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To what extent were the Tory reforms, 1822-1830, 'liberal' and 'enlightened'?

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  • Essay length: 940 words
  • Submitted: 11/11/2008
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AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics

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To what extent were the Tory reforms, 1822-30, 'Liberal' and 'Enlightened'?

[36 marks]

The year 1822 has been traditionally regarded as a 'turning point' for Tory policies and attitude. The Cabinet reshuffle, replacing conservative Tories with 'liberal' and 'enlightened', and had been influenced by the ideas of John Locke and Adam Smith, seemed to effect a change in Tory policy. However, a significant case suggests that Tory reforms in this period were not so 'liberal' or 'enlightened'.

The term 'enlightened' is used to describe party members' open-mindedness to change and tolerance of new ideas and perspectives. 'Liberal Toryism' is a term used to describe the fashion of Tory policy after the supposed 'turning point' in government, and means that they were far more tolerant towards change and new ideas, and adopted the 'liberal' and 'enlightened' ideas suggested by philosophers John Locke and Adam Smith, who, respectively, wrote about 'natural rights' and economic reform. The three main 'liberal' ideas to which the party's most 'liberal' Acts that were passed related were freedom, equality and tolerance. The phrase 'Liberal Tory' was coined in the 1940s by Brock.

Home Office reforms introduced were the Repeal

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