The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis
January 1910 United Kingdom general election
The January 1910 United Kingdom general election was held from 15 January to 10 February 1910. The government called the election in the midst of a constitutional crisis caused by the rejection of the People's Budget by the Conservative-dominated House of Lords, in order to get a mandate to pass the budget; the general election resulted in a hung parliament, with the Conservative Party led by Arthur Balfour and their Liberal Unionist allies receiving the largest number of votes, but the Liberals led by H. H. Asquith winning the largest number of seats, returning two more MPs than the Conservatives. Asquith formed a government with the support of the Irish Parliamentary Party, led by John Redmond. Another general election was soon held in December; the Labour Party, led by Arthur Henderson, continued to gather momentum, going from 29 seats to 40. MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, January 1910 Parliamentary franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918 Spartacus: Political Parties and Election Results United Kingdom election results—summary results 1885–1979 January 1910 Conservative manifesto January 1910 Labour manifesto January 1910 Liberal manifesto
John Eldon Gorst
Sir John Eldon Gorst was a British lawyer and politician. He served as Solicitor General for England and Wales from 1885 to 1886 and as Vice-President of the Committee on Education between 1895 and 1902. Gorst was born in Preston, the son of Edward Chaddock Gorst, who took the name of Lowndes on succeeding to the family estate in 1853, he graduated third wrangler from St John's College, Cambridge, in 1857, was admitted to a fellowship. After beginning to read for the bar in London, his father's illness and death led to his sailing to New Zealand; the Māori had at that time set up a king of their own in the Waikato district and Gorst, who had made friends with the chief Tamihana, known as the kingmaker, established a Maori trade school in Te Awamutu and acted as an intermediary between the Māori and the government. Sir George Grey made him inspector of schools resident magistrate, civil commissioner in Upper Waikato which the Kingite Maori considered their own land. Tamihana's influence secured his safety at the start of the conflict when chief Rewi Maniapoto of the Ngati Maniapoto tribe and his warriors attempted to kill Gorst.
As Gorst was forewarned they made do by destroying the trade school,destroying a printing press and scaring all the settlers out of the Waikato where they had lived peacefully since 1830. This incident and the ambush and killing of British troops walking along a beach near New Plymouth, led to a restart of the war between the Maori King Movement and the New Zealand government in 1863. In 1884 he hosted the Maori King when he and his party came to England to seek an audience with Queen Victoria over issues to do with land. At that time Gorst was a member of the liberal Aborigine Protection League. In 1908 he published a volume of recollections, under the title of New Zealand Revisited: Recollections of the Days of my Youth. Gorst returned to England and was called to the Bar, Inner Temple, in 1865, becoming a Queen's Counsel in 1875, he stood unsuccessfully for Hastings as a Conservative in the 1865 general election, but the next year he entered parliament as member for Cambridge. He served as Chairman of the inaugural meeting of the National Union of Conservative and Constitutional Associations in November 1867.
He was not re-elected at the 1868 general election. After the Conservative defeat of that year Benjamin Disraeli entrusted him with the reorganization of the party machinery, in five years of hard work he paved the way for the Conservative success at the general election of 1874. At a by-election in 1875 Gorst reentered parliament as member for Chatham, which he continued to represent until 1892, he joined Sir Henry Drummond-Wolff, Lord Randolph Churchill and Arthur Balfour in the Fourth Party as an advocate of Tory democracy. When the Conservatives came to power in 1885 under Lord Salisbury he was made Solicitor-General and knighted; the government fell in January 1886 but when the Conservatives returned to office, in July of the same year, he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for India by Salisbury. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1890 and the following year he became Financial Secretary to the Treasury, a post he held until 1892. Between 1888 and 1891 he served as deputy chairman of committees in the House of Commons.
At the general election of 1892 Gorst became one of the two members for Cambridge University. On the formation of the third Salisbury administration in 1895 he became Vice-President of the Committee on Education, which he remained until August 1902, when the post was renamed President of the Board of Education. However, he was never a member of the Cabinet. Gorst remained committed to the principles of Tory democracy which he had advocated in the days of the Fourth Party, continued take an active interest in the housing of the poor, the education and care of their children, in social questions both in parliament and in the press. However, he became exceedingly independent in his political action, he objected to Joseph Chamberlain's proposals for tariff reform, at the general election of 1906 he stood as an independent Free Trader, but came third, behind the two official Unionist candidates, lost his seat. He withdrew from the vice-chancellorship of the Primrose League, of which he had been one of the founders, on the ground that it no longer represented the policy of Benjamin Disraeli.
