ABSTRACT

The Liberals gained an overwhelming victory in the general election of 1906, largely over the issue of Free Trade v Protection but partly because of continuing hostility to the Act of 1902, as the Conservatives were quick to recognize and very slow to forget. The long rule of the Tories had ended, and once again, as in 1868, many Free Churchmen and other Liberal supporters looked confidently to the new government for sweeping changes in educational legislation. Once again they were disappointed, to some extent because the House of Lords remained very largely Conservative and strong in support of the Established Church, but - more fundamentally important-chiefly because of the continued impossibility of drastically altering the existing system without either incurring great expenditure on additional schools or applying coercion on a vast scale.