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

To what extent is it fair to conclude that it was Conservative/Unionist failings that led to the 1906 landslide victory?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent is it fair to conclude that it was Conservative/Unionist failings that led to the 1906 landslide victory? Within the last 20 years being dominated by the conservative party, perhaps it is possible to assume that soon there would be a reverse in conservative fortunes. This could come from a liberal comeback or another party finding their feet in parliament. As we know it was the Liberals aiming their ascendancy again to win a landslide victory in 1906. However, external factors cannot entirely be attributed to the conservative downfall as it came in a "landslide" defeat. In answering this question I will look at the inefficiencies and limitations of the conservative party, whilst also considering the actions and decisions of the other parties. It is fair to say that the conservatives would have found it difficult to gain any more votes than they already had received form previous elections, and that their goals were mainly consolidation of their position. This landslide in 1906 shows that the conservative objections were failed to be adhered to. Therefore in answering this question the first aspect to look at is the conservative parties own limitations. Many of the problems that the conservatives had to face were them always seeming to have an ineffectual leader, Arthur Balfour. ...read more.

Middle

This proved to be a mistake with a wave of protest all over Britain, mainly die to the people becoming more aware of human rights. The outcry came form the conscience as the Chinese workers had to work in poor conditions in the most small and dangerous areas. Balfour could have rejected the idea, however to him the plan was effective and practical. On the 15th May 1903, Birmingham, Chamberlain declared his faith in "imperial preference" as he proposed to abandon free trade which had become a way of British life for fifty years. He believed that a system of duties would tie the overall empire together, raise revenue for social reform and protect British industry. The war on the Tariffs had started with Chamberlain seeing this move a way of solving the nation's problems whilst giving him individual gains, such as him being in the spotlight after fading with the climax of the Boer War. In July 1903 an outraged group of unionists began to set a Free Food League, and thus Balfour faced an extremely dangerous position. Bitter quarrels were beginning to form between those who endorsed free trade and those who were tariff reformers. Another massive blow to the conservative party under the controversies of tariff reform was the loss of Winston Churchill, who publicly showed the necks of the liberals, tariff reform became a rallying cry for conservatives and an electoral liability. ...read more.

Conclusion

The eventual agreement was signed in September 1903 with the main gist being that Labour would get a free run in some forty to fifty unionist seats in return for backing the Liberals elsewhere. The results of the 1906 elections were paramount to the pact made by the two parties, as the benefits affected both. Indeed the LRC and the Liberals were able to concentrate upon capitalizing on the new upshot of working class consciousness, which was shown in essence at the retaliation against the war fought for the rich capitalists of the Rand, the money making schemes of Chamberlain, the contemptuous nature against Labour with the enslavement of Chinese workers and the refusal to reverse the Taff Vale judgment. The reform issue was the final fault of the conservatives for the Liberals to pose the question. The 1906 elections was a disaster for Unionists whereas the liberals consolidate their strongholds whilst gaining in Lancashire, London and the southeast. In conclusion I believe that it was mainly due to the conservative failings that led to the 1906 landslide elections. The Tory party was headed by two main figures, Balfour and Chamberlain who brought the party to ruins preceding the rise in liberal fortunes headed by Salisbury. The liberal propaganda machine helped to put the conservatives to rest whilst they continued their uprising. The Liberal united around the conservative failings and this proved to be a force for both non-conformity and the working class. ...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. Why did the Liberals win and the Conservatives lose the 1906 Election?

    They did not like the idea of Tariff reform, which is what the conservatives introduced, as this would mean that they wouldn't be able to afford food and other necessary items. On the other hand, the liberals believed solely in Free Trade, which the working class appreciated as they wouldn't have to pay extra taxes on food.

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

    The Liberals used this to gain support by claiming that the Conservatives had neglected the working-class people of Britain. The 1902 Education Act roused non conformists and led many of them to revert to the Liberal party. This was because before 1902 Anglican and Catholic churches were funded by the

  1. To what extent was Arthur Balfour responsible for Conservative decline?

    The Taff Vale Case 1901, highlighted to many Balfour's "aloof and uncaring nature" with regard to the lower classes. In the Taff Vale case, Balfour's position of leaving it to the courts made him highly unpopular with the lower classes who saw him to be siding with the upper classes.

  2. To what extent was Whig/Liberal dominance 1846-68 a result of their free trade agenda

    coal and other fumes which were dirtying the air and affecting the environment. The 1857 Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act allowed divorce through regular courts. This made divorce accessible to all, because previously divorces could only be granted in the House of Lords, which was hugely expensive.

  1. Sir Winston Churchill

    "We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end. . . . We shall fight on the beaches . . . We shall fight in the fields and in the streets . . . We shall never surrender."

  2. "England experienced fundamental changes in the Political and Social life of the Nation" To ...

    The Municipal Corporations arguably did fundamentally change the political system in Britain as the effects of the act can still be seen in modern government. In 1833 the Whig government passed the Factory Act which was designed with the intention of improving the welfare state for the working classes.

  1. Is it fair to describe Bevin as a great foreign secretary?

    British for all of India's and Pakistan's problems, even in relation to the current threat of terrorism that prevails in the continent today. Singh points out that it was "British insecurity and Bevin's errors of judgement that were as ultimately responsible for Partition."

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

    Over a thousand suffragettes were forcibly fed through their nose, mouth even rectum and vagina. * The Government choose its victims carefully, e.g. the case of Lady Constance Lytton (Joan Wharton). Allowed the WSPU to draw attention to class divisions in prison and society at large, that would end, they claimed when women gained the right to vote.

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