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Why were the conservatives so dominant in the period 1895-1905?

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Why were the conservatives so dominant in the period 1895-1905? During the history of the British political system we have seen many changes in the parties and their structures and patterns of power. The Tory party were hugely successful during the first 30 years of the 19th century, the Whigs in 1846-85. What this essay focuses on is the period between 1895-1905 when the conservatives rose up and dominated the political scene. In the 1895 election the conservatives won the election with a landslide victory, winning in the region of 300 seats. Some people have said that the mixture of the parties throughout history has been like the swing of a pendulum where the leadership has switched from one party to another regularly. It is more realistic to say that the parties would dominate until another party replaced them with superior domination. At this time many different social and economical reforms had been passed and the people voting were greatly influenced by reforms that directly affected them. There are many reasons why the conservatives came to power at this time some people say it is because they were ...read more.


They also introduced the Mines regulation act in 1887. This act dramatically changed the safety in mines and pits by regulating the hours people could work and the conditions in which they worked. This was a successful reform for the conservatives as it gained the support of the working classes. Another act which made the working classes happy was the unemployed workmen act of 1905. This act provided money from the rates paid to create projects that the unemployed could work on. This reduced the unemployment level in Britain at the time and also helped the overall state of the nation. Another big issue at the time was education and the Fee Grant act of 1891 was a turning point, it granted free elementary education to children. This again helped to improve the overall state of the nation and would help to reduce future unemployment. Overseas issues were at the forefront of the public's minds during this time and the conservatives saw this. They put imperialism on their list of things that the public wanted and they satisfied this need by holding many public jubilees and reporting in great detail events that were happening in the empire at the time. ...read more.


This splinter group was called the 'Liberal Unionists' and Salisbury maximised the potential of the split by changing the name of the conservatives to unionists in an attempt to attract more liberal unionists. Another problem facing the liberals was the lack of strong leadership, as they could not find a suitable replacement for Gladstone. This meant that the party was in disarray and as a result they could not compete with the rapid production of reforms coming from the conservatives. When the liberals tried to pass some bills they were strongly apposed by the House of Lords, which reduced the status of the party yet further. So from both sides of the story we can see that the conservative party was very strong, they passed many bills and they connected with the people at a local level, how responsible they were for their rise however, is a different story. I think many people at the time would have voted for them because their policies were good but many others would have voted because they were the only option and they didn't want to vote for a weak, unstable party that had a limited future. Owen England AS History 27/04/2007 -Page 1 - ...read more.

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