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Unformatted text preview: The Ascendancy of Commons The tendency toward consolidation of parties was accelerated as public opinion became a factor in elections free from patronage. Although the Liberals and the Conservatives were known to stand for certain general policies, it was not until near the end of the 19th cent. that William E. Gladstone began the practice of making national campaign tours to pledge the party to a program for the coming Parliament. With the development of the party caucus, at about the same time, freedom of action by individual members was reduced. By the late 19th cent. members of working-class origin (later organized into the Labour party) were being elected to the House of Commons. Concomitantly, the class represented in the House of Lords began to lose power in British society, and through long conflict with the Commons, particularly on matters of social legislation, the House of Lords itself was weakened. Commons was at first able to intimidate Lords by threatening the creation of enough new peers to override...
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- Fall '10