History Essay Question: There was little difference between the Liberal party and the Conservative party in the mid-1860s. How much do you agree or disagree with this statement? What are the differences between the Liberal party and the Conservative party? This is a popular question. People seem to have a firm idea that both parties are very different since they generally oppose each other when in actuality that is not the case.
‘To what extent do you agree that the nationalist movement was the greatest threat facing the liberal government by 1914?’ By 1914, there were a number of threats to the liberal government. Examples of these are from the PSI (the socialist party), nationalists and the Catholic Church. The reasons why these groups were a threat to the liberal government was in part because of the weaknesses of the liberal government itself, and the poor state of the economy under the liberals. The economy especially led to a lack of Italian identity, with very high levels of emigration (mainly to the USA). These factors led to a fragile liberal government, with the main threat in my opinion being posed not by the nationalists but the socialists.
It's clear to see that Lord Liverpool's government between the years 1822 and 1827 was not in fact liberal, it was just the fact that the measures he took and the laws he passed merely seemed liberal to the general public, therefore he gained a good reputation from British citizens in the sense that a lot of the laws he passed such as the Gaols act were initially seen as liberal because of the fact that now female prisoners were guarded by female guards for the first time, however there were a few drawbacks to Peel's ideas which make it hard to view these reforms as entirely liberal. I believe that Liverpool had a good idea and good intentions to make the British economy become more stable after a poor economic situation, he also wanted to make the country more liberal in the sense that there will be more freedom and equality, however the way in which the laws and reforms were carried out were not necessarily as liberal as Liverpool had hoped. The Penal reform acts that Liverpool passed were initially seen as liberal, however it is possible to argue that there are several different limitations and factors that prove it to be not necessarily liberal. Initially, the idea of a reduction of transportable offences under the Gaols act, and also the reduction of the number of crimes punishable by death from around 200 to 20 makes Liverpool's government seem liberal due to the fact that it is giving the people of Great Britain more freedom and shows that the toleration across Britain is a lot more than it used to be. This Gaols act however was not necessarily new, as some people believe that it was based on campaigning from Fry and Howard several years before.
However, Gladstone did have unsuccessful legislation in Ireland, with the 1870 Irish land act, and the 1873 Irish universities bill. Both of these were fundamentally trying to be liberal, but had very illiberal factors to them such as not allowing students in his new university to study theology, philosophy and modern history. These reforms didn’t receive the same popularity or support as the disestablishment of the Irish church. Overall, you would probably argue that Gladstone was a success in Ireland, as his biggest and most controversial piece of legislation, yet it still managed to be very successful and appealed to the Irish people and the non-conformists whereas it scared off the Anglicans. Gladstone also introduced the removal of unjustified privilege, as he described
They are dependent on a coalition government because so far they have never had a majority in Parliament. Without the Conservatives choosing to form a coalition with them in order to create a majority, the Liberal Democrats would never have been able to come into power. Furthermore they’re becoming increasing unpopular in power due to breaking promises and being accused of ‘turning Tory’. This suggests that they have no political strength by themselves and that many potential voters will turn to alternatives, such as the Labour party, who could ultimately gain popularity due to the failures of the Liberal Democrats; therefore the UK is still a two party system favouring the Conservatives and Labour party. However on the other hand it is argued that the UK could not possibly be a two party system because the Conservatives wouldn’t have been able to come into power without the Liberal Democrats.
Why was the Unreformed House of Commons able to Reform itself in 1832? The splintering of the Tory party into several different factions played a part the Reform bill being able to be passed through the House of Commons. It split between the Huskissonites, The Ultras and the Small group of Support Wellington and Peel had managed to maintain. In 1832 Wellington tried to make a new Cabinet at the behest of this king but this crumbled when Peel refused to become involved in a Government that would pass Reform. The strong leadership of Grey over the Whigs was also a vital part of the road to reform as Grey was determined to get a Reform bill passed through Parliament (Reform that you can preserve) because of growing pressure from the middle class businessmen in Large cities that had no representation such as Birmingham and Manchester.
One reform that has been introduced is the House of Lords reform, which was first introduced in 1999 and then again in 2012 with the aim of making the House of Lords much more representative by getting rid of hereditary peers (people in the house of lords due to previous ties) and by allowing people to vote for who they want in the house. This reform has not gone far enough because as it is far from complete as legislation was proposed to create a partly or fully elected House of Lords but then were dropped by the Conservatives as they said no to a fully elected second chamber in 2012. However this reform has done a fair amount as now the House of Lords has far more legitimacy than it did before because 92 members of the house were removed as they were hereditary peers and so these 92 places were voted on clearly increasing legitimacy and to an extent representation as before this it was the only part of government that was fully unrepresentative going against the ideology of democracy. This shows that here progress is seemingly slow as while the reform is introduced is somewhat understated and not as full a reform as it could be, it is still a reform and shows changes in the government as now they are actually looking towards reform. Another reform that has been introduced is the human rights act, which was
Cooke ‘it was the conservative party, not Gladstone, which came closest to solving the Irish question in the late 19th century’ In terms of the economy, the Conservatives indefinably did the most to address the economic issues of Ireland. The liberals in actual fact were not the progressive party in dealing with the economy. Unlike conservative policy at the turn of the 20th century, the liberals did not address the root of the problem. An example of this would be the tithes act 1836 was only passed to stop the land war. The Liberal party were not seen favourably post famine with historians claiming “no man died of famine while Peel was in power”.
Some even argue that the Reforms were introduced for politically selfish reasons as they believed that the Liberals felt threatened by the Labour party. The final factor that can be argued is that the emergence of New Liberals who believed in involvement and had radical ideas meant that it would be unlikely that major changes wouldn’t occur. All of this evidence show that genuine concern was a factor in causing the Liberal Social Reforms however there were other factors that contributed to introduction of these
I believe that the Conservative party under Cameron haven't adopted many One Nation policies for these reasons; On terms of economic and the deficit the Conservative party seem more right hinting at the thatcher heyday. David Cameron is clearly in favour of rolling back the state, which is also a major point of Thatcherism. A key point is how Cameron feels about education, he favours privatisation of education and has introduced Free Schools and Finally how the Tory's have in reforming the taxation system have rejected some one nation policies. However it could be argued that the Tory party not cutting the NHS fund and International aid funds is adopting one nation policies. In terms of