Reasons for the Liberal Landslide
Issues arising at the beginning of the 20th Century
Free Trade vs. Protectionism; rife, and opinions of it split amongst many Imperialism vs. Liberalism; the two were deeply contrasting, making the government suffer Rights of Individual vs. State Intervention /Laissez-faire vs. Social Welfare; questions of how to run the government Workers vs. Employers; workers want better pay/ less hours, whereas employers sought greater profit Women vs. Government; Women want to vote, and to gain social emancipation North vs. South Ireland; South want Home Rule, however the North campaign for Unionism and loyalty British Imperialism vs. International Powers; Other countries such as Germany were increasing their industrial prestige
Lack of Social Reforms in the Conservative period
Balfour and Salisbury’s lack of understanding; they both didn’t get the needs of their voters. They were too tied up in their higher class standing, and the royalties that came along with this There was a need for change due to the findings of Rowntree and Booth. It was shown that Other countries such as Germany had created successful regimes for health and insurance, making Britain appear out-dated and behind the times.
Balfour was cold and detached. He was unaware of the needs of the people, and although he was incredibly intelligent, he lacked political skill. It was a great change from Salisbury who was sensitive to the people’s needs. Balfour made a series of wrong decisions in the party; allowing Chamberlain to cause a split in his party, piloting the 1902 Education Act, and most importantly didn’t see the issues with the Chinese labourers. He also made a huge mistake in resigning the party before the election. In December 1905, the government stepped down. He wanted to watch the Liberals crumble, however this wasn’t the case. It is therefore Balfour as a leader that fuelled the...
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