Conservative governments, 1890-1905

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  • Conservative Ascendancy, 1890-1905
    • Central ideas to Salisbury's government
      • Conservatism
        • Preservation of current traditions and existing institutions
        • Needed to appeal to working class voters
      • Fatalism
        • Believed that fate had a huge part to play in how things turned out; man cannot control everything
      • Preserving Anglican values
      • 'Anti-disintegration'
        • Disintegration = breaking up the things that held society and the empire together
        • Recognised class conflicts as potentially destructive
      • Britain as a world power
        • Monarchy + CofE + Parliament = maintains the integrity of Britain
        • Empire must be preserved
    • Problem of national efficiency
      • Knowledge of poverty through B & R's study
      • Question of the working classes undermining Britain, socially and economically
      • Cycle of economic slumps had undermined Britain's strong economy
      • Not expanding in industries, such as chemical production, as fast as the USA or Germany
      • Decline in agriculture
      • International trade gap
      • Integrity of Britain as a unified country threatened by hostility in Ireland
    • Key legislation
      • The Education Act
        • 1902
        • Based on the belief that British education was inferior to other countries
        • Restructured elementary and secondary education under local authorities
        • Passed amidst great controversy
          • LEAS were required to support Anglican schools out of rates
          • Liberals fought on behalf of the Nonconformists and campaigned nationally
        • Cost Conservatives dearly
          • 70,000 prosecutions over non-payment of rates
          • Split the party, as the delicate balance of Anglicans and Nonconformists was essential for work
    • New Imperialism
      • The empire should be seen as an economic asset, and needed to be managed and developed
      • Jameson Raid
        • PM of the Cape, Rhodes, wanted Transvaal under GB's control
        • 1896
        • Staged a coup and a revolt
        • Damaged Chamberlain's reputation
      • Second Boer War
        • British victory = 1902
        • Backfired scorched earth policy meant a huge spread in typhus and cholera in camps
        • British use of concentration camps
        • Exposed the British armed forces as unfit and barely able to defeat guerilla militia
      • Effects
        • International condemnation of GB
        • Divisions in parties
        • Sour public reaction


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