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

The Liberals did not win the 1906 election the Unionists lost it. How far do you agree?

Extracts from this document...


The Liberals did not win the 1906 election the Unionists lost it. How far do you agree? There were many factors behind the massive Liberal victory of 1906, but many of these were in fact Unionist weaknesses. There are four main theories for how the Liberals came to a win: the Boer War, the 1902 Education Act, the tariff reform campaign and also because of Balfour himself as leader of the Unionists. Each of these theories bought wide appeal to the Liberals and made the Unionists look bad. Up until 1906 the Unionists were in power, they were lead by Lord Salisbury and were seen as a 'new look' party. Although the Unionist leadership remained predominantly aristocratic, it gained support from middle classes as well as appealing to the working class. At this time the Liberals were weak, they had electoral weaknesses, leadership weaknesses as Gladstone resigned in March 1894 and Rosebury took over lead. Also because of the Home Rule crisis of 1886, some Liberals went as far as to join the Unionists. ...read more.


Campbell-Bannerman took over Lord Rosebury as Liberal leader in 1905 and re-united the Liberals; this shows that the Liberals themselves can take some responsibility for their own win. After the Boer War, with the Unionists losing support, it left the Liberals open and in a great position to pose new ideas. In 1902, the Unionists passed Morant's Education Act. The Liberals traditionally gained support from protestants who do not belong to Church of England - the Education Act disgusted Liberal Unionists who supported the Liberal beliefs of school, because it allowed the schools to be funded by the rates. If the Liberal Unionists lived in an area where there was a Church of England or a Catholic school, the rates that they paid would go towards it because of the Education Act. The Liberal Unionists, who left the Liberals over Home Rule crisis (approximately 100), ended up returning back to the newly formed Liberals because of the Unionists stupid actions. This left the Unionists seriously damaged and strengthened the Liberals significantly. ...read more.


This was almost a way of fixing the votes, but it helped towards the Liberal win in the 1906 election by a vast majority: Liberals: 401mp's Unionists: 157mp's Irish nationalists: 83mp's Labour: 29mp's The Liberal victory in 1906 was seen as a major turnaround. The reasons for this are that the Boer War transformed the political climate in Britain and encouraged the launch of the Tariff Reform campaign in attempt to raise money to cover the repercussions, but all it did was revive the Liberals. The tariff reform split the Unionist alliance, damaging the image of the government and lost some support of the voters. The Education act was also a stupid move by the Unionists, because it united the Liberals and made them politically weaker. Also Balfour was responsible for the Liberal victory because he alienated voters from the unionists and made the Liberals stronger because of his miscalculations. In answer to the question, I agree that the Unionists lost the election and won the election for the Liberals in 1906, because the Unionists made terrible mistakes; but it must be said that the Liberals did add towards their own victory. ...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

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

    Why did the Liberals win the General Election of 1906?

    3 star(s)

    Others problems faced were lack of sufficient funds and poor organisation (although poor organisation was more evident in the Conservative party). Conservative 'slip-ups' in the Taff Vale case, 'Chinese Slavery', The Education and Licensing Acts were used by the Liberals against the Conservatives who as a result lost support over such problems.

  2. Why did Labour win the 1945 election and lose in the 1951 election?

    The Blitz also, more obviously, caused a huge rise in support for Labour's housing development plans. This "people's war" was very beneficial to Labour in warming people to socialist ideologies, and their belief on the war being "...not just

  1. Why did the Liberals win a landslide victory in the 1906 elcections?

    church but the Education Act meant that all schools would be funded from local rates. Non conformists were outraged that their taxes be spent on schools which they strongly objected to. The Chinese labour issue was another scandal that damaged the conservative government, not just in the eyes of non conformists but also the trade unionists.

  2. Why did the Liberals win and the Conservatives lose the 1906 Election?

    This was a bad decision for the conservative to make, and is proved by looking at the by-election defeats of 1903, which shows that it was not a big vote winner. This will be more closely looked at when I examine the middle and working class interests.

  1. How far do you agree with Elton's interpretation of the roles of Somerset and ...

    Further support for Elton's assessment of Northumberland's role comes from his handling of the social unrest. He deserves credit for his handling of the serious law and order problem during his rule. The aftermath of the 1549 rebellions and bad economic situation following Somerset's fall coupled with three bad harvests

  2. 'It was not the liberals who won but the conservatives who lost' discuss

    Although the war had split the Liberals in 1902 - the end of the war meant that they could come back together and form a stronger and more powerful party, which was able to compete against the Conservatives. As people started to see the mistakes the Conservatives were making the

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