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

What Ways Did The Liberal Government Implement Social And Welfare Reforms 1906-1911 Bring About Conflict With The House of Lords?

Extracts from this document...


What Ways Did The Liberal Government Implement Social And Welfare Reforms 1906-1911 Bring About Conflict With The House of Lords? Between the years of 1906 and 1911, the Asquith led Liberal Government tried to implement a number of reforms. The majority of these reforms met opposition in the House of Lords. It appeared that everything the Liberal Party tried to implement was rejected almost without reason by the Conservative majority in the Lords. The Conservative Party was at the time led by Balfour, relations with Ireland were strained and Europe itself was unstable. Society had become eager for new reforms to be introduced and the idea of the slightly more radical Liberal government bringing about the changes excited the majority of the British public. The Liberal government was elected in 1906 and won with a large majority. With support from the Irish Nationalist Party and the Labour Party it had control of the democratically elected House of Commons. However, the House of Lords in 1906 had 591 members of which 561 were hereditary peers. Two thirds of the peers were Conservatives. This gave the Conservatives a permanent handle on the direction of the country. Since as early as 1890, the Liberals had been unhappy with the state of constitution in Britain. In 1906 the Education Bill and the Plural Voting Bill passed through the Commons with relative ease, both Bills however were rejected by the Lords and as such couldn't become law. ...read more.


Democracy didn't truly reign until the Lords powers were greatly reduced in 1911. Perhaps it is true that the clever leadership of Asquith backed up by Lloyd George did deliberately set out to bring about the crisis safe in the knowledge that with the Labour party and Irish Nationalist party backing they would almost certainly win any election and would in the end reach their goal of dissolving the powers the powers of the House of Lords. Maybe Balfour and Lord Lansdowne thought that by forcing General Election after General Election and Constitutional Crisis they might have been able to sneak a victory and regain the leadership of the country, this would have put an end to the crisis and the Lords powers would have been intact. Either way the passing of the Parliament Bill ended the serious conflict between the Lords and the Commons as the Lords could no longer reject out right a Bill, they could merely delay it. Why Did The Attempt To Reform The Constitution In 1910-11 Succeed? In 1911 the Liberal Government passed the Parliament Bill through both the Commons and the House of Lords. The bill reduced the powers of the Lords to such an extent that they could only reject a bill twice before it automatically became law. This was a huge progression in how Britain was governed. More than ever the country was democratic and the reforms of the democratically appointed ministers could only be delayed. ...read more.


was raised. The whole constitution had become stale and was in need of change, there should have no way that the Lords could veto the Budget, if all the Lords were democratically selected then maybe, but the fact that at the time about 550 of the Lords were hereditary meant they should have very little power, if any. It could be this reason that first Edward VII and George V threatened to introduce new liberal peers. There was no other way for the Liberals to make the system more democratic and fair. From the events highlighted above, the main reason behind the attempt to reform the constitution succeeding in 1910-11 was the involvement and intervention of the monarchy. Had the monarchy not interfered in the debate then the constitutional crisis may have continued for a substantial period of time. The monarchy like stated earlier, put the Lords and the Conservatives as a whole into a corner. They had very little choice in the end but to pass the Parliament Bill. The Liberals did very well in getting the monarchy involved and perhaps for deliberately antagonising the Conservatives with bills they knew the Lords would reject, finally culminating in the 1909 Budget. Whether or not it was all a plan or conspiracy it will never be known, but the passing of the Parliament Act left the Conservative party both defeated and divided, in the words of Ewen Green 'Having entered the fray in 1909 with enthusiasm and high hopes, the Conservative party emerged defeated and in disarray,' ?? ?? ?? ?? Martyn Chadderton 14th November 2000 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. To what extent have constitutional reforms since 1997 reduced the powers of the UK ...

    However the reason it can be seen to not limit government power is the fact that the UK government have the right to veto the decision of the information commissioner, it has done this on two occasions since the act was passed.

  2. priministers power

    The major parties are really coalitions of interests, 'they are riven with factions, divided over both short and long term policy objectives, the claims of various interests and local and regional issues' (G.W. Jones) John Major inherited a deeply divided party, with a serious division on Europe.

  1. "Joseph Chamberlain's tariff reform campaign was to blame for the Conservative loss of the ...

    This policy of laissez-faire led to the loss of support of the working class as they were not benefiting from the policies that the conservative party viewed best for the social aspects. A surge of support for the Labour Party arose once the trade union movement became hostile to the Conservatives over the Tariff vale case.

  2. Draft a memorandum to the government evaluating the merits and demerits of differing reform ...

    the Royal Commission, for the Reform of the House of Lords and also the leader of the opposition the Right Honourable Ian Duncan Smith's proposals. The option of a directly elected second chamber to secure a 'more democratic and more representative' House of Lords does cause us to question what method of electoral representation is to be used.

  1. The Labour Party.

    and know what you think about today's key issues. The future of the conservative party is to be run by young people, and for young people to represent the views of other young people. Liberal Democrats A brief history of the party: * The origins of the Liberal Democrats go back over 300 years to the late 17th Century.

  2. House Of Lords Reform - What did the 1999 act reforming the lords ...

    The Lords can be described as "upper class" which could suggest experience. For example, even though the lords were grossly over-represented by landowners/farmers, there were still members from many leading professions such as industry, law, Civil service, Military whom could provide their experience in their field which would contribute to the revision of legislation.

  1. To what extent is Britain a liberal democracy?

    (BENTLEY, 2006) However, there are several argues such as low voter turnout, long history constitutional monarchy, etc. There are all shows United Kingdom is not a complete liberal democratic country. This essay will analyze and assess whether Britain is a liberal democratic country. As a liberal democratic country should have more features.

  2. Discuss the contention that the House of Lords is irrelevant.

    ?right of hereditary peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords? and committed it to their manifesto. This meant at all but 92 of the Hereditary peers would be removed from the House and replaced by appointed life peers; a right given to the Prime Minister through the Life Peerages act 1958.

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