Anyone taking AQA HIS2H that would mark this essay for me?Watch
Industrial unrest/The rise of the Labour Party
B.24 marks question
- “The Labour Party had become significant political force by 1914”. Explain why you agree or disagree with this view.
One reason Labour had become a significant party was the growing amount of support from unions. The Taff Vall Judgement of 1901 played a major part in this - the judgement made unions fear striking in case they were fined, like the Amalgamated Railway Society were fined £23,000 for the damages at Taff Vale. This made unions realise that they needed a party who would support unions right to strike.
Another group they were receiving a growing amount of support from was women. A lot of women were unhappy with the main political parties, and the way they treated those who campaigned for suffrage - introduction of force-feeding in 1906. The Labour Party seemed the most likely to pass suffrage, and enable women to vote.
The Lib-Lab Pact of 1903 was a great contributor for Labour becoming a significant party. Liberal had agreed not to oppose them in 30 constituencies, which worked as they won 29 of these seats in the 1906 General ‘Khaki’ Election, which soon became 30. The Lib-Lab pact recognised that Labour was being a force to be reckoned with.
Labour was doing well financially too. Support from the unions gained them a lot of money, meaning they could employ a large number of MPs. The Lib-Lab Pact saved them money, as they didn’t have to pay to oppose them, and after 1913 MPs received payments.
Another problem threatening Labour’s significance was Parliamentary Arithmetic. Although they were still a minority in Parliament, INP had over double their seats with 81 in the 1906 General Election, and, apart from the 1906 Trades Dispute Act, Labour had no real significance.
Labour seemed insignificant to many after the rise of ‘New Liberalism’. Their policies were very similar to Labour’s - free trade, so why was there a need for a party who just seemed to support Liberalism?
In judgement, Labour faced a lot of threats to their significance up to 1914, including financial problems, but these were resolved in 1913. Labour had growing support, and with union members affiliated with them rising to 800,000, they were a majorly significant party by 1914
For example, with the paragraph about MP's pay. You could talk about the 1911 Act allowing MP's to receive a salary enabled more candidates to step forward, particularly as those representing the labour party were from working class backgrounds and therefore couldn't afford to work as an MP without pay. Thus, the pay enabled Labour to propose more candidates, giving them the prospect and possibility of a larger proportion of the seats.
Or you could develop the 1913 Trade Unions Act which overruled the 1909 Osborne Judgement and enabled Trade Unions to support and fund parties, and as Labour were the party of the Trade Unions, it allowed Labour to get money. You could then think this to Labours increasing organisation under MacDonald who could now pay for more employees at the HQ and 2 national organisers, and for marketing/campaigning which allowed them to put forward a possible 150 candidates. Thus, the Pay Act and Trade Unions act in conjunction with the organisation under the leadership of Ramsay MacDonald allowed labour to develop from a 30/40 seats to 150 possible candidates.
Make sure at the end of each point, you directly link back to how it affects labours position (or how it caused other factors too)
Hope this helps, this is how I do it anyway.
I'm taking the exam on Wednesday, same unit HIS2H
Your essay is a good attempt but seems to lack fluidity. I would organise your points into: arithmetic, finances, electoral progress
An example is that under the electoral progress you could say, Labour were making more progress in local elections because their programme of social reform was more distinct than the Liberals. Whereas, in national elections their progress was limited because their finances were hit (Osborne Judgement). By 1910, they were the 4th largest party but did not hold any significant influence because the Irish nationalists held the balance of power- 82 seats.
It's just a suggestion as long as you answer the question. It's just a more sophisticated way of arguing your points which the examiner would appreciate as you're considering structure.