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How Did The Constitutional Crisis Affect The Unionist Alliance?

553 words - 2 pages

To consider how the Constitutional Crisis affected the Unionist Alliance, exploration is needed on the reasons why the Conservatives rejected the Budget, how different opinions to the Budget caused disharmony within the party, the effect of the Parliament Act becoming law and Balfour's reaction.Many Unionist peers were against the People's Budget for many reasons. One reason was that due to an agricultural depression in the 19th century land prices had declined. Also landowners had found that, starting in the 1880s, their privileges were being restricted by legislations already in place. They were also annoyed by a tactic used by Salisbury and Balfour. Salisbury and Balfour thought that by allowing some of the minor reforms to pass they could block or delay some of the more important reforms. They meant that some reforms passed caused unwelcome consequences to many peers.However leaders of the Unionist Alliance had their own reasons for opposing the Budget. They were hoping that by rejecting the Budget a general election could take place. As the Conservatives popularity was on the rise, success had been found at many by-elections, there was a fair chance that they could win. Also many Conservative members viewed the Budget as a Socialist conception. Moreover by objecting to the Budget they would help prevent more and more social reforms for becoming law.The People's Budget of 1909 split the Unionist Alliance into three groups. Those who were adamant about rejecting the Bill in the Lords, who were called 'diehards'. Others who preferred not to make a decision and supported abstention were called 'hedgers'. Some, in the House of Lords, were called 'rats' as...

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