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How far was the First World War responsible for the growth of the Labour Party and the decline of the Liberal party

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How far was the First World War responsible for the growth of the Labour Party and the decline of the Liberal party? World War One was responsible for the rise of the Labour Party sine the Labour Party members were active in the running of the country during the first world war which gained the Labour Party members experience in running the government. Despite conflicting attitudes towards the First World War members of the Labour Party did not actively campaign against the war, which prevented a split in the party. Last but not least, the Labour Party had adopted a new constitution and a programme that had distinguished it from other parties. Whereas, Liberal Party was in decline during and after the First World War since there had been a split in the Liberal Party which divided it into two clear groups and so had severely reduced the support for the Liberal Party. During the First World War Labour Party were actively involved in running the country, which had gained them much experience and influence in the government. By 1914 with only 42 MPs Labour Party members were invited into the Asquith's and then Lloyd George's coalition in running the country. ...read more.


Lastly, the Sidney Webb programme had consisted of proposal on heavier taxation on larger incomes, nationalisation of key industries and introduction of a minimum wage and working conditions. As a result, the introduction of a new constitution and a programme had given Labour Party a distinctive image as it was separated out of all political parties especially the Liberals, which helped it to utilise its support amongst the workers especially after the introduction of the Representation of the Peoples Act in 1918 which had given women and workers the vote, which the Labour Party wasn't able to do before the First World War. As historian Malcolm Smith argues that it was the effects of the First World War was responsible for the decline of the Liberals caused by the split in the Liberal party between Lloyd George and Asquith, which had tremendously reduced the support for the Liberals. Lloyd George had been appointed Minister for war in 1916 by the death of Lord Kitchener in Asquith's coalition. In 1916 Lloyd George proposed a smaller war cabinet, which proved controversial as it denounced Asquith's involvement in the war. ...read more.


In conclusion, the First World War had led to the growth of the Labour Party due to Labour experience in running the country during the First World War, cooperation between members of the Labour party who had conflicting views in war, and the introduction of a new constitution and a programme in 1918. Whereas, a split in the Labour Party in 1906 between Lloyd George and Asquith had not concentrated on gaining the support of the voters but rather on opposing each other. The coalition with Conservatives showed that Labour Party had gone into a decline. Overall, the most important factor for the rise of the Labour party had been the introduction of the 1918 Constitution and a programme, which had distinguished Labour Party from the Liberals and therefore through its vagueness appealed to many socialist groups who had increased their support for the Labour Party. Whereas, the cooperation between members within the party kept the party alive but did not necessarily achieve success. Whereas, the decline of the Liberals was due to one and foremost factor which was a split in the Liberal Party between Asquith and Lloyd George, which reduced cooperation for working towards one goal as both individuals had diverse beliefs that had divided the party. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Tautvydas Sutkus 1 ...read more.

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