In 1910 he failed to secure election. Gorst married Mary Elizabeth Moore in Geelong in 1860, their elder son, Sir Eldon Gorst, became Consul-General in Egypt. Gorst died in London in April 1916, aged 80, lies buried in St Andrew's churchyard, Castle Combe, Wilts. An account of his connection with Lord Randolph Churchill will be found in the Fourth Party, by his younger son, Harold E. Gorst. John Eldon Gorst, John Eldon, Sir, 1835-1916. New Zealand Revisited. Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir John Eldon Gorst
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade Peelites and Radicals favourable to the ideals of the American and French Revolutions in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed four governments under William Gladstone. Despite being divided over the issue of Irish Home Rule, the party returned to government in 1905 and won a landslide victory in the following year's general election. Under Prime Ministers Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith, the Liberal Party passed the welfare reforms that created a basic British welfare state. Although Asquith was the party's leader, its dominant figure was David Lloyd George. Asquith was overwhelmed by the wartime role of coalition Prime Minister and Lloyd George replaced him as Prime Minister in late 1916, but Asquith remained as Liberal Party leader; the pair fought for years over control of the party.
Historian Martin Pugh in The Oxford Companion to British History argues: Lloyd George made a greater impact on British public life than any other 20th-century leader, thanks to his pre-war introduction of Britain's social welfare system. Furthermore, in foreign affairs, he played a leading role in winning the First World War, redrawing the map of Europe at the peace conference, partitioning Ireland; the government of Lloyd George was dominated by the Conservative Party, which deposed him in 1922. By the end of the 1920s, the Labour Party had replaced the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rival; the party went into decline after 1918 and by the 1950s won no more than six seats at general elections. Apart from notable by-election victories, its fortunes did not improve until it formed the SDP–Liberal Alliance with the newly formed Social Democratic Party in 1981. At the 1983 general election, the Alliance won over a quarter of the vote, but only 23 of the 650 seats it contested. At the 1987 general election, its share of the vote fell below 23% and the Liberal and Social Democratic parties merged in 1988 to form the Liberal Democrats.
A splinter group reconstituted the Liberal Party in 1989. It was formed by party members opposed to the merger who saw the Liberal Democrats diluting Liberal ideals. Prominent intellectuals associated with the Liberal Party include the philosopher John Stuart Mill, the economist John Maynard Keynes and social planner William Beveridge; the Liberal Party grew out of the Whigs, who had their origins in an aristocratic faction in the reign of Charles II and the early 19th century Radicals. The Whigs were in favour of increasing the power of Parliament. Although their motives in this were to gain more power for themselves, the more idealistic Whigs came to support an expansion of democracy for its own sake; the great figures of reformist Whiggery were Charles James Fox and his disciple and successor Earl Grey. After decades in opposition, the Whigs returned to power under Grey in 1830 and carried the First Reform Act in 1832; the Reform Act was the climax of Whiggism, but it brought about the Whigs' demise.
The admission of the middle classes to the franchise and to the House of Commons led to the development of a systematic middle class liberalism and the end of Whiggery, although for many years reforming aristocrats held senior positions in the party. In the years after Grey's retirement, the party was led first by Lord Melbourne, a traditional Whig, by Lord John Russell, the son of a Duke but a crusading radical, by Lord Palmerston, a renegade Irish Tory and a conservative, although capable of radical gestures; as early as 1839, Russell had adopted the name of "Liberals", but in reality his party was a loose coalition of Whigs in the House of Lords and Radicals in the Commons. The leading Radicals were John Bright and Richard Cobden, who represented the manufacturing towns which had gained representation under the Reform Act, they favoured social reform, personal liberty, reducing the powers of the Crown and the Church of England, avoidance of war and foreign alliances and above all free trade.
