Age of Disraeli and Gladstone Parties, Politics, and Policies, 1866- 1895
Liberal and Conservative Parties Take shape under Disraeli and Gladstone Compete for working class voters Conservative National Union—Liberal Union—marshal votes at local level but policy made by Parliament Local issues—(sanitation), national issues (Ireland), international issues (Balkans) dominate political discourse
Reforms 1867 Reform Bill—ploy by Disraeli to tie working class voters to Conservatives 1868—Working class voters elect Gladstone’s Liberals
Gladstone (1868-1874) Forster Education Act (1870) No test act for University degree recipients (1871) Secret Ballot (1872) Irish Land Act (1870)
Disraeli (1874-1880) Sanity and Sanitation Pure food and drug act; public health initiatives; liquor licensing Victoria made “Empress of India” (1875) Congress of Berlin (1878) Disraeli took peerage as Earl Beaconsfield
Gladstone II (1880-1885) Irish Home Rule—Charles Stewart Parnell Three F Reform Bill Phoenix Park Murders Kilmanheim Treaty 1884 Reform Bill Married Woman’s Property Act (1884) Conservatives under Salisbury gain power (1885- 1886) by promising Irish reforms
Salisbury (1886-1892) Gladstone and Liberals gain power through promise of Home Rule for Ireland but it ruptures Liberal Party (Liberal Unionists oppose home rule) Salisbury and Conservatives take control: Tory Democracy gives them headlines and on both sides of the aisle there were reformers.
Conservative Strife Randolph Churchill—chancellor of Exchequer and ran commons: low taxes but favored domestic reforms; cost him support of Imperialists and Secretary of War. Salisbury, who feared Churchill as a rival, supported the Secretary of War. Arthur J. Balfour, with Salisbury’s support, now ran commons; taught all a lesson—you must follow party leaders. Strife does not prevent 1888 County Government Act: elected county councils replace gentry control of government and 1888 law providing subsidies for all children attending school—COE, Dissenter, or state schools
Home Rule Continues to Vex Violence and unrest in Ireland—Parnell alleged to support violence. He quickly falls from influence—first he has to show that he was not involved in the Phoenix Park Murders and then his liaison with Kitty O’shea is made public.
Gladstone Returns Newcastle Program: Irish Home rule; Triennial Parliament, no plural voting; local option liquor licensing 1892 elections—returns Kier Hardie and John Burns—first labor M. Ps. Conservatives/Liberal Unionists have most seats but Gladstone (age 82) forms government with Irish and Home Rule support. Gladstone introduced Home rule bill—passed commons but died in Lords—could Lords overrule bill passed by the peoples’ representatives? Gladstone retired rather than fight the issue—would resurface in 1909 budget crisis.
Conservative High Tide Lord Rosebury formed a caretaker government; 1895 elections returned Conservatives who focused on the Empire. Salisbury was P. M.; Joseph Chamberlain had the Colonial Office; Balfour ran the Treasury and Commons Chamberlain was from a BHAM manufacturing family and was a traditional liberal at heart; but he had broken w/ Gladstone over home rule and strongly supported the Empire which led him into the Conservative party.