- Created by: kira-mai
- Created on: 04-05-18 18:46
- he had a backgroud of politics. his uncles and father had served in government, meaning he was aware of politics, he was trained by his father. he also studied politics at Cambridge which gave him a wide understanding. as a result of his background he had an interest in politics from an early age, for example he was aware of the debates going on.
- he had a lot of talents. he was very intellectual, hard headed, ambitious, honest and contientious. he was a skillful orator and always prepared for his speaches, and he an answer to every argument due to his preparation - he was his contemporaries liked. he had good financial and administrative skills, and had political experience, served as chancellor of the exchequer. he asserted he wasnt a party man, emphasised the good of the nation would be put before any cynical pursuit og political advantage. he emphaised service to nation, loyalty to the king and distrust of faction. by asserting himself as an independent whig he didnt attach him to a party but expressed his support for the glorious revolution as the tories had traditionally supported the claim of divine right of Charles which encompassed liberty, patriotism and a working relationship between the king and parliament.
- he gained support from independent mps through his mastery of complex political issues and skills of parliamentary speaking.
- he gained the support of the public through being associated with reform. also his 'school boy image' implied a fresh approach and new direction. he also had a reputation of integrity.
- by always preparing for his sppeches and rehearsing his arguent it flattered mps, and ensured he could impress them with the reason of his arguments
- it was his personal characteristics that led to the king to like him.
Fox 1780 - 1784
- although he was posed as a reformer, his character didnt match. he was known as a gambling addict, heavy drinker, womaniser and often arrived in parliament in a dishevelled and unshaven state, which didnt impress anyone
- his association with prince of wales didnt help his reputation. this earnt him the hatred of the king, as fox and the prince often tried to undermine and humiliate the him. this alienated the king.
- he also lost support in his outspoken condemnation of the king after his introduction of Pitt.
- he often acted complacently and was too confident in his position. by encouraging the east india act he lost support as it encouraged nationalism which the king did not like. the king said that anyone who supported the bill would be considered an enemy, which also lost him support.
- the foxites were damaged after the american independence war. it drained finances and was a humiliating loss for the king, however blame shifted to the aristocracy, which lost the whig support and created the need for an alternative government. this also presented him as being corrupt and after patronage.
- he failed to prepare for parliamentary speeches which meant he often contradicted himself with polciies and opened himself up to charges of inconsistency.
King George and the crowd 1780 -17803
- Hague - appointed Pitt to the position of chancellor of the exchequer because the system was'literally running out of talented material' according to historians. he didnt like fox so helped appoint pitt due to his family background and trustworthy character. the king needed someone he could trust to restore national confidence. he refused to contemplate the rockingham whigs who had a majoirty in the government as they wanted the curb his power, but the shelbourne whigs didnt have enough power to hold a government. he wouldn't trust his old favourite north because of his betrayal hen he worked with Fox. however, the King was determined to exercise his perogative to choose his ministers and avoid political humiliation.
- the rat catcher who has expertise in wheedling votes and fixing seats is said to have managed the election in the kings interest, ie in favour of pitt. £30k secret service money was spent on trying to secure 19 seats, and the king was generous with the dispension of patronage to peers whocontrolled a number of seats - give ptivilege/ make appointments.
- he gave pitt support from the kings friends and government controlled boroughs. through using patronage he overwhelmed the whig aristocracy by creating new peers.
- election fund. he managed the election - all influence possible -
- the counties where the king had less control of the outcome still mainly voted for Pitt, for example in scotland support was strong.
- fox only just scraped through and 160 of his gollowers lost their seat. the electorate had given pitt a vote of confidence, he had a lot of support. he drew it from the whigs, moderate tories, the kings friends. the king used patronage to to create new peers in the lords from wealthy merchant class, overwhelming the whig aritsorcracy, which meant he had the support of the upper house.
- used his ability to dissolve parliament after 3 instead of 7 years - only a single voter between fox and pitt - pushing the boundaries of his constitutional position.
- no member of the commons would serve i Pitts cabinet and it was deemed a mince pie administration. fox and his friends had the majoirty but the king ignored the accepted convention of inviting them to take office. fox was angry and suggested this was evidence that the king wasnt acting constitutionally, this outspoken condemnation of the king lost fox support of his friends and gained it for the king
- pitt survived party because of the help from the king, his personal ambition meant that he would cling onto power and because fox gradually upset his own supporters.
King George and the crowd 1780 -17803
- parliament was'literally running out of talented material' according to historians. he didnt like fox so helped appoint pitt due to his family background and trustworthy character.
- the rat catcher who has expertise in wheedling votes and fixing seats is said to have managed the election in the kings interest. £30k secret service money was spent on trying to secure 19 seats, and the king was generous with the dispension of patronage to peers whocontrolled a number of seats.
- he gave pitt support from the kings friends and government controlled boroughs. through using patronage he overwhelmed the whig aristocracy by creating new peers.
- election fund
- used his ability to dissolve parliament
- in scottish broroughs that are very susceptable to the governments influence, pitt only gained 24 out of 45 seats
- pitts influence as a reformers helped get radical votes, and only 19 seats were bought which was no where near a majority.
- pitts largest triumphs hapened in open constituencies with large electorates, which demonstrates the importance of public opinion.
Pitts reforms: financial
the war with the american colonies left a massive debt, meanign Pitt had to take control of the National debt and restore confidence in the government. the debt stood at £240 million at a time when revenue was £25 million. the interest charges amounted to 1/4 government revenue. Sinking fund - £1 million annually from taxation. placed under the control of 6 commissioners. great peactime policy, cut debt by £10m, but failed in war time. increased national confidence. stopping smuggling - it had become a highly profitable business, 1/5 of all imports were smuggled, meaning it was costing the govt thousands in revenue. he introduced restrictive legislation which made smuggling less attractive. Commutation act - lower import duty on tea, make it less profitable. hovering act - smugglers vessels could be searched 12 miles out to sea. reducing duties led to increased value of food and raw material imports which is what Pitt wanted. he didn't destory smuggling but made it far less profitable. govt yield spirts up 63%.
Raising taxes: Pitt realised that higher taxes were unpopular so he introduced indirect taxes on the rich. he also wanted to make tax collection more efficient and effective. he taxed luxury items such as horses, wigs and hats. also window linen and cotton tax. many people responded by blocking up their windows and the tax on cotton was detrimental to industrialisation and had serious economic implications, however it was generally successful. in some cases the amount of tax almost doubled and it raised money to fund the french war.
commercial treaties - attempted to make a trade treaty with ireland but this was strongly opposed, british manufacturers feared competition as irish wages were low. he made a successful treaty with france the eden treaty where both countries reduced dutues on imports from the other country - the success of this was short lived through no fault of pitt - the french revolution.
the reforms were enlightened. by 1793 - the annual government revenue had increased by £4 million through the introduction of new taxes, with the value of imports and exports doubling. smuggling wa **** hard and becoming les sprofitable. he succeeded in restoring national crefit and public confidence. in the end, these reforms put britain in a better position when was with france started in 1793.
Administrative policy - Pitt
Pitt believed in making government more accountable for its actions. policies were introduced to cut out waste and improve efficiency. he also believed in meritocracy and that career based on talent and ability rather than birth and background. also, pragamtic response - followed on from financial reforms - need to rerorganise machienry of government. v
improving personnel - needed able administrators. patronage meant that there was no set [rocedure for carrying out business which lef to confusion and inefficiency. roles of various ministers overlapped. government departments spent whatever they liked. mps tooka dvanage of privileges such as free post but also corruption caused by sinecure posts and pensions. for sinecure posts he didnt abolish them but instead gave them jobs to do , and when they retired they werent given out again. this natural wastage system and staff transfers meant he wasnt aposed.the number of sinecure posts decreased and they were more effective at getting jobs done.
there was no proper system for checking fovernment accounts. the loans system was corrupt as ministers allowed their friends to raise loans at high rates of interest. management of public expenditure - consolidated fund - had to bid for money so that the treasury ould manage what each department spended. central stationalry office cut back on stationary and stopped the use of firendly suppliers which saved money and cut the defecit. it gave the govt greater control. he desingned a new budgeting system byy taking estimates of expenditure from each government department and drawing up parallel tax proposals. abolished the system of free post for mps.
the result was an efficient administration system - cut duplication of labour, brought order and method into government business and cut unnecessary expenditure.
India act 1874 - remove the exclusive rights of east india trading company. a board of control was set up to control the administration of the company. it had not solved all the problems it had been expected to, and it retained a large financia stake in the running of british indias admin.
Trading Policy - Pitt
the development of trade was also important to Pitt. the disruption of trade as a result of the american war forced Pitts government to widen Britains trading horizons. included more of europe to make up for the downfall. he was also a supporter of freer trade in order for economic expansion, which he got from Adam Smiths the wealth of nations, and he also believed trading barriers were politically dangerous and caused wars.
America - a new committe of trade rejected the proposal that trade barriers hsould be reduced. the navigation act that protected british shipping was heavily maintained. imports and exports had to be carried on british ships. British exports to the USA more than doubled, and the development of the cotton trade provided america with a secure market for its raw materials. by 1800, the usa was taking more than 1/4 british exports.
europe - Eden treaty with france - 1786 - agreement that gave citizens of britain and france free access to goods produced by each others countries as well as reducing the number of tariffs on selected items.british manufactures were especially greatful as british goods were better quality, it ended soon after the outbreak of war.
custom duties - he simplified and outdated import and export duties. this led to the value of imports and exports doubling, and so did trade with the USA
Why did Pitt dominate politics between 1784 - 1801
- in 1783 there was a deficit of £10 million largely because of the american war and inefficiency in collecting duties. the government had difficulty raising loans and the confidence in finances was low. between 1783 - 1791, govt revenue increased by about £4 million, came from new taxes, reduction of smuggling and fraud and an efficient tax collection system. this increased national confidence.
- his reforms gained him a lot of support.
- the regency crisis - gained support from the public by defending the kings position, the king gave him even more support, fox was seen as power fungry as he wanted to give prince regent more power, but the whigs were supposed to be opposed to the moanrchy.
- french revolution
- support of the king
- division and unpopularity of the whigs
- in 1785 - he unsuccessfully attempted to abolish 36 rotten boroughs
- he failed to achieve economic union with ireland and dropped the idea of economic union with America
- these confirm that Pitt was unable to push through the reforms he had hoped to make because they were so widely opposed. prliament was prepared to accept Pitt as an administrative but not radical reformer.
- he was an administrative reformer meaning that he reacted to problems instead of planning ahead and initiating programmes of a reforming nature. he improved existing systems buit it was building on the work of previous governments and it was cautious and responsive to opposition.
- many of his policies had been tried before. the reason they worked this time is because of his determination and ruthlessness.
- pitss taxation policy was sometimes unpopular and misguided.the window tax may have held back the glass industry, a project tax on coal had to be withdrawn because of opposition and the taxes on linen and cotton in 1784 had serious economic implications and were immediately withdran.
The regency crisis 1788-89
why did Pitt survive the regency crisis?
1. whig weakness and mistakes - the prince of wales created a divison between the whigs and was unable to get supporters for the regency bill. the princes dissolute life style strained party unity.the Princes secret marriage without the monarchs permission alienated portland and other aristocratic whigs. portland disliked the prince and his iresponsible behaviour. fix was also out of the country meaning that they lacked effective leadershup, and he had to mediate between warring groups when he returned, which wasnt facilitated by his poor health. his dependence on the prince opended him to charges of hypocracy.
2. Pitts strengths and actions - he exploited the constitutional uncertainties which a regency thrw up and played for time. as a result there was a lengthy ivestigation into constitutional precedents and pains taken to ensure that the most clear-headed whigs were ecluded from its deliberations. it resulted in the creation of a regency bill which would limit the power of the regent. by using hot headed whigs it took more time as they couldnt make decisions. he used his mastery in public speaking to keep support of HoC, and he kept support of the king
3. luck - the miraculous recovery for the king
Regency crisis - 1788-89
what was the significance of the regency crisis?
- it made Pitt realise how much he needed the king, and showed the king how loyal and good pitt was. their relationship was strengthened as they had mutual respect.
- pitts reputation was enhanced as it showed he had the publics best interest
- damaged fox's reputaion - contradictory in views - power hungry
- also damaged the whigs - divided them.
the French Revolution and the radical challenge 17
- the outbreak of the french revolution in the summer of 1789 cast a shadow over british politics. the subsequent terror against the church and aristocracy had a devestating impact on the ruling classes of europe as a whole.
- Fox claimed the revolution was 'the greatest event... that ever happened in the world'. initially fox and the whigs welcomed the revolution. the enthusiasm saw a number of radical organisations committed to their own english revolution, such as the sheffield society for constitutional information and the london corresponding society. their main inspiration was Paine's the rights of man. he supported the rights of people to overthrow hated aristocratic government and the creation of an english republic.
- the radicals had a ready made audience of skilled artisans ready to better themselves as part of the corresponding societies.
- the french revolution created divisions in the whig party. fox was enthusuiastic about the revolution, but fellow whigs, such as Burke, did not share his enthusiasm. Burkes reflections on the revolution in France proved to be the mouthpiece of those who supported the monarchy and opposed violent change. at the same time, Grey de,amded parliamentary reform just at the time when the revolution was ecoming more extreme. this alienated whig landowners who feared for their porperty. Pitt seized this opportunity to win over moderate whigs who were upset about fox's extreme views, his opposition to war and enthusiasm for parliamentary reform. as a result, led by Portland, they joined Pitt.
Reactions to the French Revolution
Opposition and Burke: recognised the potential of the Revolution to turn violent, but in 1790 many British people considered his Reflections on the Revolution in France to be unnecessarily alarmist. however after the september massacres, and he was proved to have got it right, it won support and people became conservative and reactionary.
Supporters and Paine: he sold 200k copies of the rights of man, he gained the support of the working class due to it being cheap with accessible language, pitt ordered for his arrest andhe escaped to France.
Working class radicalism: Influenced by Paine’s notion of universal rights, and beginning to make connections between their economic struggles and political corruption, ordinary working people began to organise into political groups for the first time, and to call for reforms that would enable them to take a more active part in deciding how the country was governed.
The public: most welcomed it because they saw it as their old enemy introducing a constitutional monarchy. one group that actively welcomed it was the protestant dissenters led by Dr Price, who introduced pamplets about natural rights.
Pitt initially took a neutral stance as he felt france was on the road to self destruction and Britain was only a spectator. this changed when Europe got involved as he was worried about the effects on the trade and naval power.
French Revolution continued:
Inspiration and Division:The French Revolution occurred at a time when rapid economic change was already altering the way ordinary British men and women led their lives. Both the Revolution itself and the wars which followed served to increase political awareness by stimulating intellectual debate and the artistic impulses of poets like Blake and Wordsworth or satirists like James Gillray, who found much rich material in exaggerating the extremes of opinion on either side. Yet the political polarisation of the 1790s proved deeply divisive in some communities, and the rifts were felt for years to come, re-emerging as the movement for parliamentary reform revived itself after 1815.
Corresponding societies 1789 - 1795
the revolution society: lots of support from men of middle class dissenters, merchants, educated and professional men. also attracted political reformers such as John Horne Tooke and Cartwright. High membership fee meant it was reserved for the priviliged. it became increasingly radical and lent its support to the initial stages of the revolution. other societies were established along similar lines e.g. te Norwich revolution societiy. Organised meetings, issued pamphlets and forged close links with the society of constitutional information, and with the french national assembly. government repression and the increasingly violent direction of the rev rendered it dormant.
society for constitutional information: fromed by Cartwright, aimed to promote the work of Paine and advance parliamentary reform through distribution of free pamplets.equal representation, annual parliaments, universal suffrage. careful planned public agitation. collaborated with other radical groups e.g london corresponding society. ceased to meet after 1794 when some leaders were put on trial for treason but acquitted.
Society for the friends of the people: young whig reformers including grey. high membership fee - mc membership. gre rapidly - 87 branches in november 1792. he wouldnt involve the society in any activity that might promote public disturbances. petitions were rejected twice and the country didnt show mass support for change. they gave up so thr group disbanded. the militancy of some members e.g. cartwright, alienated some supporters.
corresponding societies concluding thoughts
- few succeeded in attracting support from unkilled workers and this limited their potential power. in towns like leefs it was manel tradesmen and professional men. other places like Bristol failed in even creating short lived radical societies. e.g. the london corresponding society despite their small fee of a penny per meeting failed to attract the mass of poor.
- their faith in the power of rational argument to raise the political consciousness and persuade those in authority for reform was rather naive. e.g. the london corresponding society believed that they could convert the aristocracy through the power of logic was misguided. the society of the friends of the people disbanded after their petitions failed twice - not willing to consider violence, and when some o their leaders became more radical, it alienated supporters
- there was an absence of a back up plan - few were ready to contemplate violence or armed insurrection (the vioence of the spetember massacres and increasingly sinister direction of french rev rendered the revolution society dormant - due to support base had to protect property) and many lost heart with the failure e.g. society for the friends of the people disbanded when they realised they had no chance of persuading parliament. many moderated their views with the use of government repression.
- Compared to radical groups of the time, the Society for the friends of the people was quite moderate. In fact, they were so scared to be associated with the radical movements of the time that they rarely said anything specific at all. Instead of calling for drastic reform, they focused on listing grievances. As a result, their intentions seemed ambiguous. Francis himself stated that the Society delayed in making it clear what its intentions and feelings were about reform. they werent prepared to attack the aristocracy or the monarchy in fear of a backlash
- HOWEVER... they had a large number of sypathisers which were far more numerous than their insubstantial formal membership. the sheffield corresponding society had 1/10th of its population.
- when prices were high, with harvest shortages eg 94-95 provoked widespread discontent for the radicals to exploit to embarass the government.
- for the first time ordianry wc men took part in political activiy on their own initiative.
- they coordianted their campaigns, e.g. the society for constitutional information met with london corresponding society and also the revolution society.
Radical challenge: 1795 - 1801
26/10/1795: mass meeting in London - called by the london corresponding society, 100k people attended. blamed parliamentary corruption of the hunger and distress
29/10/1795: assault on the kings coach: showed the anti monarchy/ revolutionary feeling. down with pitt, no king was heard. the government was alarmed by what it saw as a rising tide of violence. it can be seen that the government felt threatened when the king attended theatre the next day accompanied by 300 military and 500 constables.
1796: attempted french landing at Bantry Bay: french attempted to start a rebellion in ireland to damage their morale, prestige and military efficiency. the weather meant it failed, but the knowledge led to risings in ulster and other places. although successfully crushed it demonstrated the potential danger to Britain.
1796: te growth of an english revolutionary movement: the united irishmen began to establish undercover organisations in london and paris in hope of stirring rev in England. the irish leaders such as O'Conner were able to attract considerable support from english radicals who were frustrated by the failure of using constitutional means. reformers driven to extreme measures from government repression and severe eco hardship so were susceptible to the united englishmen who were now committed to using force and attracted the working classes.
radical challenge 1795-1801 continued
the government took swift action in 1798, by relying on the increased use of spies, against what proved to be a series of uncoordianted revolutionary associations whos plans had little chance of success. most leaders including members of the LCS were arrested and the conspiracy ended.
1797: mutiny at Spithead and the Nore: britain was isolated and alone in its war with france, and the threat of irish rebellion hung over it. along with that the fiancial cost of war and bad harvests increased the discontent. led to a mutiny caused by poor pay, bad food and harsh discipline. a second mutiny took place at the nore. in time of war, mutiny posed a serious threat to national security, as england relied on its navy. by offering a prgramme of limited concessions it further split the alreadyd ivided mutineers.they also execute around 35 leaders.
1800-1801: food riots - exceptionally high food prices, with the blockade by napoleon, general wa weariness and economic depression provoked widespread discontent through food riots, arson attacks and petitions demanding for the repeal of the 1799 combination act.
Pitt's repressive measures
- after the September massacres in 1792, Pitt began to fear a threat to British interest and decleared war. the liberal thinkers in britain turned against the FR as they witnessed the turn to extreme politics in france took hold.
- he was also fearful of the effect Paine was habing on an increasingly literate and educated working class, so he passed two royal proclamations in 1792 against seditious writings. by using spies and secret agents, Pitt exaggerated the nature of the radical threat and established a committee of secrecy to monitor their activity.
- habeus corpus suspension 1794 - 1795. even though this was extreme to modern people, Pitt was very concerned about the security of the state at height of war. in reality the act was used sparingly and few radicals were tried.
- seditious meetings act and treasonable practises act (two acts). banned the meetings that hadnt been approved by magistrates. this was after the stoning of the kings coach and return of a difficult economic situation. they attempted to keep an eye on illegal gatherings and broadened the definition of treason.
- in 1797, following the mutiny at spithead and the nore, a law was passed which increased the penalty for undermining authority. this was especially important to ensure the loyalty of armed forces.
- 1798 - the defence of the realm act required information andnumbers ready to fight for the king and country. typical of pittite administration. this was important due to a failed french invasion , and the french were known to support radical republic organistions in ireland.
the combination act 1799
- 1799 - combination act - banned trade union . this hit the radical movement especially as the trade union was the only method they had for removing grievences. the government usually saw trade unions as centres of unrest - worried that it was a cover up for political activity, so by many it was seen as a sensible measure.
- stamp duty increased - to increase price of newspapers and corresponding societies were made illegal.
- spy network
- counter propaganda - pitt initiated an official press campaign which was intended to discredet the radical arguments and turn people against it. soon there were over 2k branches whose function was to disrupt radical meetings, beat up paineite printers, initiate prosecutions for sedition and distribute loyalist tract.
the radicals claimed that england was living under a harsh regime that ignored individual liberty. however many welcomed the harsh legislation to root out dangeorus jacobins. the 1790s witnessed the creation of many loyalist pro-monarchy associations, such as that founded by Reeves in support for the king and country. they attacked radical meetings knowing that local magistrates would turn a blind eye to their activities. they persuaded the public that the radical activites went against the interests of the country, and the turn in events in france made people fear reform. this persuaded the government that the country wanted repressive policies.
What were the causes of protest 1789 - 1801
- radical ideology: french revolution and the enlightenment, provided ideology. Rousseau and social contract between governed and governor. heped to establish the idea that ordinary men possessed basic and inalienable rights which no government could remove. in taking up the ideas of the french revolution (all men created equal) paine was able to make enlightened ideas popular and intellgible to ordinary men in britain through his rights of man. this broadened the appeal and helped to turn the reform movement into a more radical and widespread movement.
- war weariness - the strains of war were also to result in protest. for example poor pay and appaling conditions drove many to mutiny at spithead and the nore in the spring on 1797. the former united irishmen were keen to encourage the mutinies in hope that it would improve the chances of a french invasion in ireland. war also excaberated financial difficulties.
- economic distress/ hunger politics - war started in feb 1793, and caused considerable dislocation to trade and resulted in widespread unemployment in britain and lowering of wafes. the cost of fighting stretched the national finances and resulted in an increase in taxation. this hit the mc and wc hard and was compounded by the effecs of harvest failure in 1794 which saw food prices soar to 70% more than what they had been. this prompted food riots and lots of petitions demanding peace and grain being seied by angry crowds and sold off at low prices.
causes in 1790s continued:
- economic distress allowed the radicals to gain support for the parliamentary reform movement. the fact they opposed war on ideological grounds enabled them to recruit further support by arguing it disrupted trade and pushed prices up. many of the radical society members were merchants and people whose livelihood were threatened by economic depresison.
repressive measures 1790s
there is a view that pitt over reacted to the threat of incitement to revolution in britain - the republicans were more noisy than dangeorus. if Pitt actually did fear revolution it could be argued it was a sensible precaution to extend magistrates powers, as there was no effective police force.he believed it was his duty to safeguar britain from the possibility of a revolution. he was encouraged by the support of parliament and many of his measures were in step with public opinion.
a lot of the protest was mainly due to economic factors, not a desire to overthrow the british monarchy. his actions can be seen as damaging to long held beliefs in british liberties and set a precedent for repressive governments
Why did the radical movement fail to achieve refor
- radical weaknesses: it became to be associated with treachery and subversion (as france turned to terror and war broke out) the fact that some radicals were linked to the united irishmen and that fox opposed the war, it enabled the government to portray radicals as unpatriotic traitors. they were split over aims and tactics, meaning it was impossible for radicals to mount a coordinated campaign and this enabled the government to divide and conquer. some wanted p reform others wanted a republic. some contemplated violent isurrection and others such as Place were horrified. this was the case at the nore where the government used mild concessions to divide the sailors and break their mutiny. Paines work created an unrealistic sense of optimism. it placed their faith in the power of rational argument but as the society of the friends of the people found, this doesnt work. they gave little thought to what they would do if this didnt work. with few considering violence they were reduced to near silence and this highlights how ill prepared they were for any struggle which spread beyond printed pamphlets.
- government action and repression. it deprived the radicals of effective leaders. they were harassed, intimidated and put in prison for long periods of time. when the leaders of the LCS were put on trial such as Hardy, the society disbanded. they presented english radicals as dangerous jacobins who were plotting to betray their country to the french. they undermined the radical cause cand justified repression, winning loyalist support in the process. they used the high profile court cses, and the acquitals showed the impartiality of judiciary. two acts - seditious meetings act, increasing stamp duty etc. made it hard for the radicals to spread their message
why it failed in the 1790s continued
- government action and repression: although it was rarely invoked, Pitts repressive measures acted as a threat hanging over the heads of the radicals. intimidation and trason trials led to the withdrawal from politics. the treaons trials intimidated Hardy enough for him to withdraw. the government didnt give in to the radical movement. they faught back with harsh legislation, packed juries, and made use of unscrupulous judges.
- counter revolutionary and loyalist propaganda groups - successful loyalist societies were created and stressed the need to counteract radical ideas ad to be obedient to the authority and church. the most famous was the association for preserbing liberty and property. by 17993 - had about 2000 branches. they convinced most of the population were traitors. Moores counter revolutionary tracts reached a larger audience than Paines rev work and they were more successful in gaining the support of the working class. they didnt fear the use of violence. the authorities made it clear that the sypathy should be with loyalist camps. turned a blind eye to loyalist violence. Gilt boards inscribed no jacobins admitted here appeared in many licensed premises in manchester.
- patriotic backlash against the french rev: people ith property were conservative and suspicious of constitutional change, as they believed it to be near perfect. thye rejected the idea everyone was equal and wanted to keep voting to men with property. this made it easy for opponents of radicalism to exploit public fears of radical change. Burke and violence. popularity of the king increased, violent turn of french rev led to cherish stability.
Was Pitts repressive measures an unreasonable reig
- was the repressive legislation unnecessary? YES - the firendly societies were already in a state of collapse, revolution society become dormant in 1792, constitutional information 1794 following trial of leaders. tactics were restrained and the aims of radicals were limited to a desire of parliamentary reform and poltiical equality. Pitts government manipulated and exaggerated the revolutionary threat. the two most alarmist newspapers were started with ministerial help. NO - in the midst of war and the govt was convinced it faced rev conspiracy from radicals at home, reiforced by the reports of spies and mags. thanks to John Horne Tooke of the SCI, radical societies were coordinating their campaign. in 1792 scottish radicals created a convention which alarmed the govt as it was associated with paris, and september massacres and terror. the nature of radicalism changed from 1795 - use of violence and introduction of more poor people. hardy wrote 'the time is approaching when the object for which we struggle is likely to come within our reach' - led tot he government to think that the societies had dangerous revolutionary ambitions. they needed to protect the king - assault on kings coach.
- was the law extended too far? YES - britain already had the bloodiest penal code in europe with over 200 offences carrying death penalty. consequently there was less need of additional sanctions and little justification for packing juries. the passage of the treasonable practises act brought in constructive treason. it gave the govt too much power. banned all activites. it is possible that the government was behind an attack on a birmingham mob - if it was it suggests there was a move towards repression before the ugly events of late 1792 took over. NO - the milita and yeomanry often sympathised with the protestors, and the nave mutineers cuased panic at a time of war so the defence of the realm act was justified. the power of the authorities to police protests were limited and the milita and yeomanry were often ovrwhelmed and under armed. put down before out of hand. didnt have an effective police force so if they had a weak policy - it would have had serious consequences.
Was Pitts repressive measures an unreasonable reig
- Did the government overuse and abuse the laws? YES - suspension of habeus corpus enabled in may 1794 12 leading radicals on trial for treason. all acquitted. NO - in most cases the govt acted on solid evidence to punish real offenders, and they didnt accept the evidence presented by spies on face value. prosecutions for treason and sedition were mostly brought under traditional law. during the decade there were fewer than 200 convictions. ministers were cautious in their application of repressive legislation. in this sense the treasonable practises act and others can be seen as being inteded only to intimidate rather than being invoked against anyone.
it wasnt an unreasonable reign of terror because he was acting according to what the public wanted. after the stoning of the kings coach 1795 - the government was alarmed by what it saw as a rising tide of violence. it can be seen that the government felt threatened when the king attended theatre the next day accompanied by 300 military and 500 constables. the knowledge of the attempted landing at bantry bay led to risings in ulster and other places. although successfully crushed it demonstrated the potential danger to Britain. in time of war, mutiny posed a serious threat to national security, as england relied on its navy.
How successful were Pitts repressive measures in d
- successful: he acted quickly against the radicals by mointoring the radical activity through the royal proclamations and the use of spies, they kept in control of the threat.
- by arresting leaders and putting the on trial for treason, the soceties were hampered and fizzled out.
- by increasing the stamp duty he successfully stopped the spreading of radical pamplets etc. which meant they couldnt spread their message.
- he successfully drove radicalism to the margins of political life, and the repressive legislation was a threat hanging over radicals, limiting their freedom of action. he frightened mayny, for example HArdy, ito abandoning the radical movement and through counter propaganda he gained a lot of loyalist support.
- unseccessful: the royal proclamations resources were very limited, with staff of less than 25. english radicals were arrested but subsenquently acquitted as there wasnt enough evidence.
- legislation in support of the government was far less effective than anticipated. habeus corpus only imprisoned few. the treasonable paractises act was designed to intimidate rather than prosecure and the seditious meetings act failed to precent meetings by the LCS.
- the laws didnt stop the cause of radicalis and it was unncessary.
Does Pitt deserve to be remembered as great prime
- economic rehabilitation - greatly reduced smiggling by making it a more risky business which increased government revenue. (hovering act). raised taxes in a way that excluded the poor and this led to an increase in national finances, the value of british iports doubled. introudced the sinking fund which raised 10 million and restored national confidence.
- administration - reduced the amount of sinecure posts without gaining opposition through natural wastage, and gave them jobs to do which improved personnel, and he had it more efficient through the consolidated act and introduction of central stationary department.
- dealing with radical threat - they couldnt circulate their information and the radical movements fizzled out.
- conduct of war - recognised the strength of britain by focussing on navy. financial strength and commercial and trade industries.
Was Britain close to a revolution in the 1790's?
- high number of radicals that were helped by the french revolution - provided enlightenment.
- the french revolution gsmr the movement momentum and a sharp sustained focus. the corresponding societies and in increasingly literate wc which joined in on their own initiative meant that their position in english society was questioned. many advocated violence to achieve their goals
- the war and economic hardship provided conditions meaning the radical message carried more weight. in 1795 the revolutionary feeling was shown when the kings coach was attacked, the government was alarmed by the rising tide of violence.
legislation and support of the poeple, not enough resources. - no public desire to overthrow current regime. the standards of living improved because of industrialisation so werent prepared to loose their gains.
pitts reforms meant that the existing government was strong.
Why did Pitt fall from power in 1801 and his succe
the strog political alliance that existed between Pitt and the king broke down over irish affairs. the Act of Union, signed between enlgand and Ireland was an important turning point. it was signed on the pretext that catholic emancipation would happen george refused to agree to this because he felt it would be undermining his oath, in which he promised to uphold the church of england. this left pitt no option but to leave office. the alliance had broken down fully.
Addington 1801 - 1804 - seen as second best so his achievements went unnoticed. he introduced the levee en masse act and improved pitts income tax collection. many thought that pitt was needed again. he was accused of hesitating in declaring war and then being indecisive in his conduct of it.
Pitt 1804 - 1806 - weak from the start. he attempted to create a coalition with fox but this was rejected by the king. he was seriously unwelland no longer had a tight grip on government
Grenville 1806 - 07 - referred to as a ministry of all talents. it included fox as foreign secretary. within moths fox had died and so did the talent. he managed the abolition of the slave trade, first attempted by Pitt. when he tried to raise catholic emancipation, the kings refusal brought his resignation. he was liberal minded but his lack of success as a war leader defined his short time.
1801 - 1812
Portland 1807 - 1809 - a leading member of the whig aristocracy but took a tory administration. he had admired pitt and rigorously applied pitts repressive measures against radical agitators. his ministry was marked with accusations of corruption and military ineptitude. he failed to direct policy and left his cabinet to their own devices. he resigned through ill health.
Perceval 1809- 1812 - too rooted in the past and to the ideas of pitt. he was less open to reform than Pitt and continued the anti catholic stance. . his most pressing issue was dealing with the regency crisis. he took a lead from Pitts regency Bill which strctly limited the prince regents power of patronage. came into force in 1811. he had to deal with serious trade crisis, opposition to high taxes, popular unrest and hold together a cabnit of quarrelsome factions. he was assassinated.
What were the main causes of political; instabilit
1. effect of war - created an atmosphere of fear and panic which was out of proportion. addington was accused of hesitating and being indecisive in his war conduct which was partly the reaon for his decline. there wasnt enough men - Pitts additional forces act didnt get as many troops as Addingtons levee en masse act did. pitt lacked the amafination to frame a comprehensive war strategy. raising taxes for war was unpopular. Grenville had no war strategy and it meant that there was no social reform.
2. role of the king - he wouldnt allow Pitt to make a coalition with Fox, it led to Pitt resigning in 1801 due to catholic emancipation, and he also forced Grenville to resign over the same issue. the lack if catholic emancipation created discontent among the irish population - they were suffering massively, and with not being able to sit on parliament, they werent able to improve their position
3.Death and incapacity of key figures - Portland failed to direct policy and was accused of being corrupt and of military ineptitude. he left his cabinet to their own devices. they were all weak war leaders. Perceval was assassinated and wasnt open to reform. Fox and Pitt died, and Portland resigned after health issues. fox dying led to Grenvilles party weakening.
4. political divisions and personal rivalries - Pitt didnt want addington to succeed, but was an ineffective analyst of continental political situation. there were personal rivalries over who should hold office.
Demands for parliamentary reform 1790's:
- in his early political career, Pitt attempted to reform parliament with the redistribution of seats from rooton brooughs, however it was defeated, and when the KIng expressed his disapproval, Pitt dropped any notion for reform. the political elite weren't interested in supporting change that would effect their dominance of power.
- although Pitts passing interest in reform did not show any commitment to the idea of extension of franchise beyond the propertied classes, and there was no intention to create a democratically elected parliament, it was an opportunity lost for gradual reform of parliament.
- a moderate movement for reform emerged in the 1780's calling for universal male suffrage and annual parliaments, run largely by mc intellectual radicals. it was both boosted and damaged by the french revolution. it gave a surge of interest from a wider group of mc men, but the violence of the revolution made the government suspicious of the reformers motives, leading to repression. the range of interests of radical groups - extension of religious freedoms for dissenters, abolition of slave trade, dilued the effectiveness of the campaign for p reform.
- working class disturbances - sporadicm carried on despite the repressive measres. the united englishmen threatened insurrection but were of little consequence. the industrial disputes between 1800-1812 were an indication of the hardships caused by wartime fluctuations and intro of tech changes. outbreaks of luddism indicates potential strength.
The whig opposition 1790s
the french rev split the whig opinion - one one side there were the pro rev whigs led by fox and oon the other side the anti rev whigs, inc Burke, who moved their support over to Pitt. the outbreak of the terror proved Burke right. Portland was the first leading whig to join Pitt.
it meant the end of the whig party dominance of politics. differences of opinion and a strong peacetime government under Pitt had weakened it. Pitt was confident in his ministry as he didnt believe that he would be outvoted by the new members fromt he whigs.
the disintergration of the whig party as a result of insurmountable differences of opinion over the potetial danger to britain of the influence of the french rev was a crticial moment in british parliamentary politics and cleared the way for tory ascendancy.
The economic consequences of the Napoleonic war
- stimulated certain areas of the economy and accelerated the process of industrialisation in Britain. the huge demands for ships and armaments created a boom in the iron industry. sought ways to improve speed and efficiency of manufacturing process. encouraged investent in Watts steam engines. demand for coal to power engines, and caused a boom in mining. technological innovation to solve problem of flooding and ventilation in mines. boom in textile industry for uniforms and blankets for britain and continental allies. development of new machines to spin and weave cloth which reduced production costs and improved quality.
- the continental blockade, depsite being unseccessful did disrupt trade in britain. as demands for goods fell, some workers faced unemployment and prices rose. some goods were in short supply, that were sourced from europe.
- through the introduction of orders in council, which was regarded as unnecessary govt interference, it damanaged britains delicate relationship with USA. britain lost its biggest single market, and suppliers of US cotton fell, causing temporary unemployment. this also encouraged merchants to switch their trade to the south american markets, which led to the overproduction of goods. with supply exceeding demand prices fell and the econoy collapsed in 1811. as businesses folded, banks were unable to recoup their investments and collapsed too.
How did Pitt cope with the economic demands of war
1. large amounts and reluctance on borrowing - the enormous cost of war destroyed the benefits of Pitts earlier reform. by 1801, national debt stood at £460 million. the sinking und was a disastrous war time policy and the price of borrowing money had risen. even though large scale borrowing injected large amounts of money into the economy it caused inflation and prices rose. this increased burden on poorer families.
2. as money was borrowed in such large quantities, the price of government stock fell and in 1797 the bank of england had to suspend all payments in gold to stem the fall i gold reserves. suspend cash payments in favour of paper notes - this averted a serious financial crisis, it staved off colapse but punctuated pitts reputation as a financer.
3. Pitts income tax 1798- raised £5 million but was deeply unpopular and it impacted merchants and manufacturers quite hard. it was intendd purely as a wartime measure and although less successful than anticipated, by 1806, it began to offset the high cost of war and helped the countries financial recovery.
4. taxes on luxury items - pitt trebled the assessed taxes as a result over hald of the new taxes revenues raised during the wars cme from higher rates of existing taxes, and this is one of the reasons why britain wom the war. heightened patriotism
The social impact of the Napoleonic wars.
in 1812 britain was in a cris. the country had been at war for almost 20 years and there was no resolution in sight. the continuing economic growth minimised the strain of war and meant that many of those whom would have been out of work in peacetime were brought into work. this was certainly true for those who worked in industries which were stimulated by the conflict. farmers and landowners also did well, as napoleon's blockade pushed up the prices of wheat and the value of land and rent. this encouraged imrpovements in agriculture to boost productivity and maximise yields and created more jobs. thus the economic expansio during the war offset the worst effects of unemployment and poverty.
for the ordinary labourer the war brought a decline in living standards. they grew resentful as they could see others benefiting from the war. there was distress and starvation due to the price of food and manufactured goods rose sharply. although this waspartly due to a harvest failure, napoleons blockade exacerbated the problem. the wages couldnt match prices meaning real wages declined. but Pitt and his successors were careful to ensure that taxatio mainly fell upon those who were rich enough to pay it.
war acted as a catlyst to discontent in Britain. this was because economic hardship, soaring food prices, and the uneployment due to war related trade disruptionplunged the working class into a state of distress. it lowered morale, and drove them to radicalism. (luddites).
Political effects of the napoleonic wars
major reason for the political instability in the years 1801-1812. the prime ministers werent good war leaders. for example Addington was accused of being hesitant and indecisive.they were criticised for their conduct of war effort and incoherant strategies and played a major role in undermining their authority and effectiveness. catholic emancipation and the death of key figures also contributed to political instability.
it undermined the radical campaign for parliamentary reform. although there were still a handful of radicals, such as Burdett, they were weary of taking their cause pubic, for fear it wouldincite violence and jeopardise internal stability at a time of national emergency. even for radicals, winning the war took priority over reform. this was apparent in Grenvilles ministry which achieved little in the way of domestic reform, inspite of being packed with Foxite whigs.
it divided the whigs.
it left the irish questioning the virtu of union with britain. the war meant that the government was forced to maintain high taxes, which had devistation effects on ireland, which had to contribute 12% of the annual budget, however i their economic backwardness, resentment grew.
Ireland - Pitt
the majority of the Irish population viewed the english as alien colonisers there to exploit them. there were profound differences between the mass of the population and the ruling minority. the mass were roman catholic, illiterate, landless and mainly extremely poor. the ruling minority were protestant, landed and wealthy, they controlled the politcal system and controlled more than 95% of the land.
- - poor social conditions - excessive rents, evictions for no reason
- - frequent food shortages - dependent on the potato, linked to pop growth
- - a rising population
- - very limited economic progress. - absentee landlords drain the economy, no investment in land
- - a growing sense of anger against trade restrictions, which seemed to benefit english manufacturers.
- - Tithes to support the protestant state church. Roman catholic were discriminated by law, weren't allowed to hold official positions, or to become MPs
- Protestant nonconformists were another important minority.
- agrarian violence was common
- British were worried that the Irish colony may go the same way as the American colonies, towards independence.
Ireland - Pitt
the onset of the french revolution inspired catholics and presbytrians to renew their demands, and in october 1791, the formation of the society of united irishmen. aim was to establish a democracy through p reform and see eual rights for all men regardless of religion. freedom from english rule also appealed to them.
- Roman catholic - grievances against protestant landowners and anglican church
- Presbytarian - literate, resented the fact they had been denied access to political power.
Wolfe Tone - one of the founders of unite irishmen.he believed to achieve seperation from England the two would have to work together. he rejected sectarian divisions and appealed to nationalist sentement,the anglicans who controlled dublin parliament perceived a threat to their own position and supremacy. as a result they abandined their earlier calls for political reform and inisted that Irish security could only be guaranteed by continued catholic oppression
Pitt saw that ireland was to great to be unconnected with Britain, too near to be dependent on a foreign state, and too little to be independent. this perception, combined with the already significant threat to national security which the war with France brought, stiffened his resolve to solve the problem. however, he didnt accept continued catholic oppression. Catholic relief act 1793 - catholics to the franchise, could bear arms and hold military/civil posts(cant be MP
Irish rebellion 1798
Pitts concessions to the catholics in ireland simply exacerbated the problem and made the situation worse. granting the right to vote did little to improve their status, since they remained disbarred from membership of Irish parliament, so protestant domination continued. his repressive measures also drove the united irishmen underground and encouraged their leadership to seek french assistance in bringning a revolution in ireland that would overthrow british rule. His reforms had raised the expectations of Irish Catholics but failed to deliver the equality they desired. this heightened the demand of the united Irishmen for seperation for Britain and boosted their support. the french revolution ideals of liberty and equality inspired many Irishmen. Hatred of the alien rule led to an open rebellion in 1798. Wolfe Tone was inspired by the French Rev. the government's spy network hampered the preparations for rebellion and the initial risings were ill coordinated and easily overwhelemed by government troops. consisting of mainly catholics, the risings were more ant protestant/landlord hatred than by republican idealism and this made the sectarian divisions larger. eventually, under pressure from government forces, the militant faction of the united irishmen abandoned its plan to wait for french aid and set a date for a general uprising. the government informers acted quickly and the leader of the military operations, Fitzgeral, was arrested. without effective leadership, and lack of arms the rebellion that was in Ulster, intended to be the core of the revolution, was easily kept within managable proportions and crushed. its two leaders were executed. this rebellion was poorly timed since french forces were stuck in Egypt.
Why did the revolt of 1798 fail?
- the direction of the FR was turning and fear from the invasion of Hollan meant some Belfast merchants abandoned the cause.
- the activities of the united irishmen were met by a campaign of repression under the control of General Gerard Lake, whose militia and yeomanry persued a course of arson and torture which intimidated moderate supporters which ensured only hardened republics would carry the fight. this meant the irishmen were short of cover from the local community.
- the governments spy network hampered the preparation for rebellion. this resulted in the arrest of leaders in Dublin. it also meant they were ready for the revolt in Ulster.
- the risings were led by anti protestant and anti landlord hatred rather than republican idealism. this exacerbated sectarian division within the movement. the massacre of protestants enhanced protestant fear of catholic majoirty and drove many Presbyterians away from the movement.
- the initial risings were ill coordinated and were easily overwhelmed by government troops.
- the dependancy on the french meant that they couldnt start a revolution as the french didnt help as much as was planned, mainly due to being stuck in Egypt.
- The Irish made the mistake of not waiting for french aid to help the rebellion, so it was easily kept under control by the government as it lacked leafership and arms meaning it was crushed. - it was ill timed, rev sentiment dying down, troops in egypt.)
the Act of Union 1800
one reaction of the british government to the rebellion of 1798 was strong coercive measures. Pitt also adobted a more positive and proactive role. his suggestion, backed by Castlereigh was the act of union. this would end the parliament in Dublin and be replaced with a system where Irish Mps would set in the London parliament to represent irish interests. these would have to same power and status as normal uk MPs. a number of irish peers could sit in the HoL, but others, such as Lord Palmerston, had to seek election to the HoC. this was designed to end all of irish problems, as the irish would have the same rights as any other UK citizen. Pitt hoped it would make the irish feel part of the UK, and would lead to peace and intergration.
