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How close was Britain to revolution by 1914?

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How close was Britain to revolution by 1914? It was suggested that Britain was close to a revolution by George Dangerfield, the reason given was that the Liberal Government had been unable to face problems posed by, the growth of militancy, Home Rule for Ireland, Trade Union unrest and House of Lords. Added to this, the growing international situations and the threat of war and it could be true to say that, through the Liberal Governments inability to solve these problems, Britain may have been close to revolution. The growth of militancy and votes for women had developed through 1900, and the Liberal government had been placed under considerable pressure, to pass a franchise Bill. When the suffragettes turned to violent militant tactics, yet more pressure was put on the government to take action. ...read more.


Ireland was the largest worry for the government and the largest threat for a revolution, taking into account the Easter Rising, and if the Liberal Government had passed Home Rule there would have been a revolution against it by the UUF. So the Liberal Government reasonable compromise was met. Between 1912 and 1913 was the peak of Trade Union envoked strikes, workers from all around Britain striked for better working conditions and pay. However even though the strikes were nationwide with millions involved were localised and posed no real threat to the Liberal Government, most strikes were for better wage from employees. With this in mind, it can be said that the government felt threatened by the Trade Unions, and as a consequence took harsh action against some strikes for example in Tonypendy, Wales, troops were used to forcefully disperse the crowds of strikers, Historians agree that the use of unnecessary force on ...read more.


The action taken by the liberal government to end this crisis was to threaten the lords with 500 new Liberal peers or impose a Bill to take their power of veto. This action was taken swiftly by the Liberal government, and then had managed to keep a lid on the situation. In conclusion, Britain was quite close to a revolution, when all the problems faced by the Liberals were brought together, it is easy to see why this can be said, however, the threat from the Trade Unions, suffragettes and House of Lords was very minimal. The decline of the Liberal government was caused by the inability to solve these serious problems and the approach of war. The war swept all other problems aside and bought in new problems such as the growth of the conservation MP'S within the coalition government, throughout the war. 08/05/07 Helen Ward - 1 - C:\TEMP\How close was Britain to revolution.doc ...read more.

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