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Why did the liberal governments come into conflict with the house of lords in the years 1906-1911.

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Why did the liberal governments come into conflict with the house of lords in the years 1906-1911 In 1905, the unionists dissolved parliament, amidst great unpopularity, and in 1906 a historic general election was held. The election of 1906 was the largest majority victory for any party ever at the time, and remained so right into the modern day. It was such a dramatic victory almost certainly because of unionist unpopularity at the time. The unionists had recently lost great support amoungst the recently enfranchised working class over failing to reverse the Taff-Vale judgement (a legal case which meant unions that went on strike were liable to pay damages to their employers), and also over chamberlains proposed tarrif reform bill, which they were convinced would raise the price of bread in particular. The Education act of 1902 was another unpopular action of the 1902-1905 government. as was the 'chinese slavery' in Africa. The unionist hope in 1905 when they resigned, was to win back popularity by proving how inaffective the Liberals would be when in power, and they had a rather sneaky way of doing so. ...read more.


The budget was the work of Lloyd-George, and he defended it in and out of parliament, giving a renoundspeech at the limehouse. To estimate public support for the new budget a by-election was fought by over the issue, which the liberals won. yet still, on the 30th of november 1909, the house of lords rejected the budget. Asquith attacked the house of lords, calling their rejection, 'a breech of the constitution and a usurpation or the rights of the commons'. The day after that speech Asquith went to the king and dissolved parliament, a general election was called for 1910. As Asquith put it, the house of lords 'was not the watchdog of the constitution, but mr Balfors poodle', this was a widefelt opinion, the house of lords had not rejected a budget in over 200 years, and was intended more as a revising chamber rather than the governing body. It can be argued that the peoples budget was created by Lloyd-George with the intention of being rejected by the house of lords. Weather this is true or not, its rejection was the opportunity the chance the liberals had been waiting for to call an election over, Lloyd-Geroge is quoted as saying, 'their greed had overcome their craft, and we have got them'. ...read more.


in febuary 1911 the bill passed through the commons, by July 1911 it seemed clear that the lord would reject the bill again. Asquith went to the king and got Georges worth that the king would, upon rejection of the bill, create such a number of liberal peers that the bill would eventually have to pass through the lords. Faced with this prospect, the unionists gave in, and asked their lords to abstain from voting, ensuring a the liberal lords would vote the bill through. It was not quite so simple though. Some unionist lords refused to follow Balfors request to abstain, so many lords joined the 'die hard revolt' that infact they outvoted the liberals. As a result a number of unionist lords were to their dismay, forced to vote for the bill in order for it to pass. In august 1911 it was signed by the king and became law. During this period the house of lords power was abused, and as a result cut. perhaps the most important change made by the liberal government of the time. ...read more.

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