Castleigh, sometimes by using corrupt methods, persuaded the irish parliament to vote itself out of existence, and it was passed in 1800. they bribed anti union mps to either leave or become pro union with money and titles. Pitt bribed catholics with catholic emancipation.
there were major flaws in the act of union. pitt indicated that catholic emancipation would follow, but it did not because of the KIng. this therefore got it off to a bad start. many catholics felt betrayed and conned into a deal. only 20% of the mps in london were irish, and anger was felt as irish problems were now being looked at from a 'london perspective'. however ireland remained reasonably quiet for the rest o the napoleonic wars, meaning england benefited from not having to worry about risings from the west.
the Effects of the Act of Union
economic: the end of the napoleonic wars brought massive economic implications in the whole of the Uk, but they were felt more in Ireland. there was no welfare system, so poverty was more extreme, and the catholics still had to pay the hated tithe to support what they felt was an alien religion based in London. The sze of the war debts placed a burden on the Irish economy. Paying 12% bankrupted ireland and made poverty worse because of the strain. It was felt that London deprived Ireland of its fair share of wealth and trade.
political: as the King refused to grant Catholic emancipation, Pitt and Castlereigh resigned.
divisions in Ireland: religious divisions got wider and because the British government favours protestants, the wealth gap also widens. Desire for independence also grew. Landlords were corrupt and inefficient. Irish nationalism grew as it was felt that the union had been a trick to keep ireland quiet, and was soley to benefit the UK.
causes of the industrial revolution
- population growth: improvements in agriculture - selective breeding, enclosure, crop rotation - improved the quality of fresh produce and reduced its cost - diet imrpoved and susceptibility to disease diminished. after 1800, it became popular to wear cotton undergarments insted of woollen ones. easier to wash - hygiene improved - killed germs. industrialisation expanded the job market - independence from family, earlier marriage, more time to have children/ more children. More people so productivity needed to increase to meet the growing demands. created a larger workforce who have the ability to prvide economic expansion. more people competing for jobs so wages can be reduced, reduces production costs, reduce price of product so more people can afford it. with more people, there is more talent to come up with new innovative ideas. however, other european countries experienced rapid population growth, yet didnt undergo industrialisation. economic and population growth didnt coincide. economic growth began to accelerate before population growth reached is maximum weight.
the official census was first conducted in 1801. some contemporaries forcasted that population was growing but that it would outstrip the rate of production of food and cause massive social problems. others believed there was a healthy economy in the flourishing state of agriculture, manufacturers and general wealth. 1801 - just under 11 million and by 1811 this had risen to 12.6 million. not as reliable as the census past 1846, but they provide strong evidence for an increased population. increase birth rate and a fall in death rate - agricultural improvements (enclosure, new crops, selective breeding, fertilisers etc.) all this meant an increase in food production, better quality food and lower prices - the population was healthier, have more children, less dying - rise in living standards, better health. created more jobs, young men could afford to live independlty, marry, have children earlier.
causes of industrial revolution
- abundant natural resources: water power - fast flowing rivers and streams particularly in derbyshire, lancashire etc. a good variety and quantity of mineral deposits, especially coal and iron ore. small geographical size and network of navigable rivers provide access to the seas. diverse climate facilitated regional specialisation in agriculture. south - fertile soils and mild climate - wheat. North - wet weather and cool - livestock rearing. it helped with trade which can increase profit to improve wages and living conditions. produce a wide range of goods so dont have to rely on imports, no transportation costs makes british goods competitive. dont have to rely on one crop and leads to a healthier productive population. many other countries had a diverse range of natural advantage in agriculture and industry, yet they didnt experience the same industrial rtake off in this period. also the rivers and coal and iron ore deposits had been a feature of british landscape, and this cant explain the timing of the revolution.
the natural resources created power that could drive the newly invented industrial machines. fast flowing streams could be harnassed to make water power. there was plentiful supplies of iron and coal which could be used by manufacturers of heavy machines. as an island, most points were close to the sea, used for trading, navagible rivers and a new industry in canal building - all essential for the transport of raw materials and manufactured goods.
causes of industrial revolution
- earlier economic developments: scientific and technological innovation, coke smelting, Newcomens steam atmospheric engine, John Kays flying shuttle gradually revolutionised manufacturing. this reduced production costs and expanded the market for british goods on domestic and foreign markets leading to an expansion of trade. this meant there was already the right conditions to carry an industrial revolution.these inventions sparked new ideas which develops into more innovations and inventions. it revolutionised the production pricess. it could be too simple to assume that rising domestic demand offered sufficient incentive to encourage entrepreneurs to invest in new machinery. also, people may not always consume according to a predetermined mmodel which strategic industrial planners have set for them
shipbuilding, exploration, a discovery of overseas markets and colonisation had all brought a growth in trade (increase in imports and exports in the decades of 1780s, 1790s) and thus in turn had stimulated the development of banking and finance. the east india company was trading in spices, silk, cotton, and tea and there was a thriving market in the west indies in cotton, sugar, slaves etc. as a result, there was capital available to borrow at low interest rates to invest in the expansion of existing industries and to set up new enterprises.
the rise in the population meant that a large labour force was available. it also also meant there was a rise in the demand of food, clothing, housing and other commoditios. this in turn led to increased production of manufactured goods, especially textiles at low prices, and stimulated agricultural output.
political stability allowed more enlightened ideas to flourish, scientific thought encouraged innovation and invention - such as the economic inventions such as Kays flying shuttle. in britains fairly liberal and democratic society, there was a free movement of people and goods around the country so there was no hinderence to new ventures.
- the effect of war: seeing an opportunity to acquire control over key strategic points on the worlds shipping lanes, and thereby secure substantial commercial advantage. britains involved itself in a number of wars between 1689 and 1815, including the seven years war. british dominance abroad puts them in a superior position for trade etc. stimulates demand and creates jobs, textile and iron industry improves and navy is in a good position to keep trade routes open. this doesnt explain all industrial expansion as Britain wasnt always at war. these wars also accumulated a lot of debt that would hinder rather than help industrial expansion.
causes of industrial revolution
- Open society: unlike its more conservative european neighbours, Britain was unique in its willingness to allow those with talent to ascend, often from bery humble backgrounds, through the ranks to positions of wealth and status. the aristocracy frequently married its younger sons to daughters of bankers and merchants. successful entrepreneurs such as Peel were also permitted to use their fortunes to buy their way into the aristocracy. also, landowners themselves are often entrepreneneurially minded, frequently investing in industrial projects, such as canal building (Duke of Bridgewater). the openness also facilitated the growth of a mass market, since companys were aple to develop cheaper variants of high end fashion items for htose lower down the social scale. People are given an incentive to work hard which is motivating to improve the market. people with talent have the scope to develop ideas, and the money of the aristocracy is invested rather than wasted, and it leads to social stability. However Parliament continued to be governed for their narrow interests, which may not have been in the best interests of industry - the corn law could confirm this.
causes of industrial revolution
The cotton industry
Before industrialisation: small scale operations in peoples homes in the cottage industry. the processes were slow and lacked quality control, production was limited and lacked prospect of expansion. industry changed with the import of raw cotton. as population rose there was an increasing demand for clothing and textiles. a spate of technological innovation, and the subsequent reorganisation of the labour force to work in factories helped to bring the revolution.
Began with the revolutionin the spinning process. Cromptons mule combined Hargreaves spinning Jenny and Arkwright's water frame produced high quality yarn that was strong and fine. when it was harnassed to water power its use became widespread in factories. By the 1820s it was acknowledged to be the most important invention in spinning.
Cotton clothing had advantages over wollen garments - cheaper, more comfortable and easier to wash which improved hygiene. it was quickly established in Lancashire and Lanarkshire where it could be harnassed to the fast flowing streams and it was in close proximity to major sea ports. a canal system connected cotton factories to other towns for redistribution.
the mechanisation in spinning left the weaking process behind. the industry couldnt function effectively while this imbalance persisted. consequently in 1789, Cartwright designed the power loom which was operated by steam power. although this process was clumsy and inefficient.
1812 - 1830 - remarkable growth in production of cotton goods. imports of raw cotton increased two fold, and the export of manufactured cotton also increased. by the 1830s, 30% of the industrial work force was engaged in cotton industry and 70% of all british exports were textile, and raw cotton amounted for almost one fifth of britains imports.
Lord Liverpools legislation can be seen to help the economy. the reciprocity of duties act, free trade budgets was a step towards free trade so will encourage the continuation of industrial expansion. in this period, the power loom was modified as Cartwrights was clumsy and inefficient. by 1820s a cast iron on ehad been developed which was extensively used in textile facotiries across the country and revolutionised the production of cloth. by 1830 it is reckoned there were around 100k power looms in operation around the country.
The Iron industry
technological innovation in the cotton industry gave a major boost to the iron industry duing the late 1780s. as large machines and water wheels were constructed, demand for iron increased. this stimulated the development of more efficient iron founding techniques, to take advantage of expanding markets. the development of Watts steam engine that a sufficiently strong and continuous blast was available to make coke fuelled production practical in many areas. the new cotton mills could accomodate bigger more sophisticated machines, and massive water wheelswere designed to generate the power to run them
Derbys method of smelting was too brittle to being hammered into the shapes needed for tools and machinery. consequently, Cort developed the puddling and rolling process which made it much stronger. As a result wrought iron production increased by 400% between 1783 - 1812.
iron production dramatically rose from around 70k in 1780s to 250k in 1806. iron foundries were built on the edge of coal mines to access their essential source of fuel cheaply and easily. this led to it becoming concentrated in 4 main areas including south yorkshire. as a result many small villages quickly developed into large industrial towns and several entrepreneurial iron masters such as Wilkinson created iron works to meet the increasing demands of industrialisation.
the growth of both the cotton and iron industries depended on coal. coal replaced wood as a fuel source to power steam engines in the factories. it became essential to the process of industrialisation as it provided cheap fuel for any manufacturing process that required heat. output doubled to 14 m tons by 1812
The coal industry
population growth (need for fuel to heat homes, cook meals), the development of coal and iron and the increase in use of steam powerstimulated demand for coal. to meet the demands, pits had to be dug deeper underground. coal rpelaced wood as a fuel in iron smelting. it became essential in the industrialisation process as it provided cheap fuel for any manufacturing process which needed heat.
there were a number of serious problems that hindered the growth of the industry. these included flooding, ventilation, lighting and lifting. in 1781 a crucial development came with the sun and planet gearing system which created a rotary movement. steam engines could wind ropes round and round. this development was eagerly taken up. by 1800 around 130 of these engines were in service.
as obsticles to dep mining were overcome the industry expanded rapidly. as a result coal outputt doubled to 14 million tons by 1812. it was needed in the manufacture of a variety of important products including bricks and beer. even the workers were better paid than those in the cotton mills. by 1800 it emplyed around 40k people.
however it never contributed more than 1% of national income and the industry expeienced slow rather than spectacular growth. britain lagged behind USA in mechanised coal cutitng, and given its importance as a fuel source this inhibited the pace of growth in other industries.
1812 - 1832 - there were more technical innovations during this period, the introduction of the hot air blast furnace created better quality iron and raw coal could be used instead of coke, making the process cheaper and more efficient.
however, although there was a massive increase in the output of coal, there was little innovation. it was cit by hand, coal mines were relatively small and dangerous places, explosions were common. a safety lamp devised in 1813 helped to prevent explosions. an air pump was designed to help bentilation but little else was done to help safety. there was sufficient human labour to meet the demands for coal.
Roads - Turnpike trusts - tolls which money was reinvested into improving the road surface and repear. Macadam introduced tarmac roads which were chracterised by their strong foundations, smooth surface and curved top to reduce flooding which led to turnpikes increasing. in the time period around a sixth of road network was turnpike road. this brought a significant reduction in transport ties the jounrey from london to edinburgh was reduced from 10 days to 46 hours. transport of ideas, news etc. became more easy and goods. nation state.
however a significant part of the road network was still in a poor state and they werent suited for the transport of heavy or bulky items. the answer lied in the development of canals. bridgewater developed the first canal and he halved the cost of coal in manchester. the success fo the scheme encouraged others to invest in canal construction in the 1790s. the canal network linked all major centres of industrial production and population.
thisprovided a cheap method of bringing bulky raw materials into the factories and of transporting finished goods from the factory to the ports or markets. this reduced production costs for industry and expanded the market for its products. also by carrying human refuse out of the towns, it provided farmers with a valuable source of manure for hteir fields which boosted yields, thereby freeing up more labourers to work in factories and reducing the cost of food. this would result in better nourished and more productive workforce. emplyment opportunities. however they were expensive to contrust, could only follow limited routes, froze in winter and very slow in transit. soon replaced by railways.
in 1830 the first railway opened which was from manchester to liverpool. during the post war years, the efficiency of the steam engine was improved by a series of refinements which led the development of the railway. more efficient methods were needed for moving coal to the foundries, factories and other markets. Stephenson is regarded as the person who delivered the beginning of a modern railway system. he was the engineer for the first passenger railway from liverpool to manchester. this marked the beginning of large scale public railways in britain as its immediate success prompted a rash of ailway companies building them. this is one of the key developments of the industrial age. it got the economy moving, transporting people at speed and low cost. it increased the level of employment. and it gave a great boost to the iron and coal industry.
The development of steam power
previously, the basic power sources included horse and water. however in the rapidly expaning textile and iron industries, water power was initially employed to drive the new machienery and spped up production. nonetheless, water posed many problems - it would freeze, dry up nad couldnt power the largest machienes. also, the need for proximity to fast flowing streams meant factories were built in hilly locations and this made transport of finished goods or other raw materials in and out awkward and expensive. steam power would overcome these problems and facilitated industrial expansion. it created the emans of moving manufactured goodsalmost anywhere in the country and across the world. it wasn't until he teamed up with boulton the businessman wh financed the enterprise that it became useful to industrialise power.
Watt invented a steem engine and modified it in 1782wich was more efficient and flexible than water, and could be situated anywhere where coal was accessible. it was also more powerfult han water and more rleiable. it also could be used all year round.by moving it to towns and near coal field, it made the market more accessible for manufacturers and also lowered the cost of production. steam power was used in almost every area. by 1800, less than a third of the steam engines were used in the cotton industry which is an indication that steam power was revolutionising several industries. increased productivity enabled british manufacturers to take adantage of expanding domestic and foreign markets. it was used extensively in tun mines, coal mines, iron works, breweries and distilleries and in the engineering in canals. it brought cheap and plentiful coal, iron, textiles/ clothing speed and revolutionised accesibility of transport. it led to the development of the railway later into the second quarter of the century.
however by 1800, only a fifth of all mechanical energy was produced by steam, and many continued to use water power, as it was cheaper. its spread to areas other than iron and textiles was more gradual.
the British economy and industrial revolution
evidence of change:
- source of power: before the rev most goods were manufacturered using hand held tools or horse drawn machinery. however the scale of the new machinery and need for non stop production to meet the demands of an expanding market, necessitated a more powerful and reliable source of power.initially this was through water wheels (arkwright water powerd mill in cotton indistries) and this was replaced by steam power - Watts steam engine. as steam was more reliable and could power larger machinery, didnt dry up or freeze. by 1800, steam engines were being used by textile mills, tin mines, iron foundries and breweries.
- change in location: the growing dependence of industry on water and steam power resulted in a shift in its location. initially, factories were built in steep hills to take advantage of the fast flowing steams, however this made transport in and out awkward and expensive. the growing dependence on steam would prompt a shift in inudstry towards britains major coal regions in teh midlands and south wales. as a result the centre of the economy shifts from the agricultural south to the industrial north and west
- new technologies: gorwing markets encouraged entrepreneurs to seek ways of expanding production which included inventions that revolutionised the manufacturing process. in the cotton industry - spinning jenny - one person produce 8 times more cloth in a day, powerloom revolutionised weaving. expanded job opportunities for women.
economy and the industrial revolution
evidence of change continued:
- new work patterns: at the beginning of the 18th century the domestic system was used however the size and expense of the new machinery, together with their want of water power, and that one worker could operate several machienes simultaneously meant they were unsuited for workers cottages. consequently factories and mills developed with different methods of working. machines required constant attention and the necessitated a more disciplined workforce. wheras workers worked according to their own pattern, they now had to work to rigid shift patterns, enforced by fines and harsh facotry discipline.
- increased production: the development of machinery and processes, harnassed to the power of Watts team engiines, facilitated a significant increase in production; one machine could do the work of several men and steam engines didnt require rest periods. industry had entered an age of continuous mass production. consequently wrought iron increased by 400% between 1783 - 1803 as a result of the puddling and rolling method. also, coal production rose from 9 million tons in 1775 to 15 million tones by 1803
- revolution in transport - to bring in raw materials which were needed in the manufacturing process meant that improvements were needed in the transport network. as a result turn pike trusts reduced journey times by an average of two thirds between 1750 - 1810. prompted the growth of interal trade. the creation of canals facilitated a cost effective way of moving bulky and fragile items around the country.
economy and the industrial revolution
evidence of change continued:
- growth of a consumer society - the impact of technological immovations in industry associated with the mass production and economies of scale, was to lower the cost of production and thereby make affordable to the common man a wider variety of items. improvements in agriculture and transport reduced costs of everyday essential such as food and coal (bridgewater canals 1/2 in manchester) sparked a consumer revolution and acted as a stimulus for further economic expansion.
- growth of a national identity - the improvements in the road network connected isolated communities to the rest of the nation and reduced jounrey times considerably - edinburgh to london from 10 days to 46 hours and london to bristol down to 12 hours between 1750 and 1811. this meant peole and ideas became more mobile which created a more uniform culture. the introduction of mail coaches allowed news to trael faster and so people in different countries got to know more about one another. the development of the canals allowed inter-regional trade and created greater homogenity in patterns of consumption. the increased circulation of ideas stimulated an explosion in print culture with book sales increasing by a factor of four. this included factual and improving literature.
- rapid urbanisation - large numbers of workers were needed to operate the factories, and necessitated the concentration of the workforce which resulted in rapid urbanisation. between 1780 - 1811, the urban population rose from 1/4 - 1/3.
economy and the industrial revolution
evidence of continuity -
- two dimensional growth rate - the transformation that permitted the dominance was limited to a small number of industries, namely cotton and iron, and is evidenced by the fact that cotton accounted for 70% of british exports in the 1830s. whilst mechanisationand the associated development of new work practises had facilitated rapid increases in productivity in these areas, in other areas it occured much more slowly. trades such as ship building, brick making, metalworking continued to be conducted on a small scale which were hardly affected by new technologies and relied upon man power for their operation
- limited increase in output per worker: although britains total output of manufactured goods increased rapify furing this period, out put per worker changed little overall. even though in spinning the spinning jenny increased output by 8, the limited spread of mechanisation meant that in many other industries, increased output was achieved by increasing the sixe of the workforce. rapid population increase furnished industry with a large pool of cheap labour and this meant it was frequently more cost effective to employ additional hands than to invest in expensive new technologies. most bricks were still moulded by hand, which leads historians to conclude that the triumph of the industrial revolution lay in getting a lot of workers into the industry.
economy and the industrial revolution
evidence for continuity:
- regional variations - while an abundance of natural resources had prompted industrial takeoff in some parts of the UK, especially the north west of england and the midlands, other areas experienced deindustrialisation. the traditional iron producers or woollen manufacturers who were not in close proximity to the most appropriate natural resources soon found themselved unable to compete with the cheap sheffield iron and yorkshire woollen and went into steady decline. absence of coal and iron meant that many regions were largely untouched by new machinery and so maintained their rleiance on traditional handicrafts.
- limited spread of steam power and new invention - many industries including coal mining and brickmaking remained largely unmechanised in this period. only around a fifth of mechanical energy was produced by steam engines by 1800. even in celebrated industries like textiles and engineering, the spread of new technology was less impressive than their output would suggest. cotton weaving wasnt seriously affected by power looms by 1810s and many goods were still produced by traditional domestic handicraft in villages. this is because of the cost of the new technology. population increase had supplied a substantial pool of labour which could be used more cheaply with the same effect as buying expensive and untested machinery.
economy and the industrial revolution
evidence of continuity:
- predominance of traditional industries - agriculture was still the largest emplyer with around 2 million workers. and domestic service continued to be a major employer with around a million workers. consequently most workers were little affected by the rise of the factory or spread of new technology.
- insignificance of manufacturing - an expansion of trade made a far greater contribution to national prosperity. although the exports of manufactured goods multiplied in this period they were exceeded by imports.
industrial revolution and living standards
Wages: wages in the new factories were higher than that of agricultural labourers, suggesting standards were living as they could afford more consumer products. they were consistent
- before prime minister, he was foreign and home secretary and secretary for war.
- he was chosen after 5 failed attempts of prince regent to appoint a whig government.
- he lacked in charisma and was regarded as being mediocre. but he did exert firm control over major decisions and was patient, pragmatic and fair.
liverpool admired Pitt and his balanced system of government. the fact that he was contientious and morally sound, meant that he was regarded as a safe pair of hands.
he wasnt an innovator but his talents contributed to his administrations stability. he was a man with wom others could work and was a good speaker
Problems faced by Lord Liverpool
1. political difficulties - his front bench lacked charisma. he relied upon a small inner circle of ministers, such as Lord Sidmouth, Lord Eldon and Robinson, all of whom were unimaginative in their design policy and reactionary in outlook. they opposed redorm and political change. LL was cold and forbidding in public and unable to command attention of the house, owing to his ineptness at public speaking. fuelled by the emergence of a partisan press, and a breakdown of the groupings that once dominated the house of commons, a two party atmosphere of whigs and tories emerged in this period - this had a detrimental effect. where as previously the factions had a clear set of principles (pittites for and foxites against royal prerogative), now all semblence of unity with regard to policy disappeared within them. as a result, liverpool was forced to mediate between his ministers in order to maintain party unity, as the tories remained deeply divided over foreign and economic policy. he also had to combat personal rivalries too, he couldnt include canning in his government because of his enemy and foreign secretary castlereigh. in the mean time, liverpools ministers were outmatched in the hoc by a group of articulate and determined whigs and this made it difficult for LL to maintain an majoirty. this was partly due to the decline in the patronage system. pitts decision to reduce sinecure posts after 1783, gradually erode the governments ability to secure the loyalty of the hoc through pension and posts. LL continued this process and cut away approx 1800 sinecure posts between 1815 - 1822 which in turn led to the decline in royal influence over parliament and stimulated the development of party politics.
Problems faced by Lord Liverpool
2. The Queen Caroline affair 1820 - the prince of Wales was in a unsuccessful marriage with caroline of Brunswick, and when George III died, she returned to England to take her throne. the prince didnt want this to happen so ordered LL to introduce a bill to parliament which would deprive her of her rank and dissolve the marriage. however, his scandalous private life and continual extravagance at a time of national crisis had alienated his subjects and petitions soon rolled in from people who identified with carolines oppression. following riots in carolines favour LL decided not to pass the bill. the incident damged the government because LL had been forced to make scapegoats of some of his ministers to save his ministry, Canning and Lord Sidmouth were forced to resign. this deprived the ministry of some of its must cabpable men, and made the government seem out of touch with public opinion, which damaged its popularity. thirdly, it damaged an alread difficult relationship with the prince, who threatened to dismiss him.
3. Problems in agriculture - enclsure, maximised the cultivatable land and reduce wastage, and enabled farmers to use efficient machinery to maximise yields. had been accelerated by the effects of war and the continental system which necessitated the increased production at home. although this benefited large farmers, smaller famers were often stripped of their land, and the absorption of common pasture land removed their fuel source. this forced many farers to become landless labourers of the land of others which left them demoralised. rapid population growth (12.6 m in 1811,) and the return of soldiers, created a surplus labour. as a result competition for jobs was high and wages low - alleviated poverty - speenhamland system unpopular w rate payers. ineffective - employers reduced wages as they new it would be topped up by the authorities. there was rural depopulation. since they end of the war, demand fell and the price of wheat dropped and the cultivation of so much land didnt make any sense. the restrictions were lifted so there was an influx of cheap foreign corn. tenant farmers who had taken on long leases during the war to cultivate marginal lands when rents were high saw there profts fall and they were unable to pay off loans. those who had took out loans for enclosure etc. also found themselves unable to pay their debts. thus there were many farming bankruptcies in the 1820s. the plight of the agrcultural labourer was much worse. although there was concerns about rural depopulation as many labourers moved to the industrial centres, the population growth meant there was never a shortage of labour nomatter how low the wage.
Problems faced by Lord Liverpool
4. the effect of industrialisation - the spread of new machinery in factories and mines gradually reduced the demand for labour in certain trades which caused significant hardship to many workers. hand loom weavers of lancarshire and yorkshire forced out of business by power loom. their average wage fell from around 21s to 8s which caused desperation and stirred resentment and unrest. as factories sprang up close to sources of power, towns developed rapidly around them to meet their need for labour. by 1831 liverpool had 202k population. however it lacked proper planning. poorly constructed housing was thrown up in close proximity to factories, little thought was given to adequate water supplies or sanitation and led to overcrowding. these unhygienic conditions facilitated the spread of deseases which exacerbated poverty and misery. the conditions inside the factories were little better. long hours, poor safety, truck system - wages in vouchers, only be redeemed in mills shop however over priced with inferior quality items.
5. the effects of the end of the Napoleonic wars - the influx in foreign grain and good harvests led to the price of grain to plummet from 126s to 55s. as a result many small farmers who had taken out loans during the war to bring marginal lands into cultivation, couldnt repay their debts and went out of business. wealthier farmers were forced to reduce wages, and had to lay off some labourers to maintain profit which created unemployment and distress. demand for war time goos such as armarments and uniforms dropped wich caused a slump in industries which had been stimulated by war.large amount of debt and a budget defecit of 45% in 1814 - 1815. demobilation of armed forces - unemployment rose.
What was the political system like in 1815?
the political system had changed very little since the 17th century. the electorte was very small with only 1 in 24 adult males over 21 had the vote. elections were every 7 years, there was an open ballot which allows bribery, corruption and intimidation, the parties are factions of the upper class, towns are under represented and monarch possesses political power. it was considered that the system served a useful purpose and had reflected the social and economic system of pre industrial britain. those who defended this system that didnt represent the people said it represented the landowning majoirty. however with the industrial revolution, there was a growing middle class who didnt possess any political power. in 1815, the authoirty of the cabinet was a recent development (developed from the privy council) and the principle of collective responsibility wasn't accepted. the office of prime minister was undefined, for all ministers were servants of the king and his support was vital if the government was to survive. political parties of today didnt exist, there was no party organisation or discipline, and many individual Mps were quick to change sides over issues that affected their personl interests, regardless of political loyalties. at the beginning of the period, LLs position was made even more difficult because of the monarchies weakness. George III ceased to be important from 1810 due to mental illness and george IV was unable to support or strengthen the position of ministers. the monarchy still had the power to bring down a government. up to 1830, the king was the most important political figure.
What was society like in 1815?
it was claimed that people with no property were unfit to govern and could be indirectly represented by these men of property on whose before they were elected. both whigs and tories upheld the interests of the landed and farmers. in the 18th century, patronage and corruption was natural and acceptable, as central governments role in life was so limited.
it was local government that affected people more directly and this was left to the nobility in the counties. the key people were the JPs appointed from the prominent landowners in the district on the recommendations of the lord lieutenant of the county (the greates landowner usually).
the massive scale and pace of agrarian and industrial change brought painful consequences. the countryside faced an agrarian revolution and resulted in a more efficient use of the land but it also created a new class of landless agricultural workers. cottagers lost their old rights to the common land and the fuel they gathered from the wasteland. the society was under siege from increased commercialisation - farming for profit rather than to make a living. these trends increased pressure to feed a growing population and these difficulties were made worse by the game laws of 1816.
Industrial revolution and French Revolution import
the demands to feed and clothe a growing population led to the pressure to move from the predominantely domestic cottage industry to larger sites in urban settings for a larger market. urban growth and industrial revolution went hand in hand. there were many positve aspects such as large scale production but there were also drawbacks.
- manual skill was relaced by machines - Luddites
- social consequences of industrialisation tended to widen the differences between rich and poor and to create slum like conditions. this produced a group of workers who felt hatred towards the establishment which they blamed for their distress - discipline, hours, employment of owmen and children denied legal protection against exploitation and banned from joining trade unions - 1799 combination acts.
the shock waves of the events in france divided political opinion, they also helped to intensify existing radical grievences and produced an extreme reaction on the part of the government. Paine adocated a defence of the popele in france, displaying their natural rights to freedom, equality and fraternity. the ocnservative response voiced by Burke argued that the natural and gradual peaceful nature of the british system was its greatest defence. he was a strong critic of the violence of the revolution. an increasing literate workforce read the latest publications with enthusiasm and formed their own political organisations.
How did war affect Britain between 1793 - 1815?
- gave a boost to the enclosure movement as pressure on the land grew to feed a growing population (continental system) - more land was needed for cultivation at the time of a great national crisis.
- the demand for more industrial goods brought more squalor to the working classes, especially in the major cities as conditions were worsened and ruthless employers were able to get away with lower pay.
- the war brought dear food as farmers benefited from inflated prices with which workers wages were never matched. war kept prices high due to the breakdown of trade between nations in europe, helping home producers make large profits.
- despite the introduction of the income tax in 1797, two thirds of tax revenue came from indirect taxes on goods. the lower orders felt the burden of the continuation of the war effort at a time when they were least able to afford it.
- in 1806, Napoleon introduced the continental system. Britain responded with the orders in council. this unstable situation was made worse by harvest failures in 1809- 1811.
How close did Britain come to a revolution between
the period saw an intensification of the radical movement which went out of its way to try and win over the working class by use of extensive radical press and a reliance on open air mass meetings.
What were the main causes of protests?
- unpopular self serving government policy (corn laws 1815, game laws 1816, income tax repeal 1816) - served interests of aristocracy at detriment to ordinary people. showed a lack of understanding to the challenges caused by nap wars. even thoug LL may have thought the corn laws would incentivise farmers to grow wheat, the labouring classes interpreted it as a narrow piece of class legislation intended to maintain profits of ladowners. the decision to abolish income tx and game law 1816 added to this. crowds petitioned against the new corn law in 1815, at spa fields Hnery hunt said that everything the poor ate, drank or wore had tax
- resentment at government repression - the legislation passed to contain the radical threat was deeply unpopular with the ordinary men who judged their peaceful protest to be a legitimate way of expressing their discontent at a time of acute economic distress and in the dace of an unfeeling government. this reinforced the perception that the govt was callous and ynsympathetic to the plight of the poor and was widely attacked by radicals. Thistlewoods anger at peterloo massacre and six acts - plotted to assassinate cabinet. amongst the grievances of the blanketeers was the reinstatement of habeus corpus.
main causes of protest 1815 - 1821
post war economic difficulties - the peace of vienna caused recession in britain. contracts for armarments and uniforms were withdrawn, so the demand for textiles, coal and iron dropped any workers became unemployed. compunded by the fact the demand for british goods in europe had fallen, as other countries had their own economic problems. the return of 300k soldiers added to the pressure. poor rate expenditure reached unprecedented levels so it is unsurprising that they turned to demand reform as they hoped it would allieviate their suffering. those who joined the pentrich rising 1817 were enticed by the promise of bread and beef and 100 guineas each. in 1816 unemployment marches took place in midlands.
effects of industrialisation - saw the gradual introduction of new machinery which significantly improved the pace of production and lowered the cost. provided an incentive to manufacturers. however,the mew machienry rendered the skills of those whho did the same tasks by hand obscelete. hense the power loom devised by Cartwright was replacing handloom weavers in the textile industry. this reduced their employment prospects, their incomes and status. consequently the hand loom weaver wage fell from 24s to 8 s by 1816. this provoked resentment that would result in protest - many of the blanketeers were handloom weavers and the uddites expressed their hostility by breaking machinery and burning mills.
main causes of protest 1815 - 1821
the incitement of government agents - in an attempt to flush potential revolutionaries out the govt used agent provoceteurs who may have put the idea of insurrection to previously moderate minds and enhanced the threat the state faced. - the spies were ringleaders of acts committed by the luddites. In the pentrich rising that Oliver was the cause.
the unreformed electoral system - radicals like cobett insisted excessive taxation was the root cause of wc misery. it was used to patronise the lives of the rich rather than ease the suffering of the power which proves misgovernment. P reform would address this by making the govt more accountable to the masses and thus responsive to their needs. the tories opposed p reform seeing it as a threat to the monarchy. industrial rev had created a new interest group in the form of the mc. this necessitated extension. in Hunts sppeches he frequently called for manhood suffrage, annual parliaments and the secret ballot. core theme of spa fields speech 1816. Cartwright intended to unite the mc and wc in calling for parliamnetary reform with the hampden clubs.
legacy of the french revolution - enlightenment and french rev had educated skilled workers to believe they have a natural rught to vote which could lead to other freedoms such as assembly and speech. in 1816 - protestors in the crowd at spa fields were seen with the tricolour flag and at st peters feel there were banners of liberty and equality.
influence of radical press
Lord Liverpools reforms 1815 - 1821
Corn laws 1815 - to maintain a domestic supply of grain - to incentivise british farmers - guaranteed protection for wheet prices for the agricultural interest from foreign imports of grain, ensure profits at war time levels. prohibited import of grain until domestic price reached 80 shillings. opponents saw it as a piece of class legislation in that it saved landowners from cheap grains at the expense of the poor. it stabilised prices and made it more expensive for the consumer. there were riots (e.g. in march 1815), petitions and demonstrations. troops had to be sent out to restore order. politicians houses were attacked. as prices rarely rose aboive 80 shillings it ensured that local faremrs could charge a high price. big farmers benefited with inflated prices. manufacturers argued parliament was interfering with the free market, seen as penalising the working people.
income tax repeal - the income tax was introduced in the nap wars by pitt, but the aristocracy that dominated parliament who had taken the brunt of tax abolished it soon after the wars ended as it was passed as a war time policy. as a result they introduced more indirect tax, and the govt balanced budget by 1818 and in 1822 there was a surplus of £5 million. income tax was central stability so when it was repealed at first it left govt finances in chaos. indirect tax was unpopular with radicals as it pushed prices of goods up which targetted the working class. it added to the unpopulairty of the government. most of spending was swallowed up by war pensions, interest on debt and loans.
Lord Liverpools reforms 1815 - 1821
the game laws - a rise in poaching becuase of a rise in food prices and desperation led to limiting hunting of game to landowners. the ppunishment was harsh - transportation for 7 years. radicals saw it as another piece of unfai class legislation in the interests of the aristocracy by a cold government. it was interested in protecting leasure pursuits - selfish - however it didnt work as juries were unwilling to find people guilty due to the harsh punishment.
spending cuts and efficiency savings - enormous interest payments on national debt and abolition of income tac meant that the govt had to reduce spendning - 1800 sinecure posts abolished between 1815 - 1822, official salaries cut by 10%, defence spending trimmed by £340k.
return to gold standard - in 1797 the bank of england suspended payments in gold and silver and issued paper currency. LL recognised that sustained eco growth could only be achieved if the currency was stable. a select committe was appointed chaired by Peel and recommended a resumption to gold standard which happened in 1821. shoirt term deflatory effect, but it helped to underpin furture prosperity by stablising the currency.
factory act 1819 - prohibited children under 9 in factories and reduced under 16 hours. largely ineffective - reliant on children. no provisions for inspectors. truck act 1820 - stop voucher wages - important message to employers but largely ineffective. poor employment act 1817 - made state loans for local authorities to develop public works for unemployed.
British radicalism - key personalities 1815-21
Cartwright - Hampden clubs - extensive p reform - tours of industrial districts encouraged petitions - clubs spread the message about political reform to the mass of workers - small fee with reinvestment into pamphlets and papers - national convention 1817 petition of grievances - didnt achieve respectable support.
Cobbett and radical press - democracy - vote to all who paid taxation - annual election - p responsive- constitutional and legal methods. opposed violence - not secret. newspaper - political register aimed to win wc over to case of reform through political education which highlighted the cause of misery as misgovernment. common aim - political reform - widely circulated - published ideas in pamphlet form as well as newspaper to make them affordable.
Henry orator hunt - constitutional methods preferable but willing to resort to force as they were unlikely to work. p reform extension of franchise to all adult men. mass open air meetings - demonstrate strength of radical opinion - excpetional orator and exercised a great influence and appeal over those who attended his meetings and heard his speeches. very effective at stirring up unrest and feelings of dissatisfaction amongst working classes.
the radical threat 1811 - 1817
Luddism - machine breaking - hand loom weavers - nottinghamshire - Nedd Ludd - increasing use of machinery in textile industry and resultant unemployment. difficulties made worse by bad harvests, rising prices and cheap labour - refusal to set minimum wage. arson, attack mills and killed a mill owner - govt spies as ring leaders, incited them to act how they wouldnt have done, troops dispached in 1812 - breaking machinery made cap offence. 16 arrested and executed after murder. not massive threat - isolated, no mass organisation - peaked 1812 - no political motives - not thought of detail.
spa field riots 1816 - Hunt - open air meetings - break away group - spenceans - attacked gun smith and made plans to take over the bank of england - tricolour flag worried govt - as a result suspended habeus corpus so troublemakers could be imprisoned. the times attackd the legislation for taking away the freat bulwark of our libertied. the seditious meetings act followed. there was great fear this was the beginning of a revolution - when the troops turned up they dispersed peacefully - drunken ways.
march of blanketeers 1817 - direct result of seditious meetings act - small band of workers planned to march from manchester to present grievences to prince regent. prodominantely cotton weavers. peaceful methods - officials killed an archer in stockport, led to them turning around - some arrested but released. no threat - failure - small and disorganised - 1 made it to london - no plan of rev just complain about problems.
the radical threat 1817 - 1821
the pentrich rising 1817 - 500 workers ntended to attack nottingham castle as a prelude to a wider national rising movement towards south london - govt spies - oliver - local authorities severe and went beyond threat - leader executed, 30 transported. easily kept under control - no big threat of revolution - promised beef and bread.
no threat of rev - small, disorganised and mainly economically motivated. show an undercurrent of unhappyness with the potential of rev in the future. 1800 - prosperous conditions and a good harvest. whatever radical threat there was had declined. yet from 1819 it came back stronger and more damaging.
the peterloo massacre 1819 - 60k gathered st peters field - hear henry hunt speak on P reform - inted as a peaceful protest - arrest ordered for hunt, yeomanry was sent in but were claimed to be drunk. they used their sabres to make their way through the crowd. 11 dead, 400 wounded. the 6 acts were passed - larger threat of revolution - outcry because of what happened - mags attacked, govt accused of deliberately surpressing the news after arresting a times reporters. journalists stirred unrest by reporting it as a massacre with the killing of innocent people.
cato street conspiracy 1820- thistlewood angered at 6 acts and peterloo challenged sidmouth to a duel - imprisoned - on release plotted to assasinate cabinet in cato st. a govt spy infiltrated gang and played a leading role in planning - soldiers arrested plotter. thistlewood hanged. - shows public opinion that govt were unreasonable in other protests so now are angry and want to use violence. small isolated, rev in intention, stirred by spy.
Governments and LL repression
LL was the leader of the HoL and was a gifted debater - he was aware of the rising tide of discontent after war but was unable to do anything because in many ways he was a prisoner of his own parties beliefs and otulook. most of the tories were aristocratic who felt the PM had a duty to protect the landed interests and save them from the radical threat.
- corn law - LL was liberal and believed in laissez faire - passed for aristocracy profits.
- income tax repeal - aristocracy voted by a majority to abolish it.
- ame laws - for landowners benefit - protection -
- laws against machine breaking 1812 - capital offence - 16 luddites executes for murder
- suspension of habeus corpus 1817 - passed after spa field riots
- seditious meetings act1817 - meetings of over 50 needed permission from mags
- agent provocateurs - luddites, pentrich rising, cato street conspiracy. - oliver
- the six acts 1819 - suppress political activity further - restriction on press, stamp duty
Why did LL opt for repression?
- maintain the support of parliament and electorate - LL rested on a fragile colalition of divided supporters - struggled to maintain majoirty in hoc esp with decline of patronage - had to retain support of landed elite. - demand for measures to protect their own interests - much to lose from rev - govt had responsibility - at detriment to others.
- perceived threat of revolution - insufficient info to accurately interpret what was happening or why - no way of distinguishing distress from sedition or social protest from political subversion. shadow of FR - little to assauge suspicion of wish to start rev. - blanketeers - image of irresistable strength - image of army marching on capital implied force. this was encouraged by spies - made threat worse to keep jobs. - repression would deter moderate labourers from joining the cause of rev.
- protest on an unprecedented sclae - post war eco slump and poor harvest made 1816 difficult. prompted a lot of protest - disturbances in norfolk, suffolk and essex. barns burnt threshing machines smashed, workers on strike, unemployment marches. also cobbets newspaper the political register had high amount of circulation spreading radical ideas. widespread nature and scale and widespread working class political activity - mass meetings. involved thousands - peterloo -
- government unable to address the underlying causes of discontent - didnt believe it was their role to interfere in socioeco conditions. laissez faire -interupt free market (ideology), disrupting trade - undermining prosperity. direct govt interfernence in lives of ordinary workers seen as assault on personal liberties by a unsympathetic state. hence resented factory act 1819
- weak forces of law and order - no police force - crush earliest signs of protest no alternative authoirity - prevent revolution
Why didn't Britain succumb to revolution?
- weakness of post war radicalism - divided between force advocators - spenceans, thistlewood, and non-violent - hunt, cartwright, cobbett. weaken devlopment of united working class repsonse - regional differences - hunt represented north - cobbett - south - lack of coordination easy to crush - divide and conquer - luddites isolated local eruptions rather than sustained movement. lack of arms - rev depended on successful use of arms to overpower govt. mostly peaceful nature of radicals - petitioning parliament, mass meetings, rational argument through newspapers - spa fields, peterloo all majorty peaceful. more an expression of dissatisfaction e.g. against new machines that part of a serious political threat.
- firm government reaction - repression, troops deployed in luddites, arrests and executions - 16 luddites executed, spies and informers didnt let it get out of hand - cato street conspiracy - spy, luddites, pentrich rising. undermined radical movement - seditious meetings, stamp duty stopped spread of message and organising support. execution and transportation of leading radicals acted as deterrant and removed effective leadership inc habeus corpus and six acts.
- improvement in economic conditions - series good harvest brought down bread prices, recovery in trade eased unemployment. e.g. 1818 - no protest.
- lack of mc support - in the queen caroline affair the mc were willing to join alliance as it was when govt position was most seriously threatened. lack of p reform support
was LL unreasonably harsh 1815-21?
threat of revolution - britain never faced a serious threat, it was mainly peaceful with an economic undertone. luddites limited to uncoordinated disturbances and lacked political motives. extremists were a small minoirty - spenceans, thistlewood. however - revolutionary tone did exist - it was difficult for the govt to determine the nature and level of threat - memories of the french rev - tricolour, liberty and equality banners at peterloo, spa fields. the govt was covinced that firm action needed to be taken or the country would erupt into revolution - at end of wars they had a complex set of problems. gave rise to protest on an unprecedented scale.
punishments and the practise of repressive measures - they were excessive and harsh but not as harsh as others - terror in france etc. - 36 luddites hanged compared to 285 in gordon riots. it wasnt widely implimented against the radicals and was only temporary - only few detained by habeus corpus and were released when reinstated. large meetings were allowed in 1819 showing the seditious meeting act was used sparingly. 6 acts didnt provoke a witch hunt
protecting the elite - the governments behaviour showed a lack of sympathy for the suffering of ordinary people and didnt understand their plight - protected sport of the wealthy by strengthening the game laws deprived families of a way of supplementing their diet. however the govt did take steps to minimise the hardship - poor employment act made state loans available to local authorities to fund public work schemes. LL didnt increase the price of corn laws to how much the elite wanted - 120 s 80 s instead.
Liberal tories 1822 - 1827/30 - overview
the impact of the queen caroline affair had highlighted to lord liverpool just how unpopular the government had become and marked the change in direction of policy. this is the view put forwards by Brock. the first period of LL govt ran from 1815 - 1821 and was characterised by an intolerant attitude towards any opposition. the liberal period from 1822 - 1827 was more tolerant and sympathetic towards economic and political change. this view is now being challenged by historians such as Gash who reject that the period divides. they stress continuity in both personnel and policy
What does enlightened/ liberal mean?
- describe a number of different views - freedom of religion - liberal could mean the ability to worship free from interference from the authorities. non conformists, protestant not part of the church of england and catholics were denied these freedoms. tories were committed to maintaining this situation - especially suspicious of catholicism - upholding church of england.
- political rights - representative political system - widening the electorate and extending their ability to participate in the political process. the landed aristocracy dominated the tory party and they didnt want the extension of the right to vote.
- right to free expression - any individual has the right to express their opinion without fear or restraint even if they are unpopular with the government. before 1822, the government supressed this through various laws e.g. six acts.
What were the features of enlightened toryism?
- cabinet composition- between august 1822 - 1823 there were a numer of changes that replaced the repressive cabinet with more liberal torys. Canning replaced Castlereigh as foreign secretary, Peel replaced Sidmouth as home secretary, Robinson replaced Vansittart as chancellor, and Huskisson was introduced. these members were younger and came from more middle class backgrounds.
- economic measures - the main emphasis was on the attempt to improve british trading position with the rest of the world, based on the philosophy of free trade. in 1820, LL argued that he needed to reduce tariffs and taxes imposed on imports. most of the business community also shared these beliefs. the merchants of manchester had petitioned govt for free trade. Robinson led thereduction of import duties between 1824-1825. reduced them from 50%-20% on a wide range of raw materials and manufactured goods e.g. cotton, linen, tea, coffee,etc. many of these raw materials were needed by industry, reduce production goods - boost productivity - it also complimented huskissons free trade policies. the reciprocity of duties act 1823 - navigation laws modified to remove the restriction that all goods entering britain had to be carried on british ships. as it was encouraging other countries to retaliateby banning british ships from their ports. this allowed the government to sign agreements with other countries for the free entry of ships - provided basis of free trade. 1828 corn laws - introduced a sliding scale.
features of enlightened toryism
- financial policy - tax cuts in 1823 - robinson introduced tax cuts of around £12m. in his budgets he reduced indirect tax on every day items including rum, coal and wool. the bank act 1826during the 1820s, paper currency was used to save people from carrying coins, however too many notes were handed out causing a number of banks to collapse in 1825. the bank act attempted to restore national financial confidence and ensure stability by restricting the right of banks to print notes.
- social policy - improving the economy was intended to increase the standard of living, but there had to be some improvement in the living and working conditions as well as improvements to the legal stsrem for the government to be liberal. Peel was given the responsibility of these improvements. he was suited due to his organisational and administrative skills. The gaols act 1823 - improve conditions of prisons - overcrowded, insanitary, child offencers in with hardoned criminals so became schools of crime. it introudced regular salaries for gaolers, female prisoners had female gaolers and there were inspections. repeal of the combinations act 1824 - 1799 combination act prohibited trade unions was repealed. reform of the penal code. reduced the crime carrying death penalty from 200 to 20, with only murder and treason carrying a mandatory death sentence. 1829 - met police force to stem rising crime rate. replaced bow treet runners. wore a uniform deliberately non military. head quarters in scotland yard. only carried truncheons
liberal tories 1822 - 1827/30
political and religious - repeal of the test and corporations act 1828 - repeal of the restriction that only angicans could hold important positions in the state and town corporations. the repeal only covered non conformists. the catholic emancipation act - controversy which ruined peels popularity with the tories. caused party to disintergrate. catholics could now sit in parliament and hold all offices except lord chancellor/ lord lieutenant.
there was a change to liberal toryism -
- repressive closed minded aristocratic tories were replaced with new liberal middle class enlightened tories that were associated with reform.
- there was a move towards free trade with the lowering of duties, and the reciprocity of duties act. huskisson was a follower of adam smith, and it was based on laissez faire principles
- more proactive in financial policy instead of letting it solve itself. by reducing indirect taxes it looked more caring towards the working classes and improving efficiency.
- also more proactive in social policy - giving people greater rights - allowing trade unions. listening to the public and interest of the workers over employers. made it more efficient with the reformation of the penal code and met police force., and improving conditions with the gaols act
- freedom of religion - catholics and non conformists can hold official psitions in the state - more toleration.
- relaxation of the criminal code and administration after 1822 marked a shift in emphasis from soley maintaining law and order to encouraging economic prosperity as well. 200 down to 20 capital punishment offences
continuity in liberal toryism
- there were still some repressive tories in the cabinet such as lord eldon, and the liberal torys had served previously under LL.peel at the beginning of the liberal tory phases was against catholic eancipation and parliamentary reform - two main characteristics of liberalism (freedom of religion and representative parliament)
- the corn law remained, the reforms were concessionary and aimed at promoting economic prosperity to stifle growing calls for alteration in the constitutional structure, introduced by post war depression. Not entirely free trade. still priority of trade within the empire - protectionism. changed economic circumstances mean it was practical and logical to move to free trade showing it isnt ideological change. they were already planning for free trade before implementing it in 1822 - they didnt have the money earlier and new that it wouldnt be accepted by some MPs.
- the reforms of robinson and huskisson were based upon a scheme of trade and finance that had already been decided before 1822. the tax cuts could be allowed because of vansitarts financial work and a surplus. vansitart also started the return to the gold standard in 1819. the bank act had to be done - it was a pragmatic response to the collapse of banks in 1825.
- the penal code was reformed to secure convictions - juries werent convicting due to the harsh sentences. the pressure for reform from Fry and Howard is why the gaols were reformed.many reforms were already in the pipe line and many areas of improvement werent reformed such as education, housing slavery.
- matters of efficiency rather than a genuine concern for the welfare of criminals dominated peels work.
- LL wouldnt support CE, only introduced by wellington due to threat of civil war in ireland - the collapse of the tory part over it shows that they hadnt have ideological changes.
