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

Why did the Liberals win the 1906 general election?

Extracts from this document...


Why did the Liberals win the 1906 general election? In the late 1800's the Liberal party was divided and suffering from problems to do with funds and leadership. Because of this they lost both the 1895 and 1900 elections by a significant amount, yet in the 1906 elections they won a landslide victory. There are a few reasons for this occurrence which I am going to discuss in this essay. The first reason is the Boer War of 1899-1902 which was fought between the British and the descendants of the Dutch settlers in Africa. " British forces were deployed to Boer and many concentration camps were set up to keep Boer resisters and their families. They were kept in disgraceful conditions which caused a lot of disease and many died. This provoked a national scandal back in Britain and in 1900, led by Henry Campbell-Bannerman, they opposed the British policy. ...read more.


It was agreed that Liberals wouldn't oppose Labour candidates in a number of constituencies. These constituencies were chosen because it was thought that Labour candidates would have a better chance of beating the Conservatives than Liberal candidates. In return for this, the Labour candidates would not oppose the Liberals elsewhere. As a result, the anti-Conservative vote was not split and many Conservative seats were lost, it also encouraged Trade Unions and their supporters to vote Liberal. Another explanation for the Liberal victory is the tariff reforms of 1903. The Conservatives were having disputes over whether taxes should be imposed on foreign goods. Arthur Balfour and Joseph Chamberlain had different views on this. Balfour thought that Britain should keep free trade whereas Chamberlain felt the economic future of Britain could be secured by abandoning free trade and replacing it with tariffs that gave preferential treatment to imports from British colonies and that would give British companies that were producing goods for sale in Britain some protection from cheaper foreign goods. ...read more.


This lost support for the Conservative party and eventually the use of Chinese slaves was abandoned. The 'first-past-the-post' electoral system meant that the candidate for each constituency who wins the highest number of votes wins that election. This system exaggerated the Liberals victory of 400 seats compared to the Conservatives 156. There were many reasons for the Liberal victory in the 1906 election but some were definitely more important than others. One of them is the Education Act of 1902 which lost the Conservatives a lot of support. The support for Liberals then increased as they opposed the act and, in turn people who had previously been Conservatives moved over to the Liberal party. Another reason is the tariff reforms which caused splits in the Conservative party. This meant they became a weaker party and were less stable, similar to the Liberals in 1886. A major reason for the Liberal success was because of arguments and bad decisions in the Conservative party which made them seem less stable. This meant that as the Tories became less popular, popularity for both the Liberal and Labour party increased. Jessica Wills ...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. Why did Labour lose the 1951 General Election?

    In the summer of 1950, the Korean War broke out. America sought the support of her allies in fighting the North Korean communists, and Britain committed troops to assist her. To the most left-wing Labour MPs and enthusiasts, this was a betrayal of socialist solidarity; on the other hand, to

  2. Did Gladstone Unite or Divide the Liberals?

    Gladstone believed these colonies would only be truly self-governing if they looked after their own defence. This decision created opposition in Canada, who feared a US invasion. Disraeli, the Conservative leader, even went so far as to claim that this proposal was part of a Gladstonian plot to dismember the Empire.

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

    As a result of this, the high commissioner agreed to allow 50,000 Chinese people work for the mine owners on low wages. They were housed in camps and suffered desolate living and working conditions. This caused humanitarian concerns as the British people thought it was morally wrong to treat any

  2. Why did the liberal party win a landslide victory in the 1906 General Election?

    Again, this only highlighted Balfour's lack of sympathy with the working citizens. As we can see, these factors greatly weakened the Conservative party: their attempts at reform led to widespread uproar and Balfour's leadership style was unsympathetic to the working citizens.

  1. Consider the arguments for and against retaining first-past-the-post for general elections

    The system which creates 'good' strong government, does this by heavily penalising smaller parties in favour of the main one. In 1974 Labour achieved a majority in the House of Commons from only 39.2% of the vote. This raises the question of whether it is desirable or even acceptable for

  2. 'Asses the success of the Liberals from 1906-1914 in dealing with their domestic problems.'

    and really wanted the Parliament Act passed to pursue the Home Rule bill for Ireland. Also, many of the social reforms were restrictive and although they may have appeared to be successful, in reality they failed to recognise the needs of a large number of citizens.

  1. The 1906 General Election saw a convincing Liberal landslide of 399 Liberal seats to ...

    The Boer War also raised questions at home. The rejection rate of volunteers (34.6%) raised questions regarding the health of the nation. In Manchester, 8,000 of 11,000 volunteers failed the initial training and so were rejected from fighting in the Cape.

  2. A critical analysis of selected election literature and party political broadcasts from the general ...

    It is: green, yellow and white with black text. Again, there is a picture of a child on the front, for the same reasons as on the Socialist Alliance leaflet. This child is reaching for a balloon, fashioned as the earth. The balloon is just a little bit out of his reach, and is as though 'the perfect world is just out of reach'.

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