liberals

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  • Created on: 13-01-14 14:35
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  • Liberals
    • Liberalism was becoming firmly established by 1865 and dominated government between 1865 and 1885 under leadership of Gladstone.
    • The party began as a loose alliance of similar interests and was only just emerging as a party by 1865. The party consisted of...
      • Whigs - aristocratic landowners. Belived in limiting the monarchs powers through constitutional monarchy.
      • Middle class business men and professionals -  most of these came into politics following the 1832 great reform act. They tended to be in favour of individual liberty, free trade and freedom of press and religion.  Some were non-conformist.
      • Peelites - thise who had followed Peel during the Tory split of1846. Pro free trade, tended to be from wealthy industrial and commercial backgrounds.
      • Radicals - follow the principle of utilitarianism - bring the greatest amount of pleasure to the greatest amount of people.
    • Given the diverse mix of interests, the liberals were not a firmly united party and division and disagreement occurred frequently.  There were many fads within the party - diverse interests such as...
      • Temperance, education and disestablishment of the church of England.
        • However, the liberal party did share some common beliefs. These are often summaries as PEACE, RETRENCHMENT and REFORM
          • To fulfil these ideas, most liberals supported policies of free trade, more religious freedom and reforms that would give more say to those who the liberals judged to be responsible and respectable. They were influenced by philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.
          • Gladstone was able to appeal to the radicals and Whigs within the party, inspiring a loyalty which often kept the party united,
    • Support for the Liberals came from the towns and boroughs, from prosperous middle class business men and artisans.
      • John Vincent identified 3 main reasons for the growth in support of the liberal party: the provincial press,( expansion of the press meant that the London press was no longer the only source of news) the growth of new model unions (represented skilled workers, unions hoped by supporting the liberals the liberals would in turn strengthen their legal position) and the non conformists ( they represented nearly 50% of church goers and formed a group, the liberation society that supported liberals..

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