Why did the Torys introduce reforms in 1820s
- response to changed circumstance - improved economic conditions - recover from nap wars, reaosnable prosperity - right conditions for reform - eco improvement eased discontent - reduction in the amount of protests - working class agitation had died down due to some good harvests and increased prosperity which freed the govt to concentrate on reform rather than law and order. also provided finances to fund reforms.
- pragmatic response - 1826 bank act - response to financial crisis 1825. the reciprocity of duties act was a pragmatic response as the navigation laws had a detrimental effect on british trade. the perceived threat of civil war led to cath eman.
- ideological reasons - influence of political and economic theorists - influenced by utilitarian principles of bentham. greatest happiness for greatest number by making govt more accountable and efficient. to achieve this - laissez faire and free trade of adam smith. middle class personnel - the mc liberal men had moved forwards to fell more powerful positions which meant their ideas held greater sway. came from mc - peels father - cotton manufacturer. huskissons uncle was a physician - more inclined to represent the interests of group which favoured economic reforms to boost trade, stabilise the currency and political reform. the previous years had been dominated by landed interest so more concerned with protecting own interst (on land) and little interest in economic reforms and opposed p reform.
- pressure - fry and howard in prison reforms, manchester manufacturers wanted free trade.
why did the liberal Torys introduce reform 1820s
- practical considerations - impact of catlereighs sucicide - necessitated major cabinet reshuffle. as canning was the obvious replacement - LL had to incorporate some of Cannings supporters too. the q caroline affair - acted as a spur in bringing in liberals- shown the govt to be out of touch with public opinion so prompted need for new blood. sidmouth and canning were forced to resign as scapegoats and they were some of the most able politicians. pressure from external agencies - fry and howard highlighting terrible conditions in gaols which resulted in public pressure to introudce reform. Place was calling for the repeal of the combination acts along with burdett. place had set up a commission that highlighted the repeal of the combinations act in 1824 - argued workers were disatisfied because unions were illegal and that it was stifling economic prsperity. also said the laws were inefficient as friendly societies took their place. also the manchester manfuctures pressured the government for free trade.
- cynical attempts to gain political advantage: defuse demands for p reform - progressive men would lead to reform which would win over more moderates and by reducing distress they would reduce demands for p reform. lack of debating talent in the HoC - a series of cululatively demoralising defeats in 1821 in the h o c convinced LL that he needed more authorative performers. aggrivate whig divisions - moderate reforms would undermine the whigs. win the support of many pro reform whigs making it hard to oppose the govt, but also made whig govt impossble. they would have to offer a more extensive package of reform. although this would appeal to the radicals, it wouldnt be accepted by aristocratic whigs who opposed reform. growing desire to win public opinion - win over the new mc
- completion of previously instituted measures. peels reform of penal code was based on a report of 1819. also free trade plans before 1822.
How successful were the liberal tory reforms?
economic: 15 free trade arrangements were signed with other countries under the reciprocity of duties act. trade increased and london became the centre of world trade. the increase in volume of trade ensured that the govt income from customs and excise duties increased by 64% and increased prosperity ensured political stability and furnished the govt with funds to enact large scale social reforms to ease the suffering of the masses. the 1826 bank act helped instil greater confidence in the banking system. this encouraged investment necessary for the growth of british industry. the govt achieved a budget surplus each year until 1830. reduction in the cost of raw materials gave manufacturers a competitive edge. however there was little progress in clearing the national debt. the corn laws failed to stimulate agricultural production or protect jobs. the circumstances were in britains favour so the govt shouldnt receive all credit
law and order - peels reform of the penal code did help to improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system. the reduction in the number of offences that carried the death penalty encouraged the juries to convict the guilty. the new police force reduced the crime rate in london and had the reform crisis under control. their uniform gave them a sense of identity, confidence and purpose. the penal code was still exceptionally harsh. peel couldnt do much about the prodedure of the law courts which were still slow. in london the prisons corrupted the morals of their immates and led to the extension rather than supression of crime. the police force was established at the end of the liberal tory period and just displaced crime elsewhere.
Living standards - success of liberal tory
the relaxation of the 1799 combination laws allowed working class people to combine together for the purpose of negotiating improved wages and hours of working. this provided a crucial step in empowering working class to improve their llives. the reduction of indirect taxes of everyday items improved some of the hardships of the poor
however, no action was taken to improve the poor living conditions of slum dwellers in new industrial towns. the govt failed to tackle widespread illiteracy, and to educate poor children which rediced the prospect of social mobility. there was no move to regulate the working hours of males and slavery was retained throughout the british empire. they wouldnt consider any measure of parliamentary reform.
the restrictions added by the amending act 1825 (to trade unions) which made strike action almost impossible limited their ability to get any meaningful change. the retention of the corn law ensure the price of bread remained high. other reforms passed after 1822 will have had little impact on the ordinary labourer. the reduction in duties reduced manufacturers costs but this didnt translate into wages for workers. laissez faire meant it was difficult to see how government could have implemented widespread social reform.
How successful was LL 1812 - 1821
overcoming post war economic difficulties - britain returned to the gold standard from 1819 so it became stable and provided confidence. 1800 sinecure posts removed - cut back on expenditure to reduce the national debt. poor employment act - unrealistic for them to make improvements that they dont know about or havent got the resources for. finances balanced by 1818 through indirect taxes. financial comittee- gave confidence - set up committes that drew up a blue print for free trade.
the poor had the excessive burden of indirect taxation. bread prices rose and many poor were unemployed. the corn laws didnt carry the food supply. rapid economic recovery wasn't necessarily because of liverpool. could be industrialisation. the factory act and game laws made things war for ordinary people, depriving families of income and a way of supplementing their diets. didnt push for free trade and didnt block the the repeal of income tax 1815.
dealing with the threat of radicalism - didnt lead to a revolution - the spies prevented protest before they got out of hand. they tried to alieviate some of the problems despite the tight budget through poor employment act, truck act, factory act. they acted as a deterrance, radicals couldnt spread their message (six acts), banned large meetings (seditious meetings act), stamp duty increased to stop the spread of cobbetts radical press. it wasnt over the top they didnt abuse their power. but only legitimated the protest arguments. unable to contain radicalism as riots still happened. direct cause was the repressive measures. callous and unfeeling, didnt deal with the causes of protest
success of LL 1812 - 1821
ability to command parliament and maintain party unity - he wasnt afraid to make difficult decisions and he carried them through. he was popular within government and was pragmatic and understood the need to compromise. he knows he cant get away with free trade and plans it for the future. he could command a divided parliament - was a good mediator. however he wanted to keep the support of the elite and working class were under represented in the electoral system. leaders were all from aristocratic backgound. it was inevitable for all the land owners to join together. he gets all the credit for the war, but it wasnt just him, the whigs lacked leadership so their opposition wasn't up to the job. Brougham was a good orator but people wanted honesty.
arch mediocrity or effective politician
arch mediocrity - critical of his policies. accused him of creating unrest through measures such as the corn laws, repeal of income tax and game laws. lacked intellectual qualities of peel and charisma of canning. refused to tolerate p reform or catholic emancipation.
effective politican - modest unassuming man carrying out his work with quiet efficiency. had a talent for moderation and reconciling the hot headed colleauges, keeping them under the broad umberella of the tory party. this grew great devotion from the cabinet colleagues who were very loyal through unstable periods such as the queen caroline affair and the king threatening to introduce a whig ministry.
lord liverpool was forced to repeal income tax from his backbenchers and the six acts have been reassesed as not creating a reign of terror. liverpool won the napoleonic wars, and was ultimately responsible for all elements of govt policy.
Why did the tory party collapse 1827 - 1830
- death of lord liverpool and disputes over his succession - led to party disunity. LL guided the party through difficult times and the quaity of his leadership was highlighted when different factions argued over policy (ultras - liberals, soome wanted the corn law others didnt etc.) and major differences appeared between various personalities contesting the leadership. this was solved temporarily when george iv appointed canning. canning supported catholic emancipation which was unacceptable to the ultras. there was also issues over his personality which was considred as vain and overbearing. the survival of canning depended on enlightened tories and the whigs. only lasted months up until his death. the next prime minister Lord Goderich was on of the worst. parliament didn't even meet but he couldn't cope with the arguments so resigned. the only alternative was wellington - the hero of the napoleonic wars but unsuited to the position because of his brutal honesty and lack of tact. his appointment split the party further. canningites werent happy with the appointment of an ultra and it would condemn the tory party to a period in the political wilderness.
- tory divisions over policy - divided over catholic emancipation. ultras refused to serve under canning due to CE. Some ultras tactically voted in favour of the repeal of the test act in belief that once repealed they would turn against the catholics and disuade p from pursing CE. the corn law was a constant source of division - liberals favourered its modification or abolition in the interest of free trade, landowning ultras remained committed to its retention. although 1828 brought minor changes with the introduction of a slliding scale, it alienated many landowning tories who thought it wouldnt offer enough protection. the traditional tories would consider some reform but nothing that would impact church or state. the introduction of catholic emancipation led to the demands for reform from the ultras. they believed that the population was against it, meaning that if parliament was representative it wouldn't have been passed through.
Government 1827 - 1830
Canning 1827 - able and experienced but was regarded with suspicion by many tories who found his liberal ideas to be too progressive, his manner too flamboyant and doubts over whether he could be trusted. Half the cabinet refused to serve under him, dispite being chosen by king george iv. wellington, Peel and half the cabinet refused to serve under him. they refused due to his humble origins and attiudes towards catholic eman. he brought in 4 whigs to the party and many whigs saw him as a natural ally due to his liberal minded policies, as did moderate tories. in this sense, although its pittite character prevented it from being a true coalition, canning succeded in creating a cross party ministry. the issue of p reform reinforced the new polarisation between the political forces, religious issues reinforced the old whig - tory polarity and upon his appointment, Wellington dismissed the whigs from his cabinet. although the 1827 session ran smoothly, his ministry achieved very little. this is because if its short period but also because George IV insisted that catholic emancipation remain an open question.
Goderich1827 - 1828 - he had a successful career as chancellor as the exchequer, however, he was miserable as PM and completely unsuited. he resigned 4 months later without even meeting parliament. he lacked the political accumen of canning and liverpool and was unable to control the coalition of wearing factions. the most notable clash was Herries and Huskisson. high tories like herries opposed cuts to the military budget, however liberal tories like huskisson saw cutting public expenditure it as the best way of preparing for war.
government 1827 - 1830
Wellington - 1828 - 1830 - the king had little choice but to approach Wellington. With Peel as home secretary and leader of HoC, he succeeded in establishing a ministry by reaching an accomodation with the canningites. Huskisson and three other canningites agreed to join the cabinet. there were no places for whigs or ultra tories like Eldon. the old liverpool party hadn't been rebuilt. the divisions ran deep and wellington lacked the tact and patience needed. an abled diplimat and administrator, but was indifferent to public opinion and too remote from parliamentary life. Peel attempted to mediate between factions and his concilatoy approach did help to maintain the govts majoirty in the commons. smooth disagreements meant that his ministry could undertake some important reforms
1828 - repeal of test and corporation acts - lifted restrictions of non conformists to hold public office. the pro-repeal group was led by russell, caught peel off guard
- corn law reform - sliding scale which would avoid the drain of the country in times of famine, stimulate foreign producers to ensure ready supply in times of harvest failure and maintain a steady market income for formers.
1829 - Peel set up a metropolita police force - preventative measure to try and stop the rising crime rate. only introduced in london with headquarters in scotland yard. corresponded with earlier penal code reform. it was a better system however it took years for an efficient, effective nationwide police force - formed the basis of modern system.
Tory collapse in 1830
- personal revalries. - many disliked cannings overbearing style and vanity. he deliberately sought publicity and many aristocratic tories saw the way in which he flaunted his achievements as being vulgar which reinforced their snobbery about his lowly birth. although goderichs lack of political acumen were partly to blame, the major reason he resigned was because of the dispute between Herries and Huskisson over the issue of chair of the financial committe. as an ultra tory, wellington had deep-seated distrust of the canningite liberal tories. he resented what he perceived to be their bullying tactics and determination to get their own way over issues. this meant that he interpreted Huskissons protests over the disenfranchisement of two corrupt boroughs as his resignation - he lost one of the most capable ministers and the support of the canningites.
- weak leadership -liverpool had the balance between the liberals and ultras and this helped maintain the fragile unity of the party. his willingness to legal and administrative reforms made him acceptable to liberal tories and his opposition to CE made him acceptable to ultras. his dependability and talent for compromises had inspired loyalty from strong personality. none of the next PMs had this ability. although wellington had succeeded in creating an accommodation with the canningites, which brought the party back together, his authoritarian manner and lack of tact meant he was unable to fix the party fully or maintain unity. he saw compromise as signs of weakness, and his exclusion of ultras inc Eldon, offended the right wing ultras and lost their support.
Tory collapse 1830
- effects of catholic emancipation: having lost the support of canningites over the distribution of two seats which were being disenfranchised for corruption, catholic emancipation lost wellington the support of the ultras who were opposed to CE, as a result they were determined to discredit his ministry. the reputation of peel and wellington was permanently damaged - betrayed the underlying tenet of the tory party - support of the church of england. peel was forced to resign. many MPs felt the hoc had defied the wishes of the nation. peels failure to secure re election for oxford confirmed that they were right. consequently many argeed that parliament needed reforming, so when wellington declared his opposition to p reform he lost confidence of plarliament and the ultras and the canningites. CE boosted the cause for reform, since it showed that the constitution could be successfully challenged through coordinated external pressure. one of the building blocks of the constitution had fallen so nothing was to stop others falling either. the new spirit of reform fitted better with the whigs than tories.
- the revival of the whigs - the accession of william iv after the death of George IV opened the way to a whig government. william was less antagonistic towards the whigs than george III had been, but also because it prompted a general election in which the whigs and canningites tories performed well. although wellington was able to cling to power, the tragic death of huskisson prevented wellington from reaching a compromise with canningites which could have secured support for his ministry. the whigs were united on the key issues that the tories were divided over which helped credibility and morale.
Tory collapse 1830
wellingtons government was looking weak and indecisive as outbreaks of violence spread acress England in response to a bleak harvest and an economic recession. there was a renewed interest in p reform supported by the whigs, who sensed deepening unrest if the question was ignored. Wellingtons blunder of refusing p reform in whihc he prasied the system as being near perfect hastened his end of term. his supporters believed he should have produced moderate reform, instead of playing into the hands of the opposition, whose chances of radical reform were enhanced.
decline in royal influence 1780 - 1840
- king george iv had to appoint wellington even though he didnt want to, showing his power was limited. he had to consent to catholic emancipation even though he wanted to block it.
- sinecure posts have declined so the king couldnt offer anything for political loyalty. Pitt had dicreased them through national wastage and between 1815-1821, liverpool abolished 1800 sinecure posts.
- with the decline in patronage, there was the emergence of party loyalty which makes it harder for royal interference.
- when george 11 went insane, power was given to parliament to stop too much power going to the prince regent. also, george iv was very lazy and unpopular so got rid of a lot of power himself.
- loyalty has to be secured in other ways leading to more party identity.
- there is more of a democracy - general elections become more important.
- cabinet identity - collective responsibility to create a strong and cohesive government.
background: the origin of the measures that prevent catholics from holding public, military or civil offices lay in the distrust of catholics which had emerged in the english reformation - Bloody mary burned almost 300 protestants for refusing to renounce their faith, tere had been several polits by catholics such as the gunpowder plot to blow up p whilst james I was in it to place catholic monarch on the throne. fear of catholic powers invasion such as France and SPain had been used to justify continued persecution.
attitudes of tory government - since the act of union 1800, violence in ireland was common however istead of granting equal rights, they sought to contain the situation rather than tackling the causes of unrest. they couldnt be trusted because they gave alliegence to the pope. granting measures would open the flood gates, such as reclaiming old lands, which constitued a threat to many tories who were absentee landlords. they though it would undermine the position of the anglican church and parliament, this would challenge their power and status. the kings believed the irish catholics werent loyal subjects and therefore hostile to making any concesisons to them. also go against their oath of loyalty. the group opposing ce was the ultras led by wellington and peel who were opposed by the canningites. canningites and whigs supported emancipation because the spirit of age demanded freedom of religion, the pope was now powerless, protestantism was well established, no one else for the throne to pose a threat, catholics would never settle until achieved right to hold office.
O'Connell and the catholic association
1823 - founded the association. o'connell was a lwayer and a wealthy catholic landowning family but consistently refuse office. good orator and viewed catholic emancipation as the first step towards the repeal of the act of union and restoration of irish parliament. they wanted the repeal of the act of union, the end of the tithe system, secret ballot, universal manhood suffrage. . clever in that when a measure made the association illegal in 1825, he exploited loopholes to establish a new one. he managed to bring in cathoic peasantry, middle classes and church into one movement. this gave the demand for emancipation a more uniform ad powerful voice and exploited the fear of a revolt. when there was a by election at county clare to appoint fitzgerald, a popular protestant landlord, o'connell stood against him to demonstrate catholic feeling and won with a large majoirty. he wouldnt renounce his faith, which put the govt under immense pressure. wellington and peel needed to do something to prevent civil war leading to the destruction of the union. in the interest of law and order, he announced his conversion to catholic emancipation. peel may have undergone a genuine conversion to emancipation.
the bill was intitially rejected in the hoc but through bullying tactics, wellington passed it through. the king tried to dela y giving it the royal assent, but was faced with having the prospect of no cabinet, and the feeling of the whig government was worse than CE so he backed down.
why did the government grant CE?
- to prevent the eruption of a civil war which could lead to the destruction of the union. the govt wanted national securty.
- peel may have had a genuine conversion and felt that 'the time had come' to grant ce. he believed that it would secure their support for the uninion int he same way protestant repression had alienated them.
- growing feeling that the catholics dont pose a threat to the state as much as before. strong protestant church, and a powerless pope meant that the protestant moanrchy wouldnt be challenged.
- there was a growing feeling that the irish wouldnt stop until they got more rights.
- the repeal of the test and corporation act meant it was hard not to give it to them
- britain was becoming more liberal and there was a growing belief that you should be able to worship freely. this included trating them equally politically too.
- o'connell and the catholic association had support from the irish mc and peasantry and also persuaded whigs and some tories that it was necessary too.
Economic developments 1812 - 1832
- the economy continued to flourish despite the long and costly wars.
- as coal was the main source of energy, if the coal industry was expanding, then industry was expanding. between 1815 - 1830 - coal production almost doubled from 16m to around 30m tons.
- about half of the coal used was in the iron industry. between 1815 - 1830, the production of pig iron doubled. it was also becoming more efficient. whereas it did take 8 tons of coal to produce 1 ton of pig iron, by 1830 this was down to 3.5.
- in spite of figures suggesting a slow down, there was still a remarkable production of cotton between 1815 - 1830, as imports of raw cotton increase two-fold, the export of manufactured cotton also increased. the number of power looms in operation increased from around 2400 in 1813 - 100,000 in 1833. the new machines that had previously been too expensive were now coming into wide spread use. by 1830s, textiles accounted for 70% of all british exports, whilst 227 m yards of british cotton cloth were exported during the 1810s, 320 m yards were exported in the 1820s.
- the growth of the export market was also reflected in the development of ship building. in 1820 the amount of ships built and registered n Britain was 66,700 and by 1830 this had increased to 75,500.
the increase in production was due to the continuing development of steam power. more factories were powerd by steam and there was an increasing variety of products available for home markets and for exports to explanding markets abroad.
it was the start of the age of consumerism. by 1832 there were new fast-growing industries, services and techologies mainly associated with the early development of the railway. there was further development in steam power and more sophisticated machine tools and other machines. these innovations meant that industrialisation spread to parts of the country previously untouched. many hand operated industries mechanised, and increased productivity occured i existing industries. however by 1832, these developments hadnt reached their full potential, for example steam power handnt because in the early 1830s, birmingham still relied on less advanced form of power as there was only 120 working steam engines. also, steam engines were uncommon outside of london.
industrialisation had a direct wffect on trading. putting aside the fluctuations in the market, trade expanded rapidly after the napoleonic wars and the lifting of sanctions. during the 1820s under LLs liberal tory period, it received an impetus from Huskissons, who was influenced by the industrialists, free trade measures. for example, the relaxation of navigations act and the reciprocity of duties act both increased trade, and they reduced duties between 1824-25 which meant the economy prospered and living costs fell - afford more goods.
population growth contributed to the carrying of industrialisation. in 1811 it stood at 12 million and by 1831 it stood at 16 million. the growth was higher in industrial areas as a result of migration for work.
the industrialisation process after 1815, continued to encourage new thought, it brought in new political pressures, it continued to emphasise the distinction between the workforce and mc and brought continuing working class discontent and from it emerged new social groupings and a new concept of society.
the previous powerloom designed by Cartwright was clumsy and inefficient. in the 1820s, Roberts devised a new cast iron power loom which was more reliable and was extensively used in textile factories across the country and revolutionised cloth production. it was thought the number of power looms rose to around 100k in 1830s.
the most important technical improvement in the iron industry during this period was the introduction of the hot air blast furnace in 1828. this produced a better quality iron and raw coa could be used instead of coke making the process cheaper and more efficient.
there were little innovations in the coal industry and mines were still small and dangerous. a safety lamp was devised in 1813, but there was enough labour to meet the increasing demands for coal
early railways and agriculture
during the post war years, the efficiency of the steam engine was improved by a series of refinements and led to the new transport sysem. more efficient methods were meeded for moving coal from the pits to foundries, factories etc. the stockton to darlington line opened in 1825. stephenson was the engineer for the first passanger railway using steam locomotives. the liverpool to manchester line was opened in 1830. the immediate success prompted a rash of railway companies to build more across the country. this is a key development in the industrial age because it fot the economy moving, transporting poeple and goods at spead and low cost. there was an immediate positive economic effect in the increased level of employment, and it gave a great boost to the iron and coal industries.
by 1812, agriculture was transforming into an industry, with large tenant fams set up as businesses and tenant farmers hiring agricultural labourers for seasonal work and producing goods for the commercial market. this was facilitated by the reorganisation of farm land by the enclosure acts, many of which were passed during the wars with france, and this continued through the 1820s. enclosure quickened the pace of agricultural chanfe. rent for enclosed land was at a higher rate because crops gave a higher yield, there was less wastage of land, more control over social fertilisation and protection from hedging. it also improved better systems of crop rotation. in turn allowed more mixed farming as a greater variety of cattle fodder could be produced, including winter feed. this gave farmers security when heavy rain spoilt the harvests. this gave them confidence to try new technieques and experiments.
agriculture and war
agriculture was stimulated by the war as wheat prices rose, and to seek as much profit as possible, farmers planted even their least dertile land with crops. the disruption of war and rising population kept the demand for wheat high at a time when britain was still largely self suggieicnet in food production. when the war ended the demand fell, the price of weat dropped and the cultivation of so much land no longer made economic sense. many farmers who bought marginal land, spent on enclosure and drainage schemes to keep up with the wealthier farmers found they couldn't pay of their debts so went bankrupt. in addition, the war time trade restrictions ended, allowing the influx of cheap foreign corn. tenant farmers who had taken long leases during the war when rents were high saw their profits fall and responded by cutting wages. the corn law didnt shield them from the effects of the depression in agriculture in the years agter the war. there were constant fluctuations in prices, even in good harvests. the plight of the agricultural labourer was much worse, but although there were concerns with rural depopulation, the general increase in population meant that there was never a shortage of labour so wages were kept low.
progress in agriculture was very slow. innovation may occur in one region but it might be years before it was taken up in another. for example the invention of the threshing machine shows the lack of uniformity. it was invented in the 1770s but wasn''t in general use until the 1820s. By the 1820s, various crop roations had developed (norfolk- clover, barley, turnip, wheat). turnip returned goodness to the soil so solved the problem of soil exhaustion and could use fallow land
economic policies and free trade
along with developments in technology and innovation in industry and agriculture, there were also government polciies which helped to increase trade and prosperity. LLs govt worked to laissex faire principles, believing the govt shouldnt interfere with wages or prices leaving the economy to fluctuate through supply and demand. there was a lack of consistency in this approach as, for example, they were willing to intervne in the price of corn to protect their own nterest, but there were other policies for free trade and against mercantillism. the budgets of 1824 and 25 were important in the history of economic policy as they were the first to apply free trade principles. principally the work of Huskisson and Robinson who reduced tariffs and regulations, lowered custom duties on on raw materials and the navigation acts were modified. in 1823 the recorpcity of duties act encouraged trade treaties on the basis of mutual tariff reductions. these measures stimulated industry and trade, bringing lower prices in manufactured goods and an increase in the volume of british exports and shipping. they reduced smuggling even dfurther, and signified a comprehensive economic policy.
however in the commercial downturn in 1825 there was heavy criticism of free trade and economic policies. banks failed, businesses went bankrupt and there was distress among the labouring classes whose wages were reduced or unemployed. once the worse of the crisis was over, the govt introduced the bank act 1826 which made it legal for banks other than the bank of england to operate as joint stock banks. these could issue notes and had a more robust foundation than the small provate banks.
The effects of industrialisation
population growth and urban development:
Although industrialisation brought rapid economic growth it also brought social turmoil and widespread unemployment. the migration to northern industrial towns disturbed traditional habits and customs the small rural communities. some were transformed into industrial landscapes with large smoking chimneys and blast furnaces creating an alien skyline, and the constant noise of machinery disturbed the familiar tranquility. towns developed into sprawling urban areas, situated close to the ndustrial activity with rows of hastily constructed houses. in 1801 on London adn Dublin had over 100k people. by 1831 Edinburgh, manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and others alle xceeded this size.
Some historians have denounced the impact of urbanisation on the labouring classes and the lack of welfare. the working hours were so long that most workers had no life beyonf the factory.
Grey and Melbourne - chronology
1832 - lord grey and whigs triumph in general election (december)
1833 - abolition of slavery within British Empire, Althorp's factory act, first government grant for education
1834: july - lord melbourne accepts office, irish church reform act, poor law amendment act, november - william iv dismisses melbourne, december - Peel becomes PM, issues Tamworth manifesto and establishes conservative party
1835 - February - Lichfield house pact formed to undermine Peel, municipal corporations act, Peels ecclesiastical commission, April - Melbourne replaces Peel
1836 - marriage act allow nonconformists to be married in chapels, tithe act, limited liabilities company act, the establish church act improves the size of dioceses, central registry of births, deaths and marriages.
1838 - pluralities act relating to the church of england, prohibits more than two livings held.
1839 - bedchamber crisis, penny post legislation announced
1841 - election gives conservatives a majoirty and Peel froms a new government
Grey as Prime minister:
the newly enfranchised MC gave grey a vote of confidence with a considerable majoirty, and with the radicals they had 479 seats. he introduced a series of important social and administrative reforms, including factory, poor law, slavery and thebanking system. the whigs faced a number of difficulties including:
- disagreements with the radicals (e.g. atwood and cobbett) but they were divided on what the important issues were. the radicals queried every institution and tax and enthused about reform which irritated the whigs. however the radicals were divided amongst themselves on what issues were most important, apart from a further need for reform of p.
- problems in ireland - the privileged position of the anglican church in a catholic dominated ireland, rural unrest - calls for repeal of the Act of union. the whigs divided over how to deal with this problem. russell wanted concessions and stanley wanted coersion. After abolishing church act and reducing anglican dominance, which failed to settle discontent, they followed with a coercion act. russell proposed appropriation which would educate the catholics. this widened the divisions and stanley resigned along with other leading whigs, which brought down grey in 1834
- Grey according to historian Leonard, after overseeing such an extensive programme of reform, seemed exhausted - turned 70 in 1834. he no longer had the energy or patience to deal with disagreeing ministers and was particularly vexed on irish problem who were still high on the political agenda despite CE.
the majoirty of the whigs continued to see reform as piecemeal and pragmatic. the 1832 act was regarded as a final settlement and done to preserve rather than revolutionise the system. the other reforms can also be seen in this way, they werent a genuine desire to reorganise society.there were a number of more geniune radical whigs such as brougham and durham, who were excluded in melbournes more reactionary government, suggesting why they lost the reforming zeal. whig motivation was the belief that the duty of government brought a responsibility to try an improve social problems but, in turn, government expected a certain degree of respect and gratitude. as party political lines, and organisation became clear, there is a view that suggeststhe reforms were openly pro whig - the reorganisation of municpial corporations in 1835 was an obvious attack on tory stranglehold in this area. they wanted small amounts of social change, not an avalanch of revolutionary reform, as they didnt want to upset their influential supporters in business. to their discredit, they knew there were many weaknesses apparent at this tim but refused to take advantage of the golden opportunity for reform.by 1841 they had done nothing to stop the exploitation in the mines for example. this all suggests that the pressure for reform did not come from the whigs.
Melbourne as PM
when William IV invited him to form a ministry in 1834 it was to safeguard against policies he disliked.melbourne was known for his conservative approach to reform. after the reform act, he saw no need for more reform. he was met with discord from all sides of the political spectrum. he refused the kings request to include peel and wellington to form a moderate coalition. by treading the middle ground to please the king he upset many radical whigs such as Brougham, by excluded them from the cabinet. after althorpe stepped down, Melbourne insisting on including russell. the king disliked russell and dismissed the govt even though it held a majoirty. this gave peel and opportunity to take office. after the 100 days and Melborune returned, he had fewer whig supporters so increasingly relied on the radicals and irish. the Lichfield house compact 1835 was made by russell to defeat the tories but it only discredited the whigs as it led to calls for the end of the AoU - and the whigs were reliant on the irish. peel cleverly waited while the whigs defeated themselves. In august 1837 when William IV died and the tories gained support. Queen Vic favoured Melbourne over Peel. when Melbourne resigned over a vote of no confidence, Peel refused to serve (the bedchamber crisis) because Vic wouldnt replace whig ladied with conservative ones. this allowed the public to see that the whigs weren't a credible option, after limping on for two more years, especially with increased radical pressure (anti corn/ poor law leagues) and a budget deficit. the whigs blamed the radical for frightening off moderates and the radicals blamed the whigs for failing to keep the momentum for reform. they were more of a coalition rather than a party and lacked effective organisation. the improved organisation of the conservatives was work of Bonham. They used whips that maintained voting strength and helped to raise loyalty and party consciousness. Party solidarity was built up through local organisations e.g. the Carlton club. this encouraged the registration of possible conservative electors and they oganised campaigns. Peel was a key factor in their revival. he provided strong leadership, and his Tamworth MAnifesto 1834 gave direction for the party and won support from the MCs. stating that they would do moderate reform broke traditional party conventions and created the conservative party. He used constructive opposition well as it unnerved the whigs and encouraged moderate whigs to join the tories.
in the general election held after william died in 1837, the whigs lost ground. the succession to the throne by victoria gave melbourne an unexpected boost. he limped on as prime minister for another two years, in the face of an economic crisis for which he had no solution. there was high unemployment and discontent and n further reform programme. there were two new sources of radical agitation including the chartist movement which werent well handled by the government. from 1837, budgets were in defecit. taxes were raised and when Russell attempted a free trade budget in 1841, it was too late to convince the electorate, meaning in the election, support drained away from the whigs leaving the conservatives victorious.
it has been suggested by historians that whig ineptitude (Briggs) gave William IV the opportunity for Peel to form a ministry despite the whig majoirty, and had melbourne been more assertive, william wouldn't have been able to act in such an unconstitutional manner. they suggested that melbourne was relieved and made no serious effort to ressist this royal decision. the kings interference angered the whigs and radicals and a concerted effort was made to bringdown peel. when Peels minsiitry failed, melbourne returned to office, but with fewer whig supporters and an increasedreliance on the radicals and irish MPs. the Lichfield house compact that russell had made to defeat the tories, came back to bite the whifs as they had promised irish reform in excahnge for irish support. the irish mps were led by Daniel o'Connel. theycalled for the end of the AoU and this seriously discredited the whig government. Peel played a clever waiting game and the whigs were dicredited over various church reforms, failing to get a reasonable measure through the lords to abolish the system of church rates, which imposed a burden on the nonconfirmists.
- constitutional monarchy with patronage limited. after the first reform act it became clear that royal favour could no longer sustain in office a ministry that didnt have the support of the commons.
- during the political machinations of the 1830s, when william iv attempted to manipulate who should run the government, it became clear that it was no longer sufficient for a government to have confidence in the king - this was in line with whig principles.
- although the first general election after the first reform act gave the whigs a large majoirty in the comons and brought more mc and radicl elements in, the the majoirty of the whigs still belonged to the landowning aristocracy who saw the reform act as a final settlement. many leading whigs sat in the HoL and wielded an influence for the junior branches of their family a seat in the commons. they were a party of self interest - they had come tot eh conclusion that p reform was both necessary and advantageous to express mc opinion and gain political advantage by getting rid of the tory dominated pocket and rotten boroughs and strength their position - but no further reform. there were a number of progressive whigs motivated by the humanitarian, utilitarianism and evangelicalism and the whig partys reform represented these influences.
- in spite of their earlier confidence, the whigs lost ground with each ensuing election. this was a cause of constant dissension between the whigs and radicals who made up their numbers in parliament. the whigs blamed the radicals for frightening off moderate support, and the radicals blamed the whigs for failing to keep the momentum of reform.grey was towards the end of his political career - just turned 70 and had lost the reforming zeal. and melbourne didnt see any pressing issues that neededto be reformed.russel, brougham and durham the most progressive whigs were dropped by melbourne in 1835.
- one of the weaknesses of the whigs was tthat they were not a party in a formal sense, but more of a coalition. this was because of their inclusion of the radicals associated with the mc and their dependence on the fragile support of the irish mps, whose immediate agenda was to press for irish concessions, but ultimately break up the union.
- they also lacked effective organisation, which was becoming increasingly important for retaining their political power.
The ideas and ideology of the whigs
they believed in a constituional monarchy, in which patronage was limited. after the reform act it became clear that royal favour could no longer sustain in office a ministry which could not win support from the electorate. during the political changes, when william tried to manipulate who should run for government, it became clear support of the king was no longer good enough. ths was in line with whig principles.
the whigs were still dominated by the aristocratic whigs who believed that the reform act was the final settlement. they recognised the need to give the mc a vote and they realised they would gain political advantage by getting rid of the tory dominated rotton and pocket boroughs and thus strengthened their position in parliament. ince they achieved these objecitives, they didnt set out to pursue further reform. they werent a great reforming party and believed they had gone far enough. a number of the progressive whigs were influenced by the humanitarian movement, utilitarianism, and evangelicalism. in spite of their earlier confidence, the whigs lost ground with each election. this was a cause of constant dissention between the whigs and the radicals who made up their numbers in parliament. they were made up of the radicals and also irish mps. they lacked effective organisation, which was becoming increasingly relevant for retaining their politcal power and was something to which their main political opponents were paying particular attention to.
Tories in opposition
- the work of Bonham and party organisation - whips, frequent meetings, party consciousness, loyality, party solidarity, local organisation, carlton club, national network
- strong leadership of peel - willing to lead the opposition, distanced fro the ultra tories, constructive opposition, unnerved the whigs, strengthened own position, encouraged moderate whigs to join the tories, particular Graham and Stanley, who were uncomfortable with the radicals in the whigs, and appropriation, proposed by russell, that would weaken the position of the anglican church in ireland. the lichfield compact 1835 further alienated them, and they accepted posts in Peels govt in 1841.
- peels transformation of the conservative party - tamworth manifesto - dec 1834 - moderate reform to preserve traditional institutions of the church and the state. embraced the chaned that had occured with industrialisation - changing economy and new political demands, appealed to the mc who wanted stability, good government, and the recognation of their national contributions and influence. the manifesto broke previous conventions. delivered to the cabinet but made public through the press.
Tories in government before 1834
Peelwas in govt for about 100 days 1834 - 1835. he was forced out by whig radicals who were angry at william IVs unconstitutional behaviour. many see this time as successful because:
- he had shown vision in church policy and irish affairs. he set up the ecclesiastical commission to enable church of england to reform itself which strengthened it from radical and non-conformist anger. this ensures support and re-assured ultras.
- confirmed his leadership of the party and demonstrated his skills in debates which won admiration.
- demonstrated the power of themonarchy had declined as a result of the reform act.
when Peel became PM in 1841, he immediately faced problems of chartism, ireland, financial concerns and responsibility to develop the whig reforms. he had to deal with the social effects of an economic slump that occured 1841 - 1842. high unemployment, wage reductions and general distress brought a revival of chartism. his overall strategy wasn't to introduce social reform but to stimulate trade and increase prosperity so the wc could improve their lives. Peels repeal of the corn laws pushed the conservative loyalty to its limits. he was acting in the interests of the majoirty but split the party, alienated his followers and lost their support. in spite of founding the party, he failed at managing his followers
the whigs - continued to see change as piecemeal and pragmatic. the 1832 reform act was seen as a final settlement and done to preserve rather than revolutionise the system. the reforms that followed should be seen in the same context. there were a number of genuine whig radicals, including Broughham and Durham, who didn't appear in Melbournes more reactionary ministry after 1835. the whig motivation for reform came from the belief in that the duty of government brought a responsibility to improve problem, and in turn, they expected a certain degree of respect. there was evidence the reforms were pro whig, e.g. the municipal corporation act in 1835 was an obvious attack on torys in this area. they refused to take advantahe of the golden opportunity for reform and by 1841, little had to be done to address the exploitation in the mines, long working hours in the factories etc. they had no intention of changing the basic features of society or upsetting influential supporters in business. Lord Melbourne wasn't in favour of sweeping social reform, he saw the role of govt as ruling not legislating.
The whig influences
utilitarianism - a broad group of politician administrators whose main test of any government was its accountabilityand efficiency. The maxim 'the greatest happiness for the greatest number' was made by bentham. they exerted huge amounts of pressure to improve efficiency of govt institutions such as the poor law, municipal corporations, and factory conditions. their main innovation was the use of commissions and reports to investigate social issues. all major pieces of legislation were measured of efficiency with scientific tests. most whig legislation had scientific undertones, e.g. the poor law 1834 was designed to improve the efficiency of dealing with those who cpuldn't look after themselves. they believed that the state should only intervene in exceptional circumstances and in a minimal way rule and exception. e.g. the factory act only limitedchildrens working hours. they also believed in centralised authority in order to maintain standards. example of a utilitarian is Edwin Chandwick - he advised the poor law reform and even though he had a genuine concern for the welfare of the poor, his application of the usefulness test, didn't take into account the feelings of individuals. As a member of the commission of inquiry into factory conditions, it was his innovative thinking that led to the recommendations of an 8 hour working day for children. in 1842 his report on sanitary conditions of the poor exposed squalid, unhygienic conditions in Britains towns and cities and it became the blueprint for improved sanitation and eventually a proper drainage system in every community.
evangelicals - a spirtual movement within the Anglican church which encouraged a religious and moral interest in social improvement and change. they believed every action was judged by God, and was duty bound to avoid sin and embrace vitue by performing good works that would help others around you. they were committed to passing reforms that would improve living and working standards. they feared the insanitary conditions that were created by the industrial revolution had corrupted poor people and driven them to gambling, drinking and prostitution. they wanted to reverse this trend and create condtitions so people can make the right moral choices. example - lord Ashley and Wilberforce.
lord ashley (lord shaftsbury) developed a keen sense of philanthropy. at this time, the introduction of any social measures depended upon the initiative of philanthopists and experts. he took over the leading capaign of the 10 hour movement, he was focused on social reform rather than political advancement. IT was Ashleys persistence that got the Mines Act 1842 through Parliament. He would have succeeded with the 1844 factory act in getting the 10 hour day had it not been for the governments sleight of hand, which established the 12 hour day. he finally achieved it in 1847 with the support of whigs and tory protectionists.
Humanitarians - a cross party group committed to the imporvements of working conditions, especially in mines and factories. they demanded basic human rights e.g. the 10 hour day. they judged things on their impact on human beings and were encouraged by teachings of christ that charity was the greatest of virtues. they thought this was best expressed through relief of the suffering e.g. Lord Ashley, O'Conner,Wilberforce.
other - the non-conformists (whig allies) who wanted the whigs to remove their grievances e.g. having religious tests that excluded them from uni.
O'COnnell had made irish issues present, especially after the whigs had pledged to address irish grievences in the litch field house compact.
political advantage - they weren't sworn to uphold the position of the church so they could gain support from non-conformists.
practical considerations - the fear of riots etc. due to the poor social situation. abolition of slavery - jamaica - feared for their lives, but also it wans't needed anymore because the centre of economy had shifted to other industries as a result of industrialisation.
the fact that the whigs chose to be influenced by these pressure groups shows signs of a weak government which was being dictated by external forces rather than initiating reforms on their own. it could show that the whigs were cautious social reformers who lacked the imagination and creativity to instigate reform on their own. on the other hand, it also shows that the whigs were willing to take advace. the utilitarians were especially useful as their royal commissions could be the basis for govt policy even if the groundwork had been completed by an external body.
- government grant for education 1833 - opposed by political classes and a lot of the public who thought that children were best off working. it was wanted by evangelicals as it gave the grounded for good moral choices, and there were utilitarian principles through improved accountability by salaried inspectors). practical considerations - the industrial revolution and rapid urbanisation overwhelmed the monitorial schools, and the workforce needed to be educated. it was the beginning of state intervention and the responsibility to establish compulsory education for all children.
- the abolition of slavery in the british empire - 1833 - through a system of indentured labour - a parliamentary enquiry - £20 million to slave owners.it was led by evangelical and humanitarian groups who were angered that the abolition of slavery wasn't included in the great reform act - petitions flooded parliament. - a majoir change in attitude had already taken place. to the literate, nonconformists, more democratically minded urban society, the notion of slavery had become abhorrent. practical considerations - the level of violence of the uprising in jamaica in 1831 - 1832 caused shock waves in government circles and fear among plantation owners for their lives and profts. utilitarian - parliamentary inquiry followed. in practice the slaves were reclassified as apprentices, with planned release dates as far ahead as 1840. peaceful protests brought this forwards to 1838. the compensation recognised that the slavery was no longer morally acceptable and the vested interests of a considerable number of families among the political classes.
- the factory act 1833 - pushed for by 10 hour movement, humanitarians, evangelics - a report into it was led by chadwick (a utilitarian) which recommended the reduction of childrens hours. - put under to control of inspectors - people were angry it didn't cover adults. it wasn't led by philantrphic concern - practical - shifts meant that adults could continue working 16 hour days. it was the report led by Chadwick that recommended reduction of childrens hours on the grounds they needed protection.
- poor law amendment act 1834 - practical - old speenhamland system wasn't working - in the 1830s price fluctuations and recessions caused high unemployment, wages of those in work remained inadequate as food prices remained high, partly as a result of corn laws limiting import of cheap grain. pressure from middle classes who wanted to get rid of poverty and unemployment, and the high level rates they had to pay. chadwick - utilitarian with practical - old system inefficient - led a royal commission - cut costs - current system of o outdoor relief was wasteful and inefficient - abolished outdoor relief for the abled bodied poor and introduced less eligibility - conditions were harsh - only the most desperet would submit themself and families. - doesnt recognise the main causes of poverty - boom and slump - meant many areas kept outdoor relief - fault of poor. it abolished outdoor relief for the able bodied poor as it was thought to encourage idleness, and in its place was indoor relief. utilitarian - centralisation - central authoirty - the poor law comiission was set up to oversee the implementation of the new law. parishes were grouped into unions who were responsible for maintaining the owkrhouse. the principle of less eligibility - only the most desperate would enter. the evangelicals saw it as a social policy that encouraged work ethic. to ensure the able bodied found employment rather than scrounging of the parish, but failed to comprehend the elplessness of many hard working people who were unable to find jobs, or one that paid enough to meet the basic needs of their families. it assumed that unemployment was a chosen option for the workers when in fact it was caused by economic, technological and structurl changes. it was however, successful in meeting the aims of the government as it deterred all but the most depserate. there was a drop in the annual poor rates to £4.5 million from almost £7 million. parts of the country, especially the industrial north, were resistant to the new measures. applying indoor relief in industrial townswhen unemployment was high and wages low,, it was impossible to accomodate all the needy, so few workhouses were built. it edged the labouring poor towards chartism a working class movement towards p reform because they thought that was the only way to solve their problems. it established a standardised administrative structure, and the poor law commission was an early example of a central government institution, with paid officials, which had overall control of locally managed institutions.
- municipal corporations act 1835 - byproduct of p reform. a commission of enquiry was set up to look into the corruption and abuse in boroughs - provided a complete overhaul of local government. the secretary of the commission was the radical utilitarian Parks, whose influence can be seen in the clean sweep of the legislation. 200 old corporations dissolved and replaced by municipal boroughs. this produced a wider franchise. system to end the misuse of borough funds, which were to be held in clerly difined accounts, and profit was to be used for the public benefit. it gave councis powers to carry out improvements, but they were held back by financial restraints, a desire to cap the rates bull, and the lack of vision. there was no central body to achieve uniform standards, with the result that essential improvements, like drainage, cleansing and paving were non existent in many towns. the rapid growth of towns meant that many councils were trying to operate beyond their level of competence. it didnt ensure efficiency.
the abolition of slavery 1833
- A change in economic interests. After 1776, when America became independent, Britain's sugar colonies, such as Jamaica and Barbados, declined. Furthermore, as the industrial revolution took hold in the 18th century, Britain no longer needed slave-based goods. The country was more able to prosper from new systems which required high efficiency, through free trade and free labour. Cotton, rather than sugar, became the main produce of the British economy and English towns, such as Manchester and Salford, became industrial centres of world importance.
- Resistance by enslaved people. Enslaved people had resisted the trade since it began. However, the French Revolution brought ideas of liberty and equality, which inspired those seeking an end to slavery. Major slave revolts followed (Jamaica 1831-1832); they reduced profitability and gave a strong indication that, regardless of politicial opinion, the enslaved people were not going to tolerate enslavement. The revolts shocked the British government and made them see that the costs and dangers of keeping slavery in the West Indies were too high. In places like Jamaica, many terrified plantation owners were finally ready to accept abolition rather than risk a widespread war.
- Parliamentary reform. When parliament was finally reformed in 1832, two-thirds of those who supported slavery were swept from power. The once powerful West India Lobby had lost its political strength.
- Abolition campaigns and religious groups. The demand for freedom for enslaved people had become almost universal. It was now driven forward, not only by the formal abolition campaign but by a coalition of non-conformist churches as well as Evangelicals in the Church of England.
The act, however, did not free enslaved people immediately; they were to become "apprentices" for 6 years. Compensation of 20 million was to be paid to the planters. Protests finally forced the government to abolish the apprenticeship system on 1st August, 1838.
- prison act 1835 - utilitarian basis - set up a central prison inspectorate with 5 paid prison inspectors. helped to reduce the corruption and increase efficiency in the prisons.
- tithe act 1836 - turned tithe into a money payment which was less burdensome, but didnt satisfy the irish.
- pluralities act 1838 - end abuse among clergy who worked in more than one parish. these two acts rationalised the system and made it more efficient. it was popular with irish tenant farmers and kept ireland fairly peaceful until 1841. other measures to help the non-confofrmists include the 1836 marriage act which allowed marriages to be legally recognised if held at their own church, and the London uni charter act which abolish religious tests for entering uni.
- penny post 1840 - utilitarian basis as the old postal service was haphazard and inefficient. now pay in advance of postage. profits soared and the system was swift and efficient.
- limited liabilities company act 1836 - encouraged investment. at an age where the railway industry was booming, it was the incentive industrial centres needed. By 1837 london and birmingham was connected.
- reform in the church of england - with many nonconformists within their ranks, the attitude of the whigs to the established church of england, was less hevaily influenced by the anglican establishment than the tories. their proposals were drastic, amounting to a kind of reform bill for the church. during peels short administration a royal commission had been established to investigate the conditions of the church. melbournes government were willing to implement its proposals. the established church act of 1836, improved the size of dioceses, and the church of england gained a permnent body, the ecclesiastical commission, which was used to monitor future hanges.
