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Peel resigned in 1846 following disputes between himself and the Conservative party over "favoured" agricultural interests.

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Introduction

Peel resigned in 1846 following disputes between himself and the Conservative party over "favoured" agricultural interests. The group had suspicions of Peel being a traitor since Catholic emancipation; and he had confirmed these suspicions by acting in favour of Free trade over the Corn Laws (1846)- thereby favouring the Liberals more than his own party. This turnaround was also taken badly amongst the Conservatives because Peel had used the Corn Laws to drum up support in order to gain power and become Prime Minister. When the government voted for Free trade roughly two thirds of the Tories backed protection and one third supported Peel and free trade. Unfortunately the one third included most of the Conservative cabinet and many talented politicians- including Gladstone. As a result Peel and supporters formed a group known as the "Peelites" although this group dwindled in size from 1985 they merged with the Whigs and the radicals to form the Liberal party. ...read more.

Middle

His attitude can be seen in a speech made to his party about the Whigs, he simply states, "do not oppose them". However the Conservative party did show some signs of prosperity in the form of Disraeli- who showed exceptional political skills and seemed very able to perform his duty he was appointed with some reluctance "we must of necessity choose the cleverest man we possess". This was due to his colourful behaviour and background. He was not of the usual background as many other politicians he had hardly any education and was also Jewish this was seen as a hindrance in regards to the gateway to parliament. Another idea as to why he was appointed with reluctance is that many of the Tory party members believed that he had used themselves and the policy of protection for his own personal gain- this was also proved when he did eventually renounce the Corn Laws. ...read more.

Conclusion

Each time problems arose amongst the Liberals, the party became unsettled and their government fell the Tories would take control. This together shows that any overall success of the conservatives in parliament was due to the temporary weaknesses of the Whigs. Although the Conservative party did come into power three times after the resignation of Sir Robert Peel it is fair to conclude that they were hit by weakness and were very unsuccessful throughout the twenty years in question. This was mainly due to the split over the Corn Laws this set up a direct link to the weak leadership of Lord derby who lacked commitment to the party. And even though they managed to form three governments they only succeeded after the Liberals fell into trouble and as soon as they managed to regain strength the conservative governments would fall. Why were the conservative party unsuccessful during the twenty years following Peel's resignation? ...read more.

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