The Conservative Party’s Weakness As a Consequence Of Weak Leadership Essay

The Conservative Party’s Weakness As a Consequence Of Weak Leadership Essay

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The Conservative Party’s Weakness As a Consequence Of Weak Leadership

After the resignation of Peel in 1846 the Conservative Party split
into three main groupings. The Peelites: loyal supporters of Peel who
were unsatisfied with the current Conservative Party, the Ultra Tories
who were the immovable, reactionary classical Tories who regarded the
party’s sole purpose as being the support and promotion of its
backers; the landowners, and finally the Liberal Conservatives who
argues that lately the party had lost support and that unless the
Tories started to rule in a more liberal fashion they would lose
power, the liberals believed that they must retain an aristocratic
approach whilst appealing to all sectors of the population.

Peel’s resignation meant that there was no real viable candidate to
stand in his place as party leader. Bentinck was definitely not ideal,
outspoken and often rude he was part of the rapidly disappearing breed
of MPs who regarded politics as a hobby that they indulged in for fun,
probably the most memorable moment of his career was probably his
leading, with Disraeli, of the protectionist opposition to Peel’s
repeal of the Corn Laws; compromise was utterly alien to Bentinck’s
nature. To no great surprise Bentinck soon resigned (over the “Jewish
question”) .The Earl of Derby seemed to be the only suitable leader
but he was considerably apprehensive and unenthusiastic to say the
least, the Duke of Newcastle wrote to him expressing his eagerness for
Derby “allow us to rally to you as our “great captain” but Derby
responded by saying that he did not hold the ambition to become the
leader of party. Nevertheless Der...

... middle of paper ...

...ort from the
emerging middle class, with drive and clarity of vision by an
appropriate leader I believe the conservative party could have been
re-born and turned into a major political force long before they fully
recovered from the effects of the split.

Of course such a leader did not arrive to save the conservatives in
their time of turmoil largely because, ultimately, the fight for power
in 1846-66 was a battle between a modern, efficient party whose
allegiance was to the promotion of a widely beneficial programme, (and
therefore very popular) against an old, outdated, worn out,
inefficient party with awful internal organization embodied
predominantly by rich land inheritors with an interest in politics
that went only so far as to consider it a hobby rather than anything
so serious as the running of an empire.

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