Evaluation of Whig reforms
- they missed a glorious opportunity to institute far reaching changes. the impetus for change came more from individuals such as AShley and Chadwick. the reforms were limited in that they would only go so gar. the 1833 factory act excluded adults. the working classes felt little benefit still suffered fro long hours, and the new poor law blamed them for poverty. this provided reasons for new WC movements such as CHartism.with each election in 1835, 1837 etc. the whig majoirty fell, suggesting that their reforms werent as popular with the electorate as they were claimed to be.
- it must however be seen in context - the reforms were far greater than previous years, the first main social reforms. they key was the establishment of benthamite methods, royal commissions and the appointment of inspectors and central control of finance. the abolition of slavery was a triumph and it was the first steps towards state intervention in education and nation and local govt had been made.
why did the whigs fall from power in 1835?
- loss of reforming zeal after 1835 - melbourne, excluded whig radicals such as Brougham. under grey - many reforms in few years - many admired him regardless of their political affiliation. melbournes appointment signalled a change in direction and a relacation of the reforming programme. there were only a trickle of reforms. important opportunities were lost to improve social conditions and known abuses. the issue of free trade wasn't resolved, there was no improvement in the mines - simply ran out of ideas.
- a public relations failure with the electorate - the punsihment of the swing roters and tol puddle martyrs lost whig sympathy especially from the wc - failed to appreciate cause of discontent. under lord melbourne, the relationship with the irish minoirty mps. brought allegations that the whigs were merely in the pay of their masters across the irish seastheir strong leaning towardsthe nonconformists alientated many anglicans and supported the idea that the whig agenda wasn't of their own making.
- the rise of wc discontent and uncontrollable impacts - failure of 1832, poor law, economic crisis (bad harvests, unemployment was high, budget deficit etc.) convinced the working class that the whigs were just as bad, if not worse than the tories - there sense of betrayal was deepened as britain had sunk into a serious economic crisis and the numbers receiving poor relief had climbed to crisis proportions. squalor in the cities, inadequate public health arrangements and the threat of unemployment
- revival of the conservatives - tamworth manifesto, constructive opposition, good timing, discredited the whigs- peel - let go of the old rigid aristocratic ideas that split the tories and created a new conservative party which transformed their image and profile. he attempted to broaden the basis of the new parties appeal by winning over the newly enfranchised mc, whilst trying to maintain the fundamental features of toryism. tamworth manifesto was basis for the changes peel made to the party in the 1830s. in addition to a new policy direction, the party had improved organisation now on a national basis - credit to bonham, the party's election manager. use of whips, amount of meetings - party loyalty and thus solidarity. the successful election in 1841 suggests the resurgence of the conservative party under peel should be given an opportunity to impliment socio economic programme. constructive opposition, bedchamber crisis etc.
The unreformed electoral system
the electoral system had changed little since the middle of the 17th century - old fashioned, out dated and unrepresentative. there were two types of constituency - the counties and the boroughs.
counties: represented the major counties in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. in England and Ireland, each county elected two MPs regardless of its size and population. there were some alarming irregularities in the pre-reform parliament, but according to its supporters, it worked because interests were more important than numbers. Wales and Scotland, only one MP was elected for each county and the charge of serious underrepresentation cannot be ignored. qualification voting was relatively easy to define but was based on the amount of land you owned. Any man who owned land or property worth 40 shillings a year could vote. This had been in place since the 15th century, and with the decline of value of property, the numbers have steadily increased.
The boroughs: far more confusing. they were usually the most important towns of each county. before 1832, most british boroughs had two MPs, whereas Ireland, Wales and Scotland only sent 1. Borough electorates varied enormously -some like Liverpool had over 5000 members, but other like Old Sarum only had a handful. These latter were known as rotton boroughs. they were controlledby wealthy membersofsociety, usually aristocrats. well over 50 boroughs had less than 40 voters, yet each had 2 MPs. the pre-reform boundaries were drawn up before the ind rev which had changed the landscape. Birmingham, although a large town but had no MPs because it wasnt a borough. Lancashire with a population of 1.3 million had just 14 MPs, but Cornwall with 300k had 42 MPs
The Franchise before 1832:
in counties, any man possessing land or property worth 40 shillings (£2) per annum were eligible to vote. with the decline in the value of property since the 15th century, has meant that the amount of people who could vote had steadily increased. However in Scotland it was restricted to property worth £100 P.A.. as a result only 21 people of the 14000 strong population of Bute could vote in 1831.
in boroughs, the situation was far less clear cut. a mixture of ancient privileges and eccentricity dictated who could vote in borough elections. whilst some allowed a large section of the population to vote, others were more restrictive. in Pottwalloper Boroughs (e.g. Tauton) anyone who owned a house with a fireplace to boil a pot qualified. In Scot and Lot boroughs any man who paid local rates qualified. but in corporation boroughs only the corporation/ town council were allowed to vote. over 90% of thid type of borough had less than 50 voters. this meant that there was no uniform system, so it was unfair and undemocratic and in need of uniformity.
plural voting - could vote in every constituency where they owned property valuable enough to qualify for the franchise. given that elections lasted for two weeks, this gave the elite influence over the system, representative of their interests but nobody elses.
size of the electorate - thevarious qualifications meant that before 1832, only about 11% of adult men held the right to vote. women couldn't vote at all.
Distribution of seats before 1832
inequalities of constituency size - each county returned two MPs to parliament, regardless of geographical size and population. this created glaring inequalities. in the meantime, whilst 55% of english voters voted in county seats, only 16% of englands seats were for the counties
overrepresentation of the south - The industrial revolution meant that the economy had shifted North, and there were new industrial towns, to match the new coal mines, mill towns. However manchester, Leeds (123k people), Sheffield or Birmingham had no seat in parliament meant that the north was underprepresented, and the south ws over represented in relation to ints contribution to the wealth of the nation. this was because the boundaries were drawn up at a time when national prosperity was based on agriculture in the south.Thus, whilst cornwallreturned 42 Mps for 300k people, lancashire returned 14MPs for 1.3 million people.
inequalities of the union - the counties of scotland and wales only sent 1 MP, and those who voted for the county seats had to have property worth £100 p.a. the same thing for boroughs. this meant that scotland and wales were seriously underrepresented.
rotton boroughs - these were places that were thriving arket towns or ports but had gradually decayed, perhaps to coastal erosion, in the case of Dunwich, or economic changes, like Old Sarum. none of them had more than 50 voters but returned two MPS.
pocket boroughs -one employer dominated the voters’ interests, and so could rely on their candidate winning. These constituencies were sometimes even put up for sale with the right to choose an MP included.
the absence of the secret ballot - votes werent cast by secretballot but by calling the name of their preferred candidates in the husting. this would be recorded in a poll book which anyone could look at. as a result, voters were not free to vote as their conscience dictated but had to opt for the candidate preferred by their land lord or employer or face eviction or dismissal. There was also bribery and blackmail to vote for a candidate.
birbery and corruption - candidates spent huge amounts of money bribing undecided voters with cash gifts, free beer or the promise of employment. in 1808 a by election in lincoln is said to have cost a candidate upwards of £25k. they. were held in a carnival like atmosphere with violence etc. pocket boroughs were controlled by members of the aristocracy and could be sold to the hgihest bidder or used to ensure that parliament would support their interests. the duke of newcastle controlled elections in a number of boroughs and could simply choose an MP for himself since he owned so much property and the majority of voters lived on his land or worked on it. this meant that there was no point opposing the owner of pocket boroughs because there would be no chance of winning. in 1831 no more than 30% of seats were coontested.
elections were held every 7 years. this permitted the MPs to ignore the wishes of their voters for several years at a time, before the need to please revived.
traditional view (Brock) - none of these abuses were new. the system was increasingly ill-reupte, not because it was growing in corruption but because it was more known. incidents that once went unnoticed were being published in newspapers. standards of public conduct were rising.
revisionist view (O'Gorman) - the pre-1832 system has been misunderstood and unfairly demonised, because it has been judged by modern standards. instead it must be evaluated within the context of its time. he points to the energetic and uncontrollable activity which took place in many constituencies at election time, including the acive participation of those not eligible to vote, as evidence of the fact that elections were not regarded as foregone conclusions. voters themselvesfelt they were exercising a high degree of independent choice. it seems that the system was actually more representative and participatory and less corrupt, which helps to understand why the system change proved so difficult. however this biew is based on unrepresentative boroughs with fairly large electorates, meaning that it cant be generalisable.
Why did the demand for reform revive after 1829?
- the collapse of the tory government in November 1830 as a result of bitter divisions within the party between ultras led by Wellingotn and Peel and determined to retain the existing political system, and the liberals under Canning and in favour of CE and p reform. many canningites had already refused to serve under wellington in 1828, knowing his refusal to consider p reform, and he had alienated the Ultras by granting CE. consequently, with relationships severely strained, and Wellingtons announcement in 1830 that he saw no need for electoral reform, it destroyed the party. this opened the way to reform. the tories were driven by considerations of self interest but also a geniune fear that even moderate reform could lead to a revolution and the destruction of the existing system, they also saw little wrong with the existing system, as they believed in the principle of representation by interest group rather than population and argued ownership of property were the hallmarks of britains successful system.
- the effects of catholic emancipation - it acted as a major boost to those who favoured electoral reform - it demonstrated the effectiveness of peaceful tactics combined with the threat of violence. it proved that royal opposition was no longer an obsticle to significant reform as George IV, who opposed electoral reform and also catholic emancipation bit had been forced to concede. it had split the tory party and weakened their ability to resist reform. many ultras believed that the nation was opposed to CE, so had parliament been representative of the poeples interests, it wouldnt have been passed. this led to them supporting P reform to reduce the number of pocket boroughs. it had shown there were men in parliament who would support further amends to the constitution.
why did the demands for reform revive?
- the revival of the whigs: it coincided with the decline of the tory party. although they weren't democratis, the whigs were more enthusiastic about ennacting cautious reform than the tories. they believed thta moderate reforms were necessary to preserve all that was good about the existing system, rather than destroy it. Grey, their leader, believed the existing system was out of date and that the newly propertied middle classes must be given the vote in order to avoid chaos and anarchy. in short, they believed it was necessary to avoid revolution. Although they were predominently aristocratic in social background, a significant number were drawn from the rising middle classes whose fortunes were based on participation in undustry. this ensured the whigs were more in tune with the new forces, and more sympathetic to reform.
- the fall of Charles X - he had refused to consider any measure of political reform. in an attempts to block demands for change, he refused to acknowledge the electoral gains maid by the liberal opposition in 1829 but this merely served to strenghthen the liberal vote. in response charle dissoling the french parliament before it had even met and announced fresh elections under a heavily reduced electorate. his intention was to undermine the liberal opposition but the effect was to trigger a revolution in Paris, in the same month, in which he was overthrown (July 1830). those who were unhappy with the british electoral system were now able to argue that if the french monarchy had been toppled because of its failure to recognise genuine popular grievences, there was a potential for the same thing in Britain.
why did the demand for reform revive?
- the death of George IV in June 1830 - he had been a staunch opponent of catholic emancipation and electoral reform, but his brother, although not an enthusiast, recognised the need to remedy the worst excesses of the existing system. it led to an election which strengthened whig favour showing popular opinion was for reform. many candidates who declared themselves against reform were defeated, including long standing MPs like Gooch. unlikely candidates who supported reform were elected, such as Brougham. this demonstrated the strength of the pro reform sentiment. this also weakened the tory party because it resulted in a reduction of its supporters.
- the return of hunger politics - violence from the Swing riots 1830 - 1832. these were rural protests by agricultural labourers in the south of england about low wages, high prices,bad poor law allowences and high unemploymen. the hardship was attributed to the introduction of new farming rquipment, such as steam powered threshing machines. machines were broken, farmbuildings and hay stacks burnt and robbery and rioting widespread. this raised fears about the liklihood of revolution, particularly as some campaigners linked their demands to electoral reform. driven by hubger and desperation, many members of the working class deduced that the existing system was unable to provide for their basic needs. tricolour flags were spotted at the opening of the liverpool-manchester railway in sep 1830, and the state visit of george IV to london had been suspended in 29 amid concerns about safety.
why did the demand for reform revive?
- the formation of a political alliance between the middle and working classes - in 1829, Attwood set up the Birmingham political union to agitate for electoral reform. this was a union of the lower and middle classes of people and proved to be successful in raising the profile of the reform issue through rallies and petitions. its emphasis on legal and peaceful protest helped to attract mc members, whilst giving the government no reason to suppress it, but it also won support of workers because it seemed the only peaceful way to achieve social reform. this alliance enabled advocated of reform to organise a powerful programme of agitation. it also convinced many politicians of the need forr reform, as they realised it would be difficult to defy their wishes. it is often said to be the aim of Grey to split this alliance and convince the middle class elements that their future was assured by sopport for moderate reform. However, whilst oplitical unions emerged across the country, brmigham was one of the oly places where m and wc were united in one organisation. in LEeds, for example, there were three seperate organisations campaigning for reform. Place founded the national political union, but it wasn't as well intergrated as the birmingham one. the leeds radical political union were anti capitalist but through petitions, mass meeting and riots they all demanded reform. although men like Attwood spoke out against violence, there was threatening undertone that britain could be on the edge of a revolution if demands were ignored.
- economic impacts - industrialisation middle class growing they believed they had a right to a share of power. they weren't best served in the hands of the landed aristocracy - different interests.
- the impact of radicalism - the french rev with its stress on lberty, equality and fraternity had inspired a number of men to demand change in britain. these men were known as the radicals. anlthough not an organised group, radicals shared a common commitment to reforming the political system and improving the lives of the working classes. Hunt, Place, and Cobbett werethe main. as of their work in organising mass meetings, marches, and demonstrations, radical ideas gradually spread, and gained support of wc, mc, humanitarians and some industrialists. cobbetts political register spread the message that attacked the old corruption.
What were contemporary attitudes to reform?
the defence of the system - Burke - the fact that it survived for centuries is a clear indication that it works, and its nature helped to ensure stability. the demands for a more democratic society in frane ended in chaos and terror. the system is more democratic and representative than it appears - all significant interests in society, such as the ancient towns, church of england, universities etc. meanwhile, the rich represent the poor. so long as a persons interests are accounted for in parliament, he doesn not need his own vote.
Tory Landowners - it is under this system that Britain became a properous and powerful nation. that is justification of its continuance. the rotten boroguhs played an invaluable role in introduicng new talent to parliament. they thought that power should be left in th nads of great landowning families as they have been involved in govt for several generations and educated for its responsibility
the demand for reform - the industrial revolution meant the middle classes were growing in economic prosperity. they had economic power, but lacked political power, yet it is in their factories that the nations fortunes are made. they have too much to lose so can be trusted. political philospjers such as bentham advocated a reform of parliament as this whould provide the greatest happiness of the greatest number.
working classes - believed that the politicians are in it for self interest and dont care about the working classes - the passage of the corn laws and game law under LL are evidence of that - interests of UC at expense of the poor. the liberal tories neer did anything about overcrowding or insanitary conditions. even though britain is getting richer it isnt making any difference to their lives, the only way they can change things is if they get the vote.
The motives of the whigs
- break the middle and working class allianceto create one with the upper and middle class. with property, the MC have a stake in society so will be more careful with what they choose because it will have consequences so they will be less rash and can be trusted.
- protect the existing system by strengthening it and maintain it by making new forms of property.
- prevent revolution - got to reform else the system will come crashing down. unrest in the form of the swing riots 1830 - 32 was a result of distress and demanded p reform to introduce social reform. so by reforming a little everyone will settle down.
- genuine commitment to reform - for grey it was the only secure route to political stability, however, melbourne was against reform.
- cynical attempt to gain political advanatge - gain votes - out of office since 1807. in the 1830 election, the Whigs gained MPs such as Brougham who were for reform, and the tories lost out as they were against reform. the tories held most pocket broroughs so by abolishing them, they will also gain more spporters. and by introducing reform everyone will get excited, so even if the whigs fall, tories wont be able to take over unless they introduce reform as the people wont allow it.
Main features of the reform crisis:
grey said that the whigs didnt cause the excitement about reform, theyfound it in full vigour when they came to office. the whigs were keen to avoid a worse scenario of the breakdown of law and order and revolution. the question facing the new government was how to find a balance between preserving the old system and securing social peace ad public order. they wanted to satisfy all reasonable demands and remove all rational grounds for complaint from the minds of the intelligent and independent portion of society. this shows that it was their aim to exclude the working class from the beginning.
the frist reform bill was defeated because the commons were alarmed at the proposals which included redistributing 100 rotton and pocket boroughs, which also included a £10 qualification in the borough. there had been some discussion of a secret ballot, but this was dropped by pressure from the aristocracy. Attwood and the political union welcomed the proposals because they would retain the alliance between the mc and wc. however the wc had already seen that the qualification meant a large proportion of the wc wouldn't receive the vote. it passed its second reading in the commons by one vote, but was defeated at the committee stage. Grey took the initiative and called a general election in April 1831, which became a national referendum ont he issue of reform, which came back in triumph for grey. ALthough the tories held o to some of the rotten boroughs, the whigs increased their support in the counties, and were returned with a majoirty of 130. Grey took this as a signal to continue with reform plans and a second bill was drawn up.
the second reform bill
a slight amended bill was introduced in the summer of 1831 annd by september it had passed through the commons and committee stages, before reaching the HoL. the lords were dominated by tory peers, who were opposed to changing the eelectoral system. they regarded the bill as the first taste of democracy, equating changes in the commons to changes in the Lords later on. Grey realised that if any billwas to become law it had to be successfully passed through the lords. the lords held an absolute veto, and in october the second vote was defeated by 41 votes. this led to the duke of wellington and newcastles houses being attacked, and serious rioting and the destruction in bristol was out of control
the introduction of a third bill in december1831. by this time the whig majoirty had risen to 162, but more importantly the anti reformers in the lords now only have a majority of 9. this could only realistically be overcome if william iv created whig peers to neutralise tory influence. the rejection of the second bill provoked a wave of rioting and violence across the country. riots took place in Newark, Derby and Nottingham and an anti-reformers carriage was attacked in Darlington. LArge scale protest meetings were held in big cities, in Bristol, the jails were thrown open, bishops palace burnt and houses and shops looted. it took three cavalry troops to restore order at at least 12 people were killed. when it was defeated at the committee stage after some tory amendment, grey asked the king to create around 50 new peers, to push through the reform. deeming the number unreasonable, William refused so Grey resigned.
Days of May crisis
after Grey resigned for not creating whig peers, William initially asked Peel to form a tory administration. However he declined as he was unwilling to alter his opposition to reform. in light of this, the king had little choice but to offer the post to wellinton. He was known to oppose reform so there was a public outcry which reached revolutionary pitch - mass demonstrations in birmingham by the national union organised by Atwood. in London, Place's political union urged a run on banks which would cause the collapse of the banking system as they would be unable to meet their debts, refusal to pay tax and a proposed takeover of local government. in the events, welligntons attempts to form a government proved useless. william iv was now prepared to agree to the creation of new peersto sole a major constitutional crisis. the king asked grey to forma ministry. under the most severe public pressure, the anti reform stance collapsed completely and the threat of the creation of th new peers was enough to convince the lords they had to give way. most of the tory peers abstained and the bill was passed in its third reading by 106 - 22. on the 7th june it received its royal assent.
was Britain on the Brink of revolution in 1830 - 1
revolutions usually occur when political change fails to respond to economic distress. criticism of any unpopular regime usually has economic motives, and this was certainly the case in 1830. the mounting pressure to change the unrepresentative electoral system was made worse by economic deterioration caused by high food prices, harvest failure and unemployment.
the case for - the defeat of the second reform bill caused widespread unrest. the historian EP Thompson claimed that britain was close to a revolution. the publics high expectations had been badly let down by the lords who were regarded as being out of touch with the publics wishes. this defiant gesture by a small grouping provoked an immediate outburst all over the country. As well as pressure from the birmingham political union, Place made london the centre oopposotion to the lords but not the whig government. there were violent protests throughout the country. many members of the lords identified with anti reform, were attacked as mob rule threatened to overrun the country. some anglican bishops were attacked for their decision to vote against the bill. riots spread and incidents occured in Newark, Derby and Nottingham. The most serious in Bristol. it took around 2 cavalry troops to restore order and many were killed with 400 injured. the only thing that prevented full time revolution at this stage was the governments desire to proceed with reform. this meant that when Grey resigned and Wellington stepped in, unrest increased in the days of may crisis - run on banks and failure to pay taxes. - serious economic effects as well as political.
the terms of the act - the borough franchise was made uniform -10 houseolder - 1/6 could now vote
redistribution - 56 rotten boroughs lost both mps, 22 new boeoughs created - previously didnt have one like birmihghan with two mps and large counties gained extra seats.
voting still took place in hustings. the counties were still dominated by landed gentry, and their position had been strengthened with some redistribution of seats to the larger couties. and many large industrial centres were still under represented. the class composition of the commons didnt alter a decade later 70% of mps were still landed. the vast majoirty of th population didnt have the vote.
the case against close to revolution
the whig detemrination to proceed with eform regardless of the opposition in tories and the king must be regarded as the most important reason. Grey was enough of a politician to realise that the defeat of the first to bills and the public disturbances that followed would increase the desire for reform. public opinion was something he wad acutely awareof, but as always, his intention was reforming to preseve rather than letting the floodgates open to democracy.
the decision in May 1832 to allow the third bill through the lords was a momentous one. the upper house had been a constant brake on change but their decision to absent themselves deserves praise.
the violence of the period also proved too much for the fragile alliance between middle and working classes. once the terms of the act became clear, the artisans under attwood signified their disapproval of the radical element of the working clases. this split the reform movement and made the motential for armed revolution much easier to control.
why was rform passed? external threat of revolution/ public pressure, role of the king - respond to circumstances, determination of the whigs/ grey, tory divisions, self interest of the tory peers however problems still existed, voting took place in public - bribery still existed, counties were dominated by landed gentry whose position was strengthened by the redistribution of seats to the counties. many large industrial centres were still under represented, class composition of commons didnt alter, the wc who had helped ring reform were excluded.
it proved an important landmark in parliamentary reform as it pin pointed the start of britains move toward democracy. this wasn't the whig intention. preserve the system because by being run by the landed - vested interest in maintaining stability and social order. many of the whigs sat on the lords and didnt want o threaten their own position.
they defended their position by involving the commercial and industrial interest along side landed interest.
the consequences of the great reform act
the enfranchisement of the 'respectable classes' - those who qualifie for the £10 householder franchise. these included businessmen, shopkeepers and some skilled craftsmen. it had the desired effect of splitting the alliance between the mc and wc. contemprary mc newspapers such as the leeds mercury and manchester guardian received the news of reform with 'strong emotions of joy and hope'. yet there was no influx of mc mps into parliament, as local politics were seen to be far more rewarding than the task of central government, moreover they couldnt afford the cost of being an MP. there was no salary, and with parliament sitting for most of the year it was seen as a full time job. the composition of parliament thus remained largely unaltered. the aristocracy continued to exert an enormous influence on events.
the poor mans guardian, a mouthpece of radicalism, was corret when it claimed in 1832, the millions will no stop at shadows but proceed onwards to realities. the working class felt betrayed about the terms of the 1832 reform act. the whigs made no attempts to deny that the £10 test was designed to exclude the lower classes from the vote. they believed that the bill was a trick to strenfthen the exclusiveness of the constitution. this sense of disapointment led to further demands for reform in the form of chartists, however there was no alliance between the mc.
the profile of the commons was strenghtened as a result of reform. the crisis revealed the power a determined government posessed, especially when armed with the majoirty in the comons and backed by public opinion, to overcome the opposition of the nobility and moanrchy. the abolition of pocket boroughs reduced the lords scope for exercising their patronage in choosing representatives in the commons. this over-estimates the impact on parliament. the aristocracy continued to have a strong and influential role in affaires. the lack of secret ballot meant that corruption continued.
consequences of the reform act
the act restricted the power of the crown in influencing events in aprliament. rotten and pocket broroughs had been a powerful source of royal patronage in the commons. in addition, the crisis revealed the failure of the monarchy to dliver a majoirty in parliament at a time of crisis - willian IV was forced to rely on grey after wellintons failure to form a ministry. put simply, a ministry now could survive without the support of the crown and lords, but not without the support of the commons
the reform increased the possibility of a two-party system. the act made provisions for the registration of voters who had to enrol to qualify for, and satisfy, the £10 property qualification. the result was that both the whigs and the tories had to organise themselves on a national basis and be acutely aware of public opinion by way of local party managers. the establishment of the tory carlton club by bonham and the whig reform club 1836 was a further impetus to this trend. scotland and wales and ireland increased their representation, and any contested election in these countries tended to be won by the whigs, who fradually built up their support outside of the southern counties. even so, the influence of independent mps continued to be considerable and in many constiuencies, local rather than national issues tended to dominate.
changes and continuities with reform 1832
size of the electorate - the amount of adult men who could vote rose from 1 in 10 to 1 in 5. in scotland, althou only aroun 1 in 8 could vote thhis was a dramatic increase and meant the prospect of real elections existed for the first time. to avoid enfranchising catholic peasants only 5% of irishmen were entitled the vote. it was still property based which meant plural voting continued. house value varied around the country which meant that so did the amount of people. in london, where rental values were high, many skilled workers qualified, elsewhere, even mc shopkeepers were denied the vote. in some of the boroughs, less people could vote than previosuly due to making the voting qualification uniform e.g. preston and Coventry.
the open ballot - few people were able to vote according to their conscience. land, employment business all dictated how they would bot. bribery and treating continued, and the boroughs of lancatser and st albans were notorious for electoral corruption. votes were sold - £7 in sudbury.
the electoral practices continued to be conducted in a violent and carnival like atmosphere, with hustings being pelted. military control was often needed and it was a place for crime. the wc continued to indirectly participate.
the redistribution of seats - it was extensive and removed a number of the worst anomalies (56 rotton broughs were dissenfranchised and their seats given to new industrial towns like birmingham, manchester and leeds) the system remained unequal and there was no attempt to achieve demoncracy. 31 boroughs still had fewer than 300 registered voters. doncaster gained no seats despite having a population of 10k. scotland had 3x the opulation of wales, but less than twice as many seats.
changes and continuities reform 1832
the continuance of an aristocratic government - between 70-80% of MPs represented the landed interest, and the type of candidate that became MP changed little. the middle classes remained underrepresented because of economic factors - mps unpaid, local politics - more interested in local politics, psychological factors - they wanted recognition from the aritocracy that they earned the right to vote, they didnt want to take over from them, they proved to be a conservative force. the working class continued to be denied the vote. they went to Greys meetings.
party organisation - the complexity of the property qualifications meant that eligibility claims were challenged in the courts set up to deal with disputes. in order to boost electoral success rates, politicins now had to try and ensure they were registered which resulted in greater party organisation on the national basis to gain supporters and get voters registered. this was achieved throgh central organisations to maage funds - Carlton club for tories - the whig reform club and the creation of local party organisations to get voters reistered. the need to be more organised meant that political parties had to become aware of public opinion and more rsponsive to it, and led to the strengthening of the party system, and slightly reduced the influence of independent Mps
it provided a precedent for further change.
What were the causes of chartism?
· Economic origins: based on knife and fork issues. Working conditions and living conditions in the growing towns were awful. The eco hardship was from the transformation of Britain into an industrial society: factory discipline such as low wages, periodic unemployment, long hours and bad working conditions – Chartism reached its peak during economic depressions e.g in 1838 a trade depression coincided with poor harvests which pushed up the bread prices, fueled further discontent. Chartism was strongest in areas which were undergoing change through industrialisation – threatened income and social status – artisan jobs were being mechanised. This was proved by the plug plot rioters in Manchester who merely temporarily stopped the machines and did not break them up like the earlier Luddites. Tax fell mainly on the poor in indirect taxes – 16% of real wages was tax.
· Disappointment with the 1832 Reform Act: only 700k more people got the vote. Many of the WC supported Greys reform act so when the £10 property qualification was introduced it deliberately and openly excluded the WC so they felt betrayed and alienated by the political system. Also, the continuance of the pocket boroughs, and bribery rendered the vote useless of people in places where property value was high so had the vote. In some places such as Middlesex people who used to have to vote now were excluded due to the qualification.
· Opposition to the Whig social legislation: The new poor law (1834) had abolished outdoor relief for the able bodied poor and told the poor it was their own fault through laziness. The reforms introduced did nothing to help with the working class plight. For example the factory act didn’t achieve the limit of a 10 hour day. Conditions were still poor so it was felt that something had to be done but the Whig government was callous and unfeeling. The poor was afraid of the workhouse.
· The limitations of Trade Unionism: expansion of trade unions alarmed the government because there is a development of general unions that aren’t trade specific. This creates a coordinated group with a large membership. To stop this, the government clamped down (e.g tolpuddle martyrs) with harsh sentences which sends a clear message that they won’t stand trade unions. The working man believed all his previous movements had failed because he was a political nobody and so this was a major reason to the rise of Chartism.they were frustrated by the failure of Robert Owens grand national consolidated trade unions in 1835, whichended the oped of labouring men organising themsleves legally to negotiate better working conditions. the factory act had eleased their children from intolerable working hours, but had led to an increase in adult working hours.
· The continuing tradition of radical politics: the demand for reform wasn’t new and neither were the reforms that the Chartists were requesting meaning that they had a readymade support base. they were encouraged by mc radicals such as Fielden and OAstler, and other radicals disenchanted with the limited nature of the government reform, to organise themselves to fight for political rights.
· The unstamped press: this created an environment of discussion because there were more political publications that gave Chartism a bigger audience. By finding away to avoid the stamp it made it cheaper to spread their message. It led to the lowering of the stamp price so they could spread their message legally. In 1837 O’Conner started publishing the Northern star that campaigned for better wages and living standards.
background and aims of chartism
· It was a movement for parliamentary reform which ran from 1838-58.
· It was supported by hundreds of thousands of working class people across the country who believed that unless they organised themselves effectively their grievances would continue to be ignored.
· They saw parliament as the key to the problem, until the HoC contained a large number of working class MPs or MPs who directly represented them, the workers would never be able to improve their conditions. Thus they wanted the workers to obtain the vote, to get representation.
· It started with an alliance between the London’s Working Mens association and the Birmingham political union led by Attwood, which led to the growth of a nationwide movement. the london working mens association was established in 1836 with a reformist political programme. two key figures were Lovett and Place. they created the charter
· The aims of Chartism were expressed through 6 points of the ‘Peoples Charter’ (Lovett’s idea):
- 1. The vote for all males over 21
- 2. The secret ballot - 1872
- 3. Equality of constituency size - 1885
- 4. No property qualifications for MPs
- 5. Annual Parliaments
- 6. Payment of MPs
· These aims would make the government accountable to the working class and allow the working class to be part of the government, make people vote according to their own wishes not that of their employers/ landowners etc., make the government more representative with less bribery and make the government responsive throughout their time in office.
methods used by chartism
1. The first petition 1839: 1.3million signatures but Parliament refused to receive it by a clear majority (235:46). As they couldn’t agree on what they would do if the petition failed it was up to localities. This led to the physical force supporters to seize the initiative. This led to a failed Chartist rebellion in Newport, South Wales in November 1839, led by John Frost.
2. The second petition 1842: the return of an economic recession which caused a spike in unemployment meant a second petition was drawn up. It received 3.3 million signatures but Parliament still refused to receive it (287:49). There prompted a wave of violence and there were strikes across the north of England and Scotland (the 'Plug Plot riots'.)
3. The third petition 1848: created with 5 points after O’conner was elected MP for Nottingham in July. By the time of completion it had almost 6 million signatures (however it was closer to 2 million after forgery was taken into account). The Chartists organised a mass open air rally on 10th April as a prelude to a mass procession to present the petition, but the government banned the match and said only 10 people would be permitted to enter the capital to submit the petition. The parliament rejected the petition with a huge majority. Only 14 MPs supported it.
methods used by chartism
- New port rising: 1839, as a result of no central direction, 10k men marched on a hotel. They were armed with pikes and firearms and marched in cose military formation, they wanted to release a local chartist leader from gaol. Other intentions include a uprising that would create a republic. As a result of spies, the authorities knew what they were planning so had positioned troops inside the hotel. 20 – 30 conspirators were killed. After this there was a lull in activity because the incident meant the government imprisoned a number of leaders including Lovett and O’Conner, and there was a revival in trade.
- The Plug Plots 1842: A strike starting in Ashton-Under-Lyne quickly spread to other industrial towns, where boiler plugs of steam engines were knocked out to prevent factories and other works from operating. It was regarded by the authorities as subversive and conspiratorial, but it acted as a rallying call for the Chartist supporters. Through this 19 Lancashire towns were soon paralysed, and 29 factories were brought to a standstill in Yorkshire. Leadership was too divided to take full advantage of the situation and Peels new local police forces dealt firmly and quickly with the unrest and they accused chartist leadership of organising the strike which gave it justification they need to move against the Chartists. There were harsh sentences and as a result it failed.
methods used by chartism
- The land plan 1847: founded by O’Conner. The chartists lost sense of direction and became involved in economic rather than political issues. It would raise funds by selling shares in the Society and then use the money to purchase country estates. These would be let out to families to revert society back to farming rather than industrial. It had major economic difficulties with O’Conner making a mess of the finances and it only settled 250 families. However they found that they didn’t know how to farm, and the plots were too small with bad land to support families so it was unsuccessful in that sense too.
- Rally/ mass meeting 1848: this was a prelude to a mass procession to Westminster to present the petition. However the government acted and only allowed 10 people into the capital to present the petition. The Rally was a complete flop, with heavy rain dampening Chartist spirits and keeping many away. No attempt was made to storm parliament since it would have been difficult to get over the bridge crossing the river Thames.
- Political organisations: the most significant being the new charter association founded in 1840. This provided central organisation that the movement previously lacked. The national structure ensured that the localities were well represented – by April 1842 there were 400 of such organisations – membership reaching 50k
- Education – Lovett stressed the links between education and chartism. Political change couldn’t come about without an educated public. He had been attracted to the no violent appwal of the movement. To men like O’Conner this was unacceptable and by 1843, personal dislike and division over future policy forced Lovett out of the movement.
why did chartism fail?
· Divisions within Chartism and weak leadership:
1. The movement wasn’t coordinated as the chartist movement tended to operate in isolation.
2. There were serious rivalry and clashes of personality between the movement’s leaders which hampered their ability to pursue a coherent connected strategy. The inability of Lovett and O’Conner to work effectively together led to a division over aims. the composition of the chartist movement was varied from the very beginning and drew support from several different protest groups. it had been suggested that for a movement encompassing a variety of groups and aims, to have a strong leadership was viertually impossible there was considerable differences of opinion on how the charter was to be achieved. after the newport rising, Lovett lost ground as leader and was replaced by O'Conner.
3. They were also divided over tactics. Lovett called for the use of moral force, emphasising no-violent protest and education of the working classes and cooperation with the middle class pressure groups as the best way to achieve their aims. he belieed that education was essential to deal effectively with social and political problems. Atwood also followed a moderate line and advocated a strategy of petitioning parliament. O’Conner, editor of the northern star called for physical force where peaceful campaign failed. This led to a lack of tactical direction e.g. in 1839 when they couldn’t decide on what to do if the first petition failed. the physical force element siezed the initiatve in the newport rising - stemmed from the discontent of appalling working conditions in the coal mines and iron foundries as a result chartists were killed, imprisoned and the movement seemed to lose impetus.
· Problems with Chartist aims
1. The Chartist tried to achieve too many aims. This meant that they didn’t concentrate on few aims which meant it was easy for the government to divide and overrule. This also confused people as they were trying to achieve too much at once. (in comparison with Anti Corn law league which knew what it wanted and didn’t stop until they got it.) the land plan etc.
2. It was too forwards thinking for the time. Parliament and the Upper classes weren’t willing to give up their power to the Working classes.
3. It is a movement before its time. They said it represented a coherent working class however a united working class hadn’t yet been founded and there were lots of divisions within the WC, meaning that the Chartists didn’t speak for the whole working class group like they claimed to have done.
· The chartists kept failing to achieve their goals so they lost support.
1. They had weak tactics. In their assumption that they could batter down on aristocratic prejudice and authority with legal petitions, they proved themselves naïve, and were unable to offer an alternative or direction.
2. Repeated failure sapped the momentum of the chartist movement. There wasn’t a widespread belief that success was possible because of how easy it was to be rejected by Parliament.
3. It didn’t have a national support base. It was strongest in the North and weaker in the South.
· Lack of support from the Middle class and parliament.
1. The physical force element of Chartism posed a threat to the property of the MC which meant they were unwilling to support the movement. O’Conner’s attacks on MC as the exploiters of working people, and only acting in self interest in the Repeal of the Corn law to lower wages also alienated their support.
2. The 1832 reform act was successful because it enjoyed considerable support from Parliament. However they believed that reform had gone far enough so weren’t willing to consider further change.
3. The alliance of the MC and WC that had been apparent in the reform bill crisis was absent in this period because the middle class wasn’t willing to share their new found political power with the workers as they would lose their superiority.
4. Grey warned parliament that reform should only be undertaken when its necessity had been fully proven and when it could be controlled by the established institutions of the country. Not because of the existence of continuous public pressure.
· Government strength.
1. The chartist movement said that only when the charter had been enacted, would social problems be addressed. However Parliament proved that wrong through passing the Factory Act (1844), the 10 hour act (1847) and mines act (1842). This weakened the Chartist claim that only a reformed parliament would improve conditions for working people.
2. The repeal of the corn law ushered in a period of low food prices (bread price fell from 11½d in 1847 to 7d in 1850. This increased real wages and facilitated an increase in food consumption and improvement in living standards. This eased despair so people didn’t desire change as they didn’t perceive the system as not working for them.
3. Peels free trade policies between 1841-46 helped stimulate economic growth and prosperity and this eased the economic difficulties which had driven many to chartism in the first place. Once trade revived and employment rose people saw greater potential to achieve improved conditions through the trade union movement which sapped Chartist strengths.
· Government repression.
1. The government outweighed Chartists with force of numbers. On 10th April 1848, Russells government was highly organised to deal with the Kennington Common demonstration and the Capital was well secured with 7k soldiers, 4k police, and 85k special constables. As the movement had no allies in Parliament, it would only succeed with force of numbers but this would clearly not be possible.
2. The national network of police through the rural police act 1839 ensured greater social control and in 1848, the Metropolitan Police, trained in crowd control, were able to disperse riots and threatening crowds in London without military assistance.
3. The government successfully deprived the movement of its leader. After the Newport rising over 500 people were sent to prison for Chartist activities including the leaders Lovett and O’Conner. However they were reasonable with sentences (typically between 12-18 months) which meant they didn’t create martyrs and exploited the tensions between moral and Physical force Chartists.
4. Through the use of Spies and informers the government was always one step ahead of the chartists (as in the Newport rising). They used the expanding railway network to rush troops to troubled localities and subdue disturbances before they got out of hand.
significance of chartism:
· Organisational frameworks were established upon which subsequent working class movements could draw. It was a remarkable achievement for a WC movement at the time to develop such a high degree of communication, organisation and control on such a large scale. Mass meetings such as on Glasgow green (1838) must have taken considerable preparation and planning especially as most went off with no violence.
· It contributed to the development of the working-class political consciousness and social cohesion. Behagg observes through the creation of schools, discussion groups, libraries and churches it created a ‘sense of community’ among the WC.
· It raised awareness of the plight of the poor and awful conitions in which working class people lives and laboured. By focusing attention on the hardship they faced, it pressured government to introduce reforms.
· The failure highlighted the importance to the WC having MC support. It reinforced the need for legal and constitutional methods which would demonstrate respectability of the WC to those in authority (through the promotion of education and sobriety).
changes and continuities reform 1832
- creation of employment - in associated industries - iron industry grew enormously: by 1840 - rails amounted to about 15% of total output. stimulating an export boom that led to the establishment of new ironworks such as Cyfatha. coal output increased to meet the demand for steam engine. there was increase in productivity in brick and timber industries. the new industry needed drivers, guards, signalmen, engineers and a host of station staff. they also needed people to build the railways and the new stations, although the navvies had been involved in the building of canals. they required a sinister reputation for violence and alcoholism. around 300k navies were employed in the railway industry by 1847. many had fled from ireland during the famine and came in search of work and a new life. this had political consequences. large numbers of wc had employment so were distracted from chartism. there were also new careers - lawyers, architects etc.
- reduced journey times - the journey from london to york was almost a day and a half by stagecoach. now it was only 8 hours by train. these lef to other important spinoffs. it broke down local isolation and created an integrated communication network. men and women could now travel to and from work by train so they didnt have to live in the polluted areas, and leasure time excursions became common. Thomas Cook offered his first holiday excursion ticket in 1841.
- the growth of towns and cities - some towns were created for the purpose of servicing the new railway industry. crewe and swindon grew from little villages to major railway centres. the railways also changed their appearance. the subabrbs of the citiesincreased their mc orientation s a result of the improved railway network. and on the coast it created holiday resorts. seaside towns such as blackpool grew.
the impact of railways
the food and retail industry - transport most food quickly and safely so that commodities such as milk could be transported overnight to ensure that it reached its destination in a fresh condition. fish, fresh veg, other diary ensured that businesses would be able to extend their market throughout the country. this led to the growth of the retail industry to meet the new demand for goods. new shops opened through the country which helped break down local isolation, wile ensuring there was never a food shortage confined to a certain area. for the consumer this meant lower pricesand a wider choice.
a change in landscaope - railway architecture - bridged, tunnells etc. were either an eyesore or a welcome addition to the panorama of the countryside. civil engineers made fortunes out of these new developments but many were opposed.
other transport - stagecoach operators were unable to compete with either the reduction in journey times or the comfort that the railway carriage could provide. turnpike trusts were forced to raise tolls in their aeas, this led to large scale protest in the form of the revecca riots in 1843. canals also did badly because the railway companies tended to use them as a means of connecting transport links between routes. in some cases, railway companies bought up shares in a canal company for this purpose. ultimately, railways had ana dvantage in moving goods and providing cheaper faster people transport. by 1850, long distance road traffic had disapeared and canals had become unprofitable. the effect of the railway could be exaggerated. canals continued to carry more freight than the railways for several decades after the 1830s and although long distance road travel virtually disappeared, railways stimulated the growth of short distance road transport such s carrying goods and passengers to and fom stations. initially they were built on a regional basis and often the gauges were different.
impact of railway
other changes: it was responsible for the creation of a more literate public. newspapers printed in london could now be sent by rail directly to different parts of the country so that everybody shared the same news and sense of identity. national political campaigns benefited from the fact that politics was transformed by these developments in transport. groups such as the anti corn law league in the 1840s were especially aware of the positive effect railways could have. the development of the postal service was made easier and letters and ideas could now be circulated to all areas of great britain and a communication revolution had begun. they were also regarded as a great source for technological and scientific prestige and confirmed the view that britain led in scientific advancement. the great exhibition of 1851 was much a celebration of this fact as of anything else. also, railways began british obsession with time keeping on the basis that uniform railway timetables led the change to a common time for all of britain. political campaigners made use of the railways.
The railways passed through areas of poverty so the higher classes could see how the wc was living and then petition for change to improve their lives. this saw an increase in philantropist activity. The postal system was sped up and It also brought unexpected political change as it meant people could travel to spread messages and ideas. It also meant people could travel to organised gatherings so it facilitated communication.The economic and social developments can’t be separated. Originally there was great opposition to the railways and an element of hysteria about the adverse effect on the human body with travelling at speed, but very quickly the railways were embraced. It brought geographical and social mobility with a search for new jobs that aren’t in the local vicinity. Taking a day trip to the coast became a popular social activity.Peel’s minister, Gladstone, was responsible for the 1844 railway act which stipulated that every railway company had to provide a carriage for third class passengers at least once a day and fares should be capped at 1 penny a mile. This was an important reform to a less elitist society.
The amount of railway went from around 10 miles of track in 1832 to over 2k miles of track in 1843 which doubled to 4k in 1846.
why did the railways develop
1. Increased demand – it is a response to industrialisation. Growing demand for coal, to power domestic fires, blast furnaces in iron manufacturing, necessitated the development of a more efficient means of moving bulky goods over long distances. Improved communications would bring new opportunities for the expansion of other industries too by enabling them to access and exploit markets further afield and by facilitating easier access to raw materials used in the production process. This lowers production costs, creating a more competitive product and allows for mass production. The Liverpool to Manchester line was created as a way of transporting raw cotton from Liverpool to Lancashire, and as a result the price of cotton halved.
2. Problems with existing transport - Roads were expensive and unsuitable to move bulky or heavy goods. The Liverpool to Manchester line reduced cost of transporting a ton of cotton from 13d to 3d per mile. Canals were unreliable, freezing in winter, drying up in summer. Queues were likely at lockgates which meant charges were often high.
3. Technological development in other industries – the difficulty of hauling heavy trucks of coal to the surface had resulted in the development in iron rails in the mining industry. The cast iron rails were prone to breaking under the weight of the trucks. In 1820 Birkinshaw developed the strong wroght iron rail that was later used as the norm. the development of steam power to operate machinery prompted progress in an engine design. there was developments to Watts steam engine which led to it being used for railways.
4. The impact of war – created a huge demand for horse to serve in the cavalry which created a shortage of transport devices at home as horses provided the main source of power. inventors were spurred into making the steam locomotive as a practical alternative. It was estimates that 30-40% horses would die during the war.
5. Early successes – the immediate success of the Liverpool to Manchester line which opened in 1830 acted as a major stimulus. people were willing to invest - profit
impact of railways simplified
1. Stimulus to linked industries – the rapid growth stimulated demand in iron and coal to build the tracks and run the trains. But also timber to privde sleepers and building materials to construct stations, signal boxes, bridges etc.
2. The creation of employment– drivers, guardsmen, signal men, station staff were all needed to operate the railways which created permanent opportunities (250k). Temporary employment was also created such as labourers known as navvies to build the new line (300k). this was in a time of unemployment caused by mechanisation in agriculture. It also stimulated demand for products in other industries by creating consumers.
3. Growth of profesisons – surveyors, solicitors, engineers, architects
4. Improved health – it cut journey times which meant fresh produce could be brought into towns and cities which improved nutrition and fortified the body against infection. The speed of transporting bulky items such as coal fell dramatically so lowered prices. This meant wc families could afford more fuel to heat their homes which improved comfort. This meant they could afford to buy a little extra food to increase nourishment.
5. Social improvements – working further out, cut journey times, search for better conditions as employers had to improve them to keep the best workers. The spped and low cost meant wc could venture to different places. Prompted the growth of leasure in other ways such as race meetings, cricket matches.
Spread of literacy and education as it facilitated people with ideas to move around the country.
It prompted greater efficiency as letters, goods and people could be transported quicker. Britain became more competitive which improved prosperity.
Britain was the first nation to establish a railway network which confirmed British superiority which acted as a big boost to national pride. The great exhibition 1851 celebrated this.
6. Landscape changing: tunnels, smoke etc transformed the rural landscape. Some saw this as damaging agriculture and others saw it as signs of improvement of man over nature. New towns were created with the purpose of servicing the new railway industry. It transformed crewe into a village of 200 in 1841 to a town of 18k in 1870. It transformed cities which had impressive central stations and middle class suburbs developed further away from the smoke to unpolluted sites.
