AS New Liberalism course summary revision guide

13 page booklet summarising New Liberalism course I made.

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BACKGROUND: Before the Boer War, Britain was in "Splendid Isolation". This meant it did not concern itself
with matters concerning other countries particularly, without formal alliances. This, at a time when
France, Russia, Austria, Germany and Italy were entangling themselves in Alliances, Britain believed
she was strong enough not to need help. However, the Boer War (1899-1902) changed this
OUTBREAK: Britain wanted the whole of South Africa, to complete one strip of land from Cape
Town to Cairo. The Boers however, had two independent states blocking this, the Orange Free
State, and the Transvaal. In 1886, gold was discovered in the Transvaal, which attracted large
numbers of "Uitlanders", who were treated as second-class citizens: heavier taxes, next to no
political rights. This gave the British yet another reason to want to control the area. So, in 1896, the
Jameson Raid was organised-armed police entering the Transvaal in an attempt to create revolt. It
failed. Then in 1899, amongst huge tension, the Boers decided to strike first-out of fear of the
British attacking.
WHAT HAPPENED: The war lasted three years, from 1899 to 1902. The British did badly, but
eventually won-even with more deaths. The British used a "scorched earth" policy-burning land, and
concentration camps too.
EFFECTS: Britain was generally condemned for her actions in South Africa by all other European
powers, but especially Germany, as they threatened to create a "Continental League" against Britain.
Anglo-German relations were particularly soured. Domestically, there were other concerns, the war
gave rise to questions about "National Efficiency" (How fit the nation was) as swathes of volunteer
soldiers were turned away. The war also made people question the government-as the war was not
going well.
WHY: Britain felt weak and encircled, as so many powers had condemned her actions and the war
was difficult to win. All other powers were now in alliances, France and Russia and Germany seemed
hostile, so they wanted to find security. Not only that, but other powers were catching up with
Britain economically, and the Empire was overstretched. To protect the Empire, and the benefits it
brought, especially maintaining power in Europe, an ally was needed.
o 1902-JAPAN. Already a strong power with ties to Britain, meant Naval Support in Far East,
both Britain and Japan concerned about Russian expansion in Far East.
o 1904-FRANCE. Strengthen position against Germany, prevent France and Britain being
dragged into the Russo-Japanese war, economic interests, have more power in the
o 1907-RUSSIA. Russia was weak and basically had to agree to colonial aspects; protect India,
and to relieve troops in India. Also limits Germany's ambitions. (Balkans, Mitteleuropa, &c).

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FOREIGN EVENTS LEADING UP TO WWI; (It is worth noting that Britain was already very wary of German
ambitions by this point, as shown by the Media-there were fictional stories about German invasions, which
spurred public thought. These are events that affect Britain.
1898, GERMAN FLEET EXPANSION. Until 1912, threatened Britain's naval superiority; Blue Water
policy, 2 power standard,
1902, END OF BOER WAR (Started 1899)
1905, FIRST MOROCCAN CRISIS.…read more

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NEW LOOK PARTY, after 1880 the party attempted to appeal to more people than before-not just
the laded gentry. Now appealed to middle classes, and attempted to appeal to working classes,
even, not through reform or help for them mind-behind imperialism, and anti-Home-Rule.
NEW ELECTORAL SYSTEM, made to benefit conservatives whilst in power, with smaller
PROFESSIONAL PARTY, agents and Lieutenants were appointed to make sure that the party was
more professional and centrally organised.…read more

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However, they still believed that some had their place in society-and it was the
government's purpose was to get them there, and they still preferred voluntary contributions to
taxation. Lloyd George in particular was an advocate.
LIBERAL REFORMS. Though reforms came through between 1906-08, they were not particularly radical
because New Liberalism had not completely emerged-it was Campbell Bannerman's resignation that really
spurred the change. These are some of the reforms 1906-08:
MEALS.…read more

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Lords-as some of the aspects of a budget were acts rejected
previously, and finance bills were generally not rejected by the Lords, not for over 200 years.
THE CRISIS ITSELF. The budget was rejected by the Lords. This raised a question about who
governed Britain, was the Government in control or serving the Lord's wishes? The Liberals started
a crisis.…read more

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Kew, and Telegraph
wires. In 1913 Emily Davidson was killed by a horse at the Grand National as she protested by going
onto the track.
SUCCESS OF MILITANCY. Some say that militant tactics were successful, but overwhelmingly
historians agree that militancy put women back. It raised great hostility, lost them sympathy, and
irritated the government.…read more

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Thus, their strength was growing,
but they were not particularly strong by 1914..
DEVELOPMENTS OF TRADE UNIONS. Trade Unions were growing from about 1880, for skilled and
unskilled workers, as there were two large depressions in 1879 and 1886, and urbanisation created a
sense of class solidarity, especially when the literacy rate was growing. In the late 1880's to 1900
there were some successful strikes; the 1888 Bryant and May girls, 1889 London Docker's strike,
and the 1889 Gasworkers Strike are three examples.…read more

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o The CURRAGH `MUTINY'. An officer asked the War Office what he was to do if his men were
unwilling to take action against the UVF. He was told they would be allowed to `Disappear', if
they lived in Ulster and wished not to. The officer returned and told his men that if they did
not live in Ulster, they would have to follow orders against the UVF or be dismissed. 58
officers chose dismissal on the spot.…read more

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Dangerfield argued that New Liberalism ran out of steam, but reforms were still being
proposed up to 1914-Lloyd George was very interested in pursuing Land Reform between
1912 and 1915.
o Dangerfield argued that opposition groups were attacking Liberalism but others say the time
is coincidental-they were directed at the government of the time not specifically the
Liberals. If the Tories had been in power, Suffragettes would still have been fighting for their
cause, trade unionism was rising during previous Tory governments too.…read more

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Shipping was also a challenge-by 1917 one in four ships did not return, and so
the government took control of that to make the convoy system, this was important because the
Convoy System protected boats, and could not have been done by individual industries. Britain relied
on imports to feed itself, so this wasn't just a hindrance, but an essential artery to Britain's very
existence. They also took control of trains, but that was all the way back in 1914, for the moving of
troops.…read more


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