235 pages • 6x9 • paper • Includes new introduction by
Professor John English
list: $24.95
ISBN-13: 978-1-77244-028-7
publication: May 2016

JOHN ENGLISH, OC, FRSC, is founding director of the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at the Munk School of Global Affairs.

the decline of politics

The Conservatives and the Party System 1901-1920

john english


John English’s Decline of Politics explores one of the great turning points in Canadian history, illuminating the realities that shape and govern the country’s political life. A brilliant analysis of the events that transformed the nation’s party politics a century ago, and set the stage for the subsequent decades of Liberal dominance, the book remains as lively and fresh as when it was rst written.

–R. Kenneth Carty, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Political
Science, University of British Columbia


John English opens this new edition of his classic work with a fascinating insight into present-day Canadian politics. Everything can change suddenly, he observes, when a “wave of opinion” washes over the country, creating moments that carry both dreams and danger.


First published in 1977, The Decline of Politics: The Conservatives and the Party System 1901–1920 remains a seminal work of Canadian political history. This new edition has been corrected, newly typeset, and opens with a lively retrospective look at the sea change in Canadian politics that laid the groundwork for the long period of Liberal rule.


“An excellent study which combines a thorough knowledge of Canadian political history, deep research in manuscript sources, and the ability to use theoretical insights from social science.” – Foreign Affairs