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

The Liberal election victory of 1906 was a result of division in the conservative party and nothing else - discussed

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'The Liberal election victory of 1906 was a result of division in the conservative party and nothing else' The Liberals won a 'landslide' election victory in 1906. It is claimed that the loss of power for the Conservatives was largely due to a decline in fortunes as the party split due to issues over tariff reforms. On the other hand it is assumed that the loss was due to the complacency and the neglect of Workingmen's Interests. Arthur James Balfour had become the Conservative leader in the House of Commons and served (1891-92, 1895-1903) as the first Lord of the treasury. He had succeeded his uncle as Prime minister in 1902. A huge task lay ahead of Balfour, as poverty was to be a focal point at the beginning of the 20th century. Although it is reputed that Balfour was able, he was also witty. Lacking clear commitment in any particular direction could prove a major flaw, for both him and his political party. His principal concerns were education and defence. There was, he believed, 'no more serious waste than the waste of brains and intellect'. Misfortunes of the Conservative party noticeably outweighed the party's fortunes. A key political issue at the time was poverty. ...read more.

Middle

This was suitable during the period in which Britain was the leading industrial nation, but as competition with other countries intensified it was to the detriment of British manufacturers and farmers. The problem needed to be solved. There were efforts by Lord Churchill to implement further domestic reforms in the tradition of Tory democracy were unsuccessful, but the popular imperialist emphasis remained. In this period the party was gradually drawing closer to business class interests, but the insistence of Joseph Chamberlain on a pro-empire tariff reform split the party. He proposed that a protectionist tariffs needed to be introduced as it would protect British industry (i.e. industrialists and farmers). He also wanted to make possible a system of imperial preference, which was to the determent of most of the cabinet. The programme was strongly opposed by a small group of free traders. More seriously, working class fears that duties on food imports would raise the cost of living made it an electoral liability. The internal divisions caused a purge of the cabinet in 1903 and did much to cause three consecutive electoral defeats. The tariff reform campaign, which was launched in 1903, resulted in Chamberlain resigning and setting up a splinter group known as the tariff reform league. ...read more.

Conclusion

When the Lords blocked his policies he laid plans to curb their power. He also supported women's suffrage and introduced the Old age pension. Overall, it can be argued that the split in the Conservative party was to blame for the Liberal 'landslide' victory of 1906 however I feel that there are many other factors that played its part. Although the division of the Conservative party lacked the unity of the Liberals, it was difficult to point out to any Tory reform which was specifically intended to offer benefits of the working class and there is hardly any evidence that the Conservatives had genuinely succeeded in widening their power base. The post-Victorian era and the turn of the century gave a new dimension to politics. The voices of the working class had to be heard. The Conservatives were unprepared for 20th century Politics and were defeated for good reasons but largely over the wrong issues. The Tory's were vulnerable to the emergence of a new party with a broader appeal to the working-class vote than its own. The general election loss of 1906 wasn't due to the split of the Conservative party but rather complacency and neglect of working men's interests. Many Conservatives attributed the 1906 defeat to the natural swing of the electoral pendulum after ten years of Conservative government. The idea was 'the turn' of the Liberals to win. ...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. Women's Suffrage.

    From 1916, it became clear that a new Representation of the People Act would be necessary to prepare the ground for the first elections to be held in the post-war period. In this context, suffragists lobbied successfully for women's right to the suffrage to be recognised also, but crucially they

  2. The Impact of Electoral Design on the Legislature.

    Minor parties in third or fourth place are discriminated against for the sake of governability. In this perspective proportional elections can produce indecisive outcomes, unstable regimes, disproportionate power for minor parties in 'kingmaker' roles, and a lack of clear-cut accountability and transparency in decision-making.

  1. Did Gladstone Unite or Divide the Liberals?

    As a result, Gladstone supported retrenchment thereby lowering taxation. This was combined with a constant drive to improve the efficiency of government and other national institutions. The basis of Gladstone's view of the 'minimalist' state was the importance of the individual. Gladstone did not see society as a set of competing economic classes, but rather of individuals where each should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

  2. Introduction and Company Background.

    Firstly, our company is a small-medium enterprise, it is difficult for us to invest a huge amount of capital on Logistics Department. Also, the transportation cost, fixed cost, distribution cost, lead time would be reduced because third-party logistics have experience and professors to deal with logistics work.

  1. Is Britain a two-party or a multi party system, or something else?

    In contrast, if parties adopt a strong political ideology for either the left or right, you have only the option to be voted for by people on the political right or left extremes, rather than the majority in the middle and subsequently less chance of victory.

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

    One slightly longer-term factor that must be taken into consideration for which Peel is not quite so responsible for is the effect that the Great Reform Act and growing liberalism played on the party. Certainly the party had changed since the Reform Act, proof of this lies in the posts

  1. The Conservative party ruled Britain from1886 until 1905, however they lost the 1906 elections.

    In May 1903, when Chamberlain returned from a trip to South Africa, he made a speech in Birmingham introducing his ideas of 'tariff reform,' the speech not only shocked many of the British people, but also united the Liberal party further, and they exploited Chamberlain's campaign by enhancing the people's fears as to what no Free Trade could mean.

  2. The Conservative Party

    * Anti welfare. Principally they place a strong emphasis on the individual and are against welfare. * Anti trade union. Trade unions tend to give too much power to workers and are a distortion of the market. * Traditional moral values.

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