- Created by: RebeccaBurnett
- Created on: 01-05-19 13:59
Tariff Reform/ Imperial Preference
- protective tariffs would be placed on foreign imports but not on those from the Empire
- aimed to protect British and imperial trade and business against foreign competition (especially USA and Germany)
joespeh chamberlain put forward a number of cases for the introduction of tariff reform policy
- Economic: protect British jobs against unfair competition from abroad and save nearly one million jobs.
- Imperial/ Political: strengthen British Empire and bind it together – keep Britain as Great Power
- Social: tariffs would raise money for social reform
- The economic trading/commerce policy whereby countries trade freely with each other without restriction.
Liberals united around the policy of Free Trade which had been a central feature of British economic policy since the 1850s
- british exports had trebled since 1850 under this policy (retaliatory tariffs)
- working class living standard had doubled since 1850
- ensured cheaper food from Europe (big loaf little loaf)
The Boer War
- Colonial Conflict with Transvaal and Orange Free State (South Africa) 1899-1902 – highlighted inefficiency of British army and the danger of isolation.
- The war cost £200 million and over 20,000 British lives.
- General Election of 1900 (Khaki Election): Conservatives won by a large margin, 402 to 183 Liberal seats, on the back of support for the Boer war.... war was popular but continuation of it caused problems
- British use of concentration camps and Chinese ‘coolies’ earned worldwide criticism
- Chinese labourers imported to rebuild post-war South Africa (1902-1904)
- Campbell-Bannerman denounced them as ‘methods of barbarism’ and many of the public turned against the Conservatives and imperialism
- Unions Empire and working-classes particularly upset
- Not completely hated due to moral obligations but due to jobs being taken by foreigners
Taff Vale Case
- this House of Lords ruling made it effectively illegal for unions to go on strike, as they would be financially liable for strike activity.
- showed that the conservatives were unsympathetic and instead supported Liberals in order to get represented in parliament
Wyndham’s Land Purchase Act
- This Act sought to "kill home rule by kindness" by allowing Irish tenants to buy out landlors with cheap loans borrowed from the state
Balfour's Education Act
- increased state money to church schools, enabling to provude elementary education for free.
- upset many non-conformists who felt it gave preferential treatment to Church schools and led to the cry of "Rome on the Rates"
- aimed to reduce the number of public houses in certain areas
- government compensated breweries if their pubs were closed
- upset non-conformists
Unemployed Workmen Act
- set up labour exchanges where employers advertised hobs
- no relief or state assistance for those who did not get a job
Events leading to 1906
- December 1905 –
- Balfour resigns and the Conservatives leave government.
- The Liberals form a minority government without there being a General Election or dissolution of Parliament
- Balfour hopes that the Liberals will be divided under the leadership of Campbell-Bannerman and will make a mess of their time in government
- BUT the Liberals however rally behind Campbell-Bannerman and the issue of Free Trade
- January 1906 –
- the Liberals call a quick General Election which they win by a landslide
-->Conservatives 2,442,071 votes with 156 seats
-->Liberal Party 2,751,057 votes with 399 seats
- The Conservatives had been in power for too long (almost 20 years).
- Balfour was perceived as a weak leader after following the dominant figure of Lord Salisbury.
- Conservatives were divided over Tariff Reform and
- Failure to reverse Taff vale ruling (1901) and Chinese Slavery affair upset many working-class voters and trade unionists.
- Balfour made a tactical error in resigning in 1905.
- Limited social reforms under Conservative rule.
- The prolonged Boer war and the ‘barbarism’ of its concentration camps.
- The Lib-Lab Pact (1903) worked against the Conservatives and maximised opposition vote.
- Liberals had dynamic young leaders and appeared to be have better party organisation.
- Liberals and non-conformist opinion was united against unpopular policies such as the 1902 Education Act and 1904 Licensing Act.
- the Liberals were united on Free Trade.