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Training minds for the war of ideasAshridge College, the Conservative Party and the cultural politics of Britain, 1929-54$
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Clarisse Berthezène

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086496

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086496.001.0001

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Redefining the principles of Conservatism

Redefining the principles of Conservatism

Chapter:
(p.93) 5 Redefining the principles of Conservatism
Source:
Training minds for the war of ideas
Author(s):

Clarisse Berthezène

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719086496.003.0006

In 1930, the Conservative historian, Keith Feiling, published a pamphlet entitled What is Conservatism? This is a question, which has troubled historians of political thought and political philosophers over the entire 20th century. In spite of the party’s political and electoral dominance in the inter-war years, that period saw no more certainty than any other as to the essence of Conservatism. But it was also the Baldwinian party, which created the two most ambitious political research and education projects undertaken by the Conservative party in the ‘Conservative Century’ to define the ‘practical ideal’ of Conservatism. These two projects, the Conservative Research Department (CRD) and the Bonar Law Memorial College at Ashridge, were both founded in 1929 and were regarded as related institutional attempts to provide echo-chambers for Conservative thought. CRD’s activities have been examined in a study by John Ramsden, but this chapter explores in depth the political education project of the Bonar Law College (known as Ashridge) and, in so doing, offers a fuller contextualisation of CRD’s activities and also examine the formation of the idea of the Conservative intellectual.

Keywords:   Keynes, conservative Keynesianism, industrial parliament, Macmillan, The Middle Way, Arthur Bryant, English Mistery, Lymington

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