Phase 3: The break-up of the Tory party: (1827-1830).

  • Weak leadership.
  • Divisions.
  • Policy differences.
  • Catholic Emancipation (1829).
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Why did the Tory party fall apart in 1830?


  • Lord Liverpool resigned in March 1827 at the age of 57 after suffering a stroke caused splits within the party. Liverpool was the only cabinet member who could sucessfully keep the divided party together as he had the personality and the strong leadership skills.
  • The party was bitterly divided. Old disputes were resurfaced after the Liverpool left and when Canning took over as Prime Minister. Peel, Wellington and others resigned as they disagreed with his foreign policy amd the fact that he supported Catholic Emancipation.

Weak leadership: 

  • When Caning died in August, Goderich was unable to form a cabinet and in desperation, the king asked Wellington to form a government. He fell out with the LIberal Tories.
  • Liverpool's failure to to establish a clear successor or do more than keep a lid on the divisions contributed to the problem.
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Policy differences:

  • Canning was tactless.
  • Goderich is regarded as the worst Prime minister of the century.
  • Wellington was reluctantly forced into agreeing to Catholic Emancipation. Daniel O'Connell, a catholic, had won they bye-election for the next general election of County Clare but was unable to take his seat as he was Catholic.
  • Wellington bullied the House of Lords into accepting the Catholic Emancipation Act but the protestant Tories never forgave him for the 'great betrayal'.
  • Parliamentary reform caused a clash in May 1828 between Huskisson and Wellington over the redistribution of seats from corrupt boroughs.
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