• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Peel - "A great Prime minister, but a poor party leader"-How far do you agree with this assessment?

Extracts from this document...


"A great Prime minister, but a poor party leader" -How far do you agree with this assessment? Peel is widely regarded as the dominant politician of his age .I would agree with the quote that when in power, Peel was a far greater Prime Minister than a party leader. However it is interesting to note that the opposite could be argued when Peel was in opposition To win the hearts and minds of the people he needed to present his party as a united, organised force. This requires strong leadership and the fact that he won the general election goes some way to prove that he must have been successful. His attempts to modernise the Tories when he joined are usually associated with the re-branding of the party to become "The Conservatives" in 1834. This re-branding, The Tamworth Manifesto, countless speeches and re-unification of the party were all good indications that Peel had the potential to be a good party leader. However this was not true as upon electoral victory, one may argue that his priorities changed and the party was second to the country. ...read more.


This demonstrates the fact that Peel was very good at what he was either interested or believed in, for everything else was almost irrelevant. This shows Peel to be inflexible and close-minded. These virtues proved to have negative effects on Peel as a party leader. When Peel wanted to do something he did it, irrespective of what the Party thought. One prime example of this is the Corn Laws. The Irish famine of 1845 finally made Peels mind up over his course of action regarding the Corn Laws. He had decided that repeal of the Corn Laws would not only be a natural continuation of his so far popular financial reform, it would help bridge the gap between the social classes. It would lead to cheaper bread for the working classes and would reflect the aristocracy in a paternalistic light. Unfortunately for Peel, (who had politically "U-Turned" on his pre-election pledge to maintain the Corn Laws) his backbenchers strongly disagreed. Upon voicing their opinion, Peel threatened to resign. This shows weakness as leader. Peels inflexibility or inability to compromise and even communicate with those who disagreed with him split the Conservative party to its defeat at the next election. ...read more.


He considered the risk of upsetting the protectionist lobby within his party by creating cheaper living conditions. Donald Read argues that: "Peel was the best peacetime Prime minister in British history. He was equally the hero of the newly enfranchised, propertied middle classes and of the disenfranchised propertyless masses". By the time the Corn Laws had been repealed due mainly to Whig support, The Conservative party was in tatters. The internal conflicts had been exposed and the authority of Peel as Prime minister had been painfully undermined. Peel resigned giving way to another Whig administration. It seems that Peel was a man who was more interested in his personal aims for the country rather than personal aims for party and country. It seems that he used the desperate Tory party as a means of transport for his own Conservatism. Everybody else got in the way. Before the 1841 electoral victory Peel had aimed to get in power and this is what he did through the party. After this the party were more of a hindrance than an integral part of his political career. Therefore one concludes that government weakened the leadership of he Conservative party, and by his very nature Peel could not have been a good party leader and Prime minister at the same time. Tim Hoy 1 ...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 United Kingdom 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 United Kingdom essays

  1. Comparison of the US President and British Prime Minister.

    policy and not just a technical rubber stamp for decisions taken elsewhere. At first sight, some of the powers that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf intends to award himself are similar to those enjoyed by presidents in such countries as the United States and France.

  2. Role of a team leader

    He or she should: * Encourage and maintain open communication * Help the team to develop and keep to a good way of performing and focusing on the task * Be an active listener and show initiative when things become flat by building up rapport to help maximise performance *

  1. Was Robert Peel's reorganisation of the Tory party the most important factor in the ...

    Moreover, Peel understood that the middle classes, newly provided with voting rights, were a more important social grouping than ever. He thus looked to modernise the party by making it less narrow and less dogmatic, enabling him to take advantage of the Reform Bill's hidden benefits.

  2. Disraeli and Modern Conservatism.

    Although his aristocratic lineage was an easy target for the meritocratic campaign of Labour, Douglas-Home managed to regain some lost ground and the Conservatives only narrowly lost the general election in 1964. In August 1965 Douglas-Home stood down, and the first formal party leadership election by a ballot of MPs

  1. The Labour Party.

    He has served on the All-Party Select Committee that introduced the televising of the chamber. He was the first SDP MP to back the merger with the Liberals after the 1987 general election, and moved a successful motion to this effect at the party conference that year.

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

    This decision made Peel leader of the party, forcing him on the Ultra's. However before his government fell in April 1835 Peel had the status of the premiership behind him, he had presided over a General Election, which pulled the Party together and increased its parliamentary membership by some ninety MP'S.

  1. Can you make a judgement on Salisbury? What was his performance? Was he successful? ...

    In his third ministry he introduced the 1897 Workmen's Compensation Act, and various economic policies. Thus we see that he did all he could, even diverted the Conservative tradition, on some instances, to gain the support of the mass population.

  2. priministers power

    A significant criticism was that he dithered and could not make up mind, resulting in drift, uncertainty and indecision, especially over Europe. His unwillingness to assert himself and bang the table infuriated some, led to charges of letting circumstances and other people determine iss rather than forcing a resolution himself.

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