History of the Conservative Party
Time: 15:00 - 17:00
the country, if not the world, has ever seen. How can we explain these victories… and the
rejection that inevitably follows? Do the Conservatives seek office for their own sake or can
we identify consistent strands of policy or ideology? This course offers a history of the Party
from its very beginning to the present day.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HBH55
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
What is the course about?
The history of the Conservative Party from its very beginning to the present day.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• Who were the Tories? How did they become Conservatives?
• Who were the Liberal Unionists? How did the Party fare between the Wars?
• How did Churchill lose in 1945… and what changed by 1951?
• Did the contest between Heath and Thatcher change the Party forever?
• Why did the Conservatives lose so badly in 1997 but then recover?
• Can we identify a consistent thread in Conservative thought?
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Describe the earlier history of the Tories and Conservatives
• Evaluate the Party’s success in the early twentieth century
• Understand why the Conservatives won the War but lost the election
• Explain the post war consensus and how it relates to Conservative politics
• Decide whether we are all Thatcherites now
• Reflect on whether there is a Conservative ideology.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Each class is broken down into bite sized explorations of key topics, introduced by the tutor
and followed by class discussion; in addition, the tutor introduces the session and sums up
at the end to make sure you fully understand the important points. You will be provided
with select readings, but this is designed to enhance your study after the class; you can
follow, enjoy, and contribute to the discussion without doing so.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs. Please bring a pen and notebook to class if you wish to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Other courses in British history. Please see the City Lit website.
Justin is Lecturer in Politics at Brasenose College, Oxford. He also teaches at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford and the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge. He is an Associate Lecturer at the Open University. He holds postgraduate degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, and London.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.