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

To what extent was Conservative political weakness (1846-1866) the result of poor leadership?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent was Conservative political weakness (1846-1866) the result of poor leadership? The vociferously fought issue of Corn Law repeal culminated in a victory for the free traders but a complete split in the Conservative Party, which would not gain a lasting position of power until 1867. Conservative strength or weakness, in this period, rested on whether the 'Peelite' faction could be enticed into rejoining the other, protectionist Conservatives, or whether the Conservatives could increase their popularity dramatically, so as to gain a majority without any need for support from certain Peelites, Radicals, Irish or Whigs. Neither of these 'goals' was achieved between 1846 and 1866, as is made clear by the lack of any Conservative administration exceeding just a few months. There are several reasons why they were not, and whilst poor leadership had perhaps some input, other factors were equally, if not more, responsible. ...read more.

Middle

He did try to heal the wounds of 1846, by deliberately denouncing protection as 'not only dead, but damned!', but Gladstone and other former Conservatives mistrusted and detested him, due to both prejudice and anger at his scathing attacks on Peel, during the Corn Law debates, and were therefore unwilling to rejoin him. There was also some lack of confidence from within his own ranks, as was exemplified by the reluctance of the party to support his and Bentinck's stance;"where is your Christianity if you do not let in their Judaism?", over the issue of tolerance towards Jewish membership of Parliament (a practising Jew was elected for the City of London). The subsequent criticism from the rest of the party, mostly backbench squires, culminated in Bentinck's resignation. However, Disraeli made steady progress, arguably as quickly as was possible, and in this period laid the foundations for the Conservative comeback afterwards. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 1851, Derby failed to assemble a government due to lack of talent, and the 1852 cabinet was known as "who, who?". Disraeli, Chancellor of the Exchequer, was known to have admitted to knowing nothing about his position, and his budget was defeated, spelling the end of the Tories' brief office. One can conclude that Derby's Conservative leadership was weak, and that it did have a detrimental effect on the fortunes of the party. However, as Derby did little, and Disraeli was leader in the Commons, he was the effective leader, and his leadership was quite strong. Furthermore, there were other, more important factors in ensuring that the Tories were weak, mainly that the divisions caused by the repeal of the Corn Laws were so great that they could not be healed (meaning a period of recovery was inevitable), as well as poor electoral results, lack of trust in Disraeli (some due to prejudice) and lack of able, protectionist politicians. ?? ?? ?? ?? Aaron Collins 1 ...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. Conservative Victory of 1941, Peel and the Weakness of the Whigs.

    So, now on top of being unpopular with the public, the party itself was now under scrutiny over whether it could be trusted. More problems in weakness engulfed the Whigs, more specifically, in reference to the way in which they provoked working class hostility in the late 1830's.

  2. Free essay

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

    Peel put a lot of time and money into foreign policy. He believe that he must maintain the status quo in order to keep his part interest secured and to do this a strong law and order system needed top be maintained and secured.

  1. To what extent can the failure of the Fascist Movement to challenge the existing ...

    Within the first few years of the party being set-up barely any financial regulation existed under deputy leader Forgan. There was theft from Fascist funds which caused a lack of resources. Members paid to be part of the movement and funding drastically decreased as support lessened from the years 1935

  2. Churchill's Leadership

    The Government regulations also covered the protection of the civilian population. The two main features for this were the planning and execution of programmes the evacuate children from major cities, and a civil defence scheme covering air-raid shelters and blackout procedures. Rationing was also another scheme introduced by the Government.

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

    was Peel who was the leader of the government who suggested the repeal, which led to the split in the party. However to really understand why Peel is so much to blame for making the issue of repeal the final straw we must look at his actions leading up to his announcement that he supported repeal.

  2. TO WHAT EXTENT WERE LLOYD GEORGE'S OWN POLICIES, RATHER THAN HIS DEPENDENCE ON THE ...

    His leadership lacked flair and effectiveness. Majority of the Conservatives were against spending money and believed in 'self help', and didn't want the government to become a 'nanny state'. As the economy was damaged after the war to fund these social reforms a healthy economy was required.

  1. Is New Labour a Conservative Party?

    MPs that had been sacked from ministerial posts or passed over for promotion were more willing to defy the party whips. An indicator of poor morale is that so many leading Conservatives MPs refused to serve on the front bench of Hague or Duncan-Smith.

  2. Contribution of both Gladstone and Disraeli to British Politics between 1846 and 1865

    Under Gladstone Britain came as close as it had ever been to Free Trade. These budgets included some controversial policies such as cutting defence spending drastically (Gladstone saw war as a waste of money) and lowered income tax and lessened the people that had to pay it.

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