• 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 Peel's Reorganisation of the Tory Party responsible for the election victory of 1841?

Extracts from this document...


To What Extent Was Peel's Reorganisation of the Tory Party responsible for the election victory of 1841? After the Tories suffered their worst defeat in the 1832 elections, many believed that the road to success would be a long, hard struggle for the party to re-emerge as a political force. After extending the franchise that year through the Great Reform Act, the Whigs intended to gain perpetual support from those in favour of major change. However, this fantasy was interrupted when Tory leader Robert Peel led his party to victory in July 1841. After undergoing several major changes during Peel's tenure, the reorganisation of the party resulted in Tory victory carrying a broader electoral appeal. Peel's clever remodelling of the party substantiated Tory success whilst combating waning support. Nevertheless, one must recognise what part Whig failure played in the new Conservative gains. The Whigs had disappointed with their proposals for change and now Peel was able capitalise on these errors, and in doing so highlight his own party's success. After a shattering defeat in the 1832 elections, the Tories seemed destined for failure. Having just 185 seats in Parliament and a legacy of betrayed principles through policies concerning debatable issues such as Catholic Emancipation, The Reform Act and the abolition of slavery; it was an unenviable position for any individual to inherit. ...read more.


By 1841, the Conservative seats had increased from 185 in December 1832 to 279 in January 1835 and from 314 to 367 between August 1837 and July 1841. The Tories were making a remarkable recovery and these pre - 1941 victory events enabled Peel to gradually build up nationwide support and influence within Parliament. The Whigs were running into problems, lacking unity and direction. Being the undisputed first choice to replace dismissed Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, Peel's eventual acceptance from William IV left him with a ministry lasting only one hundred days; being a minority government, it was easily defeated by the Lichfield House Compact. However, Peel had demonstrated praiseworthy understanding in his policies regarding the Church and the problems in Ireland. He recognised that the pursuit of success meant incorporating the wider British electorate. Between 1832 and 1841, there were four elections, enabling Peel's government to make gains. This undoubtedly benefited the progress of Peel's policies. As with less elections, the Whig majority may never have decreased so rapidly. Peel was able to judge how well his policies were received by the electorate by studying the locations of his party's gains. The 'Bedchamber Crisis' of 1839 appears the most fortunate event for Peel. With increasing Whig failure, Queen Victoria took the initiative to appoint Peel as Prime Minister. ...read more.


Such divisions led to Grey's resignation, and the Whigs suffered long-term damage. This platform allowed Peel to declare his Tamworth Manifesto and make Conservative gains, introducing his new 'Conservative' principles. In Parliament, the Whig's majority relied upon an alliance with the Irish Catholics led by O'Connell and the radicals. Peel placed a fear on the public radar implying that if the alliance continued, these radical groups would invade the government and the political status quo would be in chaos, starting a revolution from above. Now struggling to cope with economic depression -Peel had been highlighting Whig economic shortfalls and budget deficits-the rise of Chartism and the Conservative promotion of a radical take over, the Whigs were in dire straits. Without Peel's illumination of these Whig shortcomings, they may have been forgotten. It was the shrewd judgement of Peel and his other political agents, which emphasised Whig failures. Overall, it appears that it mostly fell upon astute judgement and purposeful leadership that won the 1841 election for the Tories. By broadening electoral appeal through demonstrating a move towards social and economic reform, Peel understood that his cabinet would encompass the desire for change. Triumph occurred through the reorganisation and rebranding of the party as it opened up a new avenue of politics. By cleverly exploiting Whig weaknesses, the Whigs lost any momentum they had gained from the Reform Act wins. Peel's skilled oratory and clear guidance from Bonham allowed Conservatism to become celebrated and thus was the cherry for and 1841 victory. ...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. To what extent was ‘Inept Leadership’ responsible for the failure of Chartism?

    It is evident that the interrelationship of these factors with the strength of the government, thanks to stability provided by the great Reform Act 1832, is of great importance. The responsibility of the handling of Chartism by the government in the movement's downfall cannot be underestimated.

  2. The weakness of the Whig government from 1835-1841 was the most important reason for ...

    no legislation for the working population, nor was there any adequate public health arrangements, or proper sewage systems. There was further unrest due to the 1833 factory Act, as it only applied to textile factories and no other. The working class had hoped to eliminate child labour and only have to work a 10-hour day.

  1. The Impact of Electoral Design on the Legislature.

    are not be entitled to any seats. The total number of seats which a party receives in Germany is based on the Niemeyer method, which ensures that seats are proportional to second votes cast for party lists. Smaller parties which received, say, 10 per cent of the list vote, but

  2. "The defeat of the Whigs in 1841 was solely the result of their own ...

    This evidence shows that instability continued to haunt the Whig government and loss of sympathy added to their misfortune. They were now not aware of exactly who and how many people supported them, thus, their defeat was simply inevitable. Their failure seemed near as the Whigs succeeded in provoking working class hostility in the late 1830s.

  1. Conservative Victory of 1941, Peel and the Weakness of the Whigs.

    So, from this aspect, the weakness of the Whigs under Lord Melbourne was very important as less people voted for them and thus, as a result, popularity went elsewhere, namely the Conservatives. The Whigs 'reactionary' principles contributed to their downfall.

  2. Free essay

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

    normal direct tax so weren't keen on the idea but he managed to win his party round by lower indirect taxes but this measure mainly help the working class because it meant a fair system of taxation. Peel also made other economic reforms in his ministry the first one of

  1. What was Chartism and why did it fail

    Although the argument still continues it seems that the movement avoided mass bloodshed and safely guided most members. The comparison of Chartism to the anti-corn league is common. The latter had succinctly worked to abolish the Corn Laws whereas the Chartist demanded too much at once and would have been

  2. How effective was Peel in restoring and reuniting his party in the period from ...

    divisions which had taken hold of the Whigs as well as the inevitable subsidence in pro-reform enthusiasms following the passage of the Great Reform Act, which had left the party divided over what should follow.

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