• Created by: tadiwa
  • Created on: 10-04-17 16:36


Conservatives dominate in power. 

Lord Salisbury MP.

HOL (hereditary peers, dukes, earls etc) and HOC have equal law making power, so HOL can easily veto laws they dislike.

Only men can vote, but only 6/10 have the right due to property owning qualifications.

1867 (men owning land valued at £5)

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against reforms and free trade, Home  Rule

rooted in aristocracy and upper classes as they were the only ones able to afford to govern


formed as coalition of several differentgroups (Whigs, Peelites, Non-C)

first elected 1906

wide scope of ideals, split over reforms

1893- Campbell Bannerman

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1902-1905 Balfour Ministry.

Resigned due to indecision over the issue of Tariff Reform. Birmingham Maoyr, Chamberlain wanted to improve empire and country's standards PROTECTION- ensure foreign goods are more expensive that local goods to gain economic protection. 

1906 ELECTION- landslide Liberal Vicyory (400 seats to CON 157)

due to 


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Pact meant two parties had to cbecome compatible. 


provided trade unions with immunity from being sued for liabiltiy in strikes. 


members of the school board introduced free school meals. due to reports of 150,000+ in want of nutrition. 


  • Support for women's suffrage
  • 1910 Con & Unionists Victory under Asquith    lost majority
  • Commitment to Socialism
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Conservative Leadership

  • Balfour- Salibury's nephew-Poor speaker and did not help the Cons. campaign.
  • Not sensitive to public opinion- miscalculated the reaction of the working class.
  • Indirectly responsible for the timing of the 1906 election.
  • Allowed Chamberlain to make tariff reform a key Unionist party form 1903 onwards

Attractions the Liberal Party

  • Reunited by 1905, Divided by Home Rule but united by Boer War and Free Trade.
  • 'Broad' party promoted by CB- not dominated by any one issue.
  • Exploited Cons. weaknesses.
  • Promised Welsh disestablishment (removal of the power of Church)
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Neglect of Social Reform

  • 1906 Election was not fought on reform, but the idea of poverty and reform was in the air at this time adn the Boer War had exposed some horrendous cases of malnutrition and poverty, especially in the cities.
  • The newly organised LRC was developing ideas of Reform and the Liberals were also working out a new form of Liberalism.
  • The Cons. had done nothing (exc. Balfour Education Act of 1902) during their period in office.

Tariff Reform Campaign

  • Joseph Chamberlain campaigned for Tariff Reform.
  • He proposed to lower the level tariff for countries in the British Empire, which resulted in a policy called Protectionism ---> stronger position protect British jobs and help pay for social reforms.
  • Damaged the Conservatives. WC and MC feared that tariffs would increase the 'bread and butter' issue and increase the price of food.
  • Churchill voted Liberal on this case in 1904.
  • Re-united Liberals on the belief of Free Trade.
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The Boer War

--> 1899-1902- took place in South A. against settlers living in Transvaal and Orange Free State. The British had a victory and the Cons. prematurely exploited this victory and the Liberal divisions over the war by winning the 'Khaki Election' in 1900.

---> The Boer War revealed the effect of poverty in the cities as soldiers were unfit and unhealthy, making them unsuitable. The Liberals won support from this as a result by pointing out that the Cons. had failed to acknowledge this.

---> enabled Joseph Chamberlain to push his campaign for Tariff Reform and issue greatly split the Cons

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The 1902 Education Act

  • Aroused the fury of many Non-conformists and led them to revert to the Liberals.
  • Before 1902 Religious schools had been funded by their churches; however, the 1902 act provided funding for all Anglican and Catholic schools at local rates.
  • Great campaign against this. Some Non-C's refused to pay their taxes.
  • Lloyd George led an orchestrated campaign in Wales and persuaded Welsh to show their disapproval of this Cons. policy by voting Liberals in Welsh 1904 election

The 1904 Licensing Act

  • Again, this angered the Non- C's.
  • The act limited the number of pubs but proposed to compensate brewers and publicans for cancelled licenses.
  • Brewers supported Cons. = nicknamed the 'Brewers' Bill'
  • Non-C's had always voted Lib but switched after Home Rule, but were now reverting back.
  • By-elections show that Lib support increased after the disagreements of these acts
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How did DLG's 1909 Budget Led to a Constitutional Crisis?

DLG was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer and had to present the budget the following year, announcing what the government would spend and how they would raise the money. DLG needed to find the money whilst ensuring support and also getting the budget passed by the House of Lords.

