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AS and A Level: British History: Monarchy & Politics

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  1. To what extent were Gladstones social and economic reforms in his first ministry a success?

    The Education Act of 1870 also made advances in gender equality, as it made provision for girls to attend school, leading to the suffragette movements in 1918 and 1928. So, in terms of women's rights, the social reforms of this ministry can be judged a success, as although the changes may not seem hugely significant, they were the foundations for further campaigns and reforms. The 1870 Education Act greatly pleased the working classes and indicated a move away from laissez-faire in government legislation, but it also caused divisions in terms of religious teachings, with Catholics clashing with Anglicans.

    • Word count: 1105
  2. Britain went to war in 1914 to maintain power and prestige: assess the validity of this view.

    The first thing which must be considered is that Britain had a number of agreements to uphold; choosing to ignore these would have been a sign of weakness on the international stage, something which would have smacked of the period of 'splendid isolation' which the government knew it had to abandon in order to remain a respected international force. Thus, despite the strong belief in Germany that Britain would not go to war over a 'scrap of paper', Britain felt obliged to honour the Entente Cordiale and the 1839 Treaty of London despite they could have ignored both in order to show strength through decisive action, thereby maintaining the international perception of British power and prestige.

    • Word count: 1313
  3. Why was Thomas Cromwell able to make such extensive reforms in Government, when Cardinal Wolsey had achieved so little?

    Therefore, he (Wolsey) often appointed his "own men" into the Government and those who could best afford the high prices he desired for appointments. In this way, a feudal system existed; extremely inefficient, ineffective and corrupt. This did benefit Wolsey however as nobody else was allowed to get the King's ear and carry too much, if any influence over him. Cromwell on the other hand, wished to modernize Government as can be seen by his steps to improve the administration of it so that no one person would be able have full control of the system, bringing it forward into a more modern democracy.

    • Word count: 1847
  4. Free essay

    DECLINE OF STAPLE INDUSTRIES AND THE GENERAL STRIKE OF 1926

    A further government initiative to reduce high prices and encourage trade to recover was to reduce government expenditure. Lloyd George followed such a policy as did successive governments. As a result government expenditure was cut by about a quarter in real terms, some of the national debt was paid off and taxes were reduced a little. Whilst cuts in taxation were a help to an economy in depression, unfortunately they also tended to reduce the level of domestic demand for industrial goods. Government policy therefore was probably making unemployment worse. From 1923 to the latter years of the 1930's parts of Wales and England suffered from a prolonged economic depression and this was especially true of the coalfield areas.

    • Word count: 1642
  5. To what extent were the findings of social investigators, Booth and Rowntree, the most important reason for the changing attitudes to poverty between 1880-1914?

    Booth's work was important in a number of ways. His method of working put people in recognisable classes. He worked out a poverty line below which people couldn't live in. He provided scientific evidence and statistics that proved the extent of poverty in London. He also proved that the poverty that was taking place couldn't be solved by only charitable aid alone. As a result of his work other people began to wonder if conditions in London were unique. Booth's findings were then supported by another social investigator called Seebohm Rowntree.

    • Word count: 1483
  6. The Social Surveys of Booth and Rowntree. At the end of the 19th century, investigations revealed the true, and mainly unsuspected, levels of poverty in Britain.

    He wanted to know how much hardship there really was in Britain. Booth chose the east end of London to conduct his experiment. Working with a team of researchers, mainly at weekends or in the evenings, Booth's work was based was based on hard statistical facts rather than opinion or anecdotal evidence. Between 1889 and 1903 he studied the life of the poor in London and published his findings in 17 volumes as Life and Labour of the People in London.

    • Word count: 1471
  7. Do you agree with the view that the 1832 reform act was a conservative measure with limited effects?

    I told them that this strike for the Charter would bring ruin, if those who claimed to be its supports broke on law". From this source we can clearly see that he believes the violence undermined the Chartist cause. He states that if the people involved in the violence admitted to being Chartists then the cause would just been seen as a bunch of hooliganistic thugs. Obviously not the image the Chartists were going for when wanting to be taken seriously amongst a cabinet completely full of middle to upper class Ministers.

    • Word count: 1164
  8. How successful were the Whig reforms of 1833 1841 in dealing with Britains domestic problems?

    However, the Act failed as it did not tackle the causes of poverty, but rather was a deterrent to encourage the poor to be self-reliant. The new workhouses were nicknamed bastilles and the law faced opposition from the industrial north from 1837 when it was implemented there. The Act encapsulated the views of the governing classes in Victorian Britain that poverty was an individual's personal failing and self-help was a way out. However for the textile towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire who were highly dependent on exports, a slump in trade would conclude in thousands unemployed that could last for several months, demonstrating unemployment that wasn't a 'personal failing'.

