• 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...


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.


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.


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

    Balfour was blamed for alienating them over 'Chinese Slavery', this was using Chinese indentured labour in South Africa, the working class objected to this, but Balfour did not realise. The working class, in the early 1900's, were generally quite poor and had to put all that they earned into looking after themselves and their family.

  1. 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

  2. Sir Winston Churchill

    Germany had surrendered, and that a final cease-fire would into effect all over Europe after midnight. Although Churchill's role in World War II had generated mush support from the British people, he was defeated in the 1954 election of the position of Prime Minster.

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

    Ultimately, Bevin was left with little choice other than partition. However without Bevin's courage in allowing Mountbatten full negotiating powers, Britain would have taken much longer to withdraw and many more lives would have been lost. The Muslim delegation would never have accepted a united India, where they would have been in a minority.

  2. the perfect lie

    She just didn't care. So here I go "I couldn't take it any more. I had nothing else to think about. Meanwhile Charles is hitting his head against the wooden door and I am drenching my pillow out for my parents.

  1. History Of Framlingham Castle

    This was the wish of Robert Hitcham who had bought the property from the Howard's in 1635 but died the next year and left the property to Pembroke College. Once the poorhouse was finished mostly children went there to get work but they also got an education.

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

    MORE DETIAL BELOW * In 1910 a cross party Conciliation Committee was established. All the women?s suffrage groups set aside their differences to support the subsequent Conciliation Bills and crucially the WSPU suspended their militant activities * The Conciliation Bill of 1910 received a Parliamentary majority of 109 in July

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