7. Homogenisation of culture – it brought a uniform social and political culture. Newspapers printed in London could be sent to other areas in a matter of hours so they were kept up to date. Due to timetabling it created a national time zone which ensured public safety and smooth operation of railways. It is often said that timekeeping became the bitish obsession. It broke down regional barriers which created a more integrated and cohesive community. Provinces were no longer strangers as people moved about more.
has the impact of railways been exaggerated?
no: the fact that britain entered a period of prosperity between 1850 - 1875is due to the growth of the railway industry, as well as the other byporducts and spinoffs asscoaited with railways. social mobility, increased investment opportuntities and the movement towards a more urban society.the historian Court has argued that the level of economic activity in GB is uninteliigible without reference to the railways. Hobsbawm sees the railway booms as saving capitalism by providing investment opportunities and demand for capital goods at a crucial period when the industrial rev based on cotton and iron was over. they claim that the railways relaunched the industrial revolution.
- 1. The boost it gave to social mobility and urbanisation.
- 2. The way it created a more homogenised culture.
- 3. It facilitated industrial growth by connecting centres of manufacturing with sources of raw materials and urban markets.
- 4. It fostered the growth of the capital market, thereby facilitating expansion in other areas of the economy by encouraging largescale investment
- 5. The productivity of british industry was complemented by a cheap and efficient transport system.
has the impact been exaggerated?
yes: they case against the railways isnt challenging the importance of the railways, but instead putting it into context. these historians argue that the railways paly a supporting role to more important industries such as coalmining. they argue that the railways may not havebeen essential to economic growth, they merely built on existing foundations.
- 1. The driving force in the industrial revolution was coal and iron. The railway merely supported these industries
- 2. The economy would have still grown at a remarkable rate, even if the railway had not been developed. Population growth and the competitive edge of Britain by the early stages if the industrial revolution had already facilitated rapid eco expansion.
- 3. Hawke found the railway was only marginally more efficient that the older methods of transport with a social saving of just 7-11%
- 4. The importance if the railway transporting goods has been exaggerated. Canals continued to carry more freight than railways several decades after the 1830s. roads played a vital role in transporting to and from stations.
- 5. Although it opened foreign markets to British goods it also opened domestic markets to foreign competition which proved disastrous to agriculture.
- 6. It accelerated rather than established a number of trends. The residential zoning of cities was already starting before the growth of the railways.
Agriculture and the repeal of the corn laws
- there was more moey available for investment in farming through the success of enclosure. n addition, the price of wheat, which held its price at over sixty shillings a quarter of a few years after 1838 stimulated new capital and expenditure. the cost of poor rates had fallen by almost half, particularly in rural areas, after the introduction of the new poor law, which freed up further income for the farmers to invest.
- improvements in the drainage techniques had an impact on the type of crop sown and the quality of crop when harvested. . steam drainage began to replace windmill drainage wheels and this enabled the land to dry out sufficiently to take wheat instead of the less profitable oats. drainage was cheap and efficient. and one engine could maintain the drainage of 6000 acres. the drainage of heavy clay soils were dealt with the manufacturing of clay title, and this process was given a boost by Peels agricultural drainage act in 1846, which set up loans for farmers to improve field drainage.
- the greater use of fertilisers was encouraged and this contributed to the increase in crop yields. there was wider use of steam powered machines on farms, especially the steam thresher. there were a large number of agricultural societies. clubs, farming journals, newspapers and books appeared in the 1830s and 40s all offering the latest advice and advertising products for better farming
- despite theincreasing prosperity offarmers, the landless agricultural labourers were still among the poorest paid. wages and housing varied in different regions. in the south and eastof scotland, the land was fertile -there was cultural improvement, farms were prosperous and families were relatively well housed. the poorest agricultural labourers were in the south and west of ireland and their existence was challenged in autumn 1845 when there was a famine
famine in ireland
the 1841 censs recorded a poulation of 9 million in ireland. almost all of them lived in small hovels in the countrysid. their mainc crop was the potato and in 1845 a fungus attacked the autumn crop and virtually wiped it all out. it was a disaster for the peasants as most of them had nothing to fall back on. many were starving to death. when there were calls from the anti corn law league, whigs and free traders, for the repeal fo the corn law to prevent humanitarian disaster, the protectionists ridiculed the suggestion there was a crisis. they suggested that the impact of the famine had been exaggerated to persuadegovernment to repeal the corn laws. in theory this would bring down the price of bread, which in the short term could replace the blighted potato and provide food for the starving population.
the majority of the conservative MPs held county seats or small market towns. their main focus was agriculture and farming. the 1841 election had been won on the question of agricultural protection which was under threat by the whig government. this substantial group in peels party opposed peels interference with the corn laws when he introduiced the slifing scale of duties in 1842, and feared that repealing the corn laws would destroy agricultural protection, which they almost saw as a right. they thought it would open the flood gates to cheap foreign corn, which would undercut their price and ruin them. they also argued it would lead to the unemploment of thousands of agricultural labourers, who would fill the towns and create further problems, so it was in the interest of national security to keep the corn laws, to not be dependent on foreign corn in the case of war.
the repeal of the corn laws 1846 - against
· It would damage agriculture – it would cause an influx of cheap grain which would undercut the price of British grain and cause the ruin of farmers. Given agriculture was still the largest employer in the country and this would create mass unemployment and distress, labourers will migrate to towns adding to the problem of overcrowding and social distress.
· It would mean pandering to the selfish motives of the middle classes – who saw it as a way to maximise their profits because it would make cheaper food prices and force down wages of their workers.
· It would undermine aristocratic influence. Peel was regarded as being heavily influenced by the MC anti-corn law league which was being suspected as a plot to undermine aristocratic influence. However it is noted that Peel didn’t want to be seen as giving into WC. It was a pragmatic response
· Repeal was unnecessary as corn prices were low anyway.
· It would amount to unconstitutional behaviour. Peel had been elected in 1841 on a commitment to retain the Corn Law. By abolishing it he is going against the electors. Disraeli argued by betraying the principles he was elected on it was undermining the whole parliamentary system.
in favour of the corn laws repeal
· It would benefit farmers. Free trade would open up opportunities to efficient farmers.
· It would reduce competition from foreign manufacturers. It would ensure sufficient food available for import in the event of harvest failure.
· It would ease the suffering of the masses and reduce the risk of social unrest. If it was abolished, foreign grain could be imported at cheaper rates and so the cost of bread would fall. This would increase value of real wages. Stimulate development in industry by creating greater demand for products and improve standards of living.
· It would facilitate the growth of British industry and so create prosperity. Protective tariffs on wheat had encouraged other countries to impose tariffs against British goods entering their territories which hindered the development of industries/
· It would encourage power to be transferred to middle classes – they saw the anti-corn law league as being the best way of destroying wealth, power and aristocracy.
· It would restore confidence in the political system – boost popularity of landed classes, by proving that they were in touch of the needs of the industrial society and able to govern in the interests of all.
repeal of corn laws impact - whigs
the immediate result of Peels reisgnation was that Russell formed a minority whig administration in 1846. the term liberal didnt come into common use until 1859. there had been no election since 1841, which was when the conservatives had won. this new administration was essentially a coalition between the Whigs, liberals, irish and radicals. the whigs tended to be member sof old aristocratic families, and were traditionally favourable to reform and religious toleration. the liberals tended to come from a different more middle class background than the whigs, favoured a more active role for government in poltiics, and their money came from industry rather than land. (this describes many of the key peelites, which suggests why party divisions became so blurred in this period. Radicals are equally difficult to define. they tended to be those sympathetic to chartism or deeply concerned with single issues, such as factory reform or the removal of religious disabilities. some radicals had strong links with some conservative members. there were other supporters of russell, ranging from the manchester school of free trade econmics to reformers of the edwin chadwick type. there was the potential for a split similar to that suffered by the conservatives in 1846. there were potential splits in ideology, attitude over policies and Russell mist be given credit for holding together such a diverse group. the repeal played an important part in the rise of the liberal, not only giving the office but also seeing to their growth as in indentifiable and understood group in politics. there had been further decline in the influence of the whigs. the days of the aristocratic melbourne etc. were over. the jo of the government was seen as being to legislate to solve great issues of the day, not just to administer. the repeal split was to play a key role in encouraging into the liberal ranks men of ability, experience and talent, of whom the key was Gladstone. without the liberal elements the whig party could easily have disintegrated, as it alone could have got an effective coalition with the radicals and irish. it could be argued that the repeal split played a vital part in the history of the liberal party just as it did with the conservatives
repeal of corn laws impact - peelites and conserva
there was now a new group in politics of the peelites. they had no effective leader as peel, while remaining in politics, provided no leadership. there was no coherant peelite philosophy. these men had been enthusiastic sipporters of peels budgets and legislation of the early 40s. they were closer in their beliefs to russell and his cabinet than to the other conservatives under Disraeli. most of the peelites supported the main measures of the russell administration of 1846 - 1852. there was a bitterness between the two wings of the conservative party.
the conservative party was unprepared for repeal and the biterness that it generated. Peel had offended many of his MPs. He had damaged their income and their status, or so they thought. many of the conservatives felt that parties stood for interests, as opposed to policies and principles, and that those interests should not be sacrificied to expediency, however great the emergency. Peels pragmatism was not popular with those who had put him in power. the rest of the conservatives was in a very differnet situation. protection as in economic issue was dead but many were reluctant to accept that. there was no obvious leader after bentick and he was unsuited to leadership as soon as divisive issues such as religious toleration appeared. Disraeli wasnt an alternative because there were doubts about his sincerity and background. the peelites detested him for his attacks on Peel in 1846, and naturally he was seen as an obstacle to reunification of the party. many of the protectionists were beginning to think Disraeli had used them for his own personal advancement.
impact of the repeal of the corn laws
- The concern about the damaging impact it might have had may have acted to make farmers look at their methods and management to compensate for possible damage.
- Wheat prices did drop briefly between 1848 and 1852, but not enough to seriously concern even those against repeal, as it was an asset to have food prices drop at a time of social unrest.
- The world prices of wheat rose to British levels in the few years after repeal.
- Other agricultural prices rose, some quite rapidly, which more than compensated the farmer for the slight fall in wheat prices.
- The size of the landed interest in the House of Commons fell slightly, but still about 50% of its members in 1868 were directly involved in the management of farming land.
- Any legislation that may have directly or indirectly helped farmers (e.g. cheap gov loans for improvement, or compensation for the arrival of the railway) had an easy passage in parliament, both in the Commons and the Lords.
- There was gradual decline in the power of the landed interest.
- The protectionists' case vanished easily, and Disraeli was aware that his backbenchers hadn't been reduced to poverty when the Conservatives abandoned protection in 1852.
Party realignment 1846
the damage sustained by the conservative party over the repeal of the corn laws in 1846 brought about a significant realignment of the two main political parties.this meant that there were 5 main political groups in parliament: the protectionist conservatives, the peelites, the radicals, the irish, and the whigs. The support of the Irish MPs was split between whichever party they believed would concede to their demands. the radicals generally supported the whigs. The Peelites seemed uncertain whether to fanalise their break with conservatives or return. Blake shows that this uncertainty along witht the widening of the splits between the two sections of the conservative party is key to the onfused and shifting politics of 1850s. the fact that there was nine ministries over 20 years suggests a period of political instability and a clear two party divide seemed unlikely to emerge.
the 1850s were central to the rise of the liberal party. it shed its aristocratic whig image of the 1830s. it gained the reputation of being good at handling public finance and administration, and of competence and integrity. it became a progressive party with increasignly popular ideas and was learning to market them to the electorate. its foreign policy was popular, and palmerston ensured that it was well advocated. its laissez-faire policies was in tune with popular opinion, but its willingness to undertake reform in areas covering education, sanitation, civil service and parliament shows its sensitivity to public opinion.
the liberal party
it gained a good electoral base in the boroughs - the growth of towns in the period reduce the conservative rural vote. the cabinet reflected well the political nation and its hopes and ambitions as well as the diversity of opinions. there were radicals, as well as businessmen and lawyers, aristocrats and philosophers such as John Stuart Mill.Cobden and Bright were both liberal MPs. it didnt support democracy but it was seen by many of the british people at the time of palmerstons death as being the party of nusiness sense, moral integrity and administrative efficiency, and one which they would vote for.
other historins have been more critical of the party - arguing that it was little more than a series of fragile coalitions. they see the liberals as undertaking a series of shifts and compromises that betrayed the liberal impulses of a coherant purpose. there was no evident intention under palmerston of creating a nationally organised party. some feel that the liberal party was a group of ambitious men doing deals for selfish reasons in order to get in power and stay there. the party came together in 1859 to destroy Derby's government. they key figures, Palmerston and Russell, were men who worked together as the alternative was opposition. they, given their huge political differences in areas such as p reform, and role of the state, had no business to be working together.
Gladstone gets more coverage than Palmerston in domestic matters yet wasnt in office between 1855-59. in 1855 Gladstone. many argue this refusal together with the rest of the peelites, was a key reason for political instability of the period. return ot the conservative party in 1855 was not possible as Disraeli stood in the way, and memories of him savaging the budget in 1852 were still strong. Gladstone neither liked nor trusted Palmerston and dissaproved of his foreign policy and private life. Gladstone also made some political errors between 1855 - 1859. he failed to realise Palmerstones hold over the political scene. the fact there was no alternative escaped Gladstone, and he was shocked by Ps victory in the 1857 election. he opposed several key measures by the whig cabinet in the 1855 - 58 period such as the divorce bill. also, his lukewarm attitude to disraelis reform bill wasnt good which meant that his career looked dstined to end unless he was prepared to compromise and join with one of the existing political groups.
What role did Gladstone play in the liberal party?
there are differing views among historians about precisely what led to it, and Gladstones role. some historians argue that he didnt play a very significant one, and it was purely a cynical attempt to gain political advantage and destroy derby and disraeli. others believe it was a deliberate consolidation of various liberal groups.
some historians believe it was Gladstone who pulled tgether the whigs and radicals. his family background (mc) and personality made him a natural candidate for a key role in such an alliance. Personal ambition also plays a part in why Gladstone joined up with Palmerston.
the 1832 reform act had strengthened the concept of representative government and made it more democratic (slightly). the continuing creation of welth and growth of prosperity in Britain through industrrialisation was gradually increasing the size of the electorate, as more men met the property reqiurements if 1832. there was a question over whether the monarchy would survive. When queen victoria came to the throne in 1837, the monarchy was unpopular and members of the royal family were lampooned mercilessly for the vulgarity, low morals, extravagance, and stupidity. in fact, the monarchy flourished under queen victoria, who, through her personal integrity restores some if its dignity and popular appeal, although at the same time there were changes in its political function. the position of the monarchy was based on established traditions and political habits, rather than its power being clearly defined. although every piece of legislation still required the consent of the monarch, and the government was carried out by ministers in the name of the monarch, the business of government was carried out for the most part, without royal interference. it had become accepted that the monarch would not interfere in elections and this reduced their influence in the commons. queen vics clash with peel over her whig ladies in the bedchamber crisis 1839 raised the question of the boundries of royal power. royal authoirty was in decline, owever Victoria was never politically neutral and did not accept her position as being merely titular. she took a great interest in government and wielded influence in the appointment of bishops and high rankig army officers
The Gladstonian liberal party
the liberal party was formed in 1859 from the combination of several political groups in parliament - the whigs, liberals, radicals and peelites. although personal differences and political backgrounds divided them, by 1859, they increasingly persued similar aims. the most popular, to remove the minority conservative government led by Lord Derby. it made sense to unite into one political party and mount a stronger challenge against the conservatives. in the 1859 election the liberal party took office with Palmerston as prime minister and Gladstone as chancellor of the exchequer, but it wasnt until 1865 and the death of palmerston that liberalis became firmly established as a political creed. the liberal party then dominated politics under the forceful and inspiring leadership of gladstone.
little remained of the old system of political patronageand so, in the absence of any central party organisation, there was little control over the various groups. there was no compunction to contest seats at election. this situation enabled MPs to act independtly of any party ocnstraints and contributed to regular govt defeats and political instability. however by the 1860s, party organisation was beginning to be regarded as essential in order to pass the increasing aount of legislation with which govts were dealing. the role of MP was gradually becoming more professional with parliament meeting more often and MPs taking more of an interest in the concerns of their constituents. these developments would remain insignificant until the electorate was extended. the second reform act transformed party politics.
the pary was made up of nonconformists, who joined the liberal party to achieve some of their objectives. they excersised influence through the liberation society, which called for the removal of the privileged position of the church of englands as the state church and the preferential treatment enjoyed by anglicans in institutions such as Oxbridge.
the liberal party supported the doctrine of self help. they were influenced by Mill, Bentham and Bagehot. they believed in the liberty and freedom of the individual and religious toleration. they supported frree trade and saw it as a means of creating prosperity ofor all. they upheld the principle of parliamentary government,w ithin a limited democracy. but they accepted that an overhaul of the parliamentary sustem was necessary to relect the changes in the distribution of welth which had occured after the industrial revolution. the development of britain into an urban nonconformist and more secular society was reflected in the growth of liberalism.
Gladstonian liberalism: Gladstone was regarded as one of the leading Peelites. Chancellors from 185 - 185 and again in palmerstons and russells liberal governments, eventually taking over the mantle of liberal leader from Russell. the emergence of the liberal party coincided with the emergence of gladstone to national prominence. Gladstone was renowned for his strong moral principles and religious convictions. he believed in individual liberty and equality of opportunity. Gladstones personal and firmly held beliefs gave weight to the wider liberal beliefs of peace, retrenchment and reform. they centred around his religious devotion and admiration of peel. 'peace, retrenchment and reform became Gladstones catchphrase.
Why did the liberal party win the 1868 election?
it is amazing that they won because: - the issue of p reform had bitterly divided them - the Adullamites opposed the liberal reform bill in 1866 whilst many liberals voted for the conservative bill inn 1867. Disraeli had engineered the reform act to consolidate conservative support by fixing the boundary commission to ensure the removal of urban influence from the countries and restricting the county franchise. - gladstone had assumed the leadership of the liberal party following russels resignation and was deeply unpopular with many whigs.
1. policy - Gladstone proposed to disestablish the irish branch of the church of england, and the 2.promise of land reform in ireland, education reform in Britain, and cheaper more efficient government also helped.
- why did the tory party collapse 1827 - 1830? pressure from the emerging MC, catholic emancipation, accession of William IV, Liverpools absence.
- why did they win the 1841 election? Peels leadership and Party organisation - tamwirth manifesto 1834, Bonham - party clubs (Carlton), use of whips, support of mc, distanced from the ultras, whigs discredited - limp on when no workable majority, bedchamber crisis, not enough reform, public relations failure. rising wc discontent.
- Peel won a majoirty of 76 seats. he didnt have the support from the large industrial boroughs instead it came from english market towns and counties. most conservative MPs retained a traditional outlook and satisfaction with status quo. they were anglican, protectionist.
- for peel, the answer to the problems lays in reviving the economy and achieving national prsperity. his main focus lies in finances, trade and industry not social reform. this would lead to lower costs of living, unemployment and ultimately distress. in his cabinet he had Gladstone, Lord Stanley, Lord Aberdeen (all of which are future PMs).he wanted to create a strong govt with his own interests in efficiency and grogress.
- believed in good government - the correction of proven abuses which appealed to the mc and traditional tory supporters. he regarded the conservatives as a reforming party, rejecting ultras.
Why did Peel introduce social reform?
- 1. the whigs - had set a precedent for reform that future governments couldnt deny and had left a huge defecit of £7.5 million that needed to be sorted.
- 2. peel was worried that the discontent would radicalise workers and lead to violence and disorder. there was a lot of economic distress e.g. the plug plots which manifested itself in chartism and pressured for p reform- they had lots of support and kept social question alive. strikes in the industrial north led to peel perceiving a real danger. stockpiled arms and supplies at his mansion. he realised repression wasn't a long term solution.
- 3. pressure from social reformers - lord ashley (Evangelical), Chadwick (utilitarian) - speeches and journalism.
- 4. Tamworth manifesto - he had pledged himself to solve proven abuses.
- 5. Peel concluded that after seeing the dreadful results of Chadwicks report on Sanitation in 1842 any reform packages must remove the causes of poverty and hardship but also improve working conditions. the report found dirty air, pollited water and inadequate sewerage.
- 6. he had genuine sympathy for the plight of the poor. he tried to address grievances in 1829 and in 1824 he supported the reintroduction of trade unions.
- 7. economic downturn since 1841 - exports had fallen causing unemployment and high bread prices.
- 8. the growth of railways meant the mc saw the poor conditions and pressured for change.
- when peel becam epime minister, the country was in the midst of an economic slump. the previous whig government had failed to balance the books and had left a budget defict. the conservatives were deeply divided over their attitude towards change and reform, but entered government when there was considerable dissatisfaction amonf the population with working and living conditions, referred to as the condition of england question. many conservative MPS, as a result of coming from the little market towns, retained a traditional outlook and a satisfaction with the status quo. they were anglican and protectionist and did not want change. for peel, the answer to the countries problem lay in revivin the economy and achieving national prosperity. thus his main focus was on stablising the governments finances, stimulate trade and industry, and thus lower the cost of livining, unemployment and ultimately discontent and distress.
- gladstone and another group of young tories saw peel as helpful and sympathetic towards them and not cold and aloof as he is most often portrayed. he managed to persuade the more traditional whigs were didnt like the radical influence to. join him such as Stanley. however, he quarreled with Peel over the repeal of the corn laws and resigned in 1845.
- peels priorities were to improve on the way in which the whigs had conducted government, to carry through practical reforms and to create a strong government. peel made clear his intention of exercisig his personal authoirty from the start of his ministry. he also achnowledged that his position placed on him obligations and duties and if necessary sacrifices that he must have to make in the national interes t- and he expected his party to do the same (i.e. repeal of the corn laws). his interest was in efficiency and progress. his first objective was to concentrate on economic and financial reforms.
Peels social reforms
peel had shown a genuine sympathy for the plight of the lower orders in his early career - his reforms as home secretary in 129 had tried to address some of their grievances. in 1841 his government set up a national relief fund campaign and attempted to investigate the appaling conditions of the growing industrial area of britains major cities. the picture of unemployment and deprivation revealed when the results were published in 1842 alarmed peel. he cooncluded that any reform package must aim to remove the causes of poverty and hardship and improve working conditions. pressure was also exerted by social reformers such as Lord Ashley.
1842 mines act - response to the dangerous working conditions revealed by a royal commission chaired by Lord Ashley and set up by peel. children as young as 5 working which shocked public opinion. it started from an accident where 26 children died in flooding. children under 10 forbidden to work underground and women were also forbidden. it was put under the control of government inspectors. however hours weren't regulated and conditions didnt improve as the inspectors weren't allowed to go into the mines to check the conditions. it seemed a common sense response to the dangerous industry where deaths were common place.
1844 factory act - work of graham - reduced hours for those under 13 and recommended safety improvements such as fencing of machinery. the work of short time committees ensured attention remained on the issue. the govenment got little credit due to Peels attitude wil Lord Ashley, who was a respected figure, and this highlighted his authoritarian view. it was largely the work of graham. this was a genuine attempt to improve the conditions in the mines and factories
1844 railway act - regulated the activities of the new railway companies - safeguarding the interests of passengers. it was the work of gladstone. instituted the parliamentary train which required at least 1 train to stop at every station along the length of their line at the cheap rate of one penny a mile.The carriages on this train had to be provided with seats and protected from the weather. This legislation resulted in a considerable improvement in the quality and availability of third-class railway travel. this didnt have any significant impact on the wc until later in the century. it was an important advance towards a less elitist society.
in what way was the new conservatism the same as traditional tory's: a defence of the anglican church, a belief in the constitutional privileges of the house of lords, the maintenance of law and order, respect of the role of the monarch and their ministers. however it was less narrow and less dogmatic due to the great reform act - accepted the changes but insisted they were a final settlement. he spent the rest of his career trying to undermine movements such as chartism that were committed to further reform. he recognised that the mc were more important than ever in society and the party needed to evolve policies that reinforced the tradition but also embraced the new industrial society. tamworth manifesto - correction of proven abuses, and good government was stressed and was equally applicable to the new mc electorate as to traditional tory supporters. he regarded the new conservative party as a reformin party, rejecting the ultra tory position. he attempted to turn the tory party that represented the landed, to the conservative party that represented the nation.
he took advantage of the new boundary and constituency changes brought about in the reform act. the party now had to be organised on a national basis. organisation - registration of newly enfranchised - bonham - carlton club
Peels financial reforms
at the start of the ministry, an economic slump was accompaned by a financial crisis in which any small banks collapsed. this meant the chartist message was more popular. the whigs also left a huge deficit of £7.5 million. Peel wanted to make the country cheap to live to encourage people to remain in the country and consume more products that would encourage economic expansion. the starting point for his financial reforms was the 1842 budget. pressure on the government was coming from all sides. there was misery and hardship because of the most recent eco downturn in 1841, exports had fallen, causing a slump in the market, and poor harvests made bread prices unsteady. As a result...
reintroduction of the income tax 1842. peel hoped to fix the whig deficit and get some disposable income. it started as a temporary 3year measure, but it was extended as it was so profitable, and since then it hasnt been stopped. he decided on 7 pence in the pound on incomes over £150 which would exclude the majority of the working class and was only around 3% of income. it appealed to the sense of justice of the propertied class - reliable, funds social reform,leave a surplus of £1.5 million, peel was seen to save the day. peel had acknowledged as early as 1830 that it was a means of tapping the wealth of great capitaists to reconcile class antagonism and to commute taxes bearing on the industry and comforts of the labouring poor.
the lowering of tariffs - hoped to stimulate the economy - inline with free trade policies earlier adopted by Pitt and Huskissoninfluenced by a group of northern industrialists who believed the tariffs were stifling industry. 1200 commodieities with tarifs. by 1845 600 had been removed completely. trade revived, exports increased, unemployment and prices fell, sorted economic slump and led to the mid vic boom. there was a slight reduction of the duties on corn in the corn law amendment act 1842 but it wasnt enough to satisfy distress. it lowered the sliding scale. the lowering of import duties would mean lower prices for finished goods, and as peel anticipated, an increased demand for theose cheaper goods, i wouldbringa higher level of employment as more peole were required to make the goods - giving a boost the the economy. in 1845 - the income tax was repsonsible for bringing in about 10% of govt income. after 1845, only a 10% duty on manufactured goods remained and britain was almost a free trading country.
public health reform was not introduced until 1848 after Peel.
bank charter act 1844 - to meet the requirements of expanding industry and restore confidence. before the act there was no limit on bank notes meaning in crisis investors lost their money. the act ensured notes related to the gold reserve. the rights of other banks were strictly limited. this was the start of modern methods. the success of the bank charter act was crucial for the rest of Peels economic policy.the powerful interests, especially cotton depended on a sound currency and successful international trade. investors could be assured that the new system would deter reckless speculators and boost industry. it marked the beginning of the bank of englands role as administrtor of the governments monetory policy and led to confidence in the economy. the success of this was crucial for the rest of his economic policy. the powerful interest of britain depended on a sound currency and a successful international trade.
business reform and successfulness
companies act 1844 - regulate companies finance. compulsory to be on a register. had to produce audited balances and this helped to wipe out fraudulent and malpractice. step in the right direction
budgets - worked exactly as Peel wanted. trade revival, export increased, unemployment fell and food became cheaper.
one of the economic problems facing peel was the slump in trade. exports had fallen causing a recession in trade and industry the removl of duties gave factories a kick start and the reduction of export duties got trade moving again. as food was cheaper, britain was on the road to a better standard of living for many of the population.
income tax - with trade redorm turned the whig defecit into a £2 million surplus.
bank charter act - very successful - eventually only the bank of england issued notes, controlled amount of currency in circulation. the £ became stable and london the monetary centre of the world. moved britain into a golden age.
social reform - much less successful, conditions didnt improve, didnt get the 10 hour day, refused to amend the poor law and there was no legislation to improve public health, and dint impliment chadwicks suggestion - too expensive. all reforms were the result of public pressure
irish problems - O'Connells final bid to achieve the rpeeal of the AoU was met with a firm response from Peel and ended in Connells arrest and imprisonment. it allowed peel to adopt a policy of concession in the hope that he would win the support of the educated catholic population. he proposed an increase in the annual grant to maynooth - catholic college where priests received their training, believing it would gain the loyalty of catholic church and some peasants who were under their influence. this was fiercely opposed to by the anglicans, nonconformists, and a large number of the conservative MPs, all outraged at the implications od the support over the established church in ireland. this divided the conservatives and was passed with whig support. peels policy created divisions within his own party and made further reform difficult. the few concessions he did make failed to address irelands serious economic problems and the ongiong poverty of a large percentage of the population. the report of the devon commission, instigated in 1843 to look into the problems of land tenure, reported in 1845, too late for peel to act on its recommendations. in 1845 the potato crop failed festoryed by blight. people were starving an a huge number of poor died. he had little alternative but to repeal the corn laws, and allow cheap grain into ireland.
Did Peel betray his party?
1. sacrificed party interest for national interest - catholic emancipation, tamworth manifesto, repeal of corn laws. traditional tory values such as the defence of the agricultural interest were swamped by peels bid to win the support of MC. the 1842 budget and intro of income tax was a betrayal of measures introduced by lord Liverpoool. tariff reform, although benefited the majority, damaged the landed interest. his measures in ireland were controversial - maynooth grant alarmed the ultra protestants that he was undermining anglican control. the repeal of corn laws -which was the cornerstone of their party policy - he was elected on the basis of upholding the cornlaws, and as he got the majoirty of support from small market towns were agriculture interest was strong - he was going against his electors. the repeal led to the collapse because the protectionists were against it. cause unemployment in rural areas, he was too influence by the mc, he was elected to uphold the corn laws, not only was it a breach of aristocratic confidence it rejected the electorates wishes. as the majority of the cabinet opposed peel had to resign.
2.. his intellectual ability and strength of character ensured that his new party adapted successfully to the changing industrial society. he transformed the party and emerged stronger as a result of the great reform act (registers of voters drawn up - politics on a national level carlton club - Bonham. also united party on a need to reform to preserve. peel gave the party direction and a sense of purpose that was lacking under wellington and he made the landowners more popular. his irish policy was meant to win over moderate catholic opinion by making them appreciate the value of a good governemnt.
Social developments 1846 - 1885
- around a half of Britains population had become town dwellers. continued economic progress meant that by 1871, 65% of british population was living in towns.
- the social consequences were profound. the pace of change was much faster in the towns than it was in the countryside. many areas were adversely affected by rural depopulation.
- the beneficial impact of the social and political reforms of the preceeding decades were beginning to be felt in the towns rather than the country. for many of the workers life could be described as less harsh. the factory reform movement had successfully campaigned for better conditions and limited hours in many major industries by 1870. simple commodities like soap and matches became more easily available and affordable. fresh food was brought in from the surrounding countryside by train and it was cheaper. diets became more varied with meat, milk and veeg. local authoirties opened buildings such as libraries, parks, baths and wash houses in many towns. visible improvements in town planning and amenities gave the impression of prosperity and well being. hidden from biew, the construction of a sewage system in london in the late 1860s led to an improvement in living standards and conditions. it cleaned up londons water supply and removed the waste along the banks of the thames. it also reduced mortality rates. there was a decline in death rates but birth rates also. it was before the time of birth control. the trend was started by the middle classes and mirrored by the wc a little later. this opened the way to wc prosperity.
- however, in spite if the higher living standards of living, there was little security for workers who lost their jobs. they might have set aside money in the post office saving banks introduced by Gladstone in 1861, or in their frienndly societies. alternatively, they may have resorted to a kind of self help by relying on family. it was the unskilled workers who ended up turning to the work house, the only welfare provision available, and it was still has harsh.
- towns were still suffering from problems that makes poverty worse. there was a lack of commitment to improve housing and the demand exceeded supply and rents were beyond the means of most workers. there was little enthusiasm for a programme of slum clearance as there was not sufficient profit in it for landowners. even with the artisans dwelling act, as there was no compulsion to comply. in 1866 the treasury made loans available to local authorities for house building but there was little interest. the 1868 torrens act bound landords to keep property in a good state of repair. the evidence seems to point to limited action by central government and local authorities to improve the housing stock. the exception was Birminham where Chamberlain carried out far reaching improvement in housing and municipal buildings.
- as a result of the 65% of population being urban dwellers, the consequences were profound. the pace of change was rapid for those whose circumstances led them into the towns while changes in the countryside occured at a much slower pace. a large prosporous middle class had developed as a result of industrialisation and the economic progress and this helped to create twons. in the countryside the social structure consisted of the landowners, farmers, tenant farmers and agricultural labourers with a small number of professionals and tradesmen. but many areas were adversely affected by rural depopulation.
- simple commodities like soap and marches were cheaper and more readily available. fresh food was quickly brought in by train and food was cheaper. diets were more varied. local authorities opened public institutions such as libraries, parks baths and washhouses in many towns.
why did standards of living improve 1846 - 1885?
- the impact of economic development: rapid industrial expansion during the period of the mid vic boom provided the wealth needed to fund large urban improvement schemes such as the construction of the london sewers. mechanisation reduced production costs in industry and this reduced the prices of consumer goods such as soap and matches which also became more readily available as a result of the revolution in high street retailing. the development of railways enabled goods to be transported further in much less time at considerably lower prices. this brought a number of benefits in terms of living standards. foodstuffs such as meat, milk, veg could be transported to large urban centres before it went off which improved nutrition. this also enabled farmers to specialise to suit local climate, rather than having to supply all the needs of the local area. this boosted yields so lowered prices and enabled workers to buy more. railways also aided the development of sport and leasure as it was possible for players and spectators to travel long distances for games, facilitating the emergence of national competitions. development in agriculture such as fertilisers, investment in drainage and spread of info about new methods increased yields and reduced prices. the influx of cheap grain from america reduced the price of bread even further.
why did standards of living improve 1846 - 1885?
the growth of civic pride - the 1835 municipal corporations act, together with the 1848 public health act had empowered local authorities to take action, and if they wish improve the urban environment. in the meantime, a sense of solidarity and civic pride developed amongst the inhabitants of many leading cities which was promoted by the construction of grand town halls and other public buildings such as libraries. this prompted a sense of competition between cities to see who could provide the best facilities and cleanest environments and this acted as a spur to urban improvements as local authorities rushed to open public institutions such as librar, baths, washhouses, parks and set up clean water supplies and efficient sewerage. a rivalry existed between leeds and bradford. the most famous example of civic pride was birmingham with chamberlains improvement and brand of 'gas and water socialism' that transformed the city. however this wasn't the feature of all towns and some, such as Barrow and Bury, were notorious for their backwardnes sin effecting improvements.
improvement in engineering - enabled a number of cities to commission large-scale water, sewage and drainage schemes to improve public health. thus in 1857, the longendale water works opened in manchester. it proved 30 m gallons of water each day compared with the previous 2 m. once the sewers were fully operational in London, cholera never trurned to London. in constructing them, they had overcome a number of engineering challenges, they had to be strong enough to carry the weight of the city above.
why did standards of living improve 1846 - 1885?
smaller families - fewer mouths to feed and backs to clothe, afford more luxuries as there was more food and money per person.
government legislation - as the time went on, the government began to take a more active role in the lives of ctizens to redress problems pertaining to living and working conditions. the 1868 torrens act required landlords to maintain houses in good order, the 1871 bank holiday act made provision for 4 extra public holidays and the 1875 public health act codified 30 earlier pieces of legislation and set out in detail the responsibilities of local authoirty in the realm of public health. central govt also allowed local govt to take out loans, and in 1873, local authorities borrowed almost £1m for sanitary purposes. this, together with the clearer realisation of medical connection between disease and dirt tended to ovecome the initial reluctnce of local councils to engage in improvements. the state intervened because they realised it was beyond the scope of the individual to improve their own lives. there was a collective mentality amongstMPs. this stressed the need for positive freedom which recognised individuals might need help overcoming barriers such as poverty, which prevented him from pursuing happiness and freedom and afforded a new role for the state in achieving this. however, many of the people who were influenced by this collective thinking were young and would not reach political dominance until the 20th century.
the decline of laissez faire - closely associated with the thought that the state shouldnt interfere with the lives of citizens or the free market economy. this precluded social reform, sunce the taxes needed to fund it would interfere with the way individuals spent their money and upset supply and demand. it was also feared state support would undermine the incentive for individuals to help themselves rendering them lazy, unproductive and dependent. nevertheless, a number of developments undermined confidence in these doctrines during the 1870s and 1880s. - other countries introduced protective tariffs to their own economies to help their own industrialisation, yet britains free trade left its own markets open to competition and manufacturers began to struggle. depression in agriculture and trade after 1873 meant landowners and businessmen experienced falling profits as a result of factors which were beyond their control. finally they began to realise individuals cant solve their problems as they are so big.
why did standards of living improve 1846 - 1885?
the spread of democracy - although the great reform act had not effected any meaningful shift of power from the upper to the middle classes (as MPs were unpaid), it did create a climate of change in britain and this encouraged social reformers to campaign for legislative action to tackle other problems. the expanding electorate and requirement of voters to register reduced the scope for bribery and necessitated greater party organisation. consequently, as party agents canvassed potential voters, with a view to assissting or contesting their registration, became more aware and thus more responsive to public opinion. the second and third reform acts 1867, 1885, saw the vote extended to the working classes and this meant political parties had to adopt programmes of social reform in order to secure their votes and retain power.
growing social awareness - as the century progressed, public awareness of the plight of the poor grew and this led to increased demands for reform. this was partly due to the radical press which used images to forcibly draw attention to their plight. Punch magazine frequently published cartoons which were designed to highlight the suffering of the poor, and charles dickins in his work drew attention to the squalor. the railways also played a part in changing social attitudes to poverty since the rich were able to witness from the windows of their carriages. the work of social reforms also helped to increase awareness.
why did standards of living improve 1846 - 1885?
expanding scientific knowledge - cause of diseases were understoond - progress to eradicating germs and stopping the spread of infection. in the early 60s it was found that micro organisms in the air cause diseases. this provided a major impetus to improving cleanliness in towns and promoting personal hygiene. at the same time this was challenging religion - charles darwin published his theory of evolution which went against the creationist view
developments in medical knowledge also led to improved standards of nursing associated with the work of elizabeth fry and florence nightingale. this helped the chances of recovery for those who were admitted into hospital.
to what extent did Living standards improve after
1. working conditions
in 1846: hour of work - the 1842 mines act barred women and children from working underground. the 1844 factory act restricted the working day of women and under 18s to 12 hours. no restrictions on mens working hours. they worked 14-16 days 6 days a week. site safety - while the 1842 mines act had provided for government inspection, this proved ineffective as the inspectors werent permitte to go down the mine but merely inspect the merging workers. gas explosions remained common and in 1866, 361 workers died. the 1844 factory act recommended safety improvements, and required accidents to be investigated and reported to inspectors, but it applied only to large scale textile mills and was easily evaded to cost conscious employers. horrific accidents were common, trapped and crushed. in the meantime dangerous chemicals used in some industries left lasting health imprlications such as phossy jaw caused by white phosphoros. they were forced to bend or stand for long periods without breaks, as well as undertaking heavily lifting, left many children wih life limiting deformities. discipline was still very harsh - tied to productivity - fines, strapped doused with water.
evidence of improvement - government regulation and the impact of the great depression gradually reduced the length of the working day. the 1874 factory act reduced the working day to a max 10 hours for all workers, with a half day on saturdays. this reduced the number of accidents. a number of measures helped to improve safety of coal mines. the mines regulation and inspection act increased the number of inspectors, whilst a measure of 1862 stipulated every coal mine must have two shafts which increased the chance of escape in an explosion. in 1872, the coal mines regulation act insisted on the introduction of a number of safety measures including ventilators, stronger timpering, better safety lamps and wire ropes. in 1867, the 1844 factory act was extended to coverall factories employing more than 50 people and workshops and private housin employing fewer than 50 people. this improved health and safety in other areas of the workplace, especially as the number of inspectors increased. knowledge that a worker could claim compensation from injury caused by faulty equipment or negligence by the employer under the employers liability act 1880 prompted some owners to pay closer attention to safety. the 1866 sanitary act insisted that sanitary regulations be enforced to factories thereby ensuring improved hygiene.
evidence of limitations - working hours remained long, typically working 56 hours per week in 1878, with very little holiday. factories continued to be dangerous environments and the risk of serious injury or even death remained high. a report in 1885 cited that 60 people died each month in england as a result of workplace accidents. part of the problem was that the constant development of new machinery and processes made it very difficult for inspectors to introduce appropriate and up to date safety guidlines. the use of toxic chemicals continueed ubated in many industries - white phosphorous remained ative in matches, caused phossy jaw causing pain and death, it wasn't until after the mach girl strik in 1888 that this was addressed.the firece disciplinary regimes remained. fines and beatings were common place, particularly after the onset of the great depression reduced employment opportunities and therby rendered strike action ineffective.
to what extent did Living standards improve after
2. wages and consumption
in 1846: wage rates - rapid population growth furnished a ready supply of labour of industry, whilst mechanisation reduced the need for so many skilled wworkers. as a result, competition of jobs was great during the mid century which helped to hold wage rates down. in the mean time demand for food was high, particularly as a result of the poor harvests of the hungry forties and before the advent of refrigerated shipping and opening up of the american prararies facilitated cheap imports, so the prices for agricultural goods rose. this put pressure on the working man and left him with little to buy other non-essential items.
evidence of improvement: on average, the wages rose faster than prices, thus between 1850 and 1875, wages increased by around 50% compared with prices increased by 20%. as a result, the real wages of a typical qorker rose by about 30% allowing for a greater consumption of food and other products.this can be attributed to the mechanisation in industry, which enabled manufacturers to reduce production costs and thereby offer cheap copies of luxury goods targeted at skilled working families. in the meantime, the influx of cheap grain and meat from abroad reduced food prices, as did a string of good harvess, enabling ordinary families to afford more, freeing up cash for other luxuries. Birminghams lord layor Champerlain bought out gas companies, in 1873, and ran them for profit. this enabled hum to reduce the price of gas to customers twice in 5 years. the growth of high street retailing in this period, with the emergence of chain stores such as Sainsburys and Boots is a good indication of growing consumption and improving living standards. for those who lost their jobs, the consequences werent as bad. the growth of civic pride affected poor relief with local authorities competing to show greatest beneficence in their care of the local poor. hence large sums were ont he construction of imposing workhouse buildings, regulations are relaxed and diets improved. in this wa sit became a refuge rather than a testing ground of idleness. outdoor relief was also accepted as an integral part of the poor law system. thus many didnt ave to enter the workhouse. there was an expansion of philanthropic activity with the introduction of salvation army in 1865 eased plight of the poor.
limitation to improvement - the onset of the great depression caused the unemployment rates to soar from around 1% in 1873 to 11.4% in 1879 with some occupations experiencing even more severe problems 22% registered electritions being out of work. although it was seldom sustained it created anxiety and uncertainty for many families which reduced the pleasure of their everyday lives. given the unregulated nature of the british economy, the pattern of boom and slum would be well knwon to workers and periods of slump happened even in the mid vic boom - e.g. the lancashire textile industry in 1866 as a result of the disruption caused by the american civil war. workers who lost their jobs, e.g. to ill health often lost everything. although skilled workers might have had money in the post office savings banks or a friendly society, the unskilled often had little choice but to turn to the workhouse which brought humiliation and stigma. given that the 1874 factory act banned children under the age of 10 from working and under 14 from working full time, this squeezed the income of many poorer families who were reliant upon every member of the family. the pressure of the 1876 sandon education act and the 1880 mundella education act placed upon parents to send their children to school added to their financial burden as fees werent abolished until 1891. however, in the long term this allowed for social mobility and promoted meritocracy (i.e. through Gladstone opening the civil service to entry through competitive examination and the abolition of the purchase of commissions. this would offer some prospect to the underprivileged of breaking the cycle of poverty.
to what extent did Living standards improve after
3. health and hygiene
in 1846: the rapid unplanned growth of industrial towns created a public health nightmare. little thought was given to matters of fresh water supply and sanitation, waste accumulated in the streets, attracting vermin. londons water came from the thames which had around 240 sewers emptying into it at the beginning of the 1860s. overflowing cesspits contaminated ground water supplies. fresh drinking water was provided by private companies but only the very rich could afford to have it piped to their homes. as a result of the unsanitary conditions, epidemic diseases, often caused by contaminated water and contact with raw sewerage were common. cholera, typhoid, typhus being amongst the biggest killers. one in three babies died before aged 5 and the national deat rate stood at 25 per 1000 in 1849. death rates in towns were considerably higher than in the countryside, with Chadwick observing in his 1842 report that the life expectancy for a rural labourer in rutland was 38, it was just 17 in urban manchester.
evidence of improvement: the development of the railways enabled fresh produce to enter cities at lower rates which gave working people access to greater variety and quanitity of meat, fish, fruit, veg and diary so improved their health. in the meantime, the arrival of cheap grain and meat imports allowed workers to eat more and better. water supply - by the 1870s, most big cities had water schemes providing plentiful supply of clean water to residents. in manchester they could supply 30m gallons compared to the 2m gallons previously supplied by private companies. in birmingham chamberlain bought out the local water firm and pumped profits into improving the quality of water, as a result waterbourne diseases declined. by 1866, most of london was connected to an efficient sewerage network.with 420milllion gallons of filth removed each day, mortality rates soon declined and cholera never returned. other cities followed suits. the 1875 public health act required the removal of nuisances, regulation of offensive trades, and suppression of diseases, mainenance of burial grounds and provisions of street lighting as well as the compulsory repsonsibility to prvide clean water and remove sewerage. this combined with the initiative shown by many local councils in setting up public parks, baths, wash houses etc. improved the cleanliness of towns. hospitals became cleaner as a result of the use of antiseptics and sterilisation of equipment, as a resolt post surgery death rates fell. poor law hospitals made a big contribution to improving health and the training of nurses and new medical treatments were developed. soap also became cheaper and more readily available.
limitations of improvement - although some local authorities enthusiastically embraced urban improvement schemes and eagerly set up public health programmes, other did so with much reluctance. Barrow and Bury were both known for their backwardness and Rochdale did not commence a propert sewer building programme until 1879. this slowed the rate of progress in some areas. although much had been done to clean up the water supplies and sewerage arrangements in british cities, a number of other problems remained unchecked. factories, steam engines and domestic coal fires continues to put chemicals into the air and respiratory infections remained common. the failure of the councillors to assess adulteration, under the terms of the 1876 sale of food and drugs act meant that food available to the poorest inhabitants of towns were often low quality and potentially laced with ingredients which were harmful to health. epidemics still occured from time to time and tho waterbourne diseased were greatly reduced, others didnt owing to the absence of any effective treatment.
to what extent did Living standards improve after
4. housing - the british population doubled in the first hald of the 19th century and, with rapid urbanisation accompanying industrialisation, many of these people found themselves living in towns. as a result, cheap housing was thrown up and consisted of cramped back to back housing with no amenities and subject to no building regulations. overcrowding occured everywhere - in 1847 a typical street had over 1000 people living in 27 houses. poorer houses shared privies.few houses had piped water.
evidence of improvement - in birmingham, Chamberlain used the 1875 artisans dwellings act to great effect, clear 50 acres of slums from the centre of the city and redevelop the surroudning street. liverpool and london also tooks teps to tackle slum housing. philanthropic societies worked hard to improve the quality of housing stock for the poorest urban workers. the peabody trust founded in 1862 housed almost 15k londoners. a number of enlightened factory owners also sought to provide good quality housing for their workforce by creating model villages whose cottages and facilities wer eintending to attract the best workers. many of the profits of economic expansion, went to the mc manufacturers and merchants who organised buying and selling. as a result, prosporous mc emerged. they built substantial houses on the subarbs of towns away from the squalar and dirt of the inner cities. they could offrd luxury items.
limitations of improvement: population growth and rapid migration into the towns by agricultural labourers seeking better paid work meant the demand for housing outstripped supply. this meant rents remained high as so landlords could find little inducement to improve the slim housing they offered. in the meantime, legal imperatives were lacking, and whilst poor drafting made the torrens act 1868, which mbound landlords to keep their property in a good state of repear, easy to evade. the permissive nature of the 1875 artisans dwelling act, which facilitated compulsory purchase and clearance of slums, meant it wasn't widely used. only 10 boroughs had taken action under the act by 1881. there continued to be a lack of lighting, ventilation, running water and decent sanitation. overcrowding continued too.
to what extent did Living standards improve after
in 1846 - working hours for men and women were long and tiring. it was not unusual for an adult to work 14 - 16 hour 6 days a week. this let little time or energy for entertainment. aside ffrom christmas and easter, workers were entitled to no paid holiday. low wage rates and high food prices meant that there was little spare cash to indulge on cultural pursuits.
improvements - with the introudction of half days in the 1874 factory act and bank holidays in 1871 and rising real wages, workers could take part in leasure activities. music halls after the 1840s. hence by 1865 there was 32 large music halls in london and by 18778 this had risen to 78. even the poor could afford a seat. cycling was introduced in the 1860s which was the nations fastest growing sport. it led to opportunities for races and sociable recreation. it was one of the number of opportunities that men and women were seen as equal. with staurday afternoons off and the advent of the railway there was increasing seaside excursions and the development of holiday towns such as blackpool,a nd it also meant people could trave to watch and take part in away sports games. the FA cup was established in 1872 and wimbledon tennis tournament followed in 1877. fish and chp shops also provided food that was nutritious, cheap and popular.
limitations: in spite of the introudction of bank holidays, biritish workers still had far fewer holidays than those in catholic countries, and cycling was restricted to the middle classes, as the labourers couldnt afford bicycles.
to what extent did Living standards improve after
conditions in the countryside
in 1846 - in the absence of foreign competition, farners were eperiencing comparative prosperity. rising population ensured that prices for foodstuffs were increasing on the open market. rural population growth created a surplus of labour which meant that competition for jobs were high. as a result wages were low and rents high. ag labourers were long hours and experienced seasonal imrpvement. standards of living were basic in most villages, with labouring families living in cottages that lacked basic amenities.
evidence of improvement: - falling wage rates as a result of the depression, were offset by a corresponding fall in the price of food and rent. as a result, agricultural labourers saw a slight rise in real wages after 1860. in areas where farmers already pursued mixed farming or focused on livestock, effects of depression were minimal and conditions remained much the same. despite the poverty of the rural communities, there still existed close family bonds, a strong sense of community measured diference to the local landowners, reverance for the church and respect for each other. thus it appears what the countryside lacked in material terms, they were made up for in social cohesion and community spirit, and afforded a greater sense of wellbeing.
limitation in improvement: in the 1870s, living conditions for agricultural families on the face of it seemed poor in comparison to those of most industrial workers. housing remained rudimentary and squalid and still didnt have running water or sanitation and they perceived themselves to be working in a poor industry. they felt worse off because of the comparison with rising living conditions in towns. long and irregular working hours meant little in the way of holiday or time for leasure. they were also amongst the lowest paid workers in industry. social conditions improved more slowly in the countryside than in the towns because it wasnt cost effective to pipe water, anr construct swerer to serve the country. education was often chaotic as children were kept away from school in busy periods in the farming calendar. this meant there was little prospect of breaking the cycle of poverty. the onset of an agricultural depression caused a decline in the rural way of life, as many unemplyed labourers flocked to the towns in search of work in the factories. given the trade was also depressed, conditions in the towns were likely to have been little better and this placed additional pressure on already strained sanitary arrangements. this was most likely in the south east, where arable farmers were put out of business by the influx of cheap grain from the USA.
to what extent did Living standards improve after
law and order
in 1856, the police act required all counties to establish police constabularies and appointed an inspectorate to oversee efficiency. as an incentive, local authorities whose provision was judges to be inefficient or better by inspectors would gain a 25% government grant to assist with the cost. as a result, the number of police officers and patrols significantly increased. with regular police patrols in tough areass, britain witnessed a general decline in street crimes such as pickpocketing and mugging and many of britains poorest people could walk more safely through the streets. this also helped to spell the end of mass agitation.
influences shaping social developments
the evangelical movement had a strong influence on religious and social life during the victorian era. its basis was the belief in the importance of faith in salvation. it encouraged thrift, sobriety, industry and self-sacrifice, all virtues in tune with victorian society. it was important in borth the established church and nonconformists. within the anglican church it had support from the m and uc. an example of an anglican uc evangelical social reformer is lord shaftesbury, whose daith was said to have inspired his lifes work campaigning for social improvement. evangelicalism was taken up by a section of the anglican clergy, creating an informal but bitter division between the low clergy (evangelicals) and high clergy, which was more prone to ritual. queen vic would have described herself as low church and her strong views on moral rectitude and duty tied in with this. there was a widespread belief that high church anglicans were too close to catholicism and this idea would be disliked by victoria. there persisted a lack of religious acceptance and toleration towards catholics, although most religious discrimination was socially inspired rather than official. although the census couldnt measure exact belief in god, it was apparentthat the influence of the church and relifion was declining in spite of evangelicalism. new ideas and discoveries were beginning to excite the curiosity of better educated people. scientific developments made people question previous assumptionn about the earth and universe. darwins publication in 1859, outlined the process of evolution, contradicting the literal meaning of the bile story of creation.
as part of the philosophy of laissez faire, there wan an emphasis ont he importance of the individual. there was growing belief that everyone should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential but they must take personal responsibility for their actions and be prepared to work hard to achieve their aim and not blame other circumstances. this was created by Smiles published in 1859, which came to epitomise the victorian values of the 19th century of constantly striving to improve oneself and change for the better. s,o;es ley virtue was a sense of duty, strength of character, thrift and helping oneself rather than depending on other people or charitable handouts.
to make progress in both material terms and moral terms was to be admired. during this period there was progress and improvement in standards of living, public health, attention to personal hygiene and provision of education. great strides forwards were made in farming and industry, ceating prsperity in the towns and countryside. this tangible evidence of progress was taking place against a background of improved communications and during a period of increasing prosperity. however this wasnt a cure for everything. not everyone aspired or could attain a decent standard of living. many remained in poverty, unable to help themselves. society looked down on individuals who fell into poverty and they were regarded as irresponsible, careless and lazy rather than the victims of circumstance needing state support. by 1870, the principle of laisse faireand individualism was being questioned. government, society and the economic framework of britain were becoming more complex an the govt began to accept that they needed to introduce laws to regualte society and address the most basic needs of citizens.
