• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How successful were the economic and social reforms of the Peel ministry in the period 1841-1846?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

HOW SUCCESSFUL WERE THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL REFORMS OF THE PEEL MINISTRY IN THE PERIOD 1841-1846? When the Conservatives under Peel attained power in 1841, they inherited a nation filled with unrest and discontent (i.e. due to 'knife and fork' issues, e.g. Chartism) and a huge budget deficit (estimated at �7.5 million). The Peel Ministry (although often Peel with his ministry in tow) therefore carried out major reforms concerning welfare and trade in order to solve the problems left by the preceding Whig administration. One interpretation of these reforms is that they were successful in developing Britain as a welfare state. In terms of economic policy, Peel's boldness was manifested in the 1842 budget, when he re-introduced the income tax for those earning more than �150 a year, arguing that the poor already had to spend a lot of their income on regressive taxes on many articles of consumption (e.g. ...read more.

Middle

hours of women and children and increased hours of schooling per day, which is yet another advancement in human rights, and thus can be considered a success. Finally, the repeal of the Corn Law, which was both economic and social reform, was the greatest achievement of the Peel ministry: Peel's reasoning for the removal of the laws put in place in 1815 by Lord Liverpool was the shortage of food, the threat of the Anti-Corn Law League and, in the short term, the Irish Famine of 1845. The repeal ensured slightly lower prices, no wild price fluctuations and did not result in the ruin of British farmers, thus it can be seen as a huge success. These reforms, then, set Britain on the path to becoming a modern and more equal society. ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally, much of the legislation passed acted against the landed interest, which included many Conservative MPs, thus Peel alienated many influential people who were perhaps already wary of him after his support for Catholic Emancipation. The repeal of the Corn Laws was the catalyst for the forced resignation of Peel and the second collapse of the Conservative Party in as many decades. The Conservatives would be out of any consistent power for around 40 years now, as a result of the incessant and excessive reforms of the Peel administration. The reforms of the Peel ministry, then, were a success in that they made British society more equal; however, the Conservative Party was a high price to pay for the often partial successes of destructive reforms. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

The student answers the question very well because they address both interpretations of Peel's ministry, which shows they are thinking widely enough to understand that historians have more than one opinion on the same event. The introduction shows a good ...

Read full review

Response to the question

The student answers the question very well because they address both interpretations of Peel's ministry, which shows they are thinking widely enough to understand that historians have more than one opinion on the same event. The introduction shows a good knowledge of what came before Peel's ministry, and this is good because it immediately tells the examiner that the student understands the causes of Peel's actions. It could be improved even further by having a short sentence on the end summarising the argument the student is about to make, as this would show the examiner right away that they capable of organising information. It's always good to demonstrate in the introduction that you can talk about the two sides of the story, in case you mess up the structure later. It's good how the student devotes one half of the essay to the argument for, and the other half to the argument against, because this shows that they have a crystal clear understanding of the fact that there are two interpretations. If they jumped between one interpretation and another, the essay might look confused and lack a clear line of argument.

Level of analysis

The evidence used in this essay is excellent. For example, the student uses precise statistics at some points - "£5 million surplus by 1845" is good because it shows that the student understands that £5m is a lot of money for a surplus. Simply saying "He made a surplus by 1845" wouldn't have been as good because it could have been a very small and insignificant surplus. The conclusion lets the essay down slightly because it is so short: because the point of the conclusion is to prove you can say why you think one side of the argument is correct, it's worth devoting at least a full sentence to each in order to get in as much summarised evidence as possible. It is the conclusion that takes the essay down from 5/5 to 4/5: because it isn't detailed enough and was probably rushed, the lack of analysis drags the essay down. This essay also gets a good balance between providing evidence and explaining why that evidence is there. It is important not to simply tell a story, because anyone can learn details of facts: saying why something happened shows that you have thought about it enough to understand the causes. For example, in the second paragraph the student writes "he re-introduced the income tax for those earning more than £150 a year...in order to boost the economy and stabilise a discontented society. His aim was to make Britain a cheaper place to live, thereby silencing the discontent. The success of these measures can be seen...". They have described the tax, and then gone on to explain why the tax was introduced, the effect of it ("silencing the discontent"), and then explained why it was a success.

Quality of writing

The essay benefits from the use of several technical terms, such as "caused" in "[the Maynooth Grant] not only split the Tory party and caused unrest in Parliament". Using words like "cause" show that you have an excellent understanding of how one event (the Maynooth Grant) had a direct effect on another (unrest in Parliament). The student has obviously proof-read as the spelling, punctuation, and grammar are generally excellent with only minimal mistakes. This is good as the examiner won't struggle to understand what the student means and can spend more time focusing on the argument they have created. Saying things like "However, a different interpretation..." in the middle of the essay is excellent because it reminds the examiner that the student is always thinking about how history can be interpreted in different ways.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by lordharvey 13/04/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Liberal Reforms (1906-1914)

    4 star(s)

    They also wanted the medical side of the insurance scheme to be free from Friendly Society domination. Lloyd George told the doctors that the societies were too powerful for him to resist, but offered them more than the friendly societies.

  2. How and why did Lord Liverpool survive the Radical Challenges of 1812 ...

    The Seditious Meetings Prevention Act gave powers to restrict public meetings in an attempt to combat Peterloo; it gave more powers to the magistrates and was seen as supporting the magistrates. Both the Seizure of Arms Act which gave local magistrates the right to search and seize arms and the

  1. Analyse the causes of the 1848 revolution in France.

    This behaviour of the French king was abnormal in the eyes of the French and wholly disappointing as again and again he refused to gain international advantage. In the late 1830's a foreign crisis emerged that would make the French people feel more than disappointment.

  2. The Successes of Labour from 1945

    Aneurin Bevan resigned in protest - prescription charges continued to cause divisions within Labour for years afterwards. Yet, in many ways, the NHS proved a great success. Over 187,000 prescriptions were issued in the first year and 8.5 million dental patients were treated.

  1. How Significant Was WW1 In Bringing About Votes For Some Women In 1918?

    topic of female suffrage would not have been raised at this time. There were a number of political changes within government such as a coalition government formed in 1915. This altered the balance between the number of supporters in government and the number against.

  2. Compare the position of middle class and working class women between 1800 and 1914. ...

    However, this is a point which has been contested on the grounds of the law. Opportunities for women were limited not only within marriage, but when filing for divorce. For both men and women, a Private Act of Parliament was needed prior to 1857 in order to obtain a divorce;

  1. Free essay

    Did the WSPU help or hinder the struggle for women's rights?

    politicians had had their windows smashed and were followed around the country to be interrupted while giving speeches and taking part in meetings. Winston Churchill was also attacked by a dog whip. This would have hindered the Suffrage effort as treating these politicians badly would do nothing to change their opinion on votes for women.

  2. The changing position of women and the suffrage question. Revision notes

    The acts were seen by the Government as a means of ensuring military efficiency, the medical profession as a way of stamping out a debilitating and prolific illness and many ordinary people saw them as a moral duty and even an act of kindness to the prostitutes.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work