DLG's problems

  • Government needed an extra £10 million for OAPs and 8 dreadnoughts.
  • The depression reduced income by £6 million 
  • Need money for National Insurance bill 
  • Conservatives wanted taxes on imports to create wealth and Liberals want free trade. 
  • Labour and left wing Liberals wanted tax on land.
  • Non-conformist wanted to restrict/ tax sales on Alcohol.
  • Public support was falling, 10% swing against the Liberals. 
  • Needed support of the Middle and Working classes. 
  • The House of Lords was dominated by Conservative landowners. 
  • DLG criticised and thought to fail.

1909 Budget

  • Increase income tax on rich to 60% 
  • Increase duty tax to 6% and 8.5% on luxury goods. 
  • Increase pub landlords' licenses. 
  • Increase tax on alcohol to 33% and on tobacco to 25% 
  • Decrease income tax for people with children 
  • Start land valuation. 
  • Death duties would be increased.

Although some of these bills affected the working class negatively, the majority were focused on the rich to raise reform money. 

Why did the Lords opposed the Budget?

  • The budget would tax the rich upper class, who the Lords represent. The Lords were called 'Balfour's Poodle' as they allowed the Conservatives to continue to have deciding power, even when not in government. 
  • Lords said that Liberal support had gone down so the budget was no longer the public will. They called for another election.

Constitutional Crisis 

  • As the Lord had rejected the budget, the Liberals could no longer govern.
  • Reforms that had been promised in the 1906 Election could not be started as the Liberals couldn't raise the money to start them. 

Some historians think that DLG deliberately got the Lords to reject the budget so that their power would be questiond and turn the working class against the Lords, called a Class War, peers vs people. This would create social unrest and gain the Liberals working class support.

The house of Lords gave the Liberals reason to limit the Lords power so that more socialist bills could be passed.

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Constitutional Crisis 1909-1911

Why did the Lords oppose the Budget?

The lords were strongly against the Land Tax. They believed that it was extremely intrusive and didn't believe the government had the right to intrude. Due to the large majority of the Lords being Middle or Upper class Conservative party supporters, many of the reforms proposed by DLG  would affect them, meaning they would have less money. 

How did DLG stir up the working classes?

Lloyd Goerge was a great public speaker using emotive language to appeal to the working class; 'Who ordained that a few should have the land of Britain as a perquisite (extra rewards)? Who made 10,000 people owners of the soil and the rest of us trespassers in the land of our birth''DLG speaking in Newcastle 1909. The liberals also used propaganda and media. Many of his speeches made the working class question the powers of the country. 

What was suggested to try and stop the constitutional crisis?

1910 January General Election- The liberals won 275 seats whereas the Tories won 273 seats, therefore in order to become a majority the Liberals had to form a coalition with the Irish Nationalists that meant the Irish Home Rule became an issue again. 

1910 December General Election- Liberals and Conservatives won the same amount of seats and the Parliament Bill was passed by the Commons and Asquith announces his attention to create 500 new Liberal peers to flood the lords and so remove the power of the Conservative veto. 

Division in HOL's

'Hedgers'-Conservative peers who wanted to give in to prevent the creation of new Liberal peers. 

'Ditchers'-Conservative lords who wanted to resolutely oppose the Parliament Bill and the Liberal government. 

The 1911 Parliament Act

Instead of the House of Lords being flooded by Liberal Peers, the peers agreed to reduce their powers in the 1911 Parliamentary act which said: 

  • The lords couldn't reject or amend a Finance Bill. The speaker of the HOC's would determine which finance bills were. 
  • The lords could amend and reject other bill until they had passed the Commons three times in which they automatically became law. 
  • General Elections to be held every 5 years instead of 7 years. 
  • MP's to be paid-400 a year. 
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Suffrage 1906-1914

Discussion began in 1870s.

1860-1870 suffrage organisations, but do little expect meetings, journals etc

1880-1890 growth of civil disobedience

1897 NUWSS, Suffragist movement headed by Fawcett 

1903 WSUP Suffragettes movement headed by Pankhurst

1908- Conciliation Bill rejected

1909-14 movement toward direct, violent actions

1913 Cat and Mouse Act after hunger strikes. Davidson dies after protest

1914 War and leaders urge women to support war

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IRELAND 1910-14


In October 1882 Parnell set up the Irish National League – a home rule party where he was the leader. He made the members pledge so that they all agreed on what the majority did, giving him great power and limiting internal opposition.

