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The Conservative and Unionist Party, popularly known as the Conservative Party is a political party in United Kingdom. Founded in its present form in 1834 from the Tory Party—giving rise to the Conservatives' colloquial name of "Tories"—the Conservative Party was one of two dominant parties in the 19th century, along with the Liberal Party. It has historically been the principal party of the right, though in the modern day the party and its voters are more associated with the center-right.

Conservative Party in Southern VictoryEdit

After the Great War, the Silver Shirts, under Oswald Mosley, seemed to be in position to overtake the Conservative Party as Britain's rightist party. The Conservatives outflanked the Silver Shirts by shifting farther to the right under the leadership of Winston Churchill. In the 1930s, the Conservatives won control of the Government by entering into a coalition with the Silver Shirts. Churchill became Prime Minister and Mosley became Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Association with the Silver Shirts had the effect of moving the Conservatives even farther to the right, especially during the Second Great War. The Conservative leadership became almost indistinguishable from their Silver Shirt counterparts.

The power of the Conservative Party (and the Silver Shirts) was broken in 1944, when Germany destroyed three British cities, including London, with superbombs. The Churchill government was dissolved on a vote of non-confidence, and the Conservatives fell from office.

Conservative Party in The War That Came EarlyEdit

The Conservative administration of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain opted to declare war on Germany after Adolf Hitler announced his intention to attack Czechoslovakia on 30 September 1938.[1] The course of the war caused fracturing within the Conservative Party, as Winston Churchill became an outspoken critic of Chamberlain's handling of the war.[2] This criticism did not prevent Chamberlain from appointing Churchill to the new office of Minister of War in the Winter of 1939.[3]

In 1940, the signing of the Hess Agreement, in which Britain and France became Germany's ally against the Soviet Union[4] proved to be a shattering blow for the Conservative Party as a whole. Churchill, who'd opposed the agreement, was killed in an automobile accident before the signing.[5] Several Conservative MPs quietly rallied to Ronald Cartland.[6]

In the fall of 1940, Chamberlain was succeeded by Sir Horace Wilson, who began a program of spying on his potential enemies. Cartland's colleagues soon grew alarmed by this, and as 1940 passed into 1941, Cartland's group were openly considering whether or not a coup would be necessary.[7]

That coup came in 1941, when Wilson began arresting political enemies.[8] The military acted, arresting Wilson and his Cabinet.[9] Cartland became part of the new government, as an army captain, rather than an MP,[10] and the Conservatives were sidelined.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Hitler's War, pgs. 8-16.
  2. West and East, pg. 223.
  3. Ibid., pg. 378.
  4. The Big Switch, pg. 238
  5. Ibid., pg. 214.
  6. Ibid., pg. 342.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 410-11.
  8. Ibid., pg. 134.
  9. Ibid., pgs. 153-154.
  10. Ibid., pg. 188.

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