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Why did Lloyd Georgewin a great victory in 1918, yet fall from power only years later?

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Introduction

Why did Lloyd George win a great victory in 1918, yet fall from power only years later? There had not been a general election in Great Britain for nearly eight years. The war was a very long and particularly brutal one and the British Government clearly needed a fresh mandate in readiness for the forthcoming peace negotiations. Asquith was not an inspiring leader and before the end of the war, he was replaced by Lloyd George who had become the munitions minister. He was very dynamic and had the opinion that the Liberals had outgrown its original theories. Therefore, with the powers he had he set about on a course or radical change, he slashed bureaucratic red tape by requisitioning a hotel for his new ministry. He instituted a five man war cabinet for the first time, this cabinet was not full of friends or cronies but instead it had influential people like Conservative leader Andrew Bonar Law Lords Curzon and Mulner And probably the most surprising member was Jan Smuts the South African Leader. Lloyd George had much to sort out, Britain's food production was crucial but he resolved this by establishing a minimum wage for farm labourers and using prisoners of war, he started food rationing and licensing hours. He instigated a convoy system from America to U.K to stop the German submarines sinking too many cargo ships. This proved successful with less than 1% of escorted ships being sunk. ...read more.

Middle

In industrial relations, Lloyd George fell fowl of the trade unions by refusing to nationalise the coalmining industry. Due to the fact, this was a coalition Government it meant that Lloyd George could not afford to ignore his backbenchers. This meant that the mines and the railways were returned to private ownership. It was only through Lloyd George's intervention and powers of negotiation that he managed to split the coalminers from the main union alliance and advert a huge massive General strike that had blighted Europe. In 1920 there was a short post war Boom in the economy, however it did not last for a long and when the boom collapse came it had a major impact on the economy and on the Lloyd George Government. Unemployment began to rise to over two million by 1921. The unemployment rate only fell below one million when the Second World War started in 1939. With all the unemployed workers in Britain, the government had to prevent large industries such as coal, steel, cotton (the Staple industries) and smaller industries taking direct action against the government. Trade unions organised strike action so the workers could get more money and better working conditions. With these strikes, coming and going the government decided to introduce Unemployment Insurance which gave unemployed workers 75 pence a week for 15 weeks and if you needed further benefits they were also available this helped to relieve slightly the hardship on large families for a short time however this scheme did not bring back employment. ...read more.

Conclusion

As it was civil revolt in the area cost over 100,000 lives. The sale of honours was a further cause of discontent of Lloyd George's Government. Which made Lloyd George's reputation tarnished and many conservatives, journalist and the public were questing his integrity. The sale of honours rose staidly and then rapidly after 1918. Anyone who wanted and OBE, Knighthood, MBE just had to pay 'The Going Rate' the money did however, go in to Lloyd Georges government fund and then the money went to support the liberal party in 1920 for their campaign. Many other Prime minister had done this kind of thing before him but not on this scale. There was however, growing concerns about the style of leadership Lloyd George had adopted. Many historians clam that Lloyd George was a great 'War leader' as well as a great prime Minister. When you look at his policies we can see that they were Conservative policies brought to fruition by Lloyd George, they were a complete failure and it was not surprising to see the Conservative party and the coalition Conservative party distance themselves from them and Lloyd George. It is fair to say that not everything was his fault, bringing a country back from war is never easy as we can witness from today's world events he was probably the only politician capable of running the country at the time. Everybody was quite prepared to let him do it and support him UNTILL it all started to go wrong. Not much different from today really!!! ...read more.

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