How Successful Were the Liberal Government in Bringing About Political and Constitutional Reform in 1906-1914 (24 Marks)

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How successful were the Liberal governments in bringing about political and constitutional reform in 1906-1914 (24 marks) It could be argued that the Liberal government were extremely successful in bringing about political and constitutional reform due to the passing of the Parliament Bill, which overall helped make the constitution more democratic. As well as the triumphant Payment of MPs act in 1911. Although there are areas in which the Liberal government were successful it could be argued that they were unsuccessful, by not extending the vote to women therefore not enhancing support, despite the activities of the suffragettes and the Womens’ Suffrage Union. Furthermore the unenhanced support of the Liberals meant that they were dependant on the support of the 84 Irish Nationalist MPs in the commons in order to stay in power. But was this really a success that the Liberals stayed in power? After the Liberal landslide in 1906 the Conservatives were weak and powerless in the House of Commons, with little than a quarter seats. Therefore Balfour and Lord Lansdowne decided to use their permanent Conservative majority in the House of Lords to block new policies of the Liberal Government. The Lords vetoed their first budget in November 1909 on Lloyd George’s Peoples Budget. The Liberals needed to find £15million of extra revenue to provide for the new social services and for the construction of naval warships. Lloyd George’s idea was to tax the rich, especially the rich who were living on inherited money which was not earned. He proposed to increase income tax from one shilling to one shilling and two pence in the pound on incomes over £3000 a year – also a new super tax on incomes over £5000 a year, increased death duties on estates of over £5000 a year and new land taxes. The land taxes were an increase in value that was not the result of improvement by the land
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