1870 - forsters education act
1872 - scottish education act
1876 - sandons education act
1880 - Mundellas education act
- 1798 - Wolfe Tone, or United Irish rebellion
- 1800 - act of union
- 1824 - formation of the catholic association
- 1828 - County Clare election
- 1845 - 1849 great famine
- 1848 - young ireland rising
- 1858 - irish republican brotherhood (Fenians) founded in USA
- 1866 - 1867 - fenian outrages in Britain, Ireland and Canada
- 1870 - **** forms irish home government association
- 1871 - obstruction process starts in HoC
- 1879 - formation of the Irish land league
- 1880 - Parnell leads irish Nationalist party
- 1882 - Phoenix Park murders
- 1885 - irish home rule party hold balance of power in commons following elections.
the majoirty of the irish population viewed the English as alien colonisers there to exploit them . There was profound differences between the mass of the population and the ruling minority. the mass tended to be roman catholic, illiterate, landless and usually extremely poor. the ruling minoirty was protestant, wealthy and landed. they controlled the political system and owned more than 95% of the land and much of the limited industrial wealth.
the history of ireland in the 18th century is marked by poor social conditions, frequent food shortages, a rising population, very limited economic progress, a growing sense of anger against the trade restrictions, which seemed to benefit english manufacturers.
the official state religion was the protestant church of ireland, yet the vast majoirty of the population was roman catholic. they were forced to pay the tithe to the protestant church, and they were discriminated against by law, and not allowed to hold official positions, or become MP. however, the catholic religion was officially tolerated and was growing in influence over the majoirty of the population. Non-conformists were another important minority. Agrarian violence was a regular feature. however, the british government, perhaps frightened that ireland would go the same way as the american colonies, restricted some of the harsher restrictions. some were allowed to vote, and it became easier for them to purchase lands.
the concessions made by london on voting and land parchase was inadequate for many irishmen. the french revolution, which started in 1789, inspired many irish to seek their freedom. the ideals of the rev inspired many irishmen to fight against english rule.the strong sense ofcatholic against the protestants and the poor irish against the rich english led to open rebellion in 1798. the leader of the revolt was wolfe tone who was inspired by the american and french revolution. he took advantage of the simmering hatred between the irish and the english to try to get a french fleet to invade ireland as part of their war against england. however it failed as the french fleet failed to land troops and weapons mainly due to the whether. the british government passed laws that allowed imprisonment without trial and wolde tone wascaptured and committed suicide before he could be executed.
ireland 1800 - AoU
one reaction by the british government to the revolt in 1798 was strong coercive measures. the prime minister adopted a more positive and proactive role. his response was the act of union. this act would end parliament in DUblin and replace it with a system where MPs elected would sit in the British parliament in London. they would have the same powers and status as normal MPs. and a number of irish peers were allowed to sit in the HoL. others had to seek election in the HoC, e.g. Lord Palmerston. this act was designed to end all Irish problems as irish would hve the same rights as any other english MP. Pitt and Castlereigh felt it would end opposition to english rule. they hoped it would make the irish feel and react in the same way as other english citizens and it would lead to peace and integration. Castlereigh, sometimes using corrupt methods, persuaded the iriish parliament to vote itself out of existence. the AoU was passed in 1800. however there were major flaws in the Act of Union. the first was that Pitt had indicated that catholic emancipation would follow, and implied it in the negotiations. it didnt follow because of the actions by king George III refusing to sign the bill as it might break his coronation oath. others suggest that they never intended it as it was unlikely the HOL would every allow an act giving catholics a seat in parliament. the union thus got off to a really bad start. many catholics felt betrayed and conned into a deal. only 20% of MPs were irish, and anger was felt at irish problems now being looked at with an english perspective, and catholics were a minority in the whole of the UK. However, Irish remained reasonably quiet for the remained of the napoleonic wars. the end of the wars brought serious economic problems to the whole of the UK, but they were felt more in ireland. there was no welfare system at all in ireland, so poverty was more extreme and the catholics still had to pay the tithe. the overwhelming feeling in ireland by 1820 was that the union had been an elaborate trick to keep ireland quiet for the benefit of britain.
Ireland - Catholic Emancipation
in 1823, a pressure group called the catholic association was created. its objective was to end all discrimination of catholics and its leader was O'Connell. he was one of the first catholics to be allowed to practise law in ireland, after the catholic relief acts of the 1790s. the catholic association not only have O'Conell as a charasmatic leader but also the catholic church enthusiastically supported it. in addittion, its members werent only mc merchants and lawyers, but the cheap fee to join attracted mass membership among the wc. it is probably the first truly national mass membership pressure group. it was also successful. although the british government tried to suppress it in 1825, it reformed and still attained its objective. emancipation cleared the hoc in 1825 but failed in the lords dominated by tories and members of the church of england. in a by-election in 1828 for county clare, o'connell stood as a candidate, along with fitzgerald, londons choice. o'connell won with a resounding majoirty but it was impossible for him to take his seat because of his catholic belief, and he wouldnt renounce his faith. frightened of a possible uprising, wellington and peel passed catholic emancipation. this allowed Roman Catholics to become MPs.
Emancipation made O'Connell a national hero in ireland. it also gave ireland a leader, which it hadn't really possessed before. it enabled O'Connell to get into parliament to concentrate on future reforms such as reform of the irish local government and ending the tithes paid to the church of ireland. he was also anxious to increase the number of those entitled to vote. he raised the political consciousness of the catholic and irishmen, particularly among the poorer sections of society. pressure politics had clearly worked, mass protest had achieved difficult obkectives and that lesson wasn't forgotten. O'COnnell fanned irish nationalism and set the issue of an independent ireland on the agenda. he wanted a seperate irish parliament to deal with irish issues. another product of his success was that he raised hug fears among the protestant population of the north of ireland and they started to organise to defend their ideas and values.
Ireland from 1840
by 1840, O'Connell had founded the repeal association. this wa sopenly committed to ending the act of union and setting up a seperate irish parliament. he organised huge mass monster meetings, some with over 100k present. with the roman catholic church supporting his movement, O'Connell looked like making as much progress towards independence as he had towards CE. however, Peel refused to consider such a proposal. the attitude of the conservative government and the liberal oppositionwas that much had been done for ireland in recent decades, and the union was a considerable benefit to ireland. this belief, that the union had benefited ireland, was to be a key reason for the growth of an irish problem in the coming decades. Peels reaction to the agitation of O'Connell was twofold. in 1844 he was imprisoned. on the other hand, Peel put forwards reforms in an attempt to pacify the growing irish catholic mc. these were in areas such as landlord - tenant relations, catholic education and the education of roman catholic priests. however, he wasnt totally successful as the younf ireland movement demonstratted. Young ireland was a radical group of nationalists founded in 1842. they were less inclined to accept the moderate separation looked for by O'COnnell. they founded a paper called the Nation. THey achieved little, as the movement was split between those who wished to work with O'Connell and those who did not, those who were prepared to use violence to attain separation and those who weren't. an armed rebellion failed in 1848, when the famine and strong coercion brought to an end most protest. internal division wa soften a reason why irish opposition to english rule could be unsuccessful. the risings of the young ireland radical group coincided with the outbreak of chartism and disturbances across europe. the abortive rising was swiftly put down by the police and the deployment to ireland of extra troops. although inept and idealistic, was nationalist in character, and to some extent marks the start of a new era of troubles for the british government in ieland and increasing demand from several sections of irish society for political independence and home rule.
the impact of famine on the opposition to AOU
in many ways the great famine 1845 - 1849 was a turning point in the history of opposition to the union. it accelerated the move towards home rule for an independent ireland. O'Connell had helped to create modern irish politics, a political machine capable to taking the issue forwards with a strong sense of national identity. the great famine created a sense of anger and injustice. it also raised social tensions to a much higher level. many died and more emigrated. most irish peopel felt they had been betrayed and abandoned by the english. there was huge anger at the perceive treatment of the irish masses by an incomeptent and uncaring government. the general election of 1852 led to at least 40 of the irish mps backing major social and economic change. this group formed the independent irish party from 1850 - 1859. they were divided between those who were prepared to work under british rule to improve things and those who were not. this became apparent with two irish MPs joining the whig peelite coalition of 1852-55 as junior ministers. however, unity among opponents grew when the irish tenant league founded in 1850, determined to gain irish tennts in thesouth the same sort of tenure rights that the north of ireland and england got. the catholic defence association, founded in 1851, allied wih it to form another powerful anti-union pressure group. it was this linking of the different pressure groups that gave the anti union sentiment such force.with ireland devestated by famine, and poltically divided, opposition could attain little in the 1850s. it was clear that the peaceful methods inherited from O'Connell had failed, annd young ireland had been badly organised to succeed. in 1858, a more radical group, the irish republican brotherhood (the fenians) was formed in the USA. many of the key figures had been involved in young ireland rising in 1848. the key figure was Stephens ad it aimed at overthrowing english rule, by violence if necessary. it had no social or economic programme, its members just wished to create an irish republic free from english rule. the fenians embarked on a programme of violence in ireland, britain and canada. in the 1860s it had massive support base and claimed a membership ok 80k. but when the rising occured in 1867, which was ineffective, this led to persecution and execution of fenian leaders. the movement began to decline by 1867. many opponents of the union were bitterly divided over objectives and methods of attaining them. in many ways the fenian plot was a disaster. however, the harsh conditions suffered by the prisoners, serving long sentences, elicited sympathy from many who had previously opposed the fenians, and there were calls for amnesty. this unexpectedly brought a new irish leader, **** to the forefront. once a convicted unionist,was inspired to set up an amnesty association whuch kept the fate of the political prisoners in the eye of the public. he believed the solution to irelands problems lay in constitutional nationalism and established the irish home rule party. when he refused to join in obstruction tactics in parliament in 1878, there was an attempt to oust him as party leader. the fenian rising proved to be a turning point in anglo-irish politics. anti irish feeling in Britain, which had surfaced during fenian unrest, led to calls for tough government measures to suppress the torublemakers.but in line with the emergence influencesof liberalism, and a desire for a more equal society in britain, others were concerned to identify the cause of the violence and introduce some measure of reform to bring peace to ireland. this view was held by Gladstone, he had been shocked by the violence of the movement, but it brought to his attention the urgency of the irish situation.
why did opposition to the union intensify after 18
several factors combined to start a process, which lef finally to the home rule. economic conditions in the south of ireland grew particularly bad after 1870 (as part of the great depression?) this led to sical distress. thisnaturally encouraged support for the break from England, which was seen as the cause for their economic grievances. there was a growing hatred of the system of land tenure in the south of ireland which gave landlords (protestant, english, absent) much greater control of their tenants than the case elsewhere. a powerful social and economic group, the land league, fanned by hunger and poverty, joined forces with the home rulers who were led by parnel. although gladstones legislation had removed some of the grievances between 1868 - 1874, the feeling in ireland was that this was totally insufficient. while official opinion in england felt that by 1874 ireland had been sorted, opinion in much of ireland was that the union had failed, and that the home rule was the only way forwards in ireland. the act that was to have the most effective impact on ireland was gladstones secret ballot act 1872. this enabled irish vvoters to vote freely without fear of eviction by their pro-union landlords. the result was that in 1874, a large group of mps from ireland committed to home rule was elected. the home rule party grew, initially under ****, who favoured a federal solution to the irish problems with substanital devolved power to a parliament in Dublin. in 1880, a more dynamic and charasmatic leader, Parnell replaced him. parnell gave a huge boost to the movement to end british rul over ireland. using obstructionist tactics to force the irish issue to the attention og the commons, he worked closely with the leaders of the land league to ensure every method was used from peaceful protest and boycotting landlords, to violence to ensure that land reform was successful. Gladstone put forwards a major land reform act in 1881 where most of the objectives were attained. again, strong pressure had attained the needed objectives. the catholics backed parnell fully. after june 1885 general election, Parnell was in a position where he held the balance of power in politics and a committed natoinalist held nearly every irish seat in the commons. gladstone passed his first home rule bill for ireland in 1886. this was partly in repsonse to the powerful and growing pressure in ireland
Why did religion become a major issue in Irish pol
when britain moved away from roman catholicm in the 16th century, ireland didn't and remained strongly catholic. protestantism became the religion of the alien british rulers and the religion of the landed classes. in the north, mainly in ulster, much land was removed from catholics by force and igven to the protestants of england who were able to gain considerable security of tenure for their land, something that was noot allowed to catholics in the south.
the penal laws also meant that the catholics were excluded from the vote, sitting in on irish parliament and from any posts of importance in government ir the legal system. they also had to pay the tithe to the protestant church in ireland. it wasn;t surprising that by 1800, not only was there strong resentment to the protestants but also a desire by the protestants to maitnain their privilege position. in the course of the late 18th early 19th centuries, some of the restrictions on roman catholics were removed. they were allowed to vote and then to stand for parliament. the deep divide still remained. it was only among highly educated people that there was tolerance and cooperation between the religions. for the most part there was a deep loathing.
the protestants of ireland viewed the erosion of their privileged position with emancipation with concern. when home rule, which for them meant catholic rule from dublin, became a serious possibility in the 1870s, Ulster Unionism became a strong and organised force in the north. it then started to play an important part in british politics.
Ireland and unionism - religion
hatred of the catholics by protestants and a strong dislike for fenian violence were important factors in the growth of the organised ulster unionism. therewas also a strong element off rich versus poor in it. the protestants in thenorth were very cnscious that their wealth depended on the economic and politicallink with mainland britan beign maintained. the south may have suffered economically from the union but the north gained. they were deeply worried by the land war and the activities of the land league in the 1870 and this added to their deep insecurity and sense of fear. irish nationalists made no attempt to calm the fear of the protestants, often making it clear that home rule would be an opportunity to settle old religious and economic scores.
ulster protestantism made few attempts to covince southern catholics of their willingness to compromise and conciliate and mutual loathing was the order of the day. the rise of the hone rule movement in ireland and the growth of a home rule party in the commons, the election of 16 committed nationalists in ulster in 1886 and gladstones first home rule bill brought unionism to a real crisis. the unionists were aware they might soon be ruled from dublin and would be a minoirty religion. they also feared the intolerance with which they treated their catholic neighbours would happen to them.
why did Ireland become a more divisive issue
throughout the period, ireland was a central and usually highly divisive issue in british politics. ireland cost the british taxpayers millions and thousands of lives were lost. it led to the exclusion from public gaze and ministerial attention of many other important issues. it was always ih the headlines, but few every really analysed why. there was always the assu,ption that ireland as an integral part of the uk was a benefit to all.
the same had been evident when uk lost its american colonies, but to the surprise of many, both the uk and the us flourished when sperated. the uk seemed able to give almost complete independence to canada, new zealand and australia, but not to irish. perhaps it was to close to the uk and therefore might be of value to enemies, or possibly the arrogant english felt that although the irish may not have wanted english rule, they needed it for their own good. the fact many leading uk politicians owned land in ireland may have encouraged a proprietary attitude by some.
the impact of Ireland on British politics - from 1
the union in 1800 was highly controversial. many irish opposed it as they felt it would damage irish interests and reduce what little autonomy they had under the old irish parliament, but it was also strongly opposed in england. many in england dislike the extensive use of patronage by castlereigh. commercial interests, always strongly represented in the commons, felt giving equality to ireland might damage english commerce. peers resented the arrival of irishmen, and many sa it as a concession to both force and catholicism. when catholic emancipation was attempted after it was passed, the king refused thus pitt felt obliged to resign as he had committed himself to equality. once the napoleonic wars were over, ireland returned to play a serious role in politics in london. many issues divided liverpools cabinet between 1812 - 1826, but the bitterist came over whether catholics show get equality and be allowed to sit in the commons. the penal laws were still in existence and there was a deep degree of religious ntolernce going back to the gunpowder plot of james I. in the eyes of many, catholics were regarded as traitors. after providing a constant source of friction within the cabinet for more than a decade, the issue of CE came to a head in 1828. peel and wellington were forced to give into force. this led to the destruction of the old tory party and rise to a new consevative one. ireland also played a large part in the fact the torys lost the 1830s election. O'Connell formed a small but powerful group in the commons. this led to durther reforms for ireland which continued to divide english politics. the tithe wars of the 1830s divided the whig government, as more liberal members were not so enthusiastic for coercion as were the conservative whis. the latter won and the irish coercion ac of 1833 gave the state huge police powers. in 1834, it was a dispute over the anglican church in ireland that led to a major new government split. the pm grey resigned over the issue. peel replaced greywhose government collapsed in 1835 when the whigs, radicals, and irish mps joined together to bring it down. irish support was critical to the whigs until 1840. this meant that the whigs had to take on irish former issues, such as the **** law and education in ireland, which upset conservative whigs. even the arrival of peel wit a majoirtyconservative government in 1841 did not end ireland as a divisive issue, it became even more important. peels reform programme for catholic education, landlord/tenant relations and the franchise was hated by the right side of his party. Maynooth split the party and led to the resignation of a key minister gladstone. peels irish reforms are seen as failures. they didn't calm ireland. also they led to the split of his party, and his party was out of office until 1874. the faine led to the repeal of the corn laws and a massive political disruption. it set the scene for fragmented politics of the1846-68 period. ireland had divided and disrupted british politics on a huge scale, from union to the famine.
ireland -1845 -1885
in the years after thefamine, ireland appeared quiet as far as london was concerned, and was ignorded until 1865. however the huge resentment that had built up in ireland over the union and the famine was placed firmly back on the aenda. the fenians used violence from 1865 to 67. from 1870, **** used parliamentary means. Gladstones decision to pacify meant that ireland dominated british political life from the 60s.
ireland palyed a significant role in gladstones administration. although much of the work confirmed gladstones liberalism, it had important side effects. the irish thought he was doing too little too late. in england, people felt he was doing too much. his church act upset the anglican church and those on the right of his party saw his land act as an attack on property rights. unionism as a powerful political, social and religious force came into being, largely inspired by gladstones actions. the whigs, the more conservative element of the liberal party, started t view the pm as a dangerous radic. they looked towards the conservatives as their natural home. gladstones ballot act 1872 created irish nationalism as a poweful parliamentary force in the 1874 election. gladstones government was defeated over the irish universities bill 1873. he split his party over the issue of supporting catholic education and resigned after a motion of no confidence in the commons over it.he may have started his administration with a mission to pacify ireland, but he failed and injected a lethal igredient into british politics. Disraelis 1874 - 1880administration didnt concern itself with irish issues. perhaps it should have done as by 1880 the mixture of irish nationalism and the land league was forcing ireland back on the british agenda. much of gladstones second administration was dominated by ireland with a tough coercion act, the arrest of parnell, and the passing of the second land act, which worried the more conservative side of the liberal party. his policy on oreland led to a drift to the conservatives. after the horrors of the phoenix park murders, gladstones govenrment collapsed again in 85, laving parnell and the irish home rule party holiding the balance of power in the commons.
economic development 1846-73 - mid vic boom
what caused the mid-vic boom?
technological developments and mechanisation- allowed goods to be produced at lower costs which facilitated a massive increase in production and allowed industries to take advantage of larger markets. for example the bessemer converter, gilchrist-thomas method in steel production, encouraged further expansion. the great exhibition i 1851 that highlighted the innovations etc. led to a massive increase in export orders and a growth in overseas markets. one third of all british goods were exxported to the british empire. the british power was accompanied by technological developments in key areas - coal, iron and steel, engineering and the textile idustry - and a rapid increase in production across the board. new technology and an increase in scientific knowledge boosted british agriculture during the period. referred to as a period of high farming.
rapid population growth - between 1841 - 1871 the population of england and wales increased considerably from almost 16 million to almost 23 million. this led to the expansion in the domestic market and increased demand for goods and this prompted the development of the mtal, coal and foodstuffs industries. this combined with the effect of mechanisation in agriculture, also created a large pool of cheap labour for industry to use, which encouraged development.
absence of competition - a major factor in the growth was the absence of any serious competition in the areas where britain was strongest e.g. railways, coal, iron, steel and textiles. britain was first industrial nation and thus by 1865 had far outstripped other countries in establishing markets at home and abroad. this meant that exports remained high. coal went to europe and many goods went to the USA because its own industries werent sufficiently developed to cope with the demands of a rapidly increasing population. this continued unchallenged for the next 20 years. it was a period of unprecedented demand for british goods abroad. in every town and city, producers and manufacturers were working flat out to meet demands. britain was justifiably called the workshop of the world, importing raw materials and exporting manufactured goods.
the achievement of free trade - the supporters pointed out that the number of goods which were liable for duty was reduced from 1146 in 1840 to 12 in 1860. this encouraged trade and this led to economic expansion. however, only silk carried a high enough duty of 15% to impinge upon trading possibilities. government adheared to the laissez-faire principle of limited interference in the working of the market economy. taxation was long and free trade encouraged.
a good geographical position and tradition of international trade - britain had a very established world class navy and merchant fleet. she had been trading with other countries for hundereds of years so was well placed to take advantage of new markets as they appeared elsewhere in the world. this was made easier by the good geographical location. as an island, britain had easy access to the markets of the amercas, northern europe and southern europe and asia. access to so many expanding markets encouraged the development of british manufacturing. the country also had an abundance of natural resources, especially coal and iron ore.
increase in world gold supplies - between 1848 and 1857 there was a 30% increase in the worlds supply of gold stock owing to major gold strikes in california and australia. britain attracted 60% of gold entering europe. this increase in the amount of gold in the vaults of the bank of england allowed it to reduce interest rates and this increased its lending potential. cheap borrowing costs facilitated investment which was a major fact in creating the boom. the presence of more gold in the world resulted in an increase in the amount of money. this increased the size of potential markets ad also caused an increase in the prices of goods and services. british industry benefited from this.
a series of financial reforms - britain had a good and relatively stable banking system, and financial reforms assissted development. the bank charter act 1844 reserved for the bank of england to issue bank note, and it was to correspond with the amount of gold reserves and government securities. it was hoped this would eliminate boom and depressions in the value of money which had caused instability in the past. this proved to be the case after the banking department withdrew from commercial competition in 1866 and began to concentrate on regulating the money market. the introduction of limited liability encouraged investment as it lowered the risk for investors.
the impact of overseas wars - wars such as the crimean war 1850s and american civil war early 1860s stimulated the demand for british manufactured goods abroad, especially metal based weapons and ammunition. increased demand improved prices and stimulated the development of industry. it also encouraged technological developments. the bessemer converter was invented due to the crimean war highlighting the problems with the cast iron cannon.
an excellent transport network and the expansion of railways - the expansion required a high level of investment in order to expand and also offered good returns to investors. this resulted in growth of capital market which encouraged banks to look favourably at large scale lending. this willingness facilitated expansion in other industries too, and encouraged development of the london stock exchange.
self help - honest hard work brought rewards. the middle classes and skilled workers enjoyed the rewards of hard work and higher incomes which inceased consumption. there was better education and public health. the standard of living rose, but there still remained those at the bottom of the period.
the devestation many thought would happen after the repeal of the corn laws didnt happen. there wasn;t a influx of cheap foreign grain and the price of corn remained static. rising real wages caused by an industrial boom were the key element in the stabilisation of wheat prices. there were steady increases in other agricultural prices, mainly live stock based, throughout the period from 1846-68. it was a period of progress in agriculture. techniques improves a variety of areas ranging from drainage and specialist fertilisers. machinery started to make an impact on farms, harvests were good, and the railway brought and advanatge to farmers as they could transport more perishable produce to markets quickly. it was seen as a golden age of agriculture.
a reason why the repeal of the corn law didn't lead to much is because farmers may have looked at their methods and management for improvements in order to compensate for possible damage. a small drop in wheat prices between 1848 -1852 want enough to seriously concern even those against the repeal as it was an asset to have basic food prices drop in a period of social unrest. other agricultural prices rose, some quite rapidly which compensated farmers for the drop in the price of wheat. the landed interest in the commons fell slightly but still around 50% were directly involved in the management of farming land in 1868. any legislation that may have directly or indirectly helped farmers, such as cheap loans for improvement or compensation for the arrival of the railway had an easy passage through parliament such as the repeal of the malt tax. the protectionist case vanished easily with disrawli aware that his backbenchers hadn't been reduced to poverty when the conservatives abandoned protection in 1852. propaganda of those against the repeal proved inaccurate.
in 1850 there was a major survey which showed backward husbandry and many cases where landlords and poor agents had neglected to develop and improve. in this period, the neglect decline and effective use spread, it was also an age of capital investment in agriculture. there was a huge increase in drainage projects, which were expensive, to imporve the quality of land and the amount of land under cultivation. in the region of £20 million was spent on draining over 4 million acres of land. there was a growth of technical efficiency, some call it another agricultural revolution, with much more intensive farminf designed to produce a much higher output per acre. the use of fertilisers and thought went into the correct feeding of animals and the way in which crops rotated. machines such as the steam driven threshing machine appeared on the larger farms. there was greater awareness of the needs of the market place and the spped with which farmers adapted to the arrival of the railways was good. cattle were shifted quickly so the weight and price increased.
was it a period of boom for British farming?
the best growth of price lay in livestock areas. as real wages rose nationally, in particularly in urban areas, and with a growing mc spending on quality food, there was a demand for meat, dairy and wool. rural depopulation could be absorbed by the growing demand for labour in the towns and factories so the problems caused by mechanisation and the switch to livestock farming (which used less labour) wasnt as noticable. the huge drainage works absorbed a lot of labour. the urban demand for milk, which rail could meet led to a shift in the use of the labour force to milking and transportation. with excellent market conditions and a growing population, and rail making transport easy, prices steadily rose, so when depression hit, this period was looked on as a period of prosperity.
there were still probles. the agricultural labourer was still badly treated, and there was no improvement in their pay, working ord living conditions until trade unions developed later in the century. there was a great deal of conservatism in darming. there was a large number of very small farms, and 20% of the cultivated acreage consisted of units under 100 acres, and their is little evidence of much change through the period.the farms suited to the age of high harming with its investment, new methods and machinery were those over 300 acres and they were less than 30% of the total number of farms. the majoirty of farms werent suited to the new age. there was huge amount of investment, especially in drainage, but there was often a poor return on money invested. the duke of northumberland never got more than a 2% return on his capital. the investment into improving land for heat cultivation was lost when there were cheap foreign imports. there was still insecurty of tenure for tenant farmers who cultivated the smaller farms and they had little need to improve the quality of their land or methods. the irish tenant farmer and a parliament dominated by absentee landlords were unlikely to support any changes. they liked to keep their leases short because without the secret ballot, they liked to influence their tenants voting behaviour. if the tenant farmer voted contrary to their landlords wishes they could be evicted. much of what happened during the boom was a misdirection of resources and when the prices dropped later there was a low return on investment. this led to a reluctance to invest in the future. the system of farming had become to dependent on growing markets and rising prices and was unable to rid itself of the need to grow wheat. it was still dependent on the weather, and heavy rainfall in the early 1860s caused problems and showed the limitation of the boom. much of the boom was dependent on outside factors over which britain nor its farmers had any control. when circumstances changed, like a fall in internal demand, or a major improvement in the means of transporting foreign goods, it showed the vulnerability. there was also regional differences - the remote north and west of scotland was under resourced and ploughing and harvesting was still carried out by hand. however, for most of the country, the accessibility of plenty of good, cheap home produced food helped to improve general health and raise the standard of living in britain. however, it wasn't difficult to achieve success in a market that lacked competitors. in spite of the development of steam ships, many mercantile ships remained under sail. transporting by sea was still comparitively slow. when this changed, britain could no longer compete. there was also an element of luck that no one could have predicted. theere were fine dry summers, and when these came to an end, there were faced with a catastrophic fall in prices that was hard to withstand.
British industry and trade
historians such as Hobsbawm have regarded the years 1851. - 1873 as constituting a very successful period for the british economy. they point to the fact that the economy grew on average 3% each year during this period as evidence of prosperity.
international trade - all the major industries in exports - cotton, textiles and coal performed well. between 1846 - 1868, 20% - 25% of world trade was british.
textile industry - considerable mechanisation during this period. by the 1870s, cotton spiining had become alost completely mechanised. the self acting mule was adopted and the number of powerlooms increased from 300k to 560k in 1886. mechanisation and other technological advances facilitated not only an absolute increase in production byt an increase per operative as well. this increased the value and profit margins of industry. the value of cotton cloth produced rose from around £46million in 1851 to £105 million in 1875. however, despite remaining a major industry after 1865, the rate of progress in the cotton industry was slower than that in other industries. its share of exports fell from 1860s, as the export of other commodities such as machinery, and steel goods rose. nevertheless it still maje a major contribution to economic prosperity as it employed 480k people in 1873. these workers created a demand in the economy because their wages had risen and their newly acquired spending power and desire for consumer goods helped to create further prosperity.
coal industry = population growth, low transport costs and expanding railway and gas industries stimulated an emormous increase in coal porudction during the period - coal production increased from 65 million tonnes in 1856 - 130 m by 1875. it was a major employer it rose from 1/8 of labour to 1/6 in 1871. however technological advancement was slow and mechanisation limited. many seams were narrow and unsuitable to mechanisation and it was cut by hand.
iron and steel industry - output increased considerably. iron ore production increased to over 15 million tonnes in 1874. in 1865 the steel industry produced 100k tonnes of steel and by 1874 this had more than 480k. technical developments had revolutionised the industry by developing mild steel. the bessemer converter converted pig iron to steel cheaply. the price of manufacturing steel greatly reduced from about £50 to £30 per ton in 1875. the growth in owrld trade and the massive increase in the production of cheap iron and later steel made it possible for britain to forge ahead in the development of steam ships and to monopolise shipping routes
enginerring and shipping industry - developed under the influence of tool makers whitworth and armstrong. , however britain was slow to standarise was slow compared to america. the price of mechanical engineering tools remained high. by the 1850s, british anufacturers had outstripped domestic demand for their products and began to look to foreign markets as a way of maintaining their profits. this required the development in transport and prompted a massive expansion in the ship building industry. britain remained the largest ship builder until after 1870. in 1850, there was 100k tommage steamships and by 1872 this rose to 2million tonnage steamships. however despite british lead in ship building, technoligical development developed more slowly. iron tonnage didnt exceed wooden until the 1860s. but as a result, the shipping industry became a major employer during the period. in 1847 it employed under 50k people, but by 1873 this had risen to 275k.
the railway industry - huge levels of investment - £18 million a year in the late 1860s. the scale of the industry doubled, by 1875 there was almost 15,000 miles of track it had a considerable impact on other areas of the economy. it required coal, iron, civil and mechanical engineers led to the development of these industries. the expansion of the railways created huge amounts of employment - up to 250k jobs which reduced the effects of unemployment caused by agrarian mechanisation. they also had greater spending power to buy other commodities. it opened a range of new markets via their ability to transport goods quickly and cheaply. this encouraged the development of other industries - e.g. the specialisation in agriculture to maxime yields best suited to climate - fruit and veg industry in central england grew rapidly. this brought benefits to the health and diet of urban dwellers, thus contributing to improved living standards. the competition provided by the railways forced other transport to cut costs encouraging trade and lowring prices, benefiting the poor. the subarb became a feature of the city. the bessemer converter that reduced the cost of stel reduced the production costs of railways, increased profits and produced more capital for further investment. profits invsted in railway building overseas and this export of capital was an indivation of a booming economy.
the output of british industries was larger than for home consumtion which stimulated the growth of international trade, as britain was ahead in the foreign markets. as a result of growing demands for british goods abroad, they created a boom in britains export markets and accounted for almost all of britains exports. the encouraged peace which was in line with gladstones foreign policy and it increased british influence abroad. britains potential eco rivals were in the midst of war - prussian and france, american civil war, which allowed british dominance and it was sustained by free trade. gladstones reduction of taxation allowed individual entrepreneurs and businessmen to build up fortune and invest.
wealth creation wasn't universal and there was still unemployment and poverty. however, those in work had increased wages, this encouraged more consumption of goods which encouraged further prosperity. gladstones fall marked the end of the economic boom.
- mechanisation and the switch to pastoral farming resulted in unemployment and rural depopulation. however huge drainage works absorbed a lot of the labour. the huge urban demand for milk, which rail could meet, also led to a shift in the use of the labour force to milking and transportation. the urban factories could easily absorb excess labour.
- owing to a ready supply of labour, agricultural labourers were badly treated and among the most poorly paid. their work was seasonal and unreliable and their hours long. in 1867 the report of agriculture stated that it is difficult to expect the landlord to lower his rent in the face of an increasin demand for land .
- between 1846 - 1873 the system of farming became too dependent on growing internal markets and rising prices, and was unable to rid itself of the need to grow wheat. major improvements in the means of transporting foreign wheat during the 1870s upset agricultures delicate balance.
- a run of fine dry summers from 1860 - 1873 contributed to the high yielding harvests. this came to an end in 1873.
- the spread of agricultural machinery was slow. despite the invention of a improved reaping machine in 1853 and combine harvester only 47% of british harvest was mechanically collected as opposed to 80% in america.
- a good deal of conservatism remained in farming. in reality only large farms in excess of 300 acres were suited to the new methods and machienery, yet such farms accounted for less than 30% of total number of farms. thus the majoirty of farms werent suited to the new age.
- high farming methods increased productivity. many farmers moved from purely arable to mixed farming. this meant they hedged their bets by growing wheat and root crops, as well as livestock. in this way they would be ok in a sudden downturn in the price of crops or livestock. the surplus crops fed the anumals and the manure fed crops.
why it was a good period for industry
absence of rivals, good banking system, superbgeographical locationn, a tradition of international trade, a great transportation network and a growing home market with population growth. there was a feel good factor which was highlighted by the great exhibition in london at the beginning of the period which demonstrated the longstanding success. it was a period of optimism. there was a continuous prperty boom, which used large amounts of labour. in any town or city there were massive housing developments from the 1850s. prices rose steadily, real wages grew, as did investment and production. all stats point towards growth.
how important were the railways to Great Britain
they supported but didnt lead economic growith. the level of investment was huge, about £18 million per annum. had a big impact on other areas of the economy, ranging from increased demand for coal and labour to the development of the london stock echanfe and the regulation of companies. there was growth in capital market. many people who had never invested before did so with railways nd it encouraged the banks to look favourably at large scale lending which was vital for the later development of british industry.
railways as employers - large amount of labour - up to 25k jobs. inevitably those people spent there money on clothing and housing which was a factor in the steadu increase in domestic demand that helped the rest of british industry. there was also a greater demand for bankers, lawyers, engineers, surveyors etc. the demand for iron and steel was huge. it also encouraged technological development in the iron industry. with a steady increase in demand at home, then overseas markets could be developed. it was this that was vital for the growth of the south wales iron and steel industry. the lower transport costs helped other industries and played a vital role in the development of other, both industrial and rural. the huge fruit and veg industry in central england grew rapidly which had the effect of such produce on the diet and health of urban dwellers. such form of transport also encouraged others to cut their costs, so both producer and consumer benefited. the canal opeator and investor and owners of coaching inns suffered. agriculture was helped, new industrial sites set up to produce iron and steel for the railways and coal could be easily brought in to help make it.
the subarb was created. railway towns like swindon grew and the working class became mobile as their was at last a cheap form of transport. the raiway was a feature of the maturing revolution.
the Great Depression - myth or reality
evidence of depression - britain began to import more wheat during the period and a greater percentage of this wheat was consumed in britain. the number of people employed fell from 1.6 m in 1871 to 1.4 million in 1891. agriculturs share of the gnp fell from 13% in 1867 to 4% in 1894. the price of meat products fell as a result of the arrival of cheap refrigerated imports from argentina and newzealand in the 1880s. there was a number of poor harvests during the 1870s due to bad wealther. between 1881 - 83, britain was struck by liver rot in sheep and a foot and mouth epidemic in cattle. the cultivated surface of Britain fell from 13m acres in 1872 to 11 m acres in 1895. wheat prices fell markedly from 54s a quarter ton as a result of foreign competition as did wool prices which fell by 60%.
evidence against depression - agricultural productivity rose by 15%. not all sectors of the agricultural economy faced depression. with the growth of towns, market gardening grew in popularity. those who specialed in meat and dairy prducts did well due to population increase, a rise in real incomes and a reduction in the cost of fodder crops for liberstock farmers owing to the import of cheap grains. fresh milk or cheese didnt suffer in price as it couldn't been transported from abroad. changing circumstanced led to improvements in agriculture, farmers specialised in the crops suitable to their farming conditions.
why there was a depression - a series of natural disasters undermined agriculture. 1882 a comission on agriculture reported that a succession of bad harvests were the root cause. the poorest years include 1873, 75, 76. abnormally high rainfall, and liver rot in sheed and fot and mouth epidemic in cattle. the introduction of free trade, and disraelis subsequent decision to maintain it during the 1870s undermined british agriculture. no longer had protection from cheaper imports. it wasnt effected in the mid vic boom mecause of the gold strikes had increased money supply and kept prices high. a series of foreign wars had interrupted trade and this had acted as a protection from imports. increased competition particularly from north america due to the development of the new prairie lands. disraelis refusal to concede can be a reflection in the declining influence of the landed interest politically and economically. commerce had become the powerhouse. technological developments had undermined agriculture. the development of refridgerated shipping and improements in canning factories allowed cheap meat from argentina and new zealand. first cargo arrived in 1882. the fall in transportation costs owing to advances in shipping industry allowed wheat imports to rise. the development of the railways in americca allowed farmers to transport their what thousands of miles from the prairies to the ports of the eastern seaboard.
the Great Depression - myth or reality
evidence of depression - growth rates of exports tailed off during the period. the negative balance of trade increased between 1870-1913. the ration of import to export grew grew from £61 million more imports to £169million more imports. the surplis of britains balance of payments fell. britain struggles to export goods to countries like italy, germany and USA as they introduced protective tariffs to protect theirn own manufacturers.
evidence against deprssion - export levels continued to grow throughout the period , and although there was a negative balance of trade, invisible earnings from insuring, shipping, banking relatin to trade enabled britain to retain a surplus of blaance of payments. britain showed no lack of dynamic entrepreneurship after 1870. in ship building for example, britain continued to dominate world markets. the introduction of protective tariffs by other states revealed that britain was not the only country to experience economic difficulty and slowdown.
foreign protectionism - the introduction of duties in their trading partners made it difficult for exporting goods and limited the size of potential markets and undermined profts. by imposing protective tariffs, they provided favourable conditions for the growth of their own industry which undermined british industry. britains commitment to free trade meant that british markets were flooded with goods. britain also faced increasing competition, especially from germany and the usa. the abundant supply of resources in these countries made it inevitable that they would catchup with britain sooner or later. they had larger domestic markets owing to their bigger populations and this stimulated industrial development. the opening of the railways in america gave it a boost. by 1890, america had taken over britain in the production of iron and steel. britain had a disadvantage of an early start. - as a new industry develops, certain work practices and methods are established, and location. this meant that as the industrial environment changed and new processes and practices developed british entrepreneurs found it difficult to adapt as they were used to old methods. the other countries can also learn from british mistakes and build more effective factories using the up to date equipment. germany adopted british steel production methods (glichrist-thomas production.
the Great Depression - myth or reality
poor entrepreneurship - business men were complacent and uneterprising compared to their rivals. this gave foreign manufacturers and advantage over britain, as new technology and processes allowed them to produce goods that were cheaper, and occasionally of better quality. consequently they stole british customers. the third generation syndrome - entrepreneurial spirit of earlier industrialists was lost as the management of family firms were handed down to less able or less interests successors. there was little engagement with furture development of new industries such as chemicals and electricl engineering or practical knowledge of what changes might be needed to maintain a successful business. possibily they lacked any inventive to develop new techniques because they were already so successful. however, the revolution in retail trade, with the emergence of large cchain stores offering standardised goods such as sainsburies and boots which were randed and packaged, shows no sign of complacency or unwillingness to experiment in many branches of economic activity
there was inappropriate education for success in industry. public schools focused on traditional subjects rather than more relevant like applied science or maths. apart from public education, there wasn;t much else in the way of secondary education. this meant there was no reservoir of managerial and technological talent which could supply english industry with new management. this was backwards compared with other education - in germany significant emphasis was placed on industry.
economic slowdown was inevitable in many ways - america and germany had resources, so would catch up with britain. an economy which is starting from a tint industrial base will have a more spectacular rate of growth than one that has an enormous industrial base. russias growth rate was higher than germany and usa bbut she lagged behind them in total output. the british economy was maturing and this resulted in a changing focus. as economy expands structural changes take place. the service sector grows larger whereas manufacturing base will grow more slowly. working hours might also lessen so productivity would appear less. britain was the first to industrialise and hence it was evening out. britain still however remained one of the leading manufacturing countries. there were some success stories. britain was building 2/3 of merchant ships.
was there a Great Depression?
the protagonists of a great depression argue that from 1873 there was a terrible economic depression. they point to falling prices, narrowing profit margins and foreign competition in previously unchallenged areas of industry. thousands of speeches and pamplets were produced on an economic depression. a royal commission on the depression of trade was set up, showing they clearly thought there was one.
however others argue that this isnt correct, it is exaggerated. rather than going into decline, they entered a period of readjustment. although there was a serious lowring of business confidence, it would be wrong to state that the whole economy was in depression. it continued to grow, just at a slower rate than before, the rate of prodution in major industries of coal, cotton and steel was still increasing, just more slowly than before, prices fell and profits margins narrowed but profits were still made as increasing spending power for people meant that they bought more goods. workers were laid off more frequently but unemployed periods werent sustained. whilst the depression in agricultural continued, there was a recovery in industry by 1880, followed by a less severe slump in the mid 1880s.
