• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How successful were the Labour governments of 1924 and of 1929-31?

Extracts from this document...


How successful were the Labour governments of 1924 and of 1929-31? In order to evaluate the success of the two Labour governments, one must first evaluate both the positive and negative aspects of both separately, and then come to a reasoned conclusion taking into account both governments and their respective positions and situations. The Labour government of 1924 displayed both positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, Labour had shown that it could actually run the country; indeed MacDonald said to the King, 'They have shown the country that they have the capacity to govern in an equal degree with the other parties in the House.' This was clearly a major area of success and proved the widespread view that 'Labour was unfit to govern' was wrong and also it was proof that MacDonald and the Labour party could be trusted to run the country efficiently. Secondly, the Labour Party had shown that it was a party of moderate centre-ground, by conducting itself responsibly and refuting the fears of a social upheaval on socialist lines. In essence, the Party had shown, over a time period, that it was capable of providing a more than satisfactory government and no doubt proved wrong all those doubters. MacDonald himself even said that they had done much to dispel 'the fantastic and extravagant belief which at one time found expression that they were nothing but a band of irresponsible revolutionaries intent on wreckage and destruction'. ...read more.


In the foreign sphere, the Labour government were relatively successful. However there was the issue of the Soviet Union, which was a negative and it led to the eventual collapse of the Labour government. MacDonald personally did not share the Party enthusiasm for friendship with the Soviet, however he choose to grant diplomatic recognition. However the mistake was to negotiate a commercial treaty with Russia, in which the British would be compensated for assets seized during the Bolshevik revolution and the British would therefore loan �30m to the Soviet. This was a mistake as it was extremely controversial, and immediately it was attacked by the Conservatives, and eventually the Liberals (with the added input of Lloyd George) attacked it thus seemingly leaving the Labour government doomed. The Labour government of 1929 was again a minority government, however it was the biggest single party, but it must then be noted that in the event that the Liberals and Conservatives combined - Labour could be defeated. In general, the domestic situation remained stable and unemployment was still a serious problem. In terms of the positives for the new Labour government; these appeared significantly in foreign affairs. Although MacDonald and the new Foreign Secretary, Henderson, often disagreed, together they accomplished quite a lot. Examples of their achievements include the Young Plan, in which Henderson took the lead in order to reduce international tension. ...read more.


In conclusion, when comparing both governments to each other, the Labour government of 1924 was much more successful than that of 1929. Perhaps this was because the country's expectations of Labour were originally very low, and so by running the country sufficiently (and successfully), the government appeared more successful. The positives from 1924 far outweigh the positives from 1929, as in 1924 - the government proved it could run the country, it stakes it's claim to the moderate centre-ground, it achieved goals in the housing and education markets, and when it actually was defeated - it managed to escape relatively unscathed. In 1929 - there were advantages especially in Foreign Affairs with international conciliation and improved relations, however this did not work with the colonial issues. Furthermore with the stock-market crash of October 1929 - this put Labour into an extremely undesirable position and one in which it failed to deal with even adequately. In 1929 there were the negative of the weakness on policy, especially with unemployment, and this continued with the next government. In terms of individual success, the 1924 government was extremely successful as it proved the majority of people wrong that Labour could run the country. The 1929 government was more successful in foreign policy however it failed to solve the domestic problems and for a government to work properly - the domestic situation must be positive. Therefore the 1929 Labour government was rather unsuccessful as a government. 09/05/2007 History (ISJ) Aman Janmohamed (NPS) Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. How successful were Ferdinand and Isabella in laying the foundations of Spain's Golden Age?

    Following this success helped the monarchs concentrate on establishing royal authority. This was placed heavily in Castile as Isabella's succession was insecure and the Crown was dominated by the hidalgo class and the power of the Church. So in order for them to create justice and order, they made sure that their presence was always recognised.

  2. personal exercis programme

    Week 4 - I overloaded my body, this session, by applying the 'Intensity' principle to the continuous training; however, I kept the 'time' the same. I physically pushed myself harder in order to increase the number of laps and distance covered.

  1. How significant is the influence which pressure groups have on government? Is there any ...

    Institutional culture is a key factor. The structure of government can limit or open up access points that interests groups can use to campaign. For example, in the UK, the limited access points to the decision makers mean that a group must have insider status to make its point heard.

  2. How successful was Lord Liverpool in responding to radical challenge from 1812-1822?

    Much disorder was actually provoked by the government - either indirectly through policies which placed intolerable burdens upon the poor or directly through the practice of employing agent's provocateurs who encouraged lawbreaking so that they could collect a reward by informing on the law breakers.

  1. "Weimar Republic governments were remarkably successful in dealing with the economic and political problems ...

    Over all it can be seen that there were many severe political problems. However there is no evidence to suggest that any of these problems were dealt with in any way what so ever. As previously mentioned the Republic faced threats from both the Left and the Right.

  2. Calvin in Geneva

    However, the new Church was far from organised,The Genevans themselves did very little in the way of reform beyond overthrowing the power of the clergy making the future of the Church in Geneva very unclear. Calvin was set upon the renewal of clerical control in the city which he was

  1. How successful was Peel's Ministry 1841-1846?

    Peel also took more decisive action in 1843 by passing a Coercion Act which banned O'Connell's huge meeting at Clontarf, and arresting him for conspiracy. This approach was successful in keeping Ireland in the Union, one of the many problems Peel's ministry faced, although it did come at some cost

  2. A Critical Evaluation of UK's ID Card schemeA Government's proposal to monitor its Citizens

    election, the Bill is now set to be hastily reinstated into the labour part's agenda, with some 45 other Bills which were recently unveiled by the queen in her annual speech. The bill in its currently proposed form will mean that each and every British Citizen will by Law be

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work