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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

Constitutional Confrontation and the Agadir Crisis
MPs returned in January 1911 from the Christmas break to witness a constitutional crisis. Asquith introduced his Parliament Bill to restrict the power of the Lords. It passed through the Commons but was rewritten in the Lords. The Commons rejected these amendments and sent it back to the Lords. The Lords, by a very narrow margin, passed it. The creation of new peers was avoided.

Meanwhile in Morocco the Germans and French were having a head-on confrontation over their interests there. The Germans were ready for war. The French and the British had no wish for the Germans to establish an Atlantic port at Agadir. The Germans backed down. The British public was already pro-French and anti-German.

Lord Lansdowne
Lord Lansdowne
HENRY CHARLES KEITH PETTY-FITZMAURICE, Fifth Marquis Of Lansdowne (1845-1927)

  • A member of the House of Lords
  • Became a Liberal MP in 1868
  • Under-Secretary for war 1872-1874
  • Under-Secretary for India 1880
  • Governor-General of Canada 1882-1888
  • Governor-General of India 1888-1894
  • War Secretary 1895-1900
  • Foreign Secretary 1900-1905
  • Remembered for negotiating the Anglo-French Entente Cordiale

did you know?
In 1911 most trade unions called their members out on strike. By August the country was at a standstill, the capital had no buses, there was no petrol and there were many food shortages.

Members of the Commons voted themselves £400 a year each - the professional MP had arrived.

Religious Statistics Of The British Population In 1911

  • 229,000,000 Anglicans
  • 171,000,000 Roman Catholics
  • 122,000,000 Presbyterians (Scotland)
  • 800,000 Methodists
  • 419,000 Baptists
  • 494,000 Congregationalists
Select historical period

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1907Anglo-Russian entente is formed
1908Campbell-Bannerman dies
Asquith becomes Prime Minister
1909Old Age Pensions are introduced
1910George V becomes king
The Union of South Africa is established
1911National Insurance Acts are passed
1912Scott reaches the South Pole
Balkan Wars break out
1913Trade Union Act and Cat and Mouse Act are passed
1914Irish Home Rule Act is passed
World War I breaks out
1915The coalition government is formed
1916Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister
The Easter Rising occurs in Dublin

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