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The twentieth century (1897 to present).

The Crown, Lords, and Commons

After the death of Queen Victoria the monarchy continued to flourish but the Court of Lords and Ladies faded.

The Parliament Act of 1911 took from the House of Lords the power to veto legislation and substituted a power of delay only. The apparent anomaly of this chamber has several times in the twentieth century been discussed, notably in 1949, when the Labour government tried to reduce further the ability of the House of Lords to delay legislation. In 1958 life peers were created and they began to play a larger part in the political activities of the chamber. In spite of discussion, a way to make the "Lords" more "representative" has not been found.

Thus the monarchy, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons have remained intact. This institutional continuity is unmatched by any other major European country.

The Aliens Act of 1905

The British Empire at the turn of the century was made up of a great diversity of territories and peoples: India, Malaya, Ceylon, Borneo, and Hong Kong; the extensive dependencies of Gibraltar, Cyprus, Malta, and Egypt in the Middle East; the "undeveloped estate" of vast areas of Africa; as well as the self-governing Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. While the Empire did not reach its greatest extent until after World War I, the strains of growth began to be felt much earlier. Slowly but steadily, a substantial and growing population either born in or descended from non-English parents began to call England home. The 1905 Aliens Act was the first substantial legislation aimed at restricting immigration.

The Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Parties

The names of the three major political parties are the same today as at the start of the twentieth century: Conservative, Labour, and Liberal. New parties such as the British Communist party and the British Union of Fascists party have appeared and disappeared. For most of the century the governing politics has been a two-party system, with a third party attracting the fringe of political sentiment.

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Title Annotation:Literary Names and Terms: People and Places; evolution of English monarchy and House of Lords; Aliens Act of 1905; English political parties
Author:McCoy, Kathleen; Harlan, Judith
Publication:English Literature from 1785
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1992
Words:339
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