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

How effective was Peel in restoring and reuniting his party in the period from 1832-1841

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How effective was Peel in restoring and reuniting his party in the period from 1832-1841? The fact that the Conservatives, under Peel, managed to reverse ignominious defeat to Earl Grey's Whigs into resounding electoral success within a decade appears to confirm rather unequivocally the idea that under Peel, his party enjoyed a period of widespread restoration and re-unification. However, as later divisions over the Corn Laws and other issues show, electoral success is not necessarily conclusive evidence of the Conservative's success in redefining themselves, nor accomplishment in healing old divisions within the party. What is more, where there clearly were steps taken forward in these areas, it is often unclear as to the extent to which Peel was himself responsible. This is especially marked when Peel's own attitude towards his party is considered, in that he tended to see them as a tool through which he could carry out his duties to the crown, rather than a role within which the interests of his followers could be more fully represented. However, it would be wrong to the conclude that the Conservatives did not make visible changes in this period which almost certainly increased their public acceptability, as well as the cohesion and efficiency of their party organization, both of which led to success at the polls. ...read more.

Middle

While these divisions certainly aided Peel in his appeals for pragmatic moderation rising above party or political loyalties, they cannot realistically be credited as his doing. At the same time, however, the Conservative's strategy of principled opposition to the Whigs, lending their support to moderates when threatened by their own radical elements, as well as taking a position favourable to the defection of disaffected MPs, most notably in the 'Derby Dilly' of 1834, owes much to the work of Pee/l as leader. The Conservative's ability to propagate their ideas to newly-enfranchised sections of the electorate, and to voice them effectively in the House of Commons was essential in efforts to restore a sense of shared purpose to the party's MPs, as well as to win back public trust. Efforts to do this were led by Sir Thomas Fremantle, appointed the party's chief whip in 1837 along with Lord Stanley and the other Whig defectors, who succeeded in compelling greater numbers of MPs to vote along agreed lines, thus instilling greater levels of discipline in the party which allowed it's opposition to be all the more effective as a single voice. ...read more.

Conclusion

By 1841, the Conservatives enjoyed electoral success, overturning a ruling party at the ballot box for the first time in British history. While this is thanks in no small part to the efforts and leadership of Peel in transforming perceptions of the party, and taking an approach which allowed it to capitalise on Whig discord while maintaining Peel's own principles of pragmatism and cautious reform, such changes were to a large extent superficial. The 1841 election, and Peel's efforts did indeed bring electoral success around a newly energized and well-organized party, hower, the Conservatives' core support continued to be drawn from the counties and small boroughs as it always had been, on a platform of traditional values such as public order and agriculture. While Peel succeeded in uniting and restoring his party to enough of an extent that they were able to reclaim power, what he clearly did not do, nor perhaps attempted to do, was to significantly alter the underlying fabric of the party, nor its motivations or support. This ensured that while enough changes took place to bring the Conservatives back into government, Peel's efforts did not go far enough to ensure the long-term sustainability or unity of the party beyond that point. ...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. The Impact of Electoral Design on the Legislature.

    Their votes do not help elect anybody and so are wasted, they could have stayed at home and the result would not have been altered. * In 1997, in Great Britain, 14.7 million voters cast ineffective votes - that is 48.2% of those who voted.

  2. Free essay

    To what extent was Sir Robert Peel responsible for the conservative party break up ...

    Thought this bill didn't face much opposition in the House of Commons Peel didn't really fight Wellington and Wharncliffe when they change the age of exclusion from 13 to 10 years old. This yet again show his lack of support to his own party as he once again join force

  1. Why did the Conservative Party split in 1846? - Ed Pearson When Peel announced ...

    the party, it is important to note that the party stayed in tact after this affair, does this then suggest that the gulf it caused was not in fact all that important? This is not the case, for as is pointed out by Stewart, the party held together during the

  2. Analyse the causes of Mexico's instability in the period 1821-1855

    government prepared to negotiate a tough peace treaty. On Feb. 2, 1848, Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The U.S. would get Texas as well as California and Texas. Mexico would keep everything south of the Rio Grande. The U.S. would pay $15 million and claims against the government.

  1. To What Extent Was Peel's Reorganisation of the Tory Party responsible for the election ...

    as the opportunity to stand loyal, in her opinion to the previous Prime Minister. Eventually Melbourne resumed office for a further two years before a of 'no confidence' removed him, and the Conservatives were able to enter government at the peak of their political strength.

  2. Conservative Victory of 1941, Peel and the Weakness of the Whigs.

    The working class population of Britain was further angered by the clear unfairness of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act - this to put it simply, treated poverty as a crime and forced many people to work in the dreaded warehouses, which could also be known as 'Poor Law Bastilles' due to their harsh working conditions.

  1. Peel and the Tory party: 1829 - 1841.

    Thinking practically, Peel (unlike the rest of his party) recognised that reform was there to stay, and sought to make his judgement on the evidence of its effect rather than its premise. After the reform bill, Peel realised the need to consolidate the party and strengthen its electoral support, instead

  2. Civil Service Reform.

    One of Rayners first reviews led to the setting up of a Management Information System for Ministers (MINIS) in 1980, designed to allow the minister to know who did what, why and at what cost.

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