 In 1872 the Secret Ballot was introduced, allowing people to vote in pr

ivate without fear, so all of a sudden, the IPP (Irish Parliamentary Party)/Home Rule Party got many seats in parliament. Under the ‘Representation of the People Act’ 1884, the vote was extended to rural areas of Ireland.

Gladstone used the term ‘local autonomy’ instead of Home Rule: Ireland would be like Canada and have a fair degree of self government. Some others like liberals saw home rule as moving admin to Ireland instead of basing it in England.

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IRELAND 1910-14

Third Home Rule Bill 1912:

·         The Liberals were back in power in 1905 after a series of conservative governments.

·         Under Asquith, with the support of the Irish and the Labour party, the Parliament Act was passed in 1911 which abolished the veto power of the House of Lords – they could only hold a bill passed by the House of Commons from being made into an Act for 2 years max.

·         The Home Rule bill was presented again in April 1912 by Asquith who asked for:

o        An Irish parliament with a Senate (Upper House) and House of Commons.

o        The powers of this parliament were even more limited than the 1893 bill, but would have greater financial control e.g. pensions and national insurance.

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IRELAND 1910-14

WW1 and Ireland

War World One had a big impact on Ireland’s future. On the 4 Aug 1914 Britain declared war on Germany – these actions were supported by both the Irish Nationalist Party and the Ulster Unionists. The Irish Volunteers were ready to help: they and Redmond along with the majority of Irish at the time had the idea that if they helped out in the war, they would get what they wanted e.g. Home Rule or even independence.

 The Home Rule Bill became law in September 1914, so this further encouraged nationalists to help the war effort. However, as the war dragged on, there was no evidence of early success and the wounded soldiers came home from the front, people started to wonder whether the war was even Ireland’s problem.

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IRELAND 1910-14

Irish Nationalists (For Home Rule)

The Irish Nationalists, a party which had 84 MP's in the house of commons, consisted mainly of Catholics who wanted Home Rule as they believed Ireland should be independent and ran by its own government situated in the prominently Catholic Dublin. Redmond was the leaders of the nationalists and he used their advantage in the HOC's to make home rule a priority. As it remained blocked by the Lords, Nationalsits took greater action; creating the IRB and the Irish Volunteer Force both acted to help gain larger support. Although Redmond was against violence, it was to an extent which many of the Irish volunteers were willing to go through. A military build-up was in action which took place after a rifle smuggling in Howarth, in retaliation to the Unionists also doing so. 

Ulster Unionists (Against Home Rule)

The Ulster Unionists were led by Edward Carson, a Unionist MP. The Unionists consisted predominantly of minortity Irish Protestants who feared home rule would lead to government dominated by Catholicism. They saw themselves as British and not Irish unlike the Nationalists. The Unionists planned a separate government for Ulster and became hostile protesters in large demonstrations. An Ulster volunteer force was also established and unionist smuggled in weapons- clearly advocating mass violence. This also involved a military build-up. The protesting of the Unionists led to a dedicated day to the Unionists 'Ulster Day' in September and a covenant was signed to show the amount of support. Up to 200,000 members signed, many signed with their own blood. Also, the Unionists were very reluctant to come to agreement 

Herbert Asquith and the Liberals (For Home Rule)

In 1910, the Liberals had 272 seats, equal to those of the Conservatives and therefore a deal was made between the Liberals and Irish Nationalists; the Nationalists would support the Liberals who would then become the govermnet if they received home rule. Asquith as leader of government showed a 'wait and see; approach to the situation. He had failed to successfully negotiate alongside DLG with the Nationalists and Unionists. Irish Home Rule had become a growing issue as violence was being advocated and Ireland was on the brink of Civil War. This was likely to be prevented if Asquith was willing to get involved the situation further and develop tactics to prevent violence and negotiate. The Curragh Mutiny situation of 1914 also showed a lack in leadership from Asquith. Many in the British army refused to fight against Unionists as many themselves had relations with the Unionists.

Andrew Bonar Law and the Conservatives (Against Home Rule)

Bonar Law led the Conservatives and showed clear support for Carson and the Unionists, he stated at a speech he was willing to go through any lengths to show support for the unionists at Blenhelm palace on July 27th and encouraged any form of militancy;  Although some Conservatives did not agree and it caused problems within the party, they claimed it was unconstitutional to pass the Home Rule Bill and the Liberals had made a 'corrupt bargain' with the Nationalists.

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