How were the parties effected in world war one?

Authors Avatar

History                                                                                   Vicky Maberley LVI        


In this essay I will look at the main points to do with the parties’ success. I will then decide which of these points effected which party the most.  

Firstly, I will talk about the parties’ positions in 1914 compared with 1918. The Liberals were in government in 1914 and had won the last three elections. On the surface they appeared to be doing very well and they looked very strong. They had prevailed over the House of Lords in 1911 when they passed the Parliament Act. Also they had been “on a roll” with their new social reforms programme beginning in 1906, a highlight of this success being the People’s Budget of 1909. At this time the Conservatives were in opposition. Many historians think that Balfour was largely to blame for the Conservatives’ loss in 1906. Many voters disliked Balfour as he was less accomplished than his predecessor, and uncle, Salisbury. He was strongly associated with the Education Act of 1902 that was generally unpopular with the public. He also unsuccessfully tried to “sit on the fence” on the issue of tariff reform and was so seen to be indecisive and weak. In addition, Balfour alienated the working class over the questions of Chinese slavery and the Taff Vale Judgement. They were also seen as having behaved badly over the issue of Home Rule for Ireland. Labour were very much the small third party in 1914, however, their percentage of the vote was growing at every election. In 1910 Labour had received 6.4% of the vote, whereas, in 1918 they obtained 20.8% of the vote.

Join now!

The Liberals won the election held in 1918. However, the party was now severely split and it looked as if the damage caused would never be repaired. It is noted quite clearly that, at this time, the split in the party was due to a major personality clash between Lloyd George and Asquith. This made the party look unprofessional and petty in the voters’ eyes. Labour had successfully recovered after their split at the beginning of the war. There had been a large growth in the Labour Party membership during the war, and Henderson, Labour Party leader, wanted ...

This is a preview of the whole essay