Liberal Lanslide 1909

Why did the Liberal Party win the 1906 election? Key points an explanations

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Boer War

  • The war lasted too long consiering the fact that we were fighting "savages with spears".
  • It cost too much in money an men.
  • Inhumane tactics were used e.g. scorched earth in which innocent people's homes were burned.
  • The 'concentration camps' people were then housed in caused a huge scandal back home.
  • The mile class were appauled by it all, and blamed the Conservatives.
  • 2/3 vollenteers were found to be unfit to fight (link to Lack of Social Reform).
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Chinese Slavery

The conservative gouvernment decied to re-build Boer villages to make up for the failings of the Boer war, in order to redeem themselves in the eyes of the middle class. However, instead of sending British labourers, they sent Chinese men, and housed them in the old concentration camps. The Chinese men, shut up together for so long away from their wives, were said to be taking part in 'nameless practices'.

  • British labourers were offended that Chinese workers had been called in, an unions were concerned that if anyone went on strike then more Chinese men might be called in to do the work, making strikes pointless and effectless (link to Taff Vale).
  • Reminder of concentration camps- "meathos of barbarism"- offended the middle class further. They were also offended by the referances to slavery and were appauled at the idea of 'nameless practices'. Again, the Conservatives were blamed.
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Lack of Social Reform

There was a huge amount of poverty and deformity in Britain, which was highlighted by the Boer War, and the reports of Rowndtree and Booth. The Conservatives had only introduced two reforms during their term (link to 1902 Eucation Act) and only said they would "look into the matter" of introducing more.

  • It showed that the Conservatives didn't really care about the Working Class (link to Taff Vale).
  • It allowed middle class fears about 'National Effeciancy' to grow.
  • It made the Conservatives lok extremley outdated an out of touch.
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Taff Vale

In 1901, railway workers went on strike against the Taff Vale railway company, and the company took the union to court over loss of profits during that time. Th House of Lords ruled in favour of the company an the Conservatves refused to over rule the decision.

  • This showed the working class that the conservatives didn't care about them.
  • Trae unions coul no longer go on strike, meaning that they had lost their only way of getting themselves better pay and working conditions.
  • This also led to the Lib-Lab pact.
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1902 Education Act

This proposed that all church schools (Anglican) be payed for by taxes rather than their church. This was a good idea in principle but non-conformists were not happy with the idea that their taxes were paying for the education of other religions. This led to 7000 non-conformists being prosecuted for refusing to pay their taxes.

  • The non-conformists united the Liberal party (link to Tarriff Reform)- David Lloyd George led a revolt in Wales.
  • This factor din't make the Conservative votes go down, but made the Liberal votes go up, as non-conformists didn't vote in the previous election.
  • 25% increase in voting proves that the non-conformists 'came back' to the Liberal party.
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Tarriff Reform

Joseph Chamberlin had 'big ideas' to reverse Conservative fortunes and improve their popularity, in the form of Tarriff Reform, which is the implementing of taxes on foreign goods, increasing their price, making British goods sell better. Chamberlin hoped that this would improve British industry and the money made could be use for social reform and strengthening the empire.

  • This united the Liberals under the idea of free trade, as they showed in their propoganda campaign (big loaf little loaf).
  • It was disasterous for the Conservatives as they ended up splitting into three groups over the idea. This was so bad that some members defected to the Liberal Party e.g. Winston Churchill.
  • It reduced working class support for the Conservatives because they feared that they would be crushed under the taxes on food.
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beatrice selfridge


whoever made these notes, they are great for revision but the spelling is awful lol

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