"The Efficient Secret" is an analysis of the institutional changes in parliamentary government in nineteenth-century England, concentrating on the years between the first and third Reform Acts. Professor Gary W. Cox employs a rational choice model to analyze the problems of voter choice and to examine the emergence of party loyalty in the electorate, the development of cabinet government, and their legislative consequences. The introductory chapters provide the historical setting for this study and briefly survey nineteenth-century political and economic events. Professor Cox then focuses on the increases in party voting in Parliament and in the electorate. To support his argument concerning these parallel developments, he uses statistical evidence drawn from poll books and newspapers.
In this extensively revised 2nd edition Evans engages with a welter of new material and fresh interpretations. The book sheds light both on the challenges to existing political and social authority and why those challenges were seen off. Evans examines: The composition of Britain’s political elite and how this elite coped with the problems thrown up by a society urbanising and modernising at an unprecedented rate. How Britain reacted to the longer-term implications of the French Revolution, including the development of a more cohesive national identity. How the elite attempted to maintain public order in this period – and with what success. The extent of change in Britain’s political system brought about by political, religious and administrative reforms. Written in accessible style, with a rich collection of documents, chronology, glossary, a guide to further reading,and a ‘Who’s Who’ which summarises the careers and contributions of the main figures, this new edition is essential for all those interested in understanding Britain at this most crucial turning point in its history.