Explain why the issue of 'Chinese Slavery' in 1903 caused opposition to the Conservative government
Working class people felt that their own economic opportunities were being taken by the use of such foreign labour
The labourers were housed into large camps. The close proximity of so many men together offended the moral sensitivity of many people in Britain
There was a perception that the Chinese were being treated as 'slaves' in order to enable them to be exploited by the already rich gold miners
Explain why Chamberlain's campaign for tariff reform was damaging to the Conservative Party in the years 1902-1906
Important tariffs would cause food prices to rise. This prospect split the Conservatives because many were sensitive to maintaining the working class vote. This was the social class most likely to be hit by food price rises.
Tariffs united the Liberals in opposition. The Conservatives were divided at this point.
The campaign alienated the trade unions and their influence was considerable amongst the working class electorate.
The Lib-Lab Pact
Explain why the Liberal Party formed an electoral pact with the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) in 1903
The Liberals thought there were elements of the LRC's policies which would appeal to working class Conservative voters. By promoting the LRC in some constituencies the working class Conservative vote might shift away to the LRC
The pact was an arrangement designed to undermine possible Conservative successes and so damage their dominance of British politics. This was done by Liberal and Labour splitting the anti-Conservative vote
There was sufficient political consensus between the LRC and the Liberals to enable the Liberals to form a pact. The LRC was not regarded as revolutionary or socialistic and there was considerable common ground between it and many within the Liberals
The Boer War
Explain why issues arising from the Boer War contributed to a Liberal victory in the 1906 General Election
The problems that emerged in terms of recruitment for the army reinforced the growing Liberal belief that Britain must become more efficient as a nation. This became a key idea to Liberalism and was popular with voters.
Imperialism was presented badly through some events of the war e.g. the concentration camps and the military failures Britain experienced. Joseph Chamberlain was a supporter of New Imperialism and the war undermined his stance and his party followers
The war served to reunite the Liberals just as it served to divide the Conservatives. Prior to the war the Liberals themselves had been divided, after the war that began to change (Liberal unity was a result of poor performance in war)