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Lord Salisbury
Lord Robert Salisbury, born in 1830, was the second son of the then Lord Salisbury. Before he finished his
degree he suffered a breakdown and was sent abroad to recover. Coupled with the fact he married against
his father's wishes lead to Salisbury being forced to live on only a minimal wage. He used his social position
to enter politics, becoming an MP at the age of 23. At the time, MP's had no salary so Salisbury was obliged
to find a method supplementing his allowance to which he did through the publication of political articles.
The death of his elder brother made Salisbury heir to the family estates and by using his families second title,
Viscount Cranborne, he accepted a Cabinet place in Lord Derby's Conservative Government of 1866-8 as
Indian secretary which illustrates how social class was a key factor in aiding Salisbury's uprising through the
Conservative party. However when Disraeli replaced Lord Derby, Salisbury refused to keep office as he had
criticised Disraeli in the past. In addition to this move in 1868 Salisbury's father died leaving him the title,
wealth, great family estates and formidable social position that added to his strong political credibility. In
1874 he made up his differences with Disraeli and agreed to join the new government that was formed that
year as Indian secretary but soon after foreign secretary. In 1881 Disraeli died making Salisbury the obvious
successor who achieved the role of PM after Gladstone's fall in 1885. Salisbury held this role for 3
Salisbury's key ideas on politics are:
1. The integrity of the monarchy, the Church of England and the parliamentary system of government
must be preserved at all cost.
2. The Empire must be preserved as the only sure guarantee that Great Britain should maintain its
position as a first class power.
3. Reforms should be introduced as and when they were necessary to ensure the Institution of the
state and the Empire were protected.
From the policies, you can clearly see that the second policy clearly links with the idea of national efficiency
and the fear that the position of Britain was faltering due to a decline in the growth rate of economic
production. The second policy clearly is the moral basis of Salisbury for fighting the Boer was as Orange Free
State threatened the development of the Empire. He was the last peer to hold the role of PM.
As Salisbury was a conservative he faced the issue of what needed to be "conserved" and how this could be
achieved however, this meant that in some cases to conserve one thing another had to be given up.
Salisbury realised that conservatism needed a convincing response to the issues that faced the country at
the time and that he needed to appeal to the working class voters as well as the middle and upper classes.
His realisation that the working class were conservative by instinct meant that if the system was properly
managed it could remain stable despite the inequalities. Salisbury was a devout Anglican but also a fatalist.
This meant that he truly believed that some matters were beyond the capacity of humans to affect and that
fate was the determining factor. Salisbury consequently did not have unlimited faith in the ability of the
government to tackle every turn of events. This meant that he did not tackle many issues but rather left them
to resolve themselves if God wanted them to which did not aid the need for growing need for reform at the
Salisbury was a strong champion of the class system, fearing the idea that society could disintegrate, and
breaking up the things that had held the nation together. However he sought peace within society and
passed through a few limited social reforms as necessary. This fear of disintegration linked with the issue of
Irish Home Rule that could potentially enable this. To prevent this from happening he forged an alliance with
the Liberal unionists. In 1895 he formed a coalition government with the Unionists in order to consolidate
the opposition against home rule. Salisbury regarded governmental office as a duty to which men of his
class were called for.

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The issues at the time of 1900:
The problem of poverty
Britain's economy
The crisis in industrial relations
Britain's role as an empire
The question of the franchise (60% of males had the vote)
The position of the House of Lords
The Ulster question (Irish Home rule)
The emergence of "new trade unions" was of mass membership and comprises mainly of semi-skilled
workers and un-skilled workers.…read more

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Britain would be strong enough to fight a larger war if one
occurred. The upper classes were becoming increasingly aware of the poverty that struck the streets
of London despite the poor law.)
The issue of Ireland and Home Rule threatened the Integrity of the United Kingdom as a unified state
as people feared that the acceptance of Home rule would lead to the devolution of power and the
collapse of the Empire as colonies would follow Irelands lead.…read more

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The poor physical condition of many would-be recruits for the Boer war 1889-1902 added fuel to
the fires of publicity that scientific investigation had stoked. It added to the idea that poverty and
degradation were turning the British lower classes into some kind of subspecies. The idea that the
working classes posed some sort of threat to civilised standards was to prove a force in promoting
the acceptability of interventionist social reform.…read more

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At central level responsibility for both elementary and secondary education had been assumed by a board
of education created in 1899 on advice of a royal commission with Balfour and Devonshire proposing to
extend this to a local level.…read more

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The early stages of the war had raised doubts about Britain's status as a military power.
The political divisions at home and the moral scandal of the camps had put imperialism in a poor
light and the same for the unionist government who had lead the campaign, backed the idea and
brought worldwide shame and isolation of Britain.…read more

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Britain being threatened by foreign competitors whilst Britain's ability to sell products abroad was reduced
by foreign tariffs.
Chamberlain wanted tariffs to be levied on foreign imports, but not on imports of goods from the empire.
This would have the double advantage of binding the territories of the Empire closer together and protect
British industry from the competition of imported and manufactured goods.…read more

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Rosebury and Campbell-Bannerman over the presidency of the party as Rosebury had little or no
support within the party whilst Campbell- Bannerman had no difficulty in forming a government and was able
to call an election in 1906 from a strong position.…read more

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Balfour's most significant achievement was to reduce the chaos of English education through the
education reform act 1902 however even then extensive controversy was stirred by the act from the Non-
conformists who believed that the ratepayers should not be forced to pay levy's to fund Anglican schools.
This act joined many Non-conformists together, many of whom were Liberals which not only aided the
gradual sealing of the divide within the party but gained more voters for the party.…read more

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Idea of Tariff should be rejected wholly and left. His manner of sitting on the fence
and waiting for the issue to pass is very reminiscent of Lord Salisbury, his predecessor however this
only lead to the escalation of the issue as Chamberlain continued his campaign with Balfour failing
to rein him in.…read more


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