The Political Culture of Anti-Socialism in Britain, 1900-1940

  • Liam Ryan

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This thesis examines the political culture of anti-socialism in Britain between 1900 and 1940. Previous studies of the topic have examined its importance to the Conservative Party and specific intellectual movements like late-nineteenth century Individualism. The existing scholarship has largely judged anti-socialism in relation to its efficacy as a political strategy and relevance to intellectual debates about the changing nature of the state. This study argues that both approaches fail to capture the diversity of anti-socialism in early twentieth century Britain. It contends that anti-socialism was a complex political culture defined by strengths and weaknesses. The four decades between 1900 and 1940 witnessed the emergence of the Labour Party as a significant political force, the expansion of the trade union movement and the victory of the Bolshevik Revolution. The political culture of anti-socialism developed in reaction to these seismic developments. Confronted by sizeable social and political movements in favour of socialism for the first time, anti-socialists developed ideologies and practices that would resonate throughout the twenti-eth century.
Date of Award23 Jan 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorJames Thompson (Supervisor)

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