Why did the General Strike take place and why did it fail?
How great was the problem of unemployment in Britain in the 1930’s?
What did the National Government do to try to end the Depression?
What impact did the war have on the British economy and society?
Why did the Labour Party win the 1945 general election?
How successful were Labour’s social, economic and welfare reforms, 1945-51?
Why did the Labour Part lose the election in 1951?
Why did Labour win in 1945 but lose in 1951?
What impact did WW1 have on the rise of the Labour Party? Back to Contents
How effective were the two Labour governments of 1924 and 1929-31? Back to Contents
Did MacDonald betray the Labour Party in August 1931? Back to Contents
How strong was the Liberal Party in 1914? Back to Contents
How did the outbreak of WW1 affect the Liberal Party? Back to Contents
How important was the split between Asquith and Lloyd George in the decline of the Liberals? Back to Contents
Why did Lloyd George fall from power in October 1922?
Lloyd George was the ‘man who won the war’ and he was one of the main negotiators at the Paris Peace Conference along with President Wilson (USA) and Clemenceau (France). In December 1918, there was the ‘Coupon Election’ in which Lloyd George’s coalition won 478seats, with his Liberals winning 133 of them. In opposition, Asquith won only 28seats, but the voting discrepancy was far narrower with Lloyd George faction claiming only 13.5% of the vote compared to 12.1% for the Asquithians. The largest political group was the coalition Conservative with 335seats and 32.6% of the votes.
Lloyd George Loses Office
Lloyd George was forced from power in 1922 and never held political office again. There are several reasons for this reversal of fortune:
The revival of Peacetime Politics
The post-war coalition collapsed when the Conservatives quit in 1922, after a backbench revolt centred at the Carlton Club.
The Chanak Incident
The Creation of the Irish Free State
The Fall from Grace
Lloyd George’s Style of Government
The Honour’s Scandal
Back to Contents
Did Asquith miss an opportunity for revival in January 1924? Back to Contents
How far had the Liberals declined by 1931? Back to Contents
Why did the Conservatives dominate politics between the wars?
The Conservatives held office during 1922024 and 1924029 and formed the largest party in the Lloyd George coalition of 1918-22 and the national government of 1931-45
The Liberal Party was in electoral decline from 1918 onwards and by 1931 had divided into three factions. Although Labour rose in popularity between 1918 and 1929, the progressive vote was divided between Labour and Liberal parties. Labour formed two minority governments (with Liberal support) in 1924 and 1929-31. in August 1931, MacDonald formed a national government which split the Labour Party. This split led it to perform badly in the 1931 elections and took nearly the whole of the 1930’s to recover
The Electoral System after 1918
From 1918 constituency boundaries were redrawn. The suburbs received more seats and this also benefited the Conservatives. By 1928, men and women over 21 had the right to vote. However, plural voting and university seats still existed and these also benefited the Conservatives. The creation of the Irish Free State in 1922 removed a large number of Irish MPs who were traditionally anti-Conservative
The party had strong leaders in Stanley Baldwin (1923-37) and Neville Chamberlain (1937-40)
Much of the electorate feared socialism and Communism. Baldwin, the most successful interwar Conservative leader, worked under the maxim of ‘safety first’ and personified respect of private property and business, and careful financial management. However, the Conservatives also supported moderate social reform, and Neville Chamberlain’s health reforms of the late 1920’s laid the foundations of the NHS after WW2. In foreign affairs the Conservatives had the reputation of defending British interests and spending on a strong defence force to protect the British Empire
The Conservatives had an organisation in all types of constituency and a network of working men’s clubs ensured support throughout Britain. The party developed a feel for publicity and used newsreels, radio broadcasts and – in the elections of the 1930’s – cinema vans. Conservatives could also rely on favourable coverage from the national press and daily newspapers – The Telegraph, Express Mail and The Times. Following the 1929 election defeat, the Conservative Research Department was set up to gather information, draft speeches and generally boost the party’s presence
Back to Contents
Why did the General Strike take place and why did it fail? Back to Contents
How Great was the Problem of Unemployment in Britain in the 1930’s? Back to Contents
What did the National Government try to do to End the Depression? Back to Contents
What impact did the War have on the British Economy and Society? Back to Contents
Why did the Labour Party win the 1945 General Election? Back to Contents
How Successful were Labour’s Social, Economic and Welfare Reforms, 1945-51? Back to Contents
Why did the Labour Party lose the election in 1951? Back to Contents
Why did Labour win in 1945 but lose in 1951? Back to Contents