Arthur Henderson and the 1917 Stockholm conference: a reappraisal

McCormick, Martin Patrick (2020). Arthur Henderson and the 1917 Stockholm conference: a reappraisal. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis will challenge established accounts of the events leading to Henderson’s enforced resignation from the War Cabinet in August 1917. These accounts attribute Henderson’s determination to pursue British attendance at an international socialist conference in Stockholm to his concerns over the vulnerability of the socialist dominated but ‘moderate’ post-tsarist government. They contend that Henderson believed that the Russian government would be bolstered by the presence of Allied socialists at the conference. It will be argued in this thesis that whilst Henderson himself gave this impression, there is little supporting evidence to demonstrate that this was his main concern. The thesis will provide a detailed analysis of Henderson’s actions and statements during the period and will conclude that the standard account of this episode is not viable. It will argue that Henderson was not primarily motivated by events in Russia, but exploited them to bring about a change in Labour party policy, directed at engagement with the Socialist International in order to secure a peace based on socialist principles. It will be argued further that the threat of Bolshevism, not just in Russia, but more widely, has been gravely overstated as an explanation of Henderson’s actions at this time.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: None/not applicable
Other Funders: self funded
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain


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