Balfour's Leadership Was Responsible for the Decline in the Popularity of the Conservative Party Between the Years 1902-1906. Explain Why You Agree or Disagree with This View.

992 words 4 pages
Balfour's leadership was responsible for the decline in the popularity of the conservative party between the years 1902 – 1906.
Explain why you agree or disagree with this view. ( 24 marks )

Balfour's leadership along with other key factors, including chamberlain's influence, the Boer war and the liberal party's actions, overall led to the decline in popularity for the conservative party giving the liberals their first taste of power in the 1906 general election.

Balfour's character consisted of a very cautious, indecisive man which came across when faced with Chamberlain and his debate on 'tariff reform', which stated that all non-British colonies should have to pay tariffs on imports into Britain, making foreign goods more
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Another tactic of the Liberals was to introduce the Lib-Lab pact which was an agreement between both the Liberals and the new Labour party, promising to stand together against the Conservatives; previous Labour voters voted Liberal to increase the votes, out of no fault of the Conservatives or Balfour, the Liberal party grew stronger.
Another big issue into the declining popularity to the Conservative party was Chinese Slavery which caused a moral outrage from the Boer War. After the conclusion of the Boer War the British government sought to rebuild South Africa's economy which had been devastated by the war. An important part of the rebuilding effort was to get the gold mines of the Witwatersrand, the richest in history and a major cause of the war, back online as soon as possible. Because the government decreed that white labour was too expensive and black labourers were reluctant to return to the mines, they decided to import 63,000 contracted workers from China. This was deeply unpopular at the time as popular opinion was hostile towards Chinese Immigration and rose issues such as racism. It also happened at a time when poverty and unemployment amongst lower class British workers was very high. Because the Conservatives were in control of the media and failed to inform the British people