Lloyd George's government 1918-22

An analysis of the successes and failures of Lloyd George's post-war government.

  • Created by: Steph
  • Created on: 08-04-13 14:55

Lloyd George's government 1918-22


  • Successes in foreign policy: Lloyd George was one of the prominent peacemakers; Germany lost the capacity to wage aggressive war; agreements on reparations.
  • Up to 1920, the economy was in pretty good shape.
  • Council housing boom (Addison Housing Act, 1919)
  • Improving welfare provision. Scope of National Insurance provision improves.
  • Ireland made an independent republic (Anglo-Irish Treaty, 1921); Ulster remains in the UK.
  • The government succeeded in eventual demobilisation of the troops following the armistice.
  • Sex Disqualification Act, 1919.
  • Rent Act, 1920.
  • Improvements in education - plans to raise the leaving age to 15.
  • Lloyd George kept on 'good' terms with the workers - no revolution.
  • Geddes Axe (1921/22) not good for the people, but necessary for maintaining controls on spending.


  • Lloyd George had to rely on the Conservatives to stay in power as he had little support from his own party (pre-war Liberal split)
  • Lloyd George failed to maintain support from the Conservatives.
  • Honours scandal - Lloyd George selling honours to questionable characters lost him respect and his reputation.
  • Ireland in civil war - controversial use of Black and Tans.
  • Lloyd George acting too independently in foreign affairs, spending too much time on international issues rather than domestic ones.
  • Loss of working class support: rise of Labour; troubles in Ireland; Russian revolution giving hope to communism.
  • Unemployment levels caused unemployment payments to increase, which was a burden on the Treasury. Also, criticism from Labour who thought the benefits weren't enough.
  • Failure to build a more permanent political centre (own Liberals ministers rejected this idea)


Lloyd George's post-war government certainly made headway with a lot of important decisions, particularly in the field of foreign affairs. For this, he can be commended. However, he was a man who had been elected to a position of power in an emergency; now Britain was out of the war, his radical ideas felt out of place. This, added with the fact that he was essentially a prisoner of the Conservative Party, who held the real power, leads me to believe that the 1918-22 government was more of a failure than a success for Lloyd George. It was, on the the other hand, a good period for the Conservatives to show off their political dominance.


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