The Labour Parties rise in the first quarter of the 20th Century was a meteoric one, as the labour party was founded in 1900 , the party soon became the biggest party to compete with the Conservative Party, which saw Labour finally pip them in the general election of 1924. The Labour parties rise however was down to the aims they had and the way the party was set up. Set up by the Parliament and with the help of strong politicians of each socialist party in Britain and their aims of giving women the vote and the views they had on wages and jobs structure.The first decade of the parties existence was vital, it provided the Labour Party with stability and established them as a true political party. The LRC (Labour Representation Committee) was formed on the 27th of February in 1900, after a meeting between Britain’s Trade Unions and its Socialist Political Parties agreed a new group known as the Labour Party would be created, due to the evident split in ideas between each party, Keir Hardie announced the party and ordered it to be given its “own whips, and their own policies” with the help of all parties in promoting the newly created group.
The LRC was given 2 representatives from each of the three parties (Independent Labour, Social Democratic Federation and the Fabian society) along with the help of 7 of the countries trade union representatives. The party then immediately announced Ramsay MacDonald their secretary and field 15 candidates in their opening General Election in 1900. The 15 candidates produced strong results with them gaining a combined total of 62,689 votes and most importantly winning 2 seats in the House of Commons through Keir Hardie of the Independent Labour Party and Richard Bell of the Liberal Party. In 1902 however relations between the SFD were broken as they were dissociated from one another. In 1903 the LRC gained even more power when MacDonald and Hardie agreed a secret partnership with the Liberals consisting of the agreement that the LRC and the Liberals would only be able to campaign against each other when completely necessary, and when the election came round in 1906 the Liberals had the clear edge and the tories losing the majority of their seats as well as the LRC gaining 29 seats and ultimately changing their name from the Labour Representative Party to what they’re called today “The Labour Party”.The war had a negative effect on the Labour Party however, the party struggled due to the indecisive nature of the party and the various disagreements it suffered on route to the war. The main disagreement came leading up to the 1st world war where the labour party was completely split on whether they would support the parliament’s decision to request the working class must fight in the war. One of the parties main representatives Keir Hardie believed no man should need to fight in the war stating he expect “the governing class, to respect the decision of the overwhelming majority of people who will have neither part nor lot in such infamy”, this looked to have made the decision when Ramsay MacDonald showed clear intent to support his fellow party representative stating the working class “are no enemies to ours but our faithful friends”.
Despite the clear attempts to boycott the parliamentary decision, on the 5th of August of 1914 the Labour Party voted against the views of their counterparts and voted in favour of the Parliament. This led to more unrest, as MacDonald decided to immediately resign as party chairman stating he “saw no use in remaining as the party was divided”. Incame Arthur Henderson pro-war yet his stay as party chairman was short as he was called up to be part of the coalition government by Herbert Asquith, to which he accepted.
Although the disagreements throughout the war labour remained one of the top political parties in Britain and after the war was finally over and an election held, labour received more votes than ever previously. Labour won 18% of the vote in the 1918 General election and saw them take a total of 57 seats in the House of Commons, this was already a meteoric rise from the 2 they had received in the election of 1900. Labour achieved this in many ways, labour had a massive role to play in the declaration of the vote for women, the labour party believed women deserved the vote and despite more unrest and disagreements over the matter the party decided to pursue their aim of giving women the vote. In 1918 the Representation of peoples act declared women over the age of 30 and men over the age of 21 the vote, this obviously gave the party huge support from the less well off people and is one of the major reasons for their success in 1924. In 1918 the Labour Party declared itself as a socialist party and began its new campaign “the labour and it’s new social order which allowed labour to control full employment of Britain alongside the management of its maximum and minimum wages, as well as the taxes they enforced. This allowed labour to furthermore influence the working class as they became known and reliable as a party for the workers. The Labour Party was also making sure it became the leading opposition to the Conservatives, and although it had a lot to do with the disputes inside the liberal camp the labour party achieved the majority in the 1924 general election. The labour party party was very successful in the first quarter of the 20th century, it was given the platform to become a real contender for general election.
The labour party was given 2 members of each socialist party in Britain at the time, giving them a huge advantage over the other starting out companies. The first real success came in the first year of the LRC existence when Richard Bell and Keir Hardie won seats in the house of commons a big breakthrough to the starting out party. However comparing that to the end of the quarter, in 1924 the labour party won its first majority and despite it being by a small margin it showed how far the party had really come over the 24 years leading up to it. The house of Commons also showed how far the party had come, from only two representatives in 1900 by 1924 the party boasted 57. The success was a lot to with Keir Hardie and Ramsay MacDonald when they struck up a deal with the liberal party that meant not facing each other, this obviously meant a lot as the labour party went all the way from 2 representatives in 1900 to 29 in the 1906 general election. The aims of the party also gave them a huge advantage in 1924, by electing to give women and men the right regardless of who they are, this aim was achieved when in 1918 it was declared that women ages 30 and over and men 21 and over were allowed to vote, bringing huge support to the party, and although the party had major setbacks in its development when they disputed the choice on whether to agree with the Parliament’s decision to make workers fight in a war a must, the party was a major building block for British politics as it established itself as a main British party and becoming the main opposition of the Conservative Party.