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How far was Sir Robert Peel personally responsible for the recovery of the Conservative Party between 1834 - 1841?

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Introduction

How far was Sir Robert Peel personally responsible for the recovery of the Conservative Party between 1834 - 1841? The Tory Party had many factors that were contributing to their failures before 1834, and it is important to look at whether the fact that Peel took control of the Party and began to shape it into the Conservative Party is the reason for recovery, or whether other reasons were more important, and Peel did a job that any other politician at the time could have. The Tories had many issues before 1834 which were obvious reasons for failure; however there is a question as to whether Peel's rise to power was the actual solution to these. The Tory party was leaderless and not united, which in turn led to poor organisation in both Westminster and constituencies which was deadly to a party considering the increase in the electorate via reforms. The increase electorate also proved to be an obstacle for the Tories as they were very unpopular, and were in desperate need of a new image if they were to survive, considering their defeat in the 1831 elections and the large popularity of the current Whig government. All of these factors are important to consider when studying Peels importance, and what he did to alleviate these problems for the Party, if anything. ...read more.

Middle

The Tamworth Manifesto helped Peel's Conservatives gain the support that Wellington's Tories lost after 1832, but this piece of Party policy could have been created by any politician who saw that the Tories would fail and needed to make some concessions to gain back former support. The Tory Party had become increasingly unpopular with the increasing electorate, and did not seem able to organise themselves in a sufficient manner to gain a relative gain of votes to voters. This is because of the Reform Act of 1832 created a larger number of genuine elections in constituencies due to the removal of many Rotten and Pocket Boroughs. This meant that many of the Middle Class could vote and Parties were required to have policies to please them; mainly the ideas of reform. The Tory party were viewed as the party that would not grant reform, so the Whigs gained the largest increase in support from the change in the franchise. A new look to the Conservative Party was needed, and Peel was responsible to provide it considering he was the leading member of the Party. Peel's most obvious action in creating a new image for the Tory party was the gradual name change to the Conservative Party. ...read more.

Conclusion

Peel was actually a financial expert which helped in gaining support from those who felt the Whigs were no longer a reasonable option after creating a deficit budget of �6 million. Along with the debt, the Whigs also proposed a fixed corn duty which was aimed to please the poor but allowed many merchants and manufacturers to sell their products abroad. This pushed many of the former Tory voters back to the new and improved Conservative Party. It cannot be denied that Peel made vital changes to the Tory party that was outdated and looked to the past for guidance, and created the Conservative Party that gained lost supporters and new ones too. The question is how much of a role he played in the revival of the Party. I feel that although Peel made simple and steady choices in the changes of Conservatism, he made the decisions based on public opinion and his own views which he never changed to suit anyone else. These choices, although simple and steady were cautious and exactly what was needed. His choices were well made, and the failure of the Whigs was all that was needed by the time the 1841 elections came about to allow the Conservatives take power thanks to Peels development of an almost dead party in 1930 into the Party the majority of voters wanted by 1941. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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