Gladstonian liberalism - principles and aims
- committed christian - gladstone was deeply religious, politics and religion were closely related and his policies were often dictated by what he thought was morally right. politics meant that he was carrying out gods will. this annoyed many of his political foes. one complained about him always having the ace of trumps up his sleeve, and that gladstone claimed god had put him there. not all historians accept that religion was his driving motive, some argue that political expediency usually came first, especially in regards to his irish policy.
- equality of opportunity/ meritocracy - he believed the government should try to make sure everybody had equality of opportunity, he wanted to liberate people from outdates restrictions and he aimed to abolish special privileges which he considered unjust. e.g. army, civil service, universities and religious matters.the basis of gladstones minimalist view of the state was the importance of the individual. he didnt see society as a set of competing economic classes, but individuals where each should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. however he wasn't a democrat. he believed in rule by those who had a tradition of service to the state and possessed sufficient wealth to be above the charge of possible corruption. he supported the traditional roles of monarchy and aristocracy.
- free trade and laissez faire - best way to encourage economic growth and prosperity. as chancellor he worked hard to abolish all duties on goods between 1859 and 1866. this reflected his admiration of peel. he believed in a strong state whose function was to foster benthamite virtues of efficiency and economy. he believed in rentrenchment which meant cutting back government expenditure. reduced public spending would enable govt to lower taxation, thereby leaving the individual at liberty to dispose of their income as they saw fit. he hoped to abolish income tax completely. not interfere with the workings of a free market economy - basic principle of all liberal governments.
- his religious beliefs didnt convince him of the necessity of social reform. apartfrom the expense involved, too much government help might destroy the moral fibres of the nation. it was for the individual to make the best of the circumstance. he was an advocate of self help, which stress that success was the result of hard work and effort. the 1872 public health act was gladstones only reform to imporve actual material conditions and that was not a success.
- peace and tranquility in foreign policy. his religious views led him to favour peace. he believed britain should avoid war by embracing concepts of internationalism and anti-imperialism. this was in great contrast to palmerstons method of conducting overseas affair, which gladstone saw as aggressive and expensive. he believed if peace could be maintain with other nations, this would enable trade and industry to develop unhindered by war, tax could also be kept under control. some however, interpreted this as a sign of weakness. though he did protect britains interests in Egypt and Sudan in his 2nd ministry.
- a desire to pacify ireland - sprang from his religious conviction that all people have a basic right to freedom and fair treatment. in religious and economic matters, the irish were being denied these rights. he hoped to preserve the union by using reform to convince the moderate irishmen of its virtue and detach them from the seperatist fenians and reduce the cost of keeping order in ireland. gladstone adopted a justice in ireland rally cry which would reunite the liberal party after its split over parliamentary reform. however, whilst his call for the disestablishment of the irish church would appeal to the nonconformists, radicals and landowners, later policies regarding land and education would only serve to aggravate tensions within the party.
- build up support for the liberals - win support among the prosperous working classes who had just been given the vote and the nonconformists. he aimed to make himself a populist leader, making full use of the publicity. he toured the country, addressed mass meetings, especially in industrial areas, and won over many of the leading newspaper editors, so that he got favourable press coverage. gladstone was largely successful in this group of aims, which explains the liberal victories of 1868 and 1880.
- hold the liberal party together - his relationship with the liberals was never straightforwards. he began his career as a tory and opposed nearly all the whig reforms in the 1830s. when conservatives split in 1846, hesupported Peel and he only really committed himself tto the liberal party in 1859 when palerston persuaded him to become chancellor of the exchequer. he never quite succeeded in shaking some of his early tory principles. many of the liberals never understood him or his motives. the party was a difficult coalition of several different interest groupswhich didn't see eye to eye.aristocratic whig landowners, benthamite radicals, non-conformists and anglicans. they had also split over the need for further parliamentary reform in 1866 - the adullamites were an anti reform faction of the liberal movement. he was constantly on the lookout for some cause which would unite the different factions, which is probably why he disestablished the anglican church in ireland.
What groups was the liberal party made up of?
- labour leaders and new model unions - labour leaders displayed a willingness to work with the liberal party that suprised party managers in 1868. the reform leaguue backed the liberal election campaign and in return the liberals funded lecturers which tthe league sent into wc areas. there was no demand for a seperate labour party. the working class elite enfranchised in 1867 still had too much in common with the middle classes to challenge them, and the land owning aristocrats was the enemy. the first wc men to enter p did so as liberals. the party also received support from the new model unions which represented the interests of skilled workers such as engineerers. they were faced with the provlem of lack of legal recognition for their trade unions. many operated as friendly societies which meant they could offer financial support for their members in sickness or death in reutnr for regular subscriptions. however they couldn't bargain for wage rises or use strike action. their funds weren't protected either. therefore they supported the liberals in hope of legislation that would give them legal protection.
- provincial press - Vincent points out the importance of the newly emergent provincial press in providing support for the liberal party and spreading its message. it expanded rapidly outside london following the development of the railway and removal of stamp duty. manchester guardian and leeds mercury newspapers supported the liberals.
- parliamentary coalition - the liberal party was formed in june 1859 in support of italian unification and to secure the removal of derby's coalition government. it comprised of the whigs who were aristocratic and opposed excessive monarchic influence. some of them were amongst the largest landowners in the country, and were members of the lords. the peelites favoured free trade. they were of predominantly commercial and industrial backgounds. the liberals also supported free trafe, freedom of the press and religion and encouraged them to join the whigs in 1830s. the radicals were a diverse range of MPs who wished to see radical change in certain aspects of british society. many were connected to the section men and faddist groups.
- section men/ faddists - pressure groups which concentrated on single issues. they were often linked with others such as the nonconformists. put pressure on MPs by requiring pledges. they were reluctant to accept compromises that might have enabled the liberal government to deliver workable reforms. the united kingdom alliance capaigned to end the sale of alcohol. the national education league demanded national free and secular elementary education. its links with the nonconformists and its leadership of their opposition to the 1870 education act made it a potent divisive force during gladstones first ministry.
- the celtic fringe - the liberals received a good deal of support from scotland and wales. the welsh had a clear national identity based upon a shared language, religious nonconformity and cultural heritige together with a hostility to an alien anglican landlord class. from 1880 Rendel became the leader of the welsh group and provided welsh mps with a programme for wales to be achieved through the liberal party. scottish nationalism was less powerful but still exerted some influence over the liberal party.
- nonconformists - in 1877 gladstone wrote that nonconforosts were the backbone of british liberalism. for many nonconformists, the main aim was to achieve equality of treatment with the church of england via the disestablishment of the church of england. they weren't strong enough to make an impact on their own so as part of the liberal party they may achieve some of its objectives. 24% of liberal mps were nonconformists. they exercised influence over the liberal party through liberation society, this was a kind of pressure group led by Miall. it called for the removal of privilege position of the church of england as the state church and the preferential treatment of the anglicans in institutions such as Oxbridge. Backing from this group helps to explain why the liberal party received strong support from the celtic fringe and the west where nonconformists are numerous.
gladstones legislative programme was extensive and the reforms introduced reflected the principles of administrate efficiency, cutting back on government spending - retrenchment - pursue of free trade, and promoting the freedo of the individual. the make up of gladstones cabinet revealed the diffeent political groups that made up the liberal party - peelites, liberals, radicals and whigs. at the cente of the administration was the highly principled and deeply religious gladstone. politics and religion seemed to go hand in hand and his policies were often guided by what he believed as morally right. his reforms, vast in number, addressed important social and political issues of the period. the extent of which they satisfied the varous interests in the party and pressure groups outside party has been ddebated. at the outset of his first ministry, gladstone insisted on ynity within the party and held it together on the surface for five years, but in the end was unable to retain the mc voters who had put him into power. there were other problems with gladstones election campaign. concentrated too much on ireland, the country wanted social reform at home. the general election brought a firm victory for the conservatives in 1874. the liberal policies under gladstone had alienated most of the supporters. in 1874 the old whigs, merchants and industrialists were disappointed at what they saw as gladstones wooing of the working class and 'working class militancy, radicalism and republicanism' they turned to the conservative party and together with the newly enfranchised working class brought disraeli to power. even though in his 1880 ministry he was focused with ireland, he was repsonsible for some far reaching political reforms.
Why did the Liberal Party win the 1868 election?
policy - disestblish the irish branch of the church of england - the imposition of a foreign protestant institution on the overwhelmingly catholic people of ireland was seen as a blatant injustice by 1868. therefore the proposal had a great appeal in ireland in and amongst catholic voters. .liberal enjoyed the best performance of the century in ireland, and nonconformists were won over. this helped to reunite the liberal party. for nonconformists, it marked the first stage of a process that would lead to the disestablishment of the church of england itself. ehig landowners with irish estates saw it would remove a major cause of unrest which posed a constant threat to law and order in ireland. it pleased radicals as they saw it as a long overdue attack on the privilege.
the promise of land reform in ireland, education reform in britain and cheaper, more efficient government under retrenchment also made their mark.
election camapign - gladstone and bright conducted a vigorous election campaign and travelled around the country making speeches. disraeli by contrast merely sent a printed election address to his own constituents and missed an opportunity of winning over the borough voters with a programme of social reform.
despite itter liberal divisions over parliamentary reform in 1866 with the adullumites and disraelis attempt to engineer the second reform act to favour the conservative party by creating a boundary commission to remove urban influence in the counties, the liberals won the election. this can be atributed to their camapgin to disestablish the irish branch of the anglican church, but it put the conservatives in a very difficult position as it was an injustice which could not morally be opposed.
how significant were the reforms of Gladstone's fi
it was repsonsible for a series of wide ranging and significant reforms.
legislation such as the local government act, the supreme court of judicature act, the forster elementary education act and cardwells army reform s were all significant in improving the efficiency of the nations institutions.
the ballot act went a considerable way to ensuring freedom of choice at electios. the trade union act allowed unions to operate legally, while the criminal law amendment act attempted to allow those who wished to work during a dispute go to work unmolested.
however, the ministry is regarded as a landmark in the attack on privilee and the promotion of peritocracy. the irish church act, the abolition of purchase of army commissions, the university test act and the open competition for hime civil service posts all contributed to making gladstones first ministry into a great reforming ministry.
nevertheless, much of the leislation also bore the mark of pressure group demands for reform, such as the universities test act, the licensing act, the forster education act, and the trade union act. also, eveyone of his pieces of legislation was successful in upsetting at least one influential group of people, and sometimes more. by gladstone pressed on in spite of all protests, fortified by the belief he was carrying out gods will.
Gadstones domestic reforms 1868 - 1874
stimulus to reform: forster elementary education act 1870. laid the foundations of the english elementary system. until then, education was carried out in churchs, with some financial assistence by the state from 1833. by the late 1860s, a string of royal commissions had made clear that the patchwork of elementary schools provided by these religious societies was unable to cope with the rapidly expanding population. in some large industrial centres less than 1 in 10 children was receiving any education, in short it was inadequate. demands for reform ame from industrialists who feared that britains competitive edge in world trade and industry was being damaged by the lack of an effective education system. britains main economic rivals e.g. usa, prussia had already introduced free compulsory state funded education and seemed to be doing well economically and militarily as a result. better education would furnish workers with the necessary technical and vocational skills to maintain economic competitiveness. Birmingham industrialist launched the national education league in 1869. this pressure group campaigned for free, compulsory non-denominational education. they were opposed by the national education union, which wanted it to remain under church control. the extension of the vote in 1867 necessitated their education to ensure they could exercise the vote responsibility. there could never be equality of opportunity unless the whole population beneited from elementary education. also, being a committed christian and the belief in self help meant education was needed as without education they cant help themselves. the booming economy gave the right material conditions to finance a state system of education.
provisions: the result was a compromise between the national education league and the national education union. it became known as the dual system. education was to be provided by board schools (state schools) or church schools. school boards were created that set up schools. they were given the power to levy local rates to meet part of the costs of board schools but not church schools. the rest of the money was provided by govt. however it wasn't made compulsory or free. fees were to be paid by parents to board schools, but the board schools could set up free schools in the poorer districts.
significance of the act: it fell short of the aspirations of the national education league. education hadnt become free, compulsory or non denominational. the league ran its own candidates against the liberals in the 1874 election. further legislation in 1876, 1880 and 1891 went a long way to meeting their aims, but the dual system survived. on the other side of the spectrum the act infuriated religious bodies as their schools received no money from local rates and because the new schools had no obligation to provide any religious education. non conformists were particularly annoid because the act had actually strengthened the position of the anglican schools rather than abolishing them, and they had to pay local rates which might be used for godless board schools. this created bitter struggles in which different religious groups fought for control of their board schools. however, it did achieve what fladstone had in mind which was to complete the system. the number of children in education more than doubled to almost three million. it also advanced the great liberal aim of empowering individuals to make more of themselves and their talents. from a political perspective it saw an acknowledgement from the state of its role in educating the nations children. it marked a move away from laissez faire.given the liberals commitment to individualism it would have been unrealistic to expect them to go further.
Gadstones domestic reforms 1868 - 1874
the university test act 1871 - in 1871 gladstone passed this act which was an attempt to remove a glaring injustice and promoting equality of opportunity in the universities. action was needed to remove an acient law that permitted only angicans to become members of the administration, teachers or hold fellowships at ocford and cambridge universities. this was a major nonconformist grievance and they were pleased when action was taken to abolish these special privileges. the act allowed non-anglicans to take up teaching posts at the universities of oxbridge and durham. they could also qualify for scholarships and fellowships.
licensing reform - widespread drunkness was a striking feature. the immorality of this situation appaled gladstone. they came to believe that there were too many public houses and that massive profits made by the breweries ought to be controlled. the government came under pressure to tackle this problem from the united kingdon alliance and the ban of hope union. in 1872 the licesning act was introduced by Bruce the home secretary: it gave JPs te right to grant licences to publicans, and so close down publics where there were too many of them, to fix opening hours and check on the adulteration of beer. it forbade it, as salt was often added to beer to increase the thirst off the consumer and boost sales. the moderateess of the act dissapointed the two liberal pressure groups who felt it was too lenient. but it upset the drinking masses (wc), there were a number of near riots when the police tried to enforce closing thours. others opposed the act because it interfered with personal liberty while brewers resented it because it was an attack on their profits. this moved the publicans and brewers to the conservatives and explain why the defeat of liberals in 1874
Gadstones domestic reforms 1868 - 1874
stimulus to reform: by the beginning of the 1870s, the glaring inefficiencies and faults of the army had been exposed by british incompetence during the crimean war, indian mutiny. as with the civil service, the problem lay in the fact that appointment to senior positions was based upon the sale of office rather than ability. any wealthy man could buy himself into the officer class, it didnt matter if he didnt know anything about the military.reform would inprove efficiency and cut costs. the cammander in chief of the army was the cousin of queen vic who often referred to him as 'poor george' as he had the reputation of making bad situations even worse. he was slow-witted and opposed to change. the need for reform was made more urgent by the purssian vvictories over austria and france, which revealed a new, highly professional and potentially dangerous political power.
the main provisions - cardwells army reforms encompassed many of the principles which underpinned gladstonian liberalism. they strived for an improvement in efficiency, to remove privilege and to enhance individual self expression,the war office act 1870 divided the war office into three departments to improve efficiency, the commander in chief was made subordiante to the secretary for war. the army enlistment act permitted three year enlistment in addition to the normal 12 years, and the length of service was reduced from 12 years overseas to 6 years overseas and six in the reserves. this was more sensible since many men ended broken in health after 12 years in India. the army regulation act 1871 increased the size of the army. to bring britain in line with the other modern forces, a new rifle was introduced. in an attack of privilege, the most controversial aspect was the abolition of the purchase of commissions. promotion was based on merit only. this was met with dierce opposition in the lords that it was introduced by royal warrant. troops were withdrawn from self governing colonies, which were encouraged to raise their own forces.
opposition to the reforms - many aristocrats opposed the reforms because they threatened their own position. they believed the main qualification should be a gentleman and sportsman not a professional. gladstone was appalled by the selfishness of an aristocracy which seemed to put the protection of privilege ahead of national interest. as a result he increasingly lined himself with the masses who, in his reading of the bible, were better and wiser than the rich and more aware of nations needs. the decision to withdraw troops from self governing colonies, such as Canada, was controversial. it stemmed from the belief that to be self governing, they need to be incharge of own defence. it created considerable opposition in canafa, which feared US invasion and had experienced a revolt in 1867. disraeli claimed that this was part of a gladstonin plot to disember the empire.
significance: they were a staggering success. it was more humane and civilised and encouraged a better type of recruit and made possible a large and efficient reserve - raised from 3500 to around 35k. established the beginning of an efficient modern army which made successful campaigns possible e.g. in egypt 18882. however he failed to create a permanent general staff that existed in france and purssia. this contributed to the disaster at the outset of the boer war. officers continued to use the old fashioned rifles out of preference, and he failed to get rid of poor geore.
Gadstones domestic reforms 1868 - 1874
civil service -
appointments to the civil service were still made according to recommendations from MP or peer. this meant an individuals ability to secure promotion depended on who he knew. ability wasnt of concern. this made many civil servants incompetent or lazy. increasing complexity of government necessittated a more efficient civil service to support it. in june 1870, by order-in-council, the government made all public posts within the civil service open to competition through public examination. this is a good example of promotion of meritocracy. it opened it up to the best brains and its efficiency and professionalism increased also. it would advance the cause of meritocracy enabling ordinary background the chance to pursue a steady career with good prospects and a comfortable standard of living. it won the approval of mc liberals and could be interpreted as a reflection of gladstones commitment to self help. many aristocrats opposed the measure.
electoral reform - in an effort to enhance the radical support, gladstone invited the radical Bright to join his cabinet. he made clear if he would join on the introduction of the secret ballot. this had been a long term aspiration of the radicals as it was deemed essential for creating a parliament which was representative of the interests of the nation. in the meantime, contemporaries were shocked at the extent of bribery and intimidation which had taken place during the 1868 election. consequently in 1872, the secret ballot act declared voting would be by secret ballot, and nomination werent at hustings. however, it didnt end electorate mlalpractices and there were still obvious ways of buying votes such as free beer and transport to and from the polls. it wasnt until the corrupt and illegal practices act 1883, passed during gladstones second ministry that corruption was brought under control. voters were still inconvinced that their votes were actually secret so continued to vote according to their employers wishes, for rear of dismissal. it proved to be highly unpopular with the landlords, employers who could no longer dictate votes. it did make the pricess more fficient and paved the way for a more representative and democratic political system.
Gadstones domestic reforms 1868 - 1874
trade union reform -
the legal position, privileges and powers of trade unions had never been precisely defined. as a result, the govt came under the pressure of the new model unions, major supporters of thhe liberal party during the 1868 election, to grant them legal recognition after the hornby versus case, 1867. building upon the findings of a royal commission set up during disraeis administration, the govt came up with two measures to clarfy the position of trade unions.
1871 trade union act - gave them legal prtection - recognised as legal bodies with rights to own property and funds, to protect them, and to strike.
1871 criminal law amendment act - prevent violence in strikes by making intimidation illegal by forbidding picketing of all types. this stemmed from gladstones religious stance in that he was opposed to the use of force to sway opinion. he was also intent upon defending th rights of individual against intimidation. however this was weak as it failed to clearly define intimidation. in some instance it was taken very widely to inclde things such as dirty looks. this caused the courts great resentmentamong trade unionists and lost gladstone a great deal of support from wc. by 1873, the liberals had decided that reform was needed and agreed to a proposal similar to what gladstone passed in 1875
local government reform - disraeli had set up a royal commission on sanitary matters. it reported in 1871 and recomended the unifrmity of sanitary laws. as a result the govt passed a local goverment act which reorganised health and administration under a minister for local government. in 1872 the public health act established the urban and rural sanitary authorities responsible for public health in local areas. however the act was little more than a half hearted attempt to deal with britains complex health problems. gladstone wasnt sifficiently interested and the people who ran the health boards believed their most important function was to keep expenditure to the minimum - benthamite contradiction - efficiency being sacrificed to economy.
why did the demand for reform remain after 1832?
- disappointment with the 1st reform act - limited nature - only 1 in 5 adult men could vote, around 60 pocket boroughs remained - cant vote according to conscience, no secet ballot, the working class majoirty couldnt vote due to franchise qualification.
- improved economic conditions - meant that reformers could concentrate on a smaller set of goals. They sought to make the working class look more worthy of the vote by promoting education. During the 1850s, chartism was superseded by a band of more moderate reformers who gave the image of respectability and willingness to work within the existing system.
- the first reform act set a precedent for future reform
- disappointment with the whig social reforms - The factory act 1833 had done nothing to address the very long working hours faced by adults in factories or the terrible conditions. The new poor la amendment act 1834 made poverty look like the fault of the poor, which failed to address the real causes of poverty. The municipal corporation act 1835 made town improvements optional. This left families living in filthy, overcrowded and disease ridden conditions. In 1842, chadwick produced his famous report, highlighting these conditions. This led the working masses to think the only way for their conditions to be improved was to change the political system to give them representation.
- the chartist movement kept reform on the political agenda. had aims
why did the demand for reform revive in the 1860s?
- 1. Population changes since 1832
- · Population had increased by 5 million to 29 million. By 1865, only 500k adult men had the vote of a group exceeding 5 million.
- · People continued to move into industrial areas, but there had been no changes in constituencies, and no new ones created. The south remained over represented.
- 2. Break in economic prosperity 1866-67 is the main catalyst for radical pressure on government to introduce reform in 1867. The working class was feeling the effects of a bad harvest and serious outbreaks of disease in cattle that raised bread and meat crisis. – there was an endemic in liver rot and foot and mouth disease. A financial crisis in the city caused businesses to fail and threatened a rise in unemployment. This led to worry and people wanting reform.
- 3. The inept handling of the Crimean war boosted the issue of reform.
- 4. Pressure from radicals in and outside of parliament.
- · The radicals led by Bright maintained a continuous pressure for reform. As democracy was tried in Canada, USA etc. it should be tried in Britain.
- 5. The campaign of the trade union movement for reform.
- · During the 1850s, new model unions began to spread. They were more moderate than earlier unions and were led by men who had demonstrated they were responsible people e.g. Howell. They wanted to improve the standards of the workers and to reform parliament through reform not revolution.
- · In 1864, the reform union was set up – an alliance of mc and wc reformers.
- 6. Gladstone was converted to the idea of reform
- · he believed any man who had proven his moral worth should be able to vote. His approval of the Lancashire cotton workers political maturity led him to declare it was a shame that they were excluded from the franchise.
- 7. The death of Palmerston
- · He had been opposed to the issue of reform and feared that Gladstone’s favour of it would ‘excite agitation’. Following his death in 1865, the premiership was passed to Russell who was committed to parliamentary reform.
- 8. Change in attitude.
- · Previous attempts at parliamentary reform failed because there was little public pressure on the government. The period of prosperity meant people were satisfied. From the 1860s, there was a change in attitude within political parties and changes in the make-up of the parties which helped to bring reform to the forefront. The old whig party was transformed into a liberal party in which commercial and industrial members had a growing nfluence. Successful businessmen who lived in underrepresented towns sought to extend their political status and power, through the redistribution of seats.
- · The improvement in the standard of living among the skilled working class, along with their improved education made them seem more acceptable to have the vote.
- · The size of the constituencies had become very uneven, this forced the issue of reform onto the political agenda.
- · The way the working class lancashire cotton workers handled the hardships caused by the American civil war impressed people in parliament, so it made them seem worthy of the vote.
why was the liberal reform bill defeated?
1. Radical disappointment: £7 householder would have increased the franchise to 1 in 4 men, this was limited in scope.
2. Whig opposition – many whiggish liberals were unconvinced of the need for reform. Evidence presented three days before the bill was introduced, showed that in 116 boroughs over a quarter was already working class. This allowed opposition to ask if there was any need for reform.
3. The adullamites – led by Lowe. They attacked th extension of the franchise as being unnecessary for good government and threatening to constitutional stability. However, as he stood to loose his seat, his motives were selfish. It was also because it would lead to the distruction of the social hierarchy, and the confiscation of property.
4. Conservative opposition – argued that the bill went too far, led by Disraeli.
Terms of the second reform act
boroughs – all male householders could vote, regardless of the type of dwelling they occupied, providing they had been in occupancy for 12 months. 10 rent
counties – left as in 1832 – 40 shilling freeholders. Owners or leaseholders of lands of a value of £5 per annum or more
redistribution of seats –
45 seats were taken from boroughs with under 10k inhabitants and 7 towns were disenfranchised for corruption
25 seats were given to counties, 20 seats for new boroughs, 6 boroughs received 1 extra seat
Impact on Disraeli:
- He gave the impression of being in calm control even when being rushed into improvisation
- He conjured up statistics to confuse his critics and make ‘household suffrage’ sound homely, solid and respectable rather than revolutionary
- He used sarcasm to outwit Gladstone at every stage in the debate.
How and why was reform achieved in 1867?
it has been referred to as a leap in the dark. this was not only because few realised what implications might be of extending the vote to a propertyless working class in the towns, but also because there was little awarenesswhile the bill wasbeing passed of how many additional voters would actually vote. even stranger was the fact that although the conservatives passed the act while in a minoirty government, they gave the vote largely to skilled workers in urban areas which were traditionally seen as liberal strongholds. the urban workers who gained the vote in 1867 showed their gratitude to disraeli for passing the bill by returning a liberal government with a substantial majoirty.
why did p reform return as a major political issue.
death of palmerston - died in 1865 just after winning another election. there were rumours he was about to be sued by a young woman for maintenance of an illegitimate child he had recently fathered. disraeli worked to suppress the rumours on the grounds that if palmerston could prove his potency at the age of 80, then this would not only increase his popularity but also make the conservative attack that he was too old to run the country difficult to sustain. with russell taking over, he was determined to end his political career the way he started it - with p reform. in 1864, Gladstone stated in a speech that he believed the working class had shown their moral worth of the vote. they paid taxes and rates, and high rents, so were not too removed from the principle of property which had been enshrined in the 1832 act - franchise. with russell and gladstone leading the liberal party, and growing pressure from outside for reform, with a middle-class reform union and a more working class reform league, and raising fears that the anti corn law league might return, public opinion swung in favour of widening the franchise.
why did the first liberal bill fail?
in march 1866, Gladstone introduced a p reform bill into the commons. it wasn't as radical as many had hoped. the right of his party was alarmed about the unpredictability of the new voters, and there was hostility in the conservatives. disraeli was critical of this bill as he felt that the aristocracy would sugger and lose their natural leadership of the country. the bill succeeded in dividing the liberal party. RObert Lowe and the adullumites against reform succeeded in bringing down his own government. the liberals weren't sure what they wanted. many liberal MPs did want more improving legislation of a social and economic type, and felt this was the way to get it. others felt that with the growth in number of the prosporous WC men involved in local politics, it was a good idea to give the vote to as many future Liberal voters as possible. there was a feeling also that there was an intelligent working man out there - sober and responsible, who merited the vote. Russell was involved emoutionally and apart from his desire to get a bill through, he didnt have any clear ideas. Gladstone had mixed feelings on the subject - he knew it might help his rise to leadership in the party if it succeeded, and he felt some of the potential voters mgiht not only be liberal, but also sympathetic to his desire for reducing expenditure. however he felt they may be vulnerable to radical pressure for increased spending by government. the bill they came up with was moderate. Neither Russel nor Gladstone wanted to offend anymoreconservative liberal mps who were known to be concerned about the issue. around 400k more men would get the vote with the £7 householder frnachise. there would be a limited redistribution of seats to change the grossly unfair allocation of seats in p to actual numbers of voters.
why did conservatives take up issue of p reform?
in 1866, they were in a minority government, as the majority grouping had failed to remain united. derby led the government, from the lords, and disraeli was chancellor and leader of commons. reform was in the air. a large demonstration took place in Hyde Park, known as the hyde park riots. they werent as extreme as those in 1832 but it created enough to fear. the conservatives had played a role in resisting Gladstones fairly modest bill.
there was popular pressure for reform. more than one demonstration produced a crowd larger than 100k. which worried the organisers as much as it did the government. there was an additional background of growing agricultural and industrial depression, and a cholera outbreak. there was feeling it might be dangerous not to concede.
it can also be seen as a cynical attempt to gain political advantage. conservatives felt that they could now market themselves no only as resisters of unwarrented change, but also as the developers of some constitutional progress. some including disraeli were weary of years of opposition, and wanted to be seen as the party of government. some see it as part of a wider plan to get tory democracy to britain. palmerston had stolen the conservatives conservatism, so it was a chance to gain the liberals liberalism. other historians say disraeli did not believe that the urban working class would vote consevative nor did he think in terms of his ability to persuafe such a class to do so.
the liberals were badly split and would remain so as long as p reform stayed on the agenda. this would also meant that the consevatives would remain in office. DIsraeli knew that the liberal bill was carefully designed to do maximum damage to the conservative vote in the constituencies. so it made sense to put forwards a bill that would help the conservative party in terms of votes. derby was also enthusiastic. he was prepared to take the initiative, more so than the initially cautious disraeli. straight party political gains was probably the dominant factor in the reasons behind the conservative adoption of a bill.
the conservative reform bill
disraeli introduced the bill into the house of commons in feb 67. this was after the queens speech had offered reform of parliament without unduly disturbing the balance of power, shall freel extend the elective franchise. there was widely differing views within the government of what might be the outcome in terms of actual voters of full household suffrage, or giving the vote to those who paid rates of more than £5 a year. there was a lot of opposition in the cabinet - a more limited version was put forwards, but this didnt satisfy many conservative MPs so the more radical one was put to the commons. fortunately with the liberals bitterly divided, disraeli got his bill through the second reading of the commons. there were a lot of changes to the bill as it passed through the commons and lords, and disraeli managed to hold his party together and wing it to carry his party through. he gained support for this measure. britain had taken a massive step towards democracy, in an essentially peaceful way. it led to education of the working class with forster education act 1870, as the voters had to be educated to use their vote effectively. politicians such as liberal chamberlain saw that the future lay in party organisation on a massive scale as the route to power. it is more than a coincidence that the next to ministries saw more legislation affecting areas of british life than previously.
once the bill was through parliament went into recess and did not reconvene until 1868. derby resigned through ill health and Disraeli replaced him as PM. Gladstone had replaced Russell as the liberal leader, and an election was called, against the wishes of the queen in autumn 1868. the liberal majoirty was increased. the new voters in the towns did not show any gratitude to the conservatives instead they voted for the liberals. gladstone toured the country making sppeches to mass audiences. he realised that the new voters had to be won over. disraeli contended himself with one written address and a signle sppech and thus lost.
pressure for reform
chartism - renewed pressure for political reform came from the chartists during a brief period of revivaal stimulated by economic depression of 1847 and the influence of the revolutions that were occuring in several european countries at the tie. a third chartist petition was organised. fired up with new enthusiasm for the cause, O'Conner drew up a constitution for a british republic with himself as president. a mass meeting was arranged on Kennington Common in LOndon, before the presentation of the petition that had 6m signitures, to parliament. there was real alarm in government circles and troops were deployed in the capital. O'COnner caved into advice that the petition be carried by only a few representatives, as the planned march would be blocked by government forces. the movement was deflated and fell away.
the episodic nature of chartism was a constant drawback to its success and the intermittent apathy of the wc was a feature of that. the majoirty were illiterate and unable to prganise themselves effectively, especially at local level. it was inevitable that a parliament dominated by landed aristocracy and mc wealth would reject that charter. the division among the leading chartists had done nothing to promote unity and any violence frightened away potential mc supporters, who could have helped the funding crisis. lack of funds made it impossible for the chartists to make use of the latest means of communication. the railways and penny post. other better organised groups drew away chartist support. a sustained improvement in economic conditions worked against any future revival of the chartist mvement. before the next real depression set in around 1873, a section of the working class had been enfranchised, the qualiication to stand as MP had been removed and the liberal overnment had passed the secret ballot act, meaning that three out of six of the chartist demands had been achieved. it could be argued that the legacy of the movement was ultimately the achievement of five of the points by 1918, but it is questionable whether that occured because of the movements influence or part of the natural process of democratic prgress.
Briggs argues that the break in economic prosperity in 1866-67 became the main catalyst for the success of radical pressure on the government to introudce reform. apart from frustration at the lack of progress in the franchise, the working classes were feeling the effects of a bad harvest and a series of outbreaks of disease in cattle that raised both bread and meat prices. a fiancial crisis in the city caused businesses to fail and this threatened a rise in unemployment. the previous bills seemed to have failed because there was no pressure on government.
pressure for reform
chartism - renewed pressure for political reform came from the chartists during a brief period of revivaal stimulated by economic depression of 1847 and the influence of the revolutions that were occuring in several european countries at the tie. a third chartist petition was organised. fired up with new enthusiasm for the cause, O'Conner drew up a constitution for a british republic with himself as president. a mass meeting was arranged on Kennington Common in LOndon, before the presentation of the petition that had 6m signitures, to parliament. there was real alarm in government circles and troops were deployed in the capital. O'COnner caved into advice that the petition be carried by only a few representatives, as the planned march would be blocked by government forces. the movement was deflated and fell away.
the episodic nature of chartism was a constant drawback to its success and the intermittent apathy of the wc was a feature of that. the majoirty were illiterate and unable to prganise themselves effectively, especially at local level. it was inevitable that a parliament dominated by landed aristocracy and mc wealth would reject that charter. the division among the leading chartists had done nothing to promote unity and any violence frightened away potential mc supporters, who could have helped the funding crisis. lack of funds made it impossible for the chartists to make use of the latest means of communication. the railways and penny post. other better organised groups drew away chartist support. a sustained improvement in economic conditions worked against any future revival of the chartist mvement. before the next real depression set in around 1873, a section of the working class had been enfranchised, the qualiication to stand as MP had been removed and the liberal overnment had passed the secret ballot act, meaning that three out of six of the chartist demands had been achieved. it could be argued that the legacy of the movement was ultimately the achievement of five of the points by 1918, but it is questionable whether that occured because of the movements influence or part of the natural process of democratic prgress.
Briggs argues that the break in economic prosperity in 1866-67 became the main catalyst for the success of radical pressure on the government to introudce reform. apart from frustration at the lack of progress in the franchise, the working classes were feeling the effects of a bad harvest and a series of outbreaks of disease in cattle that raised both bread and meat prices. a fiancial crisis in the city caused businesses to fail and this threatened a rise in unemployment. the previous bills seemed to have failed because there was no pressure on government.
changing attitudes from the people
during the 1860s, there was a change in attitude within the political parties and also in the make up of those parties, which helped to bring p reform to the forefront. the old whig party dominated by aristocrats was transforming into the liberal party, in which the commercial and industrial members had growing influence. these successful business men who lived in the large under-represented towns and cities sought to extend their political status and power, even if it was only through redistribution of seats. Gladstonebad become convinced of the necessity of reform and began to lead the liberal party in this direction. this offered encouragement to radical reform groups. the radicals in parliament who often spoe for the working man were becoming more effective within the liberal party. the leading raidcal MP Bright increased his influence on Gladstone. the conservatives also accepted the need for change, though for disraeli and the progressive tories, they also saw reform as an opportunity to win the wider support of a larger electorate. the improvement of the standards of living among skilled workers coupled with their improved level of education made the liberals more prone to accepting the idea of extending the franchise to include this group. they saved wages in firendly societies or the post office saving banks, and in the eyes of gladstone, they had proved themselves to be responsible.
the size of the constituencies had become very uneven as a result of continuing population growth and urbanisation. no new constituencies had been formed. this had led to large under-represented populations in the expanding industrial towns and cities. the liberal mc manufacturing mps had a vested interest in securing an increase in the number of seats in these areas to extend their political influence. in reality demographic changes were forcing the issue of reform onto the political agenda and they would have to be tackled by whichever party was in power. the radicals kept up the pressure for reform both inside parliament and out. Bright toured the country encouraging ordinary men to demand their democratic rights. he put forwards convincing arguments on behalf of the skilled workers in favour of extending the franchise. the writings of political philosophers such as Mill, elected MP for westminister in 1865, were influential in raising the interest in the political debates surrounding the extension of the franchise. both the american civil war and italian unification were seen as struggles for freedom and democracy, and were instrumental in creating popular surge of interest in reform. the visit of Giribaldi, the hero of the italian unification ovement, to london in 1864 excited the crowds and spurred on leading radicals to revive an interest in british politics and reform. thousands of people flockedto hear Garibaldi speak and when the authorities clamped down on his public meetings there were angry protests. this repressive response led to the setting up of the reform league in 1865. this was a mainly working class alliance with strong trade union support and a few wealthy mc backers. its aim was to work towards democracy through universal male suffrage and a programme of radical reform. local branches sprang up in manufacturing towns and the league was able to mobilise its considerable force of trade union members and make its presence felt. additional pressure came from leading trade union men in the london trades council who met in 1866
the reform union - the reform league was more active and successful than the reform union. was a largely mc organisation and focused on the redistribution of seats and secret ballot. to address the problems caused by the shift in population. Bright encouraged the two organisations to work together but the class tensions divided them.
when gladstones reform bill was rekected by parliament in 1866, the reform league organised demonstrations across the country. in july 1866 the hyde park riots caused considerable alarm. a similar demonstration took place in may 1867 the resulting pressure from outside parliament may have been crucial in persuading disraeli to seize the moment and take the credit for what had been regarded as a liberal reform. it was paradoxical that it was the conservative government led by lord Deby with disraeli as leader of commons that secured the reform act. there may have been an element of pressure from outside, but also it was passed as a result of outside pressure.
the second reform act
it increased the total number of voters from 1.2 million to 2.5million which was roughly one third of male adult population. no women could vote. the greatest increase occured in the boroughs, where skilled workers were given the vote for the first time. an elitist perception conitnued among the political classes that fitness to vote was based on not just income but on wise use of income - to secure a stable home. the poorer unskilled working class, who had no ability to save nor secure tenure, were still excluded
the impact of this landmark victory for artisans was reduced because of the limited nature of the redistribution. birmingham, manchester and liberpool with their huge populations were only given one extra seat. it didnt correspond to the size of the population. rural areas remained over represented and industrial north/midlands and scotland underrepresented. boroughs with a population of just 10k had the same representation as boroughs with population of almost 400k. the distinction between county and borough franchise was maintained. there was a smaller increase in the electorate in the counties, where voting qualification was extended to include smallholders, and small tenant farmers, but completely excluded agricultural workers.
the increase in the electorate led to both parties improving their party organisation in order to capturethe new voters at elections. it led indirectly to the 1870 education act, as many politicians thought it appropriate to educate new voters
more parliamentary reform after 1872
in gladstones second ministry, he introduced 3 major pieces of electoral legislation that brought britain much closer to democracy. the corrupt practices act of 1883 closed the loopholes that had allowed corruption to continue virtually unchallenged. it set a limit for candidates election expenses and clarified what campaign money could be spent on. it clearly defined illegal and corrupt practices and introduced stiff penalties for anyone breaking the law. this meant that politicians now had to win support by promoting better policies. this was reinforced by a growing wc electorate.
by 1880s, opinion was changing and there was no. logical argument against extending the franchise further.· Third Reform Act 1884- Biggest change to the electoral system- it added the greatest number of voters to the franchise out of all the Reform Acts. This act gave the vote to all male householders in the country, finally making the franchise the same in both types of constituencies – the boroughs and counties. The act added over 2 million voters to the franchise. 60% of adult males could vote, almost double the previous franchise. This still didn't achieve democracy in Britain. Women were still excluded and it was still property based, meaning plural voting still existed. this substantially reduced the landed interest on govt.
· Redistribution Act 1885
Act was passed as a result of the deal made between Gladstone and Salisbury in order to pass the third reform act. Its terms: Smaller boroughs with less than 15k inhabitants lost both MPs. This meant that almost all constituenices were single member (all those with under 50k inhabitants. The seats were released in this way were re-distributed to areas of large population. The constituencies in the cities were re-organised. Boundary lines were redrawn. Representation differences in different regions was property based. Boroughs and counties now had equal voting. The boundary commission made sure it remained equal.
consequences of the reform act
it took a large step towards democracy - 60% of men could no vote, including agricultural labourers. the county and borough franchises were equalised. in ireland it had a big impact, increasing the electorate from 240k to 740k . it didnt quite complete the transition to democracy - women were still excluded from voting as were domestic servants residing ith their employer, and around 40% of men. plural voting continued, as it was still property based, and there were still 7 different ways of qualifiying for the vote.
the redistribution act did ensure that representation of different regions was related to population. london mps increased from 22 to 59. ireland however, remained overrepresented coompared with other parts of the uk because parnell was too powerful to offend,
the electoral consequences of introudicng single member constituencies were striking. the conservatives benefited and soon dominated the mc constituencies. in formerly radical cities like leeds, the conservatives regularily took two/three of the five seats. the disappearance of most two member constiencies ended the liberal practice of running one whig and one radical candidate in each constiuency. this meant tht fewer whigs could gain acceptance as candidates. the aristocratic section of the liberals thus began to shrink and radicals became the dominant wing of the party.
in ireland, the wider franchise meant that parnells nationalists swept the board, guaranteed of winning at least 80 seats. the over-representation of ireland at west minister allowed them to hold the balance. it also strengthened their fight for home rule.
the corrupt practices act and the intricacies of the registration process meant that organisations was essential. professional agents became very important, but the restrictions on expenditure equired an increase in voluntary work by party activists.
was Gladstones 2nd ministry one of troubles?
no (achievements, and domestic reforms):
agriculture - when gladstones came to power in 1880 - the country was in the grip of a major agriculutural depression that had begun since 1873. pressure groups such as the farmers alliance had hoped to the liberals would provide such security for tenant farmers against eviction. the liberals did pass a number of reforms to aid tenant farmers. the abolition of the malt tax 1880 replaced with tax on beer. this eased the tax burden on farmers. it followed a vigorous campaign by farmers who were feeling the agricultural depression. gladstone had to raise income tax by a penny in the pound to make up for the lost revenue. the ground game act allowed tenant farmers to shoot hares and rabbits as a supplement to their diet. this was a response to complaints from farmers about the damage which unregulated wild rabbit and hare populations were causing to their crops. the agricultural holdings act - extended a permissive Disraelian measure and provided farmers with extra security of tenure. the act also recognised farmers rights to compensation for improvements they made during their tenancy of a piece of land e.g. new buildings, drainage works and represented a major first step in the protection of tenant farmers against the landowners. it stemmed from growing pressure fom groups such as the farmers alliance, whose members faced greater prospects of eviction due to depression.
irish reforms - the land act - gave tenant farmers the three fs of free sale, fair rent and fixity of tenure. the most successful aspect of government policy was coercion from 1880 - 1883 which helped bring the land war to an end.
education - mundella education act - made elimentary school compulsory by creating the position of truancy officers to ensure attendance. the measure wasn't entirely successful and by the early 1890s only 80% of this age group were regularly attending school. part of the reason for this failure can be atributed to the fact many children worked outside of school hours, so were too tired to attend school, and the parents couldnt afford to ffive up income earned by their children. fees were also still payable until 1891. neverteless, the act had established a principle. in spite of the fact that technical colleges were growing up in the 1880s to serve the needs of industry,technical education remained neglected. there was no legislative provision for technical education, despite the successes of the french and germans. this period saw a rising demand for education beyond elementary stage. for many of those who elected members to the school boards were artisans who desire to see wider educational opportunities for poorer families. children tended to stay on beyon 13 in some schools, in 1880, the sheffield school board opened a higher grade school for older kids.
womens rights - married womens property act - 1882 - gave married women legal protection for their property. before this, on marrying the husband gained legal possession of all his wifes worldly goods to dispose of as he wished. this had acted as an open invitation for fortune hunters to take advantage of innocent and unsuspecting wealthy young ladies. ironically, they would also be responsible for any debts or legal prosecutions which arose from them
employment law: employers liability act - the first at to provide financial compensation of workers injured at work caused by faulty equipment or negligence of an employer, manager or foremand. this didnt protect employees against accidents caused by fellow workers and stipulated negligence must be proven.
problems facing the ministry - Gladstone 1880-85
ireland - when gladstone came to power, ireland was in a state of considerbale unrest, a land war between peasants and landlords was in full swing. in the commons, the home rule party led a policy of obstruction which was so effective that the speaker was forced to introduce new procedures including closure and guillotine to bring proceedings to a close. between 1880 - 1885, ireland was in a state of permanent crisis. whatever gladstone did in ireland, offended one section or another of his party. when he tried to make concession, the whigs objectived, chamberlians plan for irish local self government on a county basis was defeated in the cabinet because all the whigs opposed it. shortly afterwards, gladstone tried to take a hardline through coercion, but the radicals objected and chamberlain resigned from the cabinet.
the bradlaugh case - a constant embarrassment to the government. Bradlaugh, an outspoken athiest who was elected liberal mp refused to take the religious oath necessary to sit in the commons because it contained the words so help me god. a select committee with the casting vote of the chair, rejected his right to refuse. he stood twice more for northampton, was re-elected and then refused entry to the commons. finalyy in 1885, he was allowed to take his seat before being allowed to sit in the next parliament. the reason this relatively minor issue caused so many problems for gladstones administration was that it was used by a small group with the conservatice pary to lauch attacks on the conservative leafership in the hoc. a group of young conservative MPS, known as the fourth party were dissatisfied with north cotes inability to exploit the ministrys problems for the benefit of the conservatives. although their opposition wasnt directed at gladstone, their activities did disrupt proceedings whnever the case was discussed.
imperial crisis - the government faced serious crises in the transvaal, egypt, southern africa, the sudan and a major one in russia over afghanistan. this was unhelpful and opened the government up for attack as being as imperialist as disraeli. the governmt policy of independence for the transvaal and a disaster in the sudan, made the government unpopular with the public. yet when the govt scored a success with the occupation of Egypt, some of the radicals objected and bright resigned from the cabinet.
gladstones leadership - when gladstone became pm in 1880, he claimed that his main aim was to reverse the constly and aggressive foreign policy associated with disraelis conservative government. however, seeing his return to office as a temporary expedient he had no clear view of what he wanted to achieve as PM beyond this limited aim. this meant it lacked firm leadership and direction, allowing divisions to surface. this worked in gladstones favour as he could always delay consideration of any major problem which required a long term solution by suggesting that he intended to retire in the near future. his method of runing the govt also caused problems. in addition to being PM, he hld office of chancellor, this meant that he was overwhelmed with mass of financial details which prevented him from giving sufficient attention to other matters. e.g. the independence of transvaal. he often acted on impulse without consulting the cabinet and was generally a difficult man to work with.
whig/radical conflict - e.g. lord spencer vs chamberlain and Bright. he had been backd by the radicals in the election, who thought he had moved to the left of the party (he had been impressed by their support for him over Bulgaria, and he attended the first meeting of the NLF in 1877) but had then upset them by packing his cabinet with whigs. there were only 3 radicals and 9 whigs.whig representation thus far outweighed their numerical support in the party. gladstone believed he was balancing the various factions of liberalism. instead he helped to cause resentment among the radical faction. they really opposed each other and much of the period it seemed as though a civil war had broken out between the two groups. they disagreed in virtually every policy. e.g. ireland - coercion vs reconcilliation. abroad, the whigs favoured expansion and radicals did not.
disagreement ove social reform - chamberlian was a keen social reformer, and local government reform, but these matters bored gladstone. before the 1885 election chamberlain launched a campaign for reform - the unauthorised programme because gladstone hadnt approved of it. amid meetings and processions, chamberlain outlined his programme. this was largely responsible for liberal success, yet gladstone made no concessions to him, and ignored the case for social refom.
working class disturbances 1800-1812
there was little activity from the main radical groups after 1800, however working class discontent continued, albeit sporadically, despite Pitts repressive measures. there was the usual food riots, which were more of a response to distress rather than radical influence. a group called the united englishmen threatened insurrection, but were of little consequence. the industrial disputes of the period, in spite of the combination laws were an indication of the hardships caused by wartime fluctuations and the impact of technological changes. the introduction of the power loom in factories threatened the livelihood of the handloom weaers, especially in Lancashire. when they failed to secure a minimum wage bill in 1808 (laissez-faire?) they rioted and sabotaged the new machinery, which by 1811 had become associated with luddism. these were early indications of the potential strength of workers to negotiate for improved conditions. it isn't likely they were contemplating revolution. the outbreaks were sporadic and the govt was preoccupied by the continuation of war.
