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British State and People: 1865-1915

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Elizabeth Denny

on 17 November 2013

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Transcript of British State and People: 1865-1915

Liberalism and Conservatism
The Liberal and Conservative Parties dominate the period despite the formation of the Labour Party in 1900
The Liberal Party was formed from four factions in parliament: Whigs, radicals, Peelites and liberals
Whigs = A group of leading aristocrats and their connections
radical = a group of MPs who wanted more political and social reform
Peelites = A group of Conservative MPs who split from the party due to their support for the Prime Minister Robert Peel over his repeal of the Corn Laws in 1845
liberals = a group of mainly middle class MPs with a background in industry and commerce who had been elected following the passing of the Great Reform Act in 1832
From 1865 to 1894 the Liberal Party was dominated by William Ewart Gladstone. He believed in:
Peace
to promote trade and commerce rather than getting involved in expensive foreign wars
Retrenchment
reducing government expenditure where possible to allow for lower taxation
Reform
limited extension of the franchise and the promotion of a society based on equality and fairness
All of Gladstone's beliefs were underpinned by a strong Christian belief and principles that were driven by his sense of morality
The Conservative Party grew out of the Tory Party
The term began to be used to describe the party after Robert Peel became its leader and announced that the Tories would support limited political and social reform where necessary
Disraeli was the dominant figure in the Conservative Party between 1865 and 1880. He believed in:
Imperialism
In order to boost the power and influence of Great Britain
British State and People, 1865-1915
Tory Democracy
The union of the upper classes and the masses
Disraeli was the complete opposite of Gladstone. He was a political opportunist not driven by ideology
Political Reform
This means extending the franchise, redistributing seats, ending corruption and changing the power of the House of Lords
Second Reform (Franchise) Act, 1867
Secret Ballot Act, 1872
Corrupt and Illeagal Practices Act, 1883
Third Reform (Franchise) Act, 1884
Redistribution Act, 1885
Parliament Act, 1911

Political reform acts of the period:
Second Reform Act, 1867
Passed by Disraeli's Conservative government
Gave vote to male householders, 21 years and over in borough constituencies
(ie. most industrial working-class men)

Third Reform Act, 1884
Passed by Gladstone's Liberal government
Gave vote to male householders, 21 years and over in county constituencies
(ie. most rural working-class men)

Parliament Act, 1911
Passed by Asquith's Liberal government
Took away House of Lords' right of absolute veto
(ie. now could only delay legislation not veto it completely)

Reasons for political reform:
Pressure from outside parliament
Pressure from within parliament
Party political advantage
Growth of educated working class

Results of political reform:
Increased influence of House of Commons
Reduction in influence of House of Lords
Reduction in influence of monarch
Political parties more responsive to public opinion
Better organised political parties
Full transcript