Liberal Strengths (1906)


Liberal Strengths in 1906

Strong Leaders (Campbell-Bannerman and Gladstone)

Lord Roseberry was the Liberal Prime Minister from 1892-1896. His government was an abject failure and the electorate's verdict in 1895 on the record of Roseberry's government could hardly have been clearer- a Conservative majority of 152. Roseberry resigned the leadership of the party the year after this disastrous defeat.

Following this, Henry Campbell-Bannerman was appointed head of the Liberal Party and so began his successful leadership. Known as CB, he was a firm believer in free trade, Irish Home Rule and the improvement of social conditions and he has been to by Morris as ''Britain's first, and only, radical Prime Minister''. His policy was to promote the party as a 'Broad Church', in which no policy or faction should be allowed to predominate. According to Hamer, 'the major achievement of Campbell-Bannerman as Liberal Leader before 1905 was to being Liberals to accept the strenth and organic unity, rather than disintegration, could result from the co-existence in their party of many different sections and tendencies of opinion'. 

Herbert Gladstone took on the self-imposed role of Chief whipe and after 1899 decided to aid the reorganisation of the Liberal Party. He wanted to achieve greater integration and to promote an image of Liberalism as 'an alternative government' at a time when this was becoming more and more necessary. Gladstone was a major influence on and supporter of the 'Broad Church' strategy, especially in…


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