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

'Conservative dominance in British Politics between 1885and 1902 was due to conservative strengths rather than liberal weaknesses.'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Conservative dominance in British Politics between 1885 and 1902 was due to conservative strengths rather than liberal weaknesses.' During this period in history, it is clear to say that the conservatives dominated British politics. However, is it due to conservative strengths or liberal weaknesses? Although the weakness and the divisions within the liberal party helped the conservative cause, the latter party were dominant due to their unrivalled strength in politics. There were many reasons for these strengths, but it is safe to say that this was the main factor for supremacy in politics in the later 1800's. As Prime Minister in this period, Salisbury won three elections in fourteen years, which is a Conservative record unmatched by Liverpool in the 1820's and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980's. This is a clear indication of how successful the Conservatives were in this period. This shows that one of the main Conservative strengths was the leadership skills of Salisbury. He handled both opponents and awkward political customers on his own side with considerable skill. Historian Peter Marsh believes that Salisbury was 'more of a diehard than any Conservative leader since his godfather the Duke of Wellington.' Salisbury had many skills. His choice of leadership within the Conservatives was crucial. For example, in 1887 he appointed W.H.Smith to be first Lord of the Treasury. ...read more.

Middle

In 1892, Gladstone won the election. His main focus was on Ireland, which was dismissed, and was defeated in the Lords. Gladstone wanted to dissolve Parliament to have general elections as a referendum. However, the Liberals refused. This division and weakness within the Liberal Party did hinder their progress, and also helped the dominance of the Conservatives. Although this is a valid argument, it is unfair to say that this is the main reason for conservative supremacy. The people didn't lose confidence in the Liberal Party purely for the reason that they were weak, the chose the Conservatives because it offered them a chance of stability and structure. 'Tory Democracy' was introduced, which means 'trust the people, and they will trust you.' This won support, and didn't rely on Liberal failures. The support of radical Joseph Chamberlain was also an important factor in Conservative dominance. It had been argued for some time that he may return to the Liberal Party. However in 1891, he praised Salisbury's social reforms; housing, education and factory acts. Imperialism was beginning to edge out social reform in Chamberlains mind, and the conservatives supported this view, and therefore gained more support because of it. In the third ministry of Salisbury, Chamberlain was offered any post he wanted, and Hartington was made President of the Council. ...read more.

Conclusion

In some areas, 'the public house was the vital component in attracting potential members to meeting.' Getting the support of the lower classes was vital, as this was the greatest number of people in a group in the country. Support was also gained from port towns such as Plymouth and Portsmouth, as the Conservatives policy of imperialism appealed to them. Armament factories also benefited from this policy, was did teaching in schools. Salisbury's Foreign Policy was also important. He avoided formal alliances in a period when they were common. He made pacts with both Italy and Austria. Salisbury always refused attempts in the late 1880s by German Chancellor Bismarck to draw him into the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria and Italy. He believed that Britain's lack of definite alliances and commitments was to the country's advantage. Although Liberal weaknesses and divisions, such as the no support for leader Gladstone in the 1890s, helped the Conservative cause, this was not the main reason for dominance. The Conservatives owed a lot to the skills of Salisbury. He adapted well to the changing political climate, and also made policies which appealed to all walks of life, and a wide range of social people. He made astute political decisions and appointed opposition officials in his ranks. The dominance of conservatism was due to him, and his political strengths as a leader. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Pluralism in domestic politics

    Locke's idea of "State of perfect equality" (Laslett 1991: 272) together with his condemnation of aggression as "The injury and the crime is equal, whether committed by the wearer of a crown or some petty villain" (Laslett 1991: 385) portrays a modern individual who considers himself equal to everyone and

  2. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Parnell as a leader of the Irish cause.

    would encourage the cause of constitutional nationalism in Ireland and give leverage to the Home Rulers at Westminster, ergo aiding to wrest Home Rule from Parliament. He also believed that this agitation would force the British government to introduce land reform, and that this would help to bring an end

  1. Minority Rights, Identity Politics and Gender in Bangladesh: Current Problems and Issues

    But at the ground level the demand for justice had always been fuelled by the demands of war widows or mothers of martyred children or the children of martyrs who through their immediate involvement carry through these demands even at great odds.

  2. How successful was Lord Liverpool in responding to radical challenge from 1812-1822?

    How was Lord Liverpool to know that there was not gong to revolution? Lord Liverpool saw a large group of people marching at a time of unrest this was the only action he could take because he could not afford to do nothing.

  1. The Negative Impact Of World War 1 On Italy: Weaknesses Of The Liberal State, ...

    The militant/revolutionary sections of the PSI were never able to work with the conservative right members of the PPI. This meant that the Liberals had to rely on an uneasy coalition with the Catholic deputies to form governments. But the PPI was a reluctant participant in government as it could

  2. "Conservative Dominance in British Politics Between 1885 and 1905 Was Due to Conservatives Strengths ...

    This ultimately benefited the conservatives as they won the next election; however, it was a mixture of Gladstone's weakness to deal with his opposition, as apposed to just Salisbury's leadership skills.

  1. Free essay

    Consider the view that the liberal government reforms 1906-1914 were more concerned with the ...

    was one which came in two parts and affected the sick and the British workforce. It is by all means one of the biggest and crucial act passed by the liberal government ass many historians agree that it was this act that crucially evolved into the British welfare state.

  2. Introduction and Company Background.

    * Customer Services According to the above-mentioned point, lead time could be shorten by using third party logistics services. This may help to improve the customer services because lead time is the most significant factor regarding the customer satisfaction. Most customers want to receive their ordering as soon as possible,

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