The Liberal landslide 1906

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  • Reasons for the Liberal Landslide
    • The Boer War
      • Very expensive in both lives and money
        • The war had been helpful for the Conservatives to win in 1900 but they were now tied to a disliked war
      • Methods used to defeat the Boers were controversial
        • Women and children of Boer soldiers were put into concentration camps
      • Exposed malnutrition of British public
        • Nearly 1/3 of volunteers were rejected on medical grounds
        • Shows failure of Conservative government
    • 1902 education Act
      • All schools would now be founded by local rates (taxes)
        • Unliked by non-conformists who did not want to pay for Church of England and Catholic schools
          • Turn from the Conservatives to the Liberals
      • Before 1902, religious schools had been funded by churches
      • Creates standardised education system
    • 1904 Licensing Act
      • Publicans would receive compensation for lost licenses
      • Aimed to remove the amount of pubs
      • Infuriates Non-conformists
        • People were being rewarded
    • Chinese Labour Issues
      • Chinese immigrants were being brought to South Africa to work as cheap labour
        • Moral outcry from non-conformists
      • Upsets trade unions
        • Fear of this cheap labour coming to Britain and lowering wages whilst unemployment was already high
    • Taft Vale
      • House of Lords say companies have the legal right to sue strikers for loss of profits during strikes
        • Results in any strike action becoming ineffective
      • Reduced support of the working man for conservatives and increased the appeal to Labour
      • It was a 1901 dispute between a trade union and a Welsh Railway company
        • The workers went on strike but afterwards the company wanted compensation for their lost profits
    • Neglect of Social Reform
      • New liberalism favoured as it proposed increasing a minimum standard for living
      • Education Act had been controversial and aided the Liberals
      • poverty had been exposed by Boer wars
    • Tariff Reform
      • Chamberlain thought it would….
        • Bring revenue for reforms
        • Increase British strength
      • Meant some influential Conservatives went to Liberals
        • Winston Churchill
      • Proposed to introduce lower tariffs on goods from the empire (imperial preference)
      • Free trade is a key Liberal idea
    • Failures of Conservative leadership
      • Disregarded public opinion
      • Balfour lacks political skill
        • Didn’t need to call an election in 1906
        • Failed to see the public anger over the Taff Vale dispute and Chinese labour
    • Lib-Lab pact 1903
      • Helped to prevent an anti-conservative deadlock
        • Labour candidates would not run against Liberal candidates in 30 constituencies
          • Labour gained 27 seats in the election
          • The power of the Labour Party was increasing
            • Won Bernard castle against a sitting Liberal!


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