First 495 words of the document:
Why did the conservatives lose the election in 1906?
Chamberlain believed that free trade was a threat to the
British Empire and wanted to introduce tariff reforms for the
consolidation of the Empire. He believed that if he had
introduced tariff reform then it would pay for social reform,
especially since the country was short of money from the Boer
Imperial Preference was a proposed system of
reciprocally-enacted tariffs or free trade agreements between
the dominions and colonies of the British Empire. Especially
during the early 1900s, Imperial Preference was considered a
method of promoting unity within the British Empire and
sustaining Britain's position as a global power as a response to
increased competition from the protectionist Germany and United States. The whole
idea of the imperial trading preference was to bring the Empire closer and stronger.
The idea was particularly associated with Chamberlain.
From the years 1846-1886 the Liberal Party had dominated British politics winning
all but one general election. There was a swift reversal in roles when Gladstone
attempted to pass the first home rule bill in 1885. This alienated a minority of
Liberals (93), some conservative Whigs led by Lord Hartington and some radical
Liberal led by Joseph Chamberlain. These groups broke off from the Liberal Party to
form the Liberal Unionists. This split badly affected the Liberals as much funding was
lost and the 78 Liberal Unionists elected in 1886 acted as a constant reminder to the
public. This subsequently led to the Conservatives winning the vote in 1886 and
keeping power until 1906.
There are several reasons why the Liberal won the general election of 1906. The first
group of reasons are due to changes in the social and political structure of the country.
The three reform acts from 1832-1844/5 allowed more adult men to vote and by
1885 a majority of voters were working class. This meant that political parties needed
to appeal to this group if they were to stand any chance of winning a general election.
There were changes to the voting system with less and less people able to vote more
than once, boroughs and counties were treated more equally and constituencies were
made more equal sizes (in 1885 the biggest was only 8 times bigger than the smallest
whereas before some were 200 times bigger). In 1872 there was also the introduction
of the secret ballot boxes which along with the 1883 corrupt and illegal practices act
reduced briberies hold on elections.
The Liberal Unionist Party was a British political party that was formed in 1886 by a
faction that broke away from the Liberal Party. Led by Lord Hartington (later the
Duke of Devonshire) and Joseph Chamberlain, the party formed a political alliance
with the Conservative Party in opposition to Irish Home Rule. The two parties
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However, the growth of support for Labour was not the only reason for the Liberal
Party's decline. The party itself was a split force the result of World War One. On
August 1st and 2nd, Liberal Associations across the UK met and voted that the
government should pass a resolution of neutrality. The Foreign Secretary, Lord Grey,
believed that war with Germany was inevitable.…read more
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Why did the Conservatives lose the 1906 Election?
Joseph Chamberlain and Tariff Reform, Loss of working class support, Loss
of Nonconformist support, Liberal unity…read more