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Assess the reasons for the downfall of Lloyd George (DLG) In 1922

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Assess the reasons for the downfall of Lloyd George (DLG) In 1922 By Peter Furze 1891 words In 1918, Lloyd George was acclaimed as the ?man who won the war? which led to a level of popularity with the people of Britain that the Conservatives of the coalition took advantage of in the 1918 election. Lloyd George's personal popularity and support at the time was summed up by Bonar Law, who said "Lloyd George can be Prime Minister for life if he wants". Yet with Lloyd George gaining less than half the votes the strength of his coalition was already questioned. In time both the Conservatives and Liberals were dissatisfied. There were many reasons for his resignation at the famous meeting at the Carlton Club on 19 October 1922. His decisions on matters such as Ireland Nationalism and the Chanak Conflict may have been acceptable in times of war as they eventually avoided conflict. However, the reason these factors went against Lloyd George was his lack of a party backing. He never stood for a certain party?s ideals and so his indecisiveness unset both the Liberals and Conservatives. He was also too used to leading a country in war as he is described as being more like a president at times. However, the dire economic situation also damaged his image of integrity as his plans for making a ?land fit for heroes? amounted to far less than was expected. ...read more.


Not keeping his promises to the people will have lost him popularity which was the main reason for the Conservatives staying in a coalition with him. So though, this is evidently less important than his lack of commitment to a party it is still something that will have led to his resignation. Ireland was another major issue which greatly affected Lloyd George's popularity and support. Following the war there was a massive electoral victory for Sein Fein in Ireland and large scale civil disobedience erupted. Groups of ex-servicemen, nicknamed the "black and tans" were employed in suppressing the situation. Lloyd George hoped this would lead to a military victory in Ireland, and the conflict continued until a truce was called in 1921, leading to the treaty setting up the Irish Free State. However, what Lloyd George viewed as a triumph had managed to alienate groups from both left and right wings. He managed to do this again through his lack of loyalty to a specific party?s ideals ? he was very inconsistent. Liberals were appalled by his use of violent repression, and Unionists were bitter that he had eventually chosen to negotiated with a "murder gang" and betrayed their vision of the country. The Conservatives around him traditionally didn?t want Ireland to be independent and his use of the black and tans caused the voters to lose trust in him as a leader in peacetime. His lack of a single plan to deal with the conflict led to both Liberals and Conservatives losing faith in him. ...read more.


Therefore, though not the basis of the end of his time as Prime Minister, like his lack of a Party and consequent bad decisions, it did lead to a hastened end with the meeting at the Carlton Club not going as intended. That the Coalition survived for three years is mainly due to Lloyd George's record from the war. The Conservative leadership also probably helped the Coalition to survive for longer. The fall from power of Lloyd George in 1922 was caused by several factors which eroded his support. Issues such as repression in Ireland and budget cuts alienated many of his old Liberal allies and won him few new ones. Conservatives were angered by his policies over Turkey, the sale of honours and the loss of Ireland. But most importantly, Lloyd George lost his appearance as a radical leader who could appeal to the people (and working class). The single most important reason behind the existence of the Coalition under Lloyd George had gone, and like all Prime Ministers who stay too long in office, Lloyd George was unceremoniously driven from power. In 1922 they used him to take the blame for the failures of the Coalition government, portraying him as a dictator, bypassing Cabinet in his own personal rule, abusing his powers of distribution honours for personal gain. Lloyd George's fall before, rather than following, a general election, demonstrates the most important factor than contributed to his downfall: the belonging to a party - something he had tried to deny. ...read more.

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