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Commons

1832-1868


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In 2009 the History began work on the period after 1832. The aim of the programme as a whole is to create a web-based History of Parliament from 1832 to 1945, complementing the traditional printed volumes.

The first major project covers 1832-68, a period in which the Commons oversaw a vast range of activities - social, economic, colonial and religious - prior to the creation of the civil service and the advent of the modern bureaucratic state. Launched after a series of consultations with leading academics in the field, our work on the 1832-68 Commons will provide a key resource for both political and non-political historians and all those interested in the UK’s early democratic development.

As well as analysing the careers of the 2,589 MPs who sat in this period, many of whom have yet to be properly studied, the project is producing accounts of all the 401 constituencies in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Spanning nine general elections, these articles examine popular politics and electoral culture at a time when local and national parties were still evolving into a more modern form. A survey volume, interpreting the findings of the research and examining the institutional operation of the Commons, is also being prepared. Extending this work, a number of closely related PhD programmes have been established with external institutions, including the University of Warwick and the Institute of Historical Research.

Taking advantage of the many digital resources now on offer, the 1832-68 project is being produced far more rapidly than previous publications and in collaboration with a large number of external scholars and writers. Over 600 draft articles can now be accessed on our preview site. To gain access to this website, please email Dr Philip Salmon.

These articles will form the basis of a new web layout for the completed project, in which the text is supported by a series of links to digitised collections and original sources. Visual materials, including constituency maps and portraits of MPs, will also be available.  

Parliament dealt with an unprecedented range of social, economic and local issues in this period and it is hoped that this new format will offer gateways into the most relevant digital collections and provide a hub for researchers wor