    • Word count: 1604
  9. Explain why the duke of Wellingtons government fell from power in 1830?

    There was also widespread opposition in the country at large, because many in many cities like Liverpool and Manchester, there were many immigrants. This not only fractured Wellington's capability as leader, but his government as well because the Tory party was now split 3 ways: the canningities soon to be allied with the Whigs, and also the separate faction of ultra's who felt betrayed by Wellington. But one of the key factors that essentially solidified end of the Wellington's government, was the speech that he read out in the New parliament meeting of November 1830.

    • Word count: 1759
  10. How important was foreign support for Henry Tudor in explaining Richard III

    His grand-mother was the mother of Henry IV; this proved that he came from a line of royalty. He also came from nobility as his uncle Jasper Tudor was the Earl of Pembrokeshire. Even though he had a link to a past king Henry Tudor had fled England when Henry VI was finally deposed so he wasn't very known in England which meant that he did not have the loyal support Richard III had in his powerbase in the north of the country. This lack of support should have meant that he was unable to usurp the throne however many people disliked Richard because there was rumours going around that he had killed the two princes Edward (who was supposed to become king)

    • Word count: 1640
  11. The Conservative Government of 1874 to 1880 did more than the Liberal Government of 1868 to 1874 to improve the conditions of the working class in Britain, How valid is this statement?

    Disraeli on the other hand did replicate this but to a lesser extent as in 1874, Lord norticote reduced income tax, abolished duties on sugar, and provided aid for the local authority expenditure on various police and asylums. However this brief period of relief was short-lived as the income tax was later raised in the ministry to solve the agricultural crisis and foreign wars. Health, Food, Sanitation, drink The 1860's also saw a rise in problems concerning alcohol as well, the ridiculous cheap, widespread availability of gin and the increased use of unlicensed "gin palaces" was rampant.

    • Word count: 1338
  12. Why did a minority Tory government end up passing a far more reaching measure of parliamentary reform in1867, than its minority liberal predecessor in 1866?

    The Liberal Reform Bill was published in 1866 and proposed lowering the franchise to �7 in boroughs and �14 in the counties, with votes also for �10 lodgers. Minor redistribution of seats proposed. Most redistribution to go to the counties, with 26 extra seats - 6 entirely new boroughs proposed with 4 more seats for London, 5 more for large English and 3 more for large Scottish boroughs. The government was defeated 315-304 in the commons on a hostile amendment which lead to the fall of government as without the full backing of the liberal party the bill could simply be crushed by the conservatives.

    • Word count: 1008
  13. Did the Second World War cause a social revolution in Britain?

    Furthermore we are able to identify that the power of the trade unions had a long term effect, many are still remain today, particularly in the royal mail, transport and public sectors. Whilst membership has declined since the miners' strike in the late 70's they are still powerful and are now active with the governments proposed public sectors cuts. This therefore shows that the rise of the trade unions during the Second World War caused a long term social revolution as 55 years on its strong power still remains.

    • Word count: 1664
  14. "Anne Boleyn was the most important person in bringing about the King's divorce in the years 1529 to 1533." Explain why you agree or disagree with this view.

    Anne had gained an intellectual control over Henry and introduced him to texts such as those of Tyndale, Fish and St. Germain, which demonstrated that the King should be the head of Church in his own country and not be overruled by Rome. This would also provide the necessity of granting an annulment from Catherine. Anne had gained vast knowledge of the Court in France and Europe, from her years there and so as a result of her experience accompanied Henry on his visit to Francis I with the intention of gaining support for the divorce as she seemed to hold a political influence within the French Court.

    • Word count: 1841
  15. Why Did Charles I resort to Personal Rule?

    The Mansfield expedition of 1624 and the Cadiz Expedition of 1625 both did not succeed. The subsidies which parliament had voted in for Charles' war against Spain were misused and wasted on the Mansfield expedition, which was much to the shock of parliament as no appropriate accounting was being offered. The Duke of Buckingham was blamed for these disasters by Parliament as he was believed to have forced Charles I into making these poor decisions. Throughout parliament, there was a wide-spread of hatred for Buckingham as he had too much of an influence over the king.

    • Word count: 1162
  16. Using all the sources and your own knowledge, assess to what extent the dissolution of the monasteries contributed to opposition to Henry VIII?

    Finally in the Submission of the Clergy the Church accepted Henry instead of the Pope as the law maker in England. In 1533 Cranmer, as Archbishop of Canterbury, declared Henry's marriage to Catherine as invalid and married him to Anne Boleyn. However, the pull away from Rome continued with the Act of Restraint of Appeals, making Henry the highest law in the land and the whole church recognised Henry as Supreme Head. Throughout 1534 Henry gained more and more control of the church, stopping all the money sent to Rome and eventually all the old papal taxes were given to the crown instead.

