Political

The ‘C Room’ in the Members’ Library.

For 200 years, the House of Commons Library has guided politicians and policy.

Robert  Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, portrait by Thomas Lawrence, 1820.

The prime minister at the time of Napoleon’s defeat was a keen observer of European politics. His government sought a balance of power on the Continent, but with minimal British engagement.

'The Polling' (detail), the third in William Hogarth’s four-part series, An Election, 1754.

What electoral rights did Britons have in the century before 1918?

At the beginning of the 20th century the Great Powers competed for the right to extract the vast oil reserves around the Iraqi city of Mosul. The motivation – and prize – was energy security. 

Winning the vote meant millions of women needed a party to represent them in Parliament. Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst founded one, with limited success.

Citizen Clem: Attlee during his time as prime minister, 1945-51. © Hulton/Getty Images.

Fiercely anti-Communist, Clement Attlee found Britain’s intelligence agencies to be invaluable tools.

The Oaths of Strasbourg from Nithard's history, late tenth century. © Bridgeman Images

The earliest surviving written evidence of a Romance language, the Oaths of Strasbourg were sworn on February 14th, 842.

A hat with the words "Make America Great Again".

When Joe Biden said ‘God save the Queen’, was he heralding the end of the republic?

Detail from the front cover of French newspaper Le Petit Journal Illustré, covering the execution of the 15 deputies, 1 August, 1926.

Turkey has a long history of coups, but a failed attempt on the life of President Kemal Atatürk in 1926 had a lasting impact on the country. One foreign journalist recorded the reprisals that followed with admiration – which soon turned to fear. 

Churchill in 1941

Churchill’s vision of Britain’s role in the world may provide the key to Brexit.