For a century, free trade remained the one cause. In 1841, the Liberals lost office to the Conservatives under Sir Robert Peel, but their period in opposition was short because the Conservatives split over the repeal of the Corn Laws, a free trade issue; this allowed ministries led by Russell and the Peelite Lord Aberdeen to hold office for most of the 1850s and 1860s. A leading Peelite was William Ewart Gladstone, a reforming Chancellor of the Exchequer in most of these governments; the formal foundation of the Liberal Party is traditionally traced to 1859 and the formation of Palmerston's second government. However, the Whig-Radical amalgam could not become a true modern political party while it was dominated by aristocrats and it was not until the departure of the "Two Terrible Old Men", Russell and Palmerston, that Gladstone could become the first leader of the modern Liberal Party; this was brought about by Palmerston's death in 1865 and Russell's retirement in 1868. After a brief Conservative government, Gladstone won a huge victory at the 1868 election and formed the first Liberal government.
Free trade is a trade policy that does not restrict imports or exports. In government, free trade is predominantly advocated by political parties that hold liberal economic positions while economically left-wing and nationalist political parties support protectionism, the opposite of free trade. Most nations are today members of the World Trade Organization multilateral trade agreements. Free trade is additionally exemplified by the European Economic Area and the Mercosur which have established open markets. However, most governments still impose some protectionist policies that are intended to support local employment, such as applying tariffs to imports or subsidies to exports. Governments may restrict free trade to limit exports of natural resources. Other barriers that may hinder trade include import quotas and non-tariff barriers, such as regulatory legislation. There is a broad consensus among economists that protectionism has a negative effect on economic growth and economic welfare while free trade and the reduction of trade barriers has a positive effect on economic growth.
However, liberalization of trade can cause significant and unequally distributed losses, the economic dislocation of workers in import-competing sectors. Free trade policies may promote the following features: Trade of goods without taxes or other trade barriers. Trade in services without taxes or other trade barriers; the absence of "trade-distorting" policies that give some firms, households, or factors of production an advantage over others. Unregulated access to markets. Unregulated access to market information. Inability of firms to distort markets through government-imposed monopoly or oligopoly power. Trade agreements which encourage free trade. Two simple ways to understand the proposed benefits of free trade are through David Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage and by analyzing the impact of a tariff or import quota. An economic analysis using the law of supply and demand and the economic effects of a tax can be used to show the theoretical benefits and disadvantages of free trade.
Most economists would recommend that developing nations should set their tariff rates quite low, but the economist Ha-Joon Chang, a proponent of industrial policy, believes higher levels may be justified in developing nations because the productivity gap between them and developed nations today is much higher than what developed nations faced when they were at a similar level of technological development. Underdeveloped nations today, Chang believes, are weak players in a much more competitive system. Counterarguments to Chang's point of view are that the developing countries are able to adopt technologies from abroad whereas developed nations had to create new technologies themselves and that developing countries can sell to export markets far richer than any that existed in the 19th century. If the chief justification for a tariff is to stimulate infant industries, it must be high enough to allow domestic manufactured goods to compete with imported goods in order to be successful; this theory, known as import substitution industrialization, is considered ineffective for developing nations.
The chart at the right analyzes the effect of the imposition of an import tariff on some imaginary good. Prior to the tariff, the price of the good in the world market is Pworld; the tariff increases the domestic price to Ptariff. The higher price causes domestic production to increase from QS1 to QS2 and causes domestic consumption to decline from QC1 to QC2; this has three main effects on societal welfare. Consumers are made worse off. Producers are better off; the government has additional tax revenue. However, the loss to consumers is greater than the gains by the government; the magnitude of this societal loss is shown by the two pink triangles. Removing the tariff and having free trade would be a net gain for society. An identical analysis of this tariff from the perspective of a net producing country yields parallel results. From that country's perspective, the tariff leaves producers worse off and consumers better off, but the net loss to producers is larger than the benefit to consumers. Under similar analysis, export tariffs, import quotas and export quotas all yield nearly identical results.
Sometimes consumers are better off and producers worse off and sometimes consumers are worse off and producers are better off, but the imposition of trade restrictions causes a net loss to society because the losses from trade restrictions are larger than the gains from trade restrictions. Free trade creates winners and losers, but theory and empirical evidence show that the size of the winnings from free trade are larger than the losses. According to mainstream economics theory, the selective application of free trade agreements to some countries and tariffs on others can lead to economic inefficiency through the process of trade diversion, it is economically efficient for a good to be produced by the country, the lowest cost producer, but this does not always take place if a high cost producer has a free trade agreement while the low cost producer faces a high tariff. Applying free trade to the high cost producer and not the low cost producer as well can lead to trade diversion and a net economic loss.
