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

Explain why and in what ways the Conservatives' record in government between 1900 and 1905 made it likely that they would loose the General Election in 1906.

Extracts from this document...


Explain why and in what ways the Conservatives' record in government between 1900 and 1905 made it likely that they would loose the General Election in 1906. Between 1900 and 1905, the Conservatives' under Lord Salisbury (1900-1902) and then Balfour (1902-1905), steadily lost support and respect from the British public. From a period of political dominance from 1885 to a crushing defeat in 1906, which saw a landslide victory for the Liberals', there were a series of decisions, indecisions and acts passed during the 5 years in question that many historians view as the reason for the Conservative defeat in 1906. In the 1900 election, lord Salisbury with his reforms in the years previous to it, won a convincing victory and 334 seat along with the 68 seats from the Liberal Unionists, who supported the Conservatives' during this time. However another Conservative government would not be in power again until 1922. However there are five events during this time which see the Conservatives loose support, The Taff Vale Judgement (1901), The Education Act (1902), 'Chinese Slavery', Tariff Reform and The 1904 Licensing Act. During 1900,workers from the Taff Vale Railway Company went on strike over pay, following this, the company took the union, the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, to court and won; the union had to pay �23,000 damages. ...read more.


Balfour publicly disapproved of what was going on in South Africa, but more importantly did in fact nothing about it. To the British public, this was seen as weak leadership on Balfour's part, this was damaging to the Conservatives because they were being seen as having a weak leader and during this time the Prime Minister wasn't just in control of Britain but of Britain's Empire, which needed a strong, confident leader. The Liberals were all united over their disgust over this matter and gained support form the working class and other members of the voting public who saw the 'Chinese Slavery' as a cruel and exploiting measure being taken by the High Commissioner and South African mine owners. This was yet another issue that was loosing support for the Conservatives and letting the Liberals gain ever more support. The Licensing Act (1902) gave Licensing Justices the power to refuse a Licence renewal if premises were deemed structurally unsound or unneeded in the area. These powers were extended by Balfour's (1904) Act which made it even easier for pubs to be closed down. Existing licences became known as 'old on licences' and the 'Ante 1869 beer house' was no longer immune from the licence renewal procedure. ...read more.


In conclusion it is possible to say that the Liberals were handed the 1906 General Election in the same way that the Conservatives had been in 1885. There was a number of issues which Balfour and his government lost popularity over, although all were instrumental in the Conservatives huge defeat in the 1906 General Election, there were signs that the defeat was coming, as the Tories lost by-elections all the way through Balfour' government, but one is more instrumental than the others, the Tariff Reform issue. This split the government into two and although it is possible to blame this on Chamberlain as many historians have done, it is fare to say that the fact that Balfours' indication over the matter was just as important. Also the fact that it re-united the Liberals made it dangerous for the government as it now had serious opposition and also, the anti Tariff Reformers had a party that they could now vote for that wasn't a wasted vote. It was these decisions, acts and indications that led the way to the 1906 crippling defeat at the General Election. ...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. Why did Labour lose the 1951 General Election?

    Working class voters, on the other hand, remained loyal to the Labour Party and the 1951 election saw Labour poll the highest aggregate popular vote ever achieved in Britain. Looking at the Labour government in these four sections - of reform, of crisis, of consolidation and of division - helps us to see where the party lost its huge majority.

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

    Salisbury's leadership skills. He also dealt very well with the disputes within the party as shown when he achieved the army funds in return for Churchill's resignation which was ultimately beneficial for the Tory party. The appointment of WH Smith showed his ability to appoint people from different backgrounds to his own and the skills of Smith shows his excellent judgement.

  1. Why did Britain expand its Empire in Africa from 1880 to 1900?

    Once the personal gain became too much of a problem he could hand the problem over to the British Government. These ideas are the basis for the 'Men on the Spot' theory. The men included in this theory are men such as Rhodes in Zimbabwe, McKinnon in East Africa and Goldie in West Africa.

  2. Kashmir Issue and Mediation.

    However both India and Pakistan perhaps realized that failure in Tashkent could result in renewed hostilities, with unpredictable consequences. Hence on 10 January they did sign an agreement the Tashkent Declaration. This was less an agreement ending the Kashmir dispute, as one allowing it to be pushed to one side so that the two countries could resume relatively normal relations15.

  1. Malta at the turn of the 19th Century.

    The Maltese for the protection they asked could suffer their freedom and rights. The need of the protector was to use Malta as its naval base. Plague 1813 The plague attack of 1676, which was the one before this attack left round about 10,000 victims.

  2. Select And Explain The Most Important Turning Points In Nelson Mandela's Life

    This therefore meant that De Klerk's task of rescuing South Africa which was on the verge of an economic crisis and civil war was only made harder, as by not ending the Apartheid, this only heightened the problems which De Klerk faced.

  1. To what extent did the Conservatives lose the election rather than the Liberals win ...

    boost the economy, an idea much opposed by the working class, as this would effectively put them out of work. Again Balfour's government seemed to have little regard for the welfare of the working class. And as a result Balfour had little or no support from the working class.

  2. Do the events of the British General Strike show that Britain was a genuinely ...

    Does this act prove, dramatically reducing the power of the strike prove that the government really was "favouring the preservation of established customs, values etc and opposing innovation"?

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