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

How far do you agree that the role of the Trade Unions was the key factor in the changing fortunes of the Labour Party in the period 1888-1997?

Extracts from this document...


Britain's Parliamentary Democracy c1888-1997 Part B: Assessment Objective 1 How far do you agree that the role of the Trade Unions was the key factor in the changing fortunes of the Labour Party in the period 1888-1997? When considering this question it is important to consider all areas, which may have affected the fortunes of the Labour Party, be it the help of the Trade Unions (TUs) the downfall of the Liberal party, the mistakes of Labour, the successes of the opposition or the changing socio-economic environment. It will be important to consider all of these areas when looking at the question in order to accurately answer it. The first notable area has to be the way in which the Labour party was formed. After Parliamentary reforms of 1867 and 1884 more working class men had the vote. This was a point where the Liberals may have had an initial downfall and in effect aloud the rise of the Labour Party, they believed that the workers who now had the vote would automatically side with them. However it was thought by the working class organisations of the time (such as the TUs) that the Liberals were to widely based to be able to help, they wanted a party who would represent their specific interests. ...read more.


It can be seen that while the weakness of the Liberals was important it is also important to consider the strength of Labour, and its strong Union backing. While the general passed while the Conservatives were in office a noticeable point is the silence of Labour not seen to be supporting the strikers, this shows perhaps an early separation from Labour and the TUs. Labours second term can perhaps be accredited to the poor performance of the Conservatives leading up to the General strike, this does of course mean that by striking the Unions opened the door for Labour to return to office. Labours second term unfortunately feel during the depression, it can be seen that Labour in trying to support the unemployed hurt itself by eventually running out of funds, and then having to attempt to bring in policy which could be seen as Conservative to control it, this caused the party to be divided and ultimately hurt the Party for the rest of the decade, here it is apparent that it was not the Unions involved in the fall of Labour but instead the Parties own fault. The Conservatives and Coalition type governments dominated the 30's. During the war years however Labour were given a further opportunity to show how successfully they could run the country, all be it on a war time economy. ...read more.


This stabilised the economy but this led to 1.6 million people in unemployment this led to a major rift between the Unions and the party. The period of Conservative rule starting in 1979, Margaret Thatcher decided to end the rule of the Unions. In 1984-85 Labour did not support the miners in their strike showing the changed relationship between the party and the Unions. When the Strike collapsed Thatcher aided Rupert Merdoch the man behind the Sun and Times newspapers in destroying the print Union one of the strongest in the country. Labour once again did not step in and aid the union. However this was perhaps a mistake because Labour did not see government again until 1997 and Anthony Blair with new Labour. It is clear that the Trade Unions did affect the success of the Labour Party from its formation in 1906 onwards. However it would be ridiculous to say that the Trade Unions were the only reason for the Parties success, and to do so you would have to over look factors such as the failing of the Liberals and Labours ability to Govern. Throughout its first 50 years it would be fair to say that the Trade Unions were very important to the Party in terms of funding and member ship however if it wasn't for opportunities such as the Wars for Labour to prove itself it may never have reached the point it is at today. ...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. Did the Labour Party show that it could govern Britain competently in the years ...

    Perhaps his most important action regarding foreign affairs occurred when he convened a conference in London in August, as a result of which the "Dawes Plan" emerged. This scaled down German reparations, instituted a new German currency that cured inflation, and provided for the withdrawal of French troops from the Ruhr.

  2. How and why did Federation occur?

    Federation did not improve the plight of the Aborigines. They were excluded from Commonwealth welfare benefits, could not vote, stopped from attending the public school system in NSW from 1902, if a European parent complained. Who were Australians? * By 1911 Australia's population numbered over 4.4 million people. This figure however excluded Aboriginal people who were not counted in population statistics until after 1967.

  1. How successful were the Labour governments of 1924 and of 1929-31?

    Also the economical situation under the Chancellor Snowdon was rather dubious with the lack of coherent policies to improve the functioning of the essentially capitalist society was a fundamental weakness. The Party had managed to alienate the Left wing, as it had failed to make any significant shifts towards socialism, despite having a vague commitment to it.

  2. "The first World War killed the Liberal Party" how far do you agree with ...

    Due to the fact the crisis was brought about due to war, this evidence supports the statement. However, although the Irish Home Rule crisis was a small factor in liberal decline, it was not nearly as important as the introduction of DORA.

  1. To what extent was the 1867 Reform Act a turning point in parliamentary democracy ...

    we have today, the Act would be part of a process of changes that would eventually give us the choice of many parties. Many parties is often considered as the sign on a healthy democracy, and the 1867 act certainly played its part in bringing the political structure closer to democracy.

  2. How far was the First World War responsible for the growth of the Labour ...

    One advance of the Labour party was the creation of the 1918 Constitution and Sidney Webb programme. The creation of a separate Constitution and a programme had given Labour Party a distinctive image and separated it from the Liberals which had increased its vote as it became more socialistic yet

  1. How has the role and impact of military rulers and civilian politicians differed in ...

    Almost in every week there was a terrorist bombing activity in Karachi which was killing hundreds of innocent people. The military was called down in Karachi to control the law & order situation in Karachi. It was a turning point between the military and government relations.

  2. The Labour Governement

    To put the severity of the depression in modern perspective, consider the following. Real US GDP went down 4.4% in the five years that it declined since 1959, all added together! Unemployment has never exceeded 9.7% and we have not had one year of deflation.

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