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Asses the most important factors that led to David Lloyd George(TM)s downfall in 1922

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Asses the most important factors that led to David Lloyd George's downfall in 1922. Prime Minister, David Lloyd George made a greater impact on British public life than any in 20th century. He laid the foundations of what later became the welfare state and in 1918 he was acclaimed, as "the man who won the war". However, after just four years served, Lloyd George fell from power abruptly in 1922. His downfall came as no surprise to some, who saw his reign doomed from the start, due to the fact he was a Prime Minister without a political party. Lloyd George's political situation slowly began to worsen after his victory in the 1918 election. It was difficult to see what section of the community he could appeal to. The rise of the Labour party made it difficult for him to appeal to the working classes as a man of the people. The political environment of cut-backs of 1922 was unsuited to him, and he was increasingly dependent on the Conservatives. There were a number of issues, including his style of government, and the honours scandal, which made Lloyd George a liability in the eyes of the Coalition, which made his fall from power in 1922 inevitable. LG's style of government often came under scrutiny, a style which was considered suitable for wartime, but dramatically less effective in peace time. His tendencies to act impulsively, rarely attend parliament and consult few people seemed appropriate during the war. However, these tendencies began to disgruntle his backbenchers, which was one of the key factors that led to his downfall. ...read more.


By late 1920 Britain and many other countries fell into depression. LG came under heavy criticism from the unions and Labour for not doing more to protect jobs, which confirmed doubts in the mind of his backbenchers about his ability to govern the country. The economic slump hit many British industries hard and by June 1921 unemployment had risen to a staggering 2,170,000. This massive unemployment meant the government were getting less money from taxes, so they began trying to save money. LG put one of his ministers, Geddes, in charge of these spending cuts, and his report later became known as "the Geddes axe". He cut government spending by a massive 20%, which meant an end to the "homes fit for heroes" scheme, most education expansion plans and teachers' wages. At this point it became clear to people that their wish for a better standard of living after the war would not come true. Arguably the biggest problem for Lloyd George was the situation in Ireland. Irish nationalists drew a lot of support during the war, as Britain tried to introduce conscription the whole of Ireland. The Home Rule Act of 1914, was a British act of parliament intended to provide self-government ("home rule") for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Act was the first law ever passed by the British parliament that established devolved government in a part of the United Kingdom. However, the implementation of both it and the equally controversial Welsh Church Act 1914 was postponed for a minimum of twelve months with the outbreak of the First World War; subsequent developments in Ireland led to further postponements which meant that the Act never took effect, but was finally replaced by a fourth Act in 1920. ...read more.


However, Conservative backbenchers were opposed to fighting an election on a Coalition ticket. A meeting was summoned at the Carlton Club for 19th October, when Curzon proposed to break the resistance to the plan. However, at the meeting Baldwin spoke against Lloyd George, and Law, coming out of retirement, came out against the Coalition. In the vote that followed there was a majority of 185 to 88 against the Coalition, and as a consequence it was as an independent party that the Conservatives fought the election. Thus, Lloyd George fell from power. Law was elected leader of the Conservative party on 23rd October, and became Prime Minister. All these factors contributed to LG's downfall. Most of these reasons that led to his fall from power were through fault on his part, although no matter what LG did it was always going to be very difficult for him to remain in power due to the fact he had no political party of his own, and a Coalition made up mainly of Tories who would want a Tory in charge when LG was no longer of use to them. Despite his inability to govern in peace time being a major factor, I believe his woeful handling of Foreign Affairs to be the most important factor which led to his fall from power, in particular Chanak. The horrors caused by WW1 were still fresh in the minds of everybody and LG risking another war horrified the public. It also showed LG was more concerned with personal glory and his position of power rather than concentrating on more pressing matters at home in Britain, where unemployment and the standard of living were still huge problems. ...read more.

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