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

'The issue of Home Rule was the most important factor for the divisions and weaknesses in the Liberal Party in the late 19th Century.' To what extent do you agree with the statement?

Extracts from this document...


b) Use Sources A, B and C and your own knowledge. 'The issue of Home Rule was the most important factor for the divisions and weaknesses in the Liberal Party in the late 19th Century.' To what extent do you agree with the statement? In many instances in the political system in Britain in the mid 19th Century, Ireland was always a country that had probed debate and need for change. Towards the 1880s, Home Rule came into play as key figures such as Gladstone began to believe that major reforms were still necessary in Ireland. Home Rule meant having a parliament and administration elected by Irish people to run Ireland's home affairs. The British government would still manage external matters, such as foreign relations, defence and trade, and have sovereignty over Ireland. Home Rule therefore fell short of independence. In the 19th Century most Irish people apparently supported the demand for Home Rule, but demands for fuller independence began to grow as the years progressed. ...read more.


This was significant as it was a clear opposition to Gladstone and the loss of members shows that Irish Home Rule was the blame for the resignation of two very influential and important members. The importance of this resignation lay also in the fact that it became clear now in and outside the party that there was growing disagreement between the Liberal Unionists and MPs. It became a growing sign of disruption of consensus with the party that would lead to disastrous effects in the future whether Home Rule was issued or not. Therefore Home Rule and Ireland in general was one of the reasons why divisions and weaknesses in the Liberal party were emerging. On the contrary, there were also other issues aside from the dispute of Irish Home Rule that made weaknesses within the liberal party more apparent. For one, it was the clear opposition between two groups, the 'Radicals' such as Joseph Chamberlain and the 'Whigs' such as Lord Hartington. ...read more.


but the Sudan Crisis had become a set back in any progression of the liberal party as a team. In conclusion, I believe that because Gladstone was so in tune with making Home Rule successful, it clouded the prospect of disaster and division. I believe that this created the divison within the party more than the debate of Irish Home Rule. It was bad that people in his own party were beginning to stray him but even worse when the liberals moved to the conservatives; it shows that there was more to the weaknesses in the party than just the dispute about Home Rule, and that people in the liberal party seemed to be unhappy with other methods of Gladstone's in the past (Such as social reform etc). Suffice to say, I believe that Gladstone's character and ways of handling the Irish matter created most division, along with his method of governing previously. Regardless, I still believe that the Irish Home Rule dispute played a completely vital role in dividing the party as it was a catalyst for division, but not the main cause for the weakness of the liberal party. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & 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 AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Growth of Democracy in 19th Centuary Britain.

    Men renting property in Boroughs rateable �10 or more per annum, owners of land worth more than �2 in rent per annum, tenants holding land on long lease for over �10 a year were all also given the vote. CONSTITUENCIES: The number of MPs did not increase or decrease but

  2. How important was Gladstone to the success of the Liberal Party up to 1865?

    Another important part of the generation of support for the Liberal Party was the rise of the provincial press, such as the Mercury in Leeds. These papers often took a Liberal stance due to them being made possible by Gladstone's repeal of the paper duties.

  1. How successful were the reforms carried out by Alexander II in the second half ...

    In late 1861, Alexandre II established a committee of jurists to investigate the general principles of legal reforms. This reform was only successful to a small extent. The committee identified 25 defects in the existing system and proposed a number of radical solutions.

  2. Was the Liberal party dying before WW1?

    The welfare reforms between 1906-11 kept the Liberals in power, but never fully met the needs of general society. There were several reforms that went part way to help the less fortunate, but were never fully sufficient in meeting the requirements of the general public.

  1. Changes in Crime and Punishment - Between the mid-seventeenth century and the mid-eighteenth century ...

    There were no police to roam around and deter the smugglers and there were also no coastguards along the shores. This lack of defence made smuggling a huge operation and thousands of tonnes of luxuries were brought into the country each year.

  2. How Successful was Edward Carson in His Defense of Unionism During The Third Home ...

    To them, it perpetrated rank hypocrisy that the Catholic family was the only family was the only family. (Lee, 1990, p. 11). Economics also had a divisive role in Irish Unionist politics. For the most of the nineteenth century, the connection with England had given Ireland economic success.

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