Introduction: The historical problem
The emergence of the Labour party confronts the historian with a number of problems. The first is to account for the creation of a new and separate party to represent labour. Who felt it necessary to establish such a political organization, and why? In answering this question we must, of course, consider the timing of the enterprise: what particular conditions prevailed at the birth of the Labour Representation Committee in 1900 and what had delayed its introduction at an earlier juncture?