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How effective a Party leader was Peel in the years 1834-41?

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Introduction

How effective a Party leader was Peel in the years 1834-41? In the years 1834-41, Peel was limited in his effectiveness as leader of the Conservative Party. However, he was looked upon by the Tories to be the most capable man to lead the party out of its serious difficulties as a result of the Reform Bill Crisis. Although on the other hand, he was greatly ineffective of upholding Tory polices and beliefs. Also as leader of the Opposition, Peel was not favoured within his party on a number of occasions example- the Ultra Tories during the 'Bed Chamber Crisis', because of the significant proportion of Ultra Tories within the party Peel faced a dire relationship with them. However, Peel did attempt to reorganise the party, in an attempt to appeal to the newly enfranchised middle-classes, strengthened the Conservatives image and presented a party that was capable of operating a stable government. We could not describe Peel's personality as one that would normally be related to a popular leader. G. Kitson Clarke claimed Peel worked with a 'Blurred background, pollarded principles and no ardent or extensive ideas', he was also described as being cold 'his smile was like the silver plate of a coffin' - Daniel O'Connell, and 'like an iceberg with a slight thaw on the surface' - Lord Ashley. ...read more.

Middle

It proved to be the catalyst for changing the Tory Party into the 'Conservative' Party - a term that was first used for the election of that year. It does seem, therefore, that Peel's exhortations to the new urban middle classes, as distinct from the older professional and commercial elite, fell largely on deaf ears. It was the Traditional Tory slogans - the Church in danger, the Corn Laws under threat-, rather than the new spirit of the Tamworth Manifesto, which prevailed in 1841. This is a sombre reflection on Peel's efforts to educate his party in the 1830's. Once again he damaged his relations with the Ultra Tories who looked upon this as betrayal and felt he was more concerned with national needs rather than party interests, they looked upon him with distrust due to his change in loyalties in 1829 concerning Catholic Emancipation. When Peel was in opposition, he didn't always behave in a way that was typical of the leader of the opposition. He was interested in attracting disenchanted Whigs into his new Conservative Party, which would be a party of Moderate and Considerate reform. Peel had specific people (i.e. ...read more.

Conclusion

Peel, aware of the need for a public show of confidence from the Queen, demanded the removal of some, if not all, of the women holding household posts at court. These posts were currently held by the wives of leading Whig noblemen and had been personal appointments of the outgoing Prime Minister, Melbourne. The Queen, who had never liked Peel refused, Norman Gash claimed, her hostility on the issue 'was because she was losing her minister, not her ladies'. In the event, Peel made the decision in turning down the opportunity, allowing the final two years of Melbourne's ministry. The Ultra's were increasingly frustrated because they wanted to be back in power and they were angry at Peel's cautious progressivism. Peels effectiveness as leader of the Conservatives between 1834-41 is questionably and the quote 'everything turns on the name of Peel'- P.Adelman is inaccurate as the election results in 1841 showed that the electorate were voting for the established principles of Old Toryism, rather than those of New Conservatism. The newly franchised middle classed did not overwhelmingly vote for Peel, as he had thought. He was returned to power, based not on the new polices he had established, but rather on the old principles example protectionism, that he had tried to distance himself from. By Nicola Robinson 14E Word count: 1258 ...read more.

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