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Lloyd George's Policies Essay

2332 words - 10 pages

Lloyd George's Policies
How did Lloyd George become an outdated asset in 1922 from a wartime
hero in 1918 in the space of four years? Lloyd George’s own policies
and his dependence on the conservatives did play a part in his
political decline; however this alone didn’t account for his failure
and fall. A range of events, issues and reactions played a pivotal
part in his downfall.

Before 1918 LG had long been the most dynamic Liberal minister, he
injected energy into the Liberal party to show that the party wasn’t
doomed to decline. During the war he was made Minister of Munitions,
where he was the one undoubted success of ...view middle of the document...

The reasons behind this were for their own benefit. They hadn’t
won the election since 1902, and thus as a result had lost confidence
in themselves. At the end of the WWI LG was seen as the ‘man who won
the war’, and as a result the Conservatives hope to profit from the
PM’s popularity.

It could be said that the main reason for his political decline was
due to him being trapped in a political limbo or no mans land, as he
was in an inherently unstable position. Furthermore, we would be able
to assume if he declined the post of Prime Minister and allowed
Asquith to continue, by 1922 would he still be a political force? I
believe it is right to say due to his indiscretion he was a ‘prisoner
of the Conservatives’.

His relationship with Andrew Bonar Law was vital in helping him to
ride out the storm. Bonar Law was known as the ‘lynch –pin’ of the
coalition. Baldwin believed that LG and Bonar Law formed ‘the most
perfect relationship in political history’. Bonar Law was very
effective in informing LG of the Conservative backbencher’s opinions;
he was an effective mediator between the two wings. He was Chancellor
of the Exchequer from 1916 – 18, a man of great ability and industry.
He was able to act as a brake for LG’s wilder schemes; one scheme
which he taught of was the ‘fusion’ of the coalition government into
one political party. However this idea failed, mainly due to the
coalition Liberal’s foiled his plans. This failure had an effect on
his moral and personal bankruptcy and left him vulnerable. The failure
of this scheme showed how he had little control over his one-time
colleagues, and also proved that he had limited powers in persuading
colleagues into merging into a ‘Centre Party’.

In May 1921 disaster struck for LG, Law resigned from cabinet and as
leader of his party due to ill health. He was replaced by Austen
Chamberlain, who was no substitute for Bonar Law. His resignation
could be seen as speeding up rather than actually causing the downfall
of Lloyd George. I personally believe that if Bonar Law didn’t resign
the coalition would have had an easier passage over the next few years
and also Lloyd George will have had less pressure from the
Conservatives.

Britain faced serious problems in undertaking post-war reconstruction.
The Prime Minister had to make a move, and build a ‘land fit for
heroes’. The basic problem was the effect of the war on the British
economy. Many markets were lost to Britain during the war, and debts
were incurred especially from USA. Britain was owed more by other
countries; however they failed to pay up. The staple industries
produced over-investment, which caused a short term boom at the end of
the war, however this give way to depression as interest rates were
raised. 745,000 Britons were killed, an influenza epidemic killed
...

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