This is why many economists place such high importance on negotiations for global tar
1906 United Kingdom general election
The 1906 United Kingdom general election was held from 12 January to 8 February 1906. The Liberals, led by Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman, won a landslide majority at the election; the Conservatives led by Arthur Balfour, in government until the month before the election, lost more than half their seats, including party leader Balfour's own seat in Manchester East, leaving them with their lowest-ever number of seats. The election saw a 5.4% swing from the Conservative Party to the Liberal Party, the largest-ever seen at the time. This has resulted in the 1906 general election being dubbed the "Liberal landslide", is now ranked alongside the 1931, 1945, 1983 and 1997 general elections as one of the largest landslide election victories; the Labour Representation Committee was far more successful than at the 1900 general election and after the election would be renamed the Labour Party with 29 MPs and Keir Hardie as leader. The Irish Parliamentary Party, led by John Redmond, achieved its seats with a low number of votes, as 73 candidates stood unopposed.
This election was a landslide defeat for the Conservative Party and their Liberal Unionist allies, with the primary reason given by historians as the party's weakness after its split over the issue of free trade. Many working-class people at the time saw this as a threat to the price of food, hence the debate was nicknamed "Big Loaf, Little Loaf"; the Liberals' landslide victory of 125 seats over all other parties led to the passing of social legislation known as the Liberal reforms. This was the last general election in which the Liberals won an absolute majority in the House of Commons, the last general election in which they won the popular vote, it was the last peacetime election held more than five years after the previous one prior to passage of the Parliament Act 1911, which limited the duration of Parliaments in peacetime to five years. The Conservative Party's seat total of 156 MPs remains its worst result in a general election. A coalition between the Conservative and Liberal Unionist parties had governed the United Kingdom since the general election of 1895.
Arthur Balfour had served as Prime Minister from 1902 until 5 December 1905, when he chose to resign over growing unpopularity, instead of calling a general election. Balfour had hoped that under a Liberal government splits would reemerge, which would therefore help the Conservative Party achieve victory at the next election; the incoming Liberal government chose to capitalise on the Conservative government's unpopularity and called an immediate general election one month on 12 January 1906, which resulted in a crushing defeat for the Conservatives. The Unionist government had become divided over the issue of free trade, which soon became an electoral liability; this culminated in Joseph Chamberlain's resignation from the government in May 1903 to campaign for tariff reform in order to protect British industry from foreign competition. This division was in contrast to the Liberal Party's belief in free trade, which it argued would help keep costs of living down; the issue of free trade became the feature of the Liberal campaign, under the slogan'big loaf' under a Liberal government,'little loaf' under a Conservative government.
It commissioned a variety of posters warning the electorate over rises in food prices under protectionist policies, including one which mentioned that "Balfour and Chamberlain are linked together against free trade... Don't be deceived by Tory tricks"; the Boer War had contributed to the unpopularity of the Conservative and Unionist government. The war had lasted over two and half years, much longer than had been expected, while details were revealed of the existence of'concentration camps' where over 20,000 men and children were reported to have died because of poor sanitation; the war had unearthed the poor social state of the country in the early 1900s. This was after more than 40% of military recruits for the Boer War were declared unfit for military service, while in Manchester 8,000 of the 11,000 men, recruited had to be turned away for being in poor physical condition; this was after the 1902 Rowntree study of poverty in York showed that a third of the population lived below the'poverty line', which helped to increase the calls for social reforms, something, neglected by the Conservative and Unionist government.
The Conservative and Unionist Prime Minister, Arthur Balfour, had been blamed over the issue of'Chinese Slavery', the use of Chinese-indentured labour in South Africa. This became controversial among the Conservative Party's middle-class supporters, who saw it as unethical, while the working class objected to the practice, as white emigration to South Africa could have created jobs for the unemployed in Britain. Protestant Nonconformists were angered when Conservatives pushed through the Education Act 1902, which integrated denominational schools into the state system and provided for their support from taxes; the local school boards that they controlled were abolished and replaced by county governments that were controlled by Anglicans. Worst of all the hated Anglican schools would now receive funding from local taxes that everyone had to pay. One tactic was to refuse to pay local taxes; the education issue played a major role in the Liberal victory in 1906, as Dissenter Conservatives punished their old party and voted Liberal.
However the Liberals failed to repeal or modify the 1902 law. Another issue