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How significant was the appeal of new Liberalism in giving the Liberal Party its great election victory in 1906?

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Introduction

How Significant Was The Appeal of New Liberalism in Giving The Liberal Party Its Great Election Victory in 1906? Although the appeal of New Liberalism was an important factor in giving the Liberal Party its great election victory in 1906, there was also other significant factors since New Liberalism was not fully established until 1908. However, it was beginning to appear in 1906 and some of it's policies increased the support of the Liberal party. The other main factors were the fall of the Conservative party and the working class support which the Liberal party gained from the early 1900's. The fall of the Conservative Party in 1906 was an extremely significant factor in the landslide Liberal victory in the 1906 Election as the Liberals were able to exploit these mistakes. The Lib-Lab pact also increased funding for the Liberals. Several factors contributed to the fall of the Conservative party. The Conservatives' main mishap was the Taff Vale case in 1901 where workers at a railway company, encouraged by their Trade Union, went on strike to protest against poor wages and harsh working conditions. However, the railway company sued the Trade Union for their losses. Therefore, Trade Unions were reluctant to encourage strikes because they were in fear of being sued, so workers lost their faith in their Trade Unions. ...read more.

Middle

However, when the Conservative's brought in the 1902 Education Act, it offended a lot of non-conformists because it meant that some of the money they were paying to go towards the funding of schools may have gone to a Catholic or Church of England school, which was, to them, unacceptable. They launched a campaign against the act, which was supported by the Liberals. Moreover, the Liberals got back the support of the non-conformists. The Lib-Lab pact was also a significant factor in helping the Liberal party to win the 1906 General Election. The pact definitely helped the Labour party to win 30 seats and it also meant that the anti-Unionist vote was split as little as possible. Furthermore, the Liberals gained access to the �100,000 that was the LRC's election fund which was extremely important to the Liberal party who had been short of funding. These are all significant factors which contribute to the Liberal victory in 1906, but New Liberalism still played an important part in the victory. New Liberalism was a reaction to the Conservative dominance in the late nineteenth century, to which the Liberals realised they would have to take on a new line of attack to oppose the Conservatives. New Liberalists felt that they should provide basic minimum standards for the poorest people, paid for by taxation of the richest. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, I can see that New Liberalism was a very important factor in the Liberals 1906 general election victory. However, New Liberalism was not completely established by this point, so there was still a strong element of Gladstonian Liberalism in the Liberals ideas and plans. Therefore, people had not seen true New Liberalism and some of them may have voted for the Liberals based on their Old Liberalism principles. Moreover, if New Liberalism had been more firmly established at the time of the 1906 general election, then it might have put some people off voting for them. I think that the most important factor however was the fall of the Conservatives, because they had such a stronghold on British politics that the Liberals would not have had nearly as much as a chance as they did when the Conservatives started making mistakes. Moreover, there was no other main party to vote for, so any anti-Conservative vote went to the Liberals, which meant that people were not necessarily voting for the Liberals because they agreed and supported their views, but because they were so against the Conservative party and if their vote went anywhere else then it would be a waste. Overall I would say that the appeal of New Liberalism was fairly important in the giving the Liberal party their election win because it attracted a lot of working class support, but if it was not for the Conservative party doing so badly then the Liberal party would not have been nearly as successful. ...read more.

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