of men voting would make. I think the extending of the franchise from males to females would, under existing conditions, make just about as much difference as the extending of the franchise from males of twenty one to males of twenty. But all this simply means that the vote is a reality to the mass of people who use it already. If voting is only putting a cross against certain names submitted by a party caucus, then certainly women could do it as well as men. But voting ought not to mean this: voting ought to mean arguing for hours and hours in a public house and interrupting people and hitting the table. It ought to mean elbowing in great crowds and roaring and singing and rising in rebellion, and killing men over barricades.

In short, voting, if it means anything, means doing all the things that males have always done - notably, fighting, drinking, and talking about everything and nothing.

Select historical period

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1903Chamberlain resigns to campaign for tariff reform
The Women's Social and Political Union is founded by Emmeline Pankhurst
1904 The Russo-Japanese War begins
1905 Campbell-Bannerman becomes Prime Minister
The first buses are seen in London
The Piccadilly and Bakerloo tube lines open
1906 Trade Disputes Act is passed
1907 Anglo-Russian entente is formed
1908 Campbell-Bannerman dies
Asquith becomes Prime Minister
1909 Old Age Pensions are introduced
1910 Edward VII dies
George V becomes king
The Union of South Africa is established
1911 The Parliament Act is passed
The National Insurance Act is passed
1912 The Ulster Volunteer Force is formed
Scott reaches the South Pole

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