The development of trade unions
trade unions 9societies/0 were formed in the second half of the 18th century to represent skilled workers in specific trades. they formed as insurance schemes. they were formed to protect their hard wonn status, or craft exclusivity against dilution by new machinery or those trying to enter the trade. in this sense, they were quite conservative and fulfilled a defensive rather than expansive role. although they succeeded where the skills were too specialised to be mechanised, most proved unsuccessful, some unions withered away as their members were deprived by machines of their skilled status. as they only represented skilled workers, and sought to exclude the unskilled, they did little to promote working class solidarity.
along side the trade societies, there were friendly societies. . in the absence of government welfare, these provided fiinancial assisteance to workmwn and their families in times of need. they were tolerated by the state as it approved of their emphasis on self help. in 1793, a friendly societies act was passed which gave them legal rights.
with urbanisation, and the spread of radicalism (seen in the proliferation of the corresponding societies and associated with french revolution) the government was increasingly concerned that trade socities were just a cover for some sort of radical conspiracy. with the onset of war, the threat of internal insurrection became even more alarming, so with a rapidly declining economic situation, due to harvest failure, resulted in an increase in social tension, the government took steps to destroy all organisations which might be able to coordinate popular protest. this resulted in the combination acts 1799 and 1800 which made all associations of working men illegal. this outlawed the normal practice of working men joining together to bargain for better wages and conditions. a parallel act prevented employers combining against workers but this was war of a symbolic gesture to appease the masses. this reaffirmed the govts growing commitment to free market economics, since trade unions sought to protect the pay of their members they prevented employers from reducing production costs through mechanisation and lower wages. the message of the combinations acts was clear - the establishment supported capitalist interests.
as the fear of the revolution receded and britain entered a period of prosperity, a greater tolerancetowards trade unions emerged. concerns arose that the comb acts were actually alienating workers from their employers adding to class conflict. after ll, legal restrictions had done nothing to stop their growth. it was believed that repealing them would bring a new climate of freedom and trust that would remove the need for trade unions. a successful campaign by Francis Place saw the acts removed in 1825. however, they actually grew following the repeal and the number of strikes increased. thus new legislation was introduced in 1826 which allowed them to exist but severely curtailed their freedom to pursue activities.
early socialism and Robert Owen
in 1812, the ideas of socialism were starting to emerge which aspired to the sharing of wealth to create greater equality. Owen and Ricardo were important figures in establishing the concept and applying socialist principles to their lives. they believed that the value of a product should bear some relation to the amount of labour that had gone into creating it. owen applied these ideas to the workforce, which he believed had a great value and if properly treated would work harder and the result would be increased productivity. his ideas was to have no exploitation and their were to be limits on the age of children and the hours they worked. he also believed organised recreation was important of the workers wellbeing, so dancing and singing classes were held, ignoring the possibility that the workers were exhausted after shifts. he applied these principles to a cotton mill in New lanark, and he wrote about his experiences. he put his ideas into practice in America and established a number of small, integrated, self-sufficient ccommunities, but the success of these settlements heavily depended on the personalities of the people involved in them, but the idea soon spread to britain. although many remained wedded to owenite principle, this socialist environment ultimately came to nothing and collapsed suddenly within years of its creation. this was because his belief in cooperation did not fit with the process of mechanisation and emerging capitalist notions of competitive individualism. whilst men were happy to share masculine tasks with women on the farm, they drew a line at helping with the housework, middleclass ideals of domesticated womanhood had now percolated down to wc communities and the militated against equality. however it would be wrong to suggest that this made no progress to social progress in the period. his belief in a persons character was shaped by their circumstances and that it could be improved through the creation of a pleasant living environment fed into the social reforms of the mid vic period.
anti slavery movement
the shipping of black slaves from the african continent to be sold to the plantations of the west indies had gone on for years without raising any moral issues. there were many english merchants involved who had become very wealthy. the wealth of many british families was based on the ownership of plantations in the west indies and was thus dependent on slavery. by the early 19th century, it had become easier and more acceptable for people to express their opinions and make their views felt in opposition to the government, as long as it was using peaceful means. as a result there were groups that focused on particular cause of interests. one of these was the anti slavery movement, and early on it began to put pressure on the government to bring an end to the trading in african slaves. supporters of this movement published pamphlets to shock a mainly mc and increasingly literate audience about the inhuane conditions. in this way the movement began to raise a public consciousness. the leading campaigner was william wilberforce, a yorkshire MP and close friend of Pitt. he was an evangelical and member of the clapham sect. they werent democratic as they upheld class differences and the distinctions between rich and poor. their business was to encourage righteousness and to promote the idea of a society seeking to improve personal standards of morality. they had a deep and genuine concern for groups of people who could not help themselves, for example children subject to cruelty and abuse, but also slaves. the anti slavery movement had the support from some political heavyweights like pitt, fox, grey, canning etc. although pitt pulled back from abolition in the 1780s when conflicting interests surfaced in parliament. in 1807, the abolition of slavery act passed through parliament without much fuss. it ended the trading in slaves, but did nothing to help those already on the colonies. the issue of slaery resurfaced after the wars in 1815, during peace negotiations among european powers. if britain were to hand back some of their spoils from war, the anti-slavery lobby was anxious for slavery not to build up again as a result. they pressurised liverpools government through petitions. in 1823, wilberforce formed the anti-slavery society which coordinated the wider campaign to outlaw slavery throughout the british colonis. in 1825 Buxton took over from wilberforce, who was ageing, to keep the movement alive. the slave owners argued that freedom to slaves would cause too much unrest. it wasn't until the whigs eturned to power in 1830 that wilberforce could press for an end to slavery. the abolition of slavery act was passed in 1833, giving slaves in british territories their freedom.
was Disraeli the founder of modern conservatism
In the period leading up to the 1874 election, Disraeli began to sow the seed for the idea of a tory democracy – a new brand of conservatism, in order to revive the fortunes of the conservative party.
He was interested in the new trends towards democracy and the extension of the franchise, but he believed strongly in maintaining the privilege and knew that the conservative party weren’t ready to abandon the old aristocratic hierarchy. He wanted to persuade the working classes to vote for conservatism by telling them that they could enjoy some of the benefits that the more prosperous members of society have.
There is a question about the motives behind him introducing social reform. Was it a dig at Gladstone, a ploy to pull wc voters, or a move towards principles of new conservatism.
Tory democracy was the approach taken by Disraeli – he maintained the support of established institutions but also supported a degree of social reform.
Disraelis cabinet contained a new generation of conservative leaders, but it remained socially exclusive in respect of its landed dominance. He was upset that he didn’t win the 1868 election after his reform act, but he quickly began to realise that he needed to improve their organisation to reach the new, expanding electorate. He appointed Gorst to overhaul party organisation and set up a conservative central office in London.
the case for founder:
party organisation - much of the party organisation and structure that had been established during Disraeli's leadership is modern conservative. the party established organisations in response to the need to win votes fro the new electorate following the passage of the second reform act 1867. a national union of conservative and constitutional associations was founded in 1867. This was the first centralised mass organisation to be formed by a british political party. in 1870, Gorst was appointed the Party's principal agent and started to organise working mens associations and clubs, and registration societies. the conservtive central office was also created. from 1872 onwards, central office and the national union was closely linked through a common headquarters. this new organisation was an important factor behind the conservatives general election success in 1874. most of the conservative gains in england and wales occurred under the direction of active local associations.
policy - in the period before Disraeli's leadership, the conservative party was known as a little england party, because of its opposition to furthering british interests abroad. after his famous polict speeches at manchester and crystal palace in 1872, disraeli firmly associated the conservative party with defence of the british empire and british interests around the world. since then the conservatives have been known as the patriotic party. disraeli is also associated with the idea of 'one nation' conservatism, whereby the party is thought to represent the interests of all the electorate. some historians claim a direct link between Disraeli's policies in government and the social comments on the ideas of two nations - rich and poor - which he made in his novels. other historians however believe that Disraeli's policy of elevating the condition of the people which he made in his 1872 speeches was of a more recent origin. the idea of one nation conservatism is closely linked to the belief that Disraeli was a supporter of Tory democracy - the idea that the party was committed to aiding the poor and underprivileged of society. the social reforms of disraeli's second ministry that dealt with a wide range of issue, seem to support this view.
the case against founder -
disraelis own views - he didn't believe that the policy and organisational changes made under his leafership meant he was creating a new party. in 1880, he wrote that the tory party had survived through a lot including the loss of american colonies, napoleon and the reform act 1832, so must not be 'snuffed out' - meaning he wanted to protect it. throughout his political life, he was maintaining a long political tradition, not changing it. he always believed that he should defend the aristocratic and monarchic traditions. in this respect, his support for p reform 1867, and social reforms, were more to do with winning support for a party that defended this principle than anything new.
the view of historians - most historians tend to play down disraelis commitment to social and economic change. they believe that Disraeli had seized plentiful opportunities offered by GLadstones first ministry, but he did little to reshape conservatism significantly in either thought or polict. the conservative party was simply readjusting naturally to the post palmerstonian situation and reasserting its traditional commitment to stability and security both at home and abroad, in contrast to what liberals seemed to offer. some historians regard disraelis skill in presentation, through speeches and style, as a greater contribution to the development of the party than changes in policy. he was prepared to adopt the policies necessary in order to win power so that he could preserve the privileged position of monarchy, aristocracy and the church of england.
Why did Disraeli win the 1874 election?
- 1. Disraelis leadership of the conservative party – he had mounted an effective attack on the government since 1872. he rebranded the conservatives as a party which stood for building up the British empire and which aimed to improve the conditions of the people (tory democracy and one nation conservatism). By doing this he cashed in on Gladstone’s area of weakness and established a broad-based appeal with something to offer everyone. his popularity grew as a result. His tactics of refusing office when Gladstone resigned in 1873 over the Irish universities bill meant that the liberals spent as much time fighting between themselves as with fighting against the conservatives. liberal government thus began to disintegrate between march 1873 - 1884. The conservative reorganisation with a national union of conservative associations and a central office under gorst meant by 1874, the conservatives had a highly effective electoral machine. The householders who were enfranchised by Disraeli in the reform bill 1867 voted for the first time in 1874, and for conservatives, a belated thank you to Disraeli. 65 out of the 74 conservative gains was under the direction on active local associations.watt concludes that their superior organisation contributed to the scale of their victory as they were fielding more candidates than they had ever done before.
- Gladstone alienated his supporters within the liberal party (national education league, united kingdom alliance, new model unions) and in the electorate (upper and wealthy classes, anglicans landowners, industrialists, working classes, non conformists. The education league was disappointed with Forster’s education act, the united kingdom alliance was disappointed with the licensing act, the new model unions campaigned against a repeal of the criminal law amendment act.
He outraged the upper classes in his attack on privilege in cardwell’s army reform, and civil service reform, and also the ballot act as they couldn’t control the outcome of elections. He also alienated Anglicans in the disestablishment of the Irish church and the university test act. The non-conformists were annoyed at the education act with the continuation of the church of England schools, and that they had to pay for schools free of religious influence. The working classes were mad at the licensing act, and the contradiction between the trade union act and that picketing was made illegal in the criminal law amendment act. he also alienated breweries who saw the licesning act as an attack on profit. his slogan of 1868 - justice for ireland rallied many liberal, but 'abolition of the income tax' the slogan for 1874 didnt have the same effect. Gladstone believed that the brewing interest played a large part in his defeat.
- unpopularity of some policies - gladstones imperial and foreign policy which was decidedly unpopular. gladstones first ministry marked a departure from Palmerstones style in foreign policy. in place of the bluster of gun boat diplomacy, gladstone sought compromise and concilliation. this was seen as spineless. disraeli effectively exploited the disquiet over the alabama affair and the liberal perceived inability to stand up for british interests in the world. there were also fears about indirect taxation. in 1871, there was an unsuccessful attempt to place a tax on a packet of matches. the inistry was plagued by a number of scandals, including the controversial appointment of collier to the privy coincil and a cambridge graduate to the parish of oxfordshire, reserved for oxford graduates. the most important scandal involved irregularities at the post office in the summer of 1873. this led to a cabinet reshuffle. the most significant problem was the irish universities bill, it created such an outcry that it led, temporairly to gladstones removal from office, and the ministry never really recovered from the crisis.
- People were worried at the direction of the liberal party – they had introduced too many reforms that pleased too many interest groups. Disraeli made people wonder what the liberal party would do next. Disraeli offered peace and stability, and offered a quiet life following the turbulance of gladstones controversial reforms. disraeli claimed that gladstones ministry had harassed every trade, worried every profession and assailed or menaced every class, institution and species of property in the country.
Disraeli's beliefs and why he introduced reform
What were the main motives of the conservatives in introducing domestic reform?
1. Tory democracy: the conservatives wanted to pass reforms which would benefit the poor and underprivileged in society in order to win support of the working classes. This is connected to the idea of ‘one-nation’ conservatism in which the conservatives would represent all interests.
2. Maintaining the traditional aristocratic constitution of the country: he used domestic reforms as a means to ensuring the survival of the traditional aristocratic settlement of the country. In this sense, his domestic reforms were a pragmatic attempt to resolve a problem and maintain the traditional system
Disraeli’s political beliefs:
1. He believed that there was value in privilege and tradition and wanted to preserve the power of long-established institutions. But it was essential for those institutions to use their power wisely and unselfishly, for the good of the whole community.
2. The privileged classes and the government must help the working people. His belief that something must be done to help the poor is articulated in his pronouncement that the first consideration of a minister should be the heath of the people, which he believed to be the foundation of their happiness. One-nation toryism.
3. He believed social reform would lead to an alliance between the privileged classes and the masses of the population, which would strengthen the monarchy and aristocracy. The conservative party must adapt itself and come to terms with the new democratic and industrial age. If it failed to win the wc support, it would always be in opposition. Disraeli was highly critical of the liberal party and their attack on privilege and their weak foreign policy
4. Imperialism – hoped to develop the British empire as a powerful economic and political union under the monarchy. Only in this way he believed he could compete with great continental empires of the USA, Russia and Germany.
Disraeli's domestic reform
1. Factory reform – 1874,1878:
The 1874 election had shown that many conservative candidates had openly supported the nine hours movement pressure group. Cross set up a royal commission into factories, which led to the 1878 act.
1874 factory act: reduced workers hours to 10, half days on Saturdays, children can only start at age 10 and for full time work must be 14.
1878: brought factories and workshops under government inspection
Successfulness – half days on Saturdays brought the development of team sports, and the use of government inspection established the principle of the state offering protection to industrial workers.
2. Housing reform:
The act was heavily influenced by the pressure from the charity organisation society and was supported by the liberal party. It was motivated by the dissatisfaction with problems of slum housing.
Artisans dwelling act 1875: allowed local authorities to impose the purchase of slums deemed unhealthy and to oversee the replacement with planned housing. tis was to be finances with government loans at low interest.
Successfulness: it had started tackling the problem of slum housing and was significant in the long term as it established the principle of state intervention. However it was weakened by the absence of a compulsory purchase order, and many councils chose to ignore it. plus, the torrens act of 1868, passed by the liberals would have covered similar grounds if it hadn't been blocked by the lords. the 1875 act was also heavily influenced by pressure from the charity organisation society and was supported by the liberal party.
3. Public health reform
Public health act 1875: pulled together all existing sanitary legislation. It laid down in clear detail what compulsory duties the local authority had, including ensuring water supply, drainage and sewerage, and cases of infectious diseases to be notified to the medical officer. Booth was responsible for its passage, however his exclusion from the cabinet suggests the low priority Disraeli gave to public health reform.This laid down the foundations for modern public health, and it remained for 60 years. The laissez-fairre brigade saw too much intervention with personal freedom
the sale of food and drugs act 1875, emerged from a report by a select committee of the commons and laid down regulations aboout the adulteration of food. its impact was reduced by the failure to compel local authorities to appoint analysists to assess adulteration. furthermore, the rivers pollution act 1875 failed to offer an adequate definition of pollution or ways of punishing polluters.
4. Trade union reform:
Conspiracy and protection of property act 1875 – allowed for peaceful picketing, which was banned in the criminal law amendment act, and allowed unions take whatever actions individuals could take. this was passed because the criminal law amendment act 1871 that made picketing illegal had considerable opposition from new model unions, and the liberals had already decided to change the legislation.
Employers and workmen act 1875 – introduced equality between employers and employess in breaches of contract, which would only be a civil case. this was the result of a royal commission set up by criss, and accepted that breaches of contract should be treated as civil offences. this equalises workmen who could have faced a fine and imprisonment under crim.
These acts marked a vital breakthrough in the development and recognition of trade unions as acceptable, respectable bodies. Union leaders were delighted. Disraeli claimed that he had ‘satisfactorily settled the position of labour for a generation’.
5. education reform
Sandons education act 1876increased pressure on working class parents to send their children to schools by setting up attendance committees. motivation came from the church of england whose schools were short of pupils and income due to competition from board schools set up in forsters education act 1870.
6. economic reforms
in 1874 - the income tax was reduced, abolished duties on sugar and extended frants in aid for local authoity expenditure on police and asylums. he also established a sinking fund to reduce national debt. however the income tax was later increased to meet expense of agricultural depression and colonies war in south africa. in 1875, the government set up the friendly societies act, based on the findings of a royal commission set up by liberals which attempted to establish the registration of societies to improve their financial stability. the merchant shipping act was passed also based on royal commission by liberals in 2873. the driving force was the liberal MP derby. intense pressure from shipping interests made the conservatives reluctant legislators.
significance of Disraeli's domestic reforms
The fact that most of the legislation was permissive rather than compulsory, highlights the tory belief in laissez-fairre and self help – and they were still too reluctant to accept the states responsibility for the welfare of the people. However the principle of limited state intervention was accepted. They indicate a growing awareness of the needs of the working class. Their voices were heard more often, which was the result in the growing influence of trade unions and through improved provisions of education. It is also important to consider the constraints on disraeli’s reforms: the liberals had already passed a lot of controversial bills, so further instalments of major reform would have been a poor reward for conservative voters. He also now had support from the mc factory owners and industrialists who wouldn’t have wanted restrictive acts on hours and conditions, as it would have alienated his voters.
Much of the legislation was a pragmatic response to practical problems which both parties recognised. Many of his acts could have been passed by the liberals, such as the artisans dwelling act (similar to torrens act that was defeated in the lords. There was little that was far-reaching or innovatory about the legislation. For example the food and drugs act only sought to clarify the existing law, and others modified previous laws. Few actually broke new ground. Much of the legislation was permissive and it was left to the local authorities to decide whether to implement it. Many of the reforms were simply continuations of the work begun by the preceding liberal government. Alterations on the law on picketin, friendly societies and merchant shipping were all set in train by the liberals. Others were put in due to royal commissions made by the liberal party such as the rivers pollution act 1875. The government introduced measures to aid its supporters. Examples include the education at, public worship act – which both intended to aid the supremecy of the Anglican church, sometimes at the detriment to other groups in society.
1. His achievements were remarkable when considering the social, and political barriers he had to overcome – even though he was raised an Anglican he was born a jew, which meant many regarded him with suspicion. His predecessors and successors in tory and liberal leadership came from predominantly wealthy families and received Oxbridge education. Disraeli didn’t have university education
2. Walton argues that he wasn’t an unprincipled opportunist and argues there are principles that underlay disraelis political behaviour. For him, the conservative party was a way of ensuring aristocratic rule, responsible government and social harmony. The education act upheld the ascendancy of squire in rural England, his trade union legislation was to ensure social harmony.
3. He was flexible. He recognised the need that, in order to preserve the values of past society, traditional institutions would need to adapt in the face of social and economic change.
4. He created a lot of key policies including, one-nation conservatism, tory democracy, and defence of the empire
conservative timeline - 1868 - 1885
- 1867 - formation of national union of conservative and constitutional association
- 1868 - Disraeli takes over derby as conservative leader and prime minister.
- 1870 - formation of conservative central office
- 1873 - disraeli refuses to take over Gladstone when he resigns over the irish universties bill
- 1874 - first conservative leader to win a general election since Peel in 1841. , factory act, public worship regulation act
- 1875 - public health act, artisans dwellings act, sale of food and drugs act, conspiracy and protection of property act, employers and workmen act
- 1876 - merchant shipping act, education act, enclosure act
- 1877 - outbreak of Russo-Turkish war, start of agricultural depression (arguable this in 1873)
- 1878 - derby resign from cabinet over british policy in near eastern crisis, factory and workshops act, epping forest act, treaty of berlin, Gorst resigns as principal agent. great depression worsens with rise in unemployment.
- 1879 - start of land war in ireland
- 1880 - disraeli loses general election
- 1881 - Disraeli dies, replaced by Salisbury
he wasn't safe from challenge as party leader. in 1872, a group of leading conservatives attempted to replace him with the 15th Earl of Derby, it was only because of Derby's reluctance that this challenge was not successful. disraeli's cabinet was packed with members of the aristocracy. according to the home secretary, Disraeli had no clearr legislative programme on coming to office.
Summary of Disraeli reforms 1874-1880
- many of the reforms were continuations of work begun by the preceding liberal government. alterations to the las on picketing, the law on friendly societies and merchant shipping law were all set in train by the liberals. other acts, such as artisans dwellings act received liberal support.
- the government introduced legislation to aid its supporters, such as the education act and public worship act to defend the church of england. although the country was facing the effects of an agricultural depression after 1875, little was done to aid the farming community at the expense of the aristocracy.
- much of the legislation was permissive in character. without compulsion, statutes such as the agricultural holidings act, and artisans dwellings act had very limited impact. the reforms gave self help an institutionalised push offering no opposition to established orthodoxies about sancity of property and the role of the state in the economy.
why did the conservatives lose in 1880
1. the timing of the general election - the leader of the liverpool conservatives advised disraeli to call a general election in 1878 after foreign policy triumph of treaty of berlin. instead, Disraeli continued in power and called it in 1880, after some favourable by election results. these proved to be misleading. the liberal share of the vote increased.
2. party organisation - the liberal party organisation had improved greatly since 1874. in 1877, Chamberlian had helped to establish the national liberal federation, giving the party a national organisation for the first time. by the time of the 1880 election, over 100 local liberal associations were affiliated with the NLF. they fought an effective campaign with good leadership. in contrast the conservative party organisation deteriorated. Gorst had resigned as principle agent in march 1878. he was replaced by someone who proved to be entirely unsuitable for the post. during the campaign he was criticised for his incompetence and resigned shortly after the defeat.
3. Disraelis election campaign - far from effective. due to ill-health he had been elevated to the peerage, as the earl of Beaconsfield in 1876. as a peer, he followed the customs that peers should not campaign in elections. his only involvement in the campaign was an attempt to make the problems in ireland an election issue. little was said on either side about future legislation. the liberals suggested they might change land property law, which would attract the farming vote. the farming alliance, a pressure group of tenant farmers linked to the liberl party was active in many rural constituencies and received pledges of support for almost 60 candidates, all of them liberals.
imperial issues - in his two midlothian campaigns on 1879-80, gladstone concentrated his attack on the conservatives by criticisng Disraelis imperial policy. he criticised what he regarded as an aggressive and expensive foreign and omperial policy that was not in Britains interest. he criticised the terms of the treaty of Berlin because Disraeli had committed britain to the defence of Turkeys Asiatic territory. he also attacked the foreign wars in afghanistan and southern Africa as pointless.
peels problems with ireland - the dissatisfaction felt by the irish entred round the chruch, the land as it couldn't support a growing population and their national identity - it had rumbled on since the act of union 1800. attempts by successive governments to deal with the irish issues made matters worse as british politicians lacked a basic understanding of the problems and lacked sympathy for the problems caused by the famine. in 1842, peel had indicated that he would pursue impartial policies in ireland, to get the catholic population onside and to diffuse O'COnnells campaign for the repeal. he was arrested at one of his monster meetins at clontarf in 1843, but he was a spent force, and new young blood was taking up the cause of repeal.
young ireland - during the 1840s, a new radical group - young ireland was formed with the aim of repealing AoU. there was sporadic outbreaks of violenceculminating in a rising in 1848, which coincided with disturbances across europe and with renewed chartist agitation. it was swiftly put down by the police and the deployment of extra troops to ireland. despite being inept and idealistic, it was nationalist in character and to some extent markes the start of a new era of troubles fo the british government in ireland. increasing demands for political independence and home rule - to be responsible for domestic affairs.
peel had a wealth of experience regarding irish issues, and had earned the reputation as a hardline protestnat determined to uphold the established church - anglican. he was faced with a crisis of irish orgin when he came to power in 1841 under O'Connell. he aimed to win over moderate catholic opinion, wilst retaining key features of the protestant establishment. his policy had brought accusations that he had betrayed the party and passed policies that were unacceptable to most protestants.
improvements in agriculture 1780 - 1832
the open field system had worked in medieval times because most people lived off the land and the population was relatively small. population growth and a shift of the population into towns (urbanisation) meant that new ways had to be found to increase agriultural output. in 1700 one person in agriculture could feed 1.7 persons, by 1800 it was at 2.5. the rising population kept the demand for food up, so prices remained high. this encouraged farmers to keep up their levels of production in order to benefit from the high prices.how was this increase in productivity achieved?
new crops - turnips and swede arrived in britain from Holland and Sweden. these produced an ideal winter fodder for animals. since they grew goodness from deep into the soil, they could be planted on lands that had previously been left fallow, allowing the top soil to recover but still producing crops. at the same time new leaf crops such as clover served as nitrogen fixers, replenishing the soil, and also provided fodder for animals. this increased productivity as they can grow crops on fields when it used to be fallow, meaning that it can increase yeild and variety while top soils were replenishing. they could also support more livestock. this led to a steady supply of and more foods. this led to new forms of crop rotation developing - in the open field system, there was a three course rotation with every 3rd one being left fallow. (wheat - barley - fallow). however following the introduction of new crops, more sophisticated rotations developed. most famously, the norfolk 4 crop rotations (wheat - turnips - barley - clover)during the 19th century this became common across the country, although a variety was used depending on local weather. this increased productivity because they can grow the best crops depending on the land, and it led to lots more variety. less risk of serious starvation in one crop fails. and with more manure due to the increased amount of livestock, there are better fertilised crops and thus higher producivity.
new machinery - new machinery began to appear during the late 18th century/ for example the seed drill planted seeds equally in spaced rows rather than scattering uneavenly by hand. the iro plough facilitated greater ease in ploughig owing to its strength and light weight. however, these new machines were very expensive - the threshing machine cost £750 in 1800, equivelent to a labourers salary of 25 years and impractical - seed drill was very heavy due to its iron frame and this meant they weren't widely adopted until after 1850. these developments improved productivity because there was less wasted space, and it was reliable mecause the even spread of seed meant they grew properly. land was used more productively and efficiently so there was healthier crops. and machines did more than men. however unliek cotton - machinery didnt revolutionise agriculture.
selective breeding - although improved fodder helped create healthier animals, the key to improving the quality of livestock was selective breeding. farmers bred animals with the finest characteristics such as high milk yields or fine quality fleeces, in the hope of recreating those in their offspring. the most famous sheep breeder was Bakewell who created the barrel shaped new leicester which put on weight quickly, cost less to feed than other sheep and produced lots of fatty meat. in the meantime, the shorthorn cow matured quickly and produced good milk. tyere was experiments in scientific stock breeding which improved the quality of farm animals. the fodder was used more efficiently, and they fed animals which gave something in return. less wastage, stronger healthier and more quantitys of meat.however the quality wasnt great - watery meat.
new information - the late 18th, early 19th centuries witnessed an explosion of information about the new and improved methods of farming. writers like arther young produced literature on te subject and in 1784, he became the editor of the annals of agriculture which promoted and discussed improved farming methods. almost all counties had agricultural shows and soceities which showcased good practice and some farmers began to send their sons to gain experience of farms in other parts of the country in the 1830s. this meant they knew how to improve the efficiency and productivity.
improvements in the soil. the quality of soil in the open field system always presented a problem in the open field system. there was little space for animals, which reduced the amount of manure available to spread on the fields. however, improvements of transport, such as the expansion of turnpike trusts and canals, it enabled farmers to gain access to other fertilisers such as chalk and lime or town muck. they also started t introduce drainage and marling schemes, however at £12 per acre this was expensive so wasnt taken up until much later by the majoirty. this meant that soils had more nutrients so plants were more plentiful and of better quality.
enclosure - the open field system of having rows of land for each different farmer couldn't sustain population growth, so they were divided into smaller fields that were sperated but hedges or fences. instead of having a shae of the land in each farmer, tenant farmers would be given their own fields to farm. by 1750, around half of all land was enclosed. this process was accelerated from 1780s and by 1830, most arable land was enclosed. this meant that there was less wasted land used for walkways - improving efficiency and there was flexibility, dont have to grow the same things. the animals didnt have as much space to walk around so they were fatter, and it was more suitable because infections didnt spread, also made selective breeding easier. contemporsries experience showed that enclosure of the land resulted in higher crop yieldsajd healthier livestock , which helps to explain the surge in enclosure. according to the historians williams and ramsden are in no doubt that enclosure of the land quickened the pace of agricultural improvement. it led to the development in crop rotation. however the outcome of enclosure wasn't all beneficial. in terms of the agricultural industry and the population at large, it was a resounding success. the landowners and farmers who bought up the land and created bigger farms - the big tenant farmers - tended to make a healthy profit. the growing population in the industrial towns had the benefit of a greater variety of fresh food. however it emphasised the inequality in the countryside, as more land was in the hands of fewer people and the small holder clss virtually disappeared. they couldnt afford enclosure so had to give up land. this left the social structure of landowners who rented their land to several tenant farmers, who employed landless agricultural labourers for a bad wage. some of the small holder invested their capital from the sold land in new industrial enterprises, but many of them drifted to the industrial northern towns. there was sifficient work on the new farms but the poor wage demoralised them and many people were forced to fall back on poor relief.
the increased output in agriculture in this period was achieved primarily by increasing the volume of land ounder plough rather than the adoption of new machinery and practices. this was due o the dact that increased population created a labour surplus, making it cheaper to take on new workers than invest in new machinery. this explains why the threshing machiene was widely adopted in areas where competition with industry inflated wages. ideas were also slow to spread, and often met with a great deal of secpticism. consequently, turnips weren't grown in Devon, andagricultural improvement lagged behind that of othehr sectors. as a result, agriucltural output increased by less than 50% between 1770 and 1850 compared with 200% in manufactuirng.
was Disraeli a great prime minister?
- his achievement in becoming PM was remarkable considering the social and political barriers he had to overcome: although raised an anglican he had been noorb a Jew, so many regarded him with suspicion. Unlike his predecessors, he didnt have a university education. he was the first outsider to become prime minister according to Walton, he was the first outsider to becoe prime minister.
- he wasn't an unpricipled opportunist, there are principles that underlay his behaviour. he used the conservative party to restore England to its natural state of aristocratic rule, responsible government and social harmony. he believed that the role of government was to uphold aristocrtic settlement of the country. for example, the education act was designed to uphold the ascendancy of squire and parson in rural england. the object of the trade union reform was to ensure social harmony, the 1867 reform act - he clevery redrew the constituency boudnries to remove the urban influence from the counties to maintain the aristocracy rule over the electoral system.
- his genious lay in the flexibility with which he sought his objectives. he recognised that in order to preserve the values of past society, traditional institutions would need to adapt in the face of social and economic changes. he recognised tha change was necessary in order to preserve. according to Blake, he had the gift of seizing the unexpected opportunity and exploiting it. he had a willingness to embrace change and respond to public opinion to ensure survival and vitality of the conservative party as a major political force. this can be seen in the second reform act met with many barriers, such as his party wanting to change the terms of the act, however he was flexbile and innivative and cleverly outwitted gladstone at every step
- he played an important ole in creating the modern conservative party - settled down a number of key policies. this includes defence of the empire and british interests around the world - known as a patriotic party. one nation conservatism - party represent the interests of all sections of the society rather than just one landed section of it. it was the respect of ancient institutions allied to an approach which speaks of the broadest national interests, rather than those of their own more wealthy supporters. tory democracy - committed to aiding the poor and underprivileged in society. he can be credited with the essential structure and organisation of the modern conservative party e.g. the conservative central office and a string of local conservative clubs.
- he was in tune with the main schools of thought of his day. in touch with public opinion. his achiement in domestic reform was considerable. the responsibilities of local authorities in the area of public health had been clearly defined, they were granted powers to compulsorily purchase and demolish slum housing , the grievances of organised labour had been effectively resolved, and the protection offered to women and children in factories had been extended. blake describes the acts as the biggest instalment of social refor passed by any one government in the nineteenth century. they are even more impressive when considering te constraint he was under. the desire for a quiet life after the turbulence of gladstones controversial reforms, consensus values such as laissez-faire, economy in the government and low taxation and the impact of the great depression.
- he is one of the most effective parliamentary orators. excelled in the art of presentation and he knew that much depends upon impression, style and how small a part is played by logic, cool reason etc. his adoption of the p reform issue in 1867 is an example of his ability to claim credit for a policy to which conservatives had been traditionally opposed. this stands in marked contrast to peels handling of the corn law crisis. his quirkymanner, sense of dress and flair for self dramatisation helped to turn him into a celeb. his unique quality was that he was charasmatic.
- he had a lot pof political skill. securing the passive of the second reform act provides clear evidence of his breathtaking skill. he managed to pass a bill through the commons which enlarged the franchise far more than the liberals wanted or conservatives originally intended and he kept the initiative in the governments hands, and was admired especially because he did all that in a minority governemnt.
- his legacy lasts
was Disraeli a great prime minister?
- heerrected many of the barriers to his advancement himself: his family wasn't obscure and did have some money. although born Jewish, he was Anglican by religion. if he was jewish by religion he wouldn't have been allowed to become MP until 1850s. his eccentric opinions, raffish mode of like alienated many. he shared his mistress with the ex tory lord chancellor and invited them both to stay at his family home. this caused great scandal. in the 1830s he was constantly on the verge of arrest and imprisonment for bad debts.
- luck played an important role in disraelis advancement. he only rose to the top because of those who were ahead of him in the conservative establishment followed Peel into the wilderness after the repeal of the corn laws. the sidden death of Bentick left a clear path.
- in taking a leading role in opposing peel in the corn law repeal, he orchestrated his defeat and brought down the tory government. this split the conservative party and rendered it impotent and excluded from effective power for the next 28 years. it is difficult to see how a man who had caused so much damage could be regarded as great. mevertheless, he was expressing a deep sense of betrayal felt by many tory MPs.
- a number of criticisms against disraelis social reforms - there was little that was innovatory in his intepretation of social and political problems and their oslutions. many of his reforms were continuations of work begun by the preceding liberal government. the merchant shipping act had been set in motion by the liberals. by the 1870s, liberal and conservative ideas were virtually indistinguishable in many areas - both were committed to low taxation and small scale intervention. he didnt believe it was the duty of the government to provide any class of citizen with any of the necessities of like, so the welfare state cannot be traced back to him. he failed to provide grants for slum clearance, to clearly define pollution and specify the maximum load level in the artisan dwelling act, river pollution and merchant shipping acts which rendered them ineffective.
- there are arguments against the claim that disraeli was the ofunder of modern conservatism - disraeli himself believed he was maintaining a long political tradition, not creating a new one. his support for the 1867 reform act was based upon a desire to win support for a party which defended the aristocratic settlement of the country rather than anything new. his interest of social reform had been overstated. he left the choice and execution of legislative projects to outsiders such as Cross. the party lacked a clearly defined social reform programme - he adopted and dropped issues as political necessity and public pressuure demanded. his contribution to tory democracy has been exaggerated. this image conjured one of a paternalistic government that looked after the working classes against the selfish interests of the rising industrial middle classes. however, the social legislation hardly covers this. it didnt really involve a significant new turn in social policy.
- he was an unprincipled opportunist, manipulating each situation to boost his own career, and the paty fortunes, without a care for the consequences. gladstone believed that he had used his talent to serve his own political ambition and self interest. he famously opposed the corn laws in order to undermine peel, who had ignored Disraelis desperate pleas for promotion, and then promptly replaced his support for protectioniswith a commitment to free trade, when he saw that his party electoral fortunes depended on it. his adoption of p reform in 1867 can be seen as a desire to win over the mc to the conservative party whilst at the same time ensuring that the counties remained predominantely conservative.
- he was a lazy figure - in 1868 he only sent his electors a written copy of his election address and made little effort to campaign, and often left details of legislation to other people. he also misjudged public opinion forecasting victories in 1857, 1868 etc. but didnt/
- his success can be attributed to his marriage to Mrs Wyndham Lewis in 1838. her fortune and income brought security, salvaged Disraelis finance, and provided lavish entertainment in aid of disraelis advancement.
Age of equipoise
- the conservativves were an remained deeply divided over protectionism and religious toleration
- the conservatives were leaderless as peel provided no leadership and disraeli was distrusted as an opportunist.
- russell supported palmerston and his foreign works which brought support for his admnistration. there was growing prosperity in agriculture and industry reduced social protest and this eased demands for sweeping reform
- his moderate and sensible handling of the chartism revival in 1848 helped to ensure a peaceful resolution and the turmoil and revolution in much of europe was avoided.
- russel passed through a number of sweeping reforms - working conditions - factories continued to be a dangerous place where accidents were common and hours were still excessively long for adults. in textile mills diseases were common due to the hot humid conditions. factory act 1847 - fielden had taken up the cause for ten hour day and pushed the matter through parliament. well organised petitions. with peel out of parliament members of the tory party could vote for it without betraying their leader.
the development of the political system -
the 1832 reform act had strengthened the concept of representative government and made the political system more democratic and thus it had the effect of weakening the political power of the monarch. the continuing creation of wealth and the growth of property in Britain through industrialisation was gradually increasing the size of the electorate, as more men met the property requirements of tthe 1832 act.
there was a question over whether or not the monarchy would sirvive. when queen vic came to the throne in 1837, the british monarchy was unpopular, and members of the royal family wer eknown for their vulgarity, low morals, extravagance and stupidity. the moarchy survived and flourished under queen vic who through her personal integrity restored some of its dignity and popular appeal, although at the same time their were changes in relation to its political function. every piece of legislation still needed royal assent, and the government was carried on by ministers in the name of the moarchy, he business of government continued without royal interference. not interfere in elections and this. reduced her influence in the commons. quen vics clash in the bedchamber crisis in 1839 raised the question of the boundaries of royal power. the ocnstitution hadnt changed but the context within which it worked had. royal authoirty was in decline. vic was never politically neutral. she took influence on the government and wielded influence in the appoointment of bishops and army officers.
although reform was slow, as it progressed it enssured the pollitcal party in power was the choice of the peopele as pm was the leader of the lagest party. as the political parties continued to develop the monarchies power continued to decline.
th liberal party was formed in 1859 by palmerston to bring down derbys minoirty government. it combined several political groups in parliament - whigs, liberals, radicals and peelites - although personal differences and political backgrounds divided them, bu 1859 - it pursied similar aims. it made sense to unite into one political party to mount a stronger challenge against the conservatives. it wasn't until palmerstons death in 1965 that liberalism became firmly established.
by the 1860s, increasing party organisation was beginning to be regarded as essential in order to pass the increasing amounts of legislation which the governments were dealing. the role of MP was gradually becoming more professional with parliament meeting more often and MPs taking a concern of their constituents. these developments would remain insignnificant until the electorate was extended. the second reform act in 1867 transormmed party politics.
russels second reform act split the liberal party. there were some that favoured extending the fanchise, like russell himself, but the adullumites were completely against it. the second reform act introduced in 1867 introduced 2.5m people in to the franchise as all urban dwellers in the boroughs could vote and those lodgers who paid £10 in rent. it re distributed seats to growing industrial towns and cities, and cities like birmignham and leeds increased to 3mps. however, it was only increased to skilled workers. there was the elitist perception that fitness to vote was based not only on amount of income but use of oncome - to secure a stable home, the wc who had no ability to save nor security of tenure was excluded. there was a limited nature of redistribution was reduced the victory. birmingham, liverpool and manchester were only given one more seat. the distribution of seats didnt correspond to the size of the population in an given area. rural areas remained over represented and the industrial midlands north and schotland remained under represented. boroughs with a population of over 10k had the same represenation as boroughs with 400k people. the distinction between county and borough franchise was maintained. there was a smaller increase in the electorate in the counties - included smallholder and small tenant farmers but completely excluded agricultural labourers. it did lead to parties improving their organisation to capture new voters and i led to the 1870 education act
why was the second reform act passed?
- pressure - reform league and the reform union. gibraldi the hero of the italian unification movement came to englaand and gave speeches. this inspired many working class people to press for the vote. many radicals travelled around the country also infomring people to press for the vote - bright. after russells reform bill failed in 1866 there were a number of mass meetings and riots - from inside parliament also - the liberal commercial and industrial members in parliament lived in under represented, bright increased his pressure on gladstone. hyde park riot when a reform league meeting wasn't allowed. they held meetings of 100k people at a time, showed the responsibility but also risk of rioting.
- increased working and living conditions - and level of education made the liberals more prone to accepting the idea of extending the franchise. they saved wages in friendly societies or the new post office banks set up by gladstone, and acted reasonably in lancashire when the american civil war caused unemployment - didnt lead to rioting.
- party advantage - disraeli wanted to get the support of the working classes, if he didnt introduce reform, he knew that gladstone would when he returned to power. - also seen by his redistribution of seats and changing boundries to keep urban influences out of the ocunties. this would be advantageous. the liberals had a vested interest in redistribution of seats to ensure their political influence.
- road to democracy - the 5 attempts in the 50s and 60s to reform parliament suggestes a clear need and desire for reform. increasing industrialisation urbanisation etc. meant that it was needed. the size of constituencies had become very uneven. unde rrepresentation of population in expanding industrial towns. the demographic changes forced the second reform act onto the agenda.
the composition of the liberal party
the disparate character of the liberal party stems from the great reform act - one of its effects was to bring changes to the composition of the two traditional parties whigs and tories. a number of middle class business and professional men with liberal and radical views where elected to parliament to represent the newly enfranchised industrial boroughs. most voted the whigs and this enabled the to form majoirty governments.
the whigs belonged to powerful aristocratic land owning families. they had been instrumental in passing the first reform act and were in favour of a further extension of the franchise as long as it was controlled. supportive of the non conformists, yet also included roman catholic peerage. the younger whigs started to seperate themselves and call themselves liberals.
but most liberals were from mc commercial backgrounds or were lawyers and professional men who had come into parliament after the reform act. they believed in individual liberty, free trade, freedo of the press and religious freedom. many were dissenters who believed that the church should be seperate and free from the state patronage and control.
the peelites had followed Peel in the preal of the corn laws in 1846 which had split the conservative party. they increasingly voted for the whigs. they came from wealthy industrialists and commercial backgrounds. - gladstone
the radicals were free thinking middle class individuals, most of whom adopted the benthamite doctrine of utilitarianism - greatest happiness for greatest number. wanted change to social order. they opposed the dominance of the landowning classes and privileged position of the church of england as the established church. they wanted the extension of the franchise, removal of government restrictions and free trade. - bright
half the liberal party drew their wealth from land ownership - widely tied to the land, church and services, which were the object of radical attack. not suprising that division and disagreement dogged the liberal party during this period. on the other side there was no landed interest, but came from industry and commerce, and had associated themselves with aristocracy through public schools and social habits. - not a curious alliance - it was the small group of raidcals in the party who consistently supported change and reform and who acted according to the public opinion to achieve progress.
supported the principle of laissez faire and the doctrine of self help. influenced by social philosopher - mill, bentham - liberty and freedom of the individual and religious toleration. they supported free trade and saw it as a means of creating prosperity for all. they upheld the principle of parliamentary government, within a limited democracy. they accepted that an overhaul of p was necessary to relect the changes in the distribution and wealth of the ppulation which had occured after the indisutrial revolution .
Social development 1832 - 1846
GNCTU - uprise in small trade unions but they hadnt little effect and qere easily quashed in the face of threats of job loss. led to the idea of national unions each representing a patricular trade- more resources to demand better wages and conditions. owen attempted to unite all individual unions under the grand national consolidated trade union banner - a central organisation. fight against economic crisis and unemployment and work to owens idea of socialism with the sharing of wealth. it had membership of over hald a million in the first weeks. each trade would be represented by a local branch, link to a local umberella branch,grand council. potential of being a alrge strong labour movement, but owens vision of a society with workers controll terified government
he unrealistically believed that he didnt need strike action because he could come to a deal with the capitalists. communication was poor between local branches and it lacked funds. employers made workers sign the document which stated they weren't part of the GNCTU. outbreaks of machine breaking and rick burning decided the government on firm action to break the organisation and supress unionism. knowledge of a conviction persuaded many people to leave. within months the scheme had collapsed and with a trade depression in 1837 - unemployment distress many turned to political movements like chartism instead.
tolpuddle martyrs - convicted for taking an oath in secret and this was interpeted as subversion. had really harsh punishments - make an example, detterance - national outcry - reduced sentence. campaign led by Lovett.
cooperative movement 1844 - social and economic values projected by many of the skilled tradesmen who saw themselves above the unskilled workers. if they applied the virtues of thrift and self help to their lives, they could continue to enjoyy a decent standard of living even during economic downturns. weavers set up cooperative stores. sold goods for progit. quality was reliable and reasonably priced.
emergence of friendly societies - provide welfare provisions when they were required. membership reached 1.5 million in 1846. numerous than trade unions whose popularity had dwindled after the collapse of the grand national consolidated trade union. they became a symbol of working class respoectability and emphasised their distance from the poorer labouring classes who were often put out of work but couldnt get help because they couldnt afford the regular subscription fee.
there was a revival in trade unionism in 1850s. it was diferent to the GNCTU owen that hampered amonf other reasons by the illiteracy of the majoirty of its members. the model unions were small and operated among the skilled workers. the leaders were restrained and respectable. the elite of the wc and sought to improve conditions through self help, self improvement and self education. they functioned as friendly societies, setting up benefit schemes for its members. subscription fee relatively high. it was these who benefited from the extension of the franchise in 1867 to urban dwellers who had lived in the same place for 12 months, and this meant that they could exert considerable pressure on the liberal government to get their trade unions legally recognised. the criminal law amendment act lost the liberal support as it took away their power to bargain for better wages as it forbidded picketiing of any type.
in 1880, it was the beginning of the unskilled workers in trade unions new unionism. their militant approach was in direct contrast with the new modoel unions. the uncertaine conomic climate contributed to their growth.their high levels of unemployment made wage bartering hard and strikes ineffective as there was always plenty of labour. their confidence was boosted by the spread of education among the labouring classes and in 1884 the right of many unskilled workers to vote.