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How successful was Peel's government of 1841 to 1846?

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Introduction

How successful was Peel's government of 1841 to 1846? Peel entered government for the second time in his career in August 1841 with a strong Tory majority in Parliament gained in part by Peel's skill as leader of the Opposition and by the failings of Lord Melbourne's former Whig government. He would lead his new "Conservative" party through many difficulties and end his career with the repeal of the notorious Corn Laws in June 1846. His party was split between the loyal Peelite Conservatives and the older, more reactionary Tories, who still for the most part believed in agricultural protectionism once ensured by the scrapped Corn Laws. ...read more.

Middle

This put Peel in a compromising situation over his allegiance. The majority of his more practical policies followed the line of stimulating trade to create prosperity across Britain's social spectrum. This meant reducing or abolishing trade tariffs and reducing the legislative protection of many of Britain's domestic markets, namely agriculture. Traditionally, Tory leaders recognised their allegiance to their rich, landed, protestant electorate, and so obediently promoted the protection of their interests. But Peel made his decisions on what he honestly believed was for the good of the country as a whole, not on what best suited a small, elite sector of high society who expected to profit from the suffering of the oppressed working classes, starved to the brink of famine so those privileged few could live in decadent luxury. ...read more.

Conclusion

and influence over the good of the country, which couldn't be more opposed to Peel's belief in the good of the nation over the good of the party and her interests. A strange irrationality resided in the Tory mentality that resulted in knee-jerk opposition to the most harmless and necessary social and economical reform. On income tax they automatically opposed him at first, even though a �7 million budget deficit was sitting right under their noses, to which direct taxation was the only answer. For most of the party, the needs of the millions of disenfranchised workers in Britain didn't even enter into the equation, who they would much rather tax indirectly so as to minimise the financial impact on the upper classes. ...read more.

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