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Type: Thesis
Title: Legalised Trade Unions, Compulsory Primary Schooling, Enhanced Higher Education – the Legacies of Anthony John Mundella, 1825-1897
Author: Davey, John Michael
Issue Date: 2020
School/Discipline: School of Humanities : History
Abstract: During the second half of the nineteenth century, the British state had an increasing impact on the everyday lives of the people. However, there were widely differing views between those who supported increased state involvement in matters such as education and factory working conditions, and those who resisted such action. By the end of the century, these positions had been at least partly reconciled and reforming legislation passed. This thesis explores how some of these conflicts were resolved by discussing the influence of the Liberal politician, Anthony John Mundella (1825-1897), on labour law, education, and other issues. Both as an MP and as a government minister, Mundella exercised an important role in improving working conditions in factories and mines, and in legalising the trade union movement. He was responsible for ensuring that all children in Britain received an elementary education and he increased the availability of higher and technical education. This thesis argues that Mundella was an important reformer who introduced legislation which is still pertinent today. It will show that Mundella was an unusual politician by virtue of his ability to achieve results by compromise. He sought to better the position of the working man and was prepared to accept a less than perfect solution. Mundella’s political activities received considerable attention during his lifetime but later histories of the period have not recognised the significance of his work. This thesis endeavours to rectify this situation and to provide a re-interpretation of Mundella’s importance.
Advisor: Pritchard, Gareth
MacIntyre, Clem
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2020
Keywords: Great Britain
Nineteenth Century
workplace conditions
trade unions
arbitration and conciliation
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