    • Word count: 1940
  17. Why had women failed to achieve the right to vote by 1914 but had succeeded 4 years later?

    The first militant act took place in the run up to the 1906 election, this first phase of militant action was in the response to an apparent lack of progress by the government to listen and take note of what the suffragettes wanted. In this first phase no violence was used by the suffragettes, an example of their tactics was seen in 1906 when a group of women attempted to intervene in a parliamentary debate, with one women shouting "divide, divide" and brandishing banners marked "voted for women".

    • Word count: 1352
  18. How far was Edward IV successful at restoring order in England between 1471 and 1483?

    Feudal Prerogatives included wardship, bishop vacancies and profits of justice. Wardship was when the king could claim the income of a child. The king was therefore inheritor of the land until the child became of age, then the king would charge an entry fee for the child to reclaim their land OR the king would sell the child into a marriage to the highest bidder. Edward IVs extraordinary revenue included taxation and benevolence. Edward IV charged 1/15 of nobles' land for tax in rural areas and 1/10 in towns.

    • Word count: 1054
  19. HOW IMPORTANT WAS DISAPPOINTMENT WITH THE GREAT REFORM ACT IN EXPLAINING THE RISE OF CHARTISM?

    After campaigning with the fervour they did, the working classes felt betrayed by the middle classes and angry at the lack of change. The continuing lack of enfranchisement meant that the working classes still had no political rights, which almost certainly contributed to the rise of Chartism, as one of the "Six Points" was for universal manhood suffrage. The existence of the property qualification to become an MP was also a reason for the rise of Chartism, as it is also addressed in the "Six Points": in fact, all of the "Six Points" are related to discontent with the existing political system, caused by the inadequacy of the Great Reform Act.

    • Word count: 1014
  20. How successful was Lord Liverpools government in defeating the radical demands in the years 1815 to 1827?

    After 1821, and with the improving economic environment, the Tory government was less threatened by protest and radicalism, and some of the harsher measures were relaxed. This ushered in the age of the 'Liberal Tories'. This government was more inclined to listen to the needs of its people and industry, and as such encouraged free trade, ending their protectionist policies. This relaxation appeased the masses: in short, the strong economy led to social and political stability, quelling radicalism in the public.

    • Word count: 1080
  21. Labour Party Success

    The issue on which to call the election on however was tariff reform, one of the most contentious issues in British political history and had been a contributing factor to the conservative decline at the turn of the century. The results of the election subsequently allowed Labour the chance to form a government, the conservatives lost seats and the liberals, despite being united in defence of free trade, were not the party they had been before the outbreak of war.

    • Word count: 1757
  22. To what Extent do you Agree that Humanitarian & Missionary Motives were the Most Important Reasons for British Expansion in Africa 1868 1902?

    In West Africa, particularly in Nigeria, trade was crucial. The goods purchased included the much sought after palm oil which was used as an industrial lubricant (which would fuel production back home in the "workshop of the world") and it was a base for soap and candles. Britain had to protect Nigeria against France, Germany and Belgium's expansionism in the region. France had a base in Senegal and wanted to develop a West African Empire dominating inland trade. This threatened important trade along the river Niger.

    • Word count: 1218
  23. The personal rule to 1640 was a success for Charles. To what extend do you agree.

    Various non-parliamentary finances were discovered and employed with the most lucrative ones being the Distraint of Knighthood whereby men owning estates worth �40 were suppose to present themselves as knights and those whom did not were fined as well as Ship Money, which is a levy to raise money for ships to be built to protect coastal areas from pirates. However, it is important to note that both of these sources of income were ancient and had been long unused.

    • Word count: 1494
  24. Did women win the vote as a reward for their work in WWI?

    This is especially so when you consider that women had been campaigning for this right for sometime and had even gained some support from sympathetic MP's. Despite this they were still not enfranchised in previous electoral reforms or had any real political voice. In a changing society where women were already taking on a more professional role it is easy to see how this seemed unjust to women and this did indeed lead to rising tensions in the form of direct and sometimes violent protest from women's suffrage groups.

    • Word count: 1900
  25. Millicent Fawcett's significance

    Henry later married Millicent Fawcett, although she was advised against the marriage due to him being 14 years her senior and blind. Feminists believed that they were equal to men and that men took advantage of their alleged superiority for their own self interests. Female novelists were forced to publish their works under pseudonyms; Charlotte Bronte's pseudonym, author of the feminist novel Jane Eyre, was Currer Bell. Many men and surprisingly many women opposed female emancipation, including Mrs. Ward, founder of the Anti-Suffrage League and Prime Minister Asquith.

    • Word count: 1881

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