How Effective Was Foreign Policy of the Lloyd George Coalition 1918-1922? (British Politics 1918-1929)(Britain 1900-1951)

  • Created by: oanderton
  • Created on: 31-08-20 10:29


Lloyd George's foreign policy was largely ineffective and damaged his reputation as a leader.

  • Chanak Crisis saw him going against popular opinion in his government and in Britain.
    • Made him an unpopular leader.
  • Forced agreements at the Washington Conference damaged Britain's relationship with Japan, replaced the Anglo-Japanese agreement 1902, which was more secure than its replacement, and showed Britain's weakness to American demands.
  • Treaty of Versailles facillitated the rise of Japanese imperialism; had been negotiated by Lloyd George.
    • Had a stronger deterrant than the League of NAtions been organised, this could potentially have been quashed.

Overall, Lloyd George's foriegn policy...

  • Made him unpopular.
  • Made Britain look weak.
  • Damaged Britains's better defence treaties and their relationships with other nations.
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What was the Chanak Crisis (context only)

  • War saw rise of Turkish nationalism.
  • Treaty of Sevres 1920
    • Gave Greece land in Turkey
      • The area around Smyrna
  • Lloyd George favoured Turkey.
    • Had friendship with Greek Prime Minister.
  • Conservative allies don't want war with Turkey.
  • 1922 massacre
    • Nationalists massacred the Greeks & enter the dimilitarised zone in Gillipoli.
    • British forces at Chanak ordered to prevent Turkish forces militarising the zone.
  • Creates the possibility of a major war between Britain and Turkey.
    • Very unpopular with the public and the Conservative party.
  • Lloyd George determined to stand up for the treaties.
  • 1922: Reaction against the treaties; no one wants them to provoke Turkish war.
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The effects of the Chanak Crisis

Lloyd Geiorge's action ction against Turkey was extremely unpopular.

  • Chanak Crisis: Lloyd George wants to defend treaties, contrary to opposition to Turkish war from Conservative allies, and disapproval of the treaties by the public.

Lloyd George's position is very unpopular.

  • Lloyd George could not overcome opposition among his MPs.
    • Weakens his authority.

Chanak Crisis was one of the reasons for Lloyd George's fall as it made him unpopular.

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Rise of Japan

  • Britain forced to abandon 1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance 1902 by US.
  • Britain forced to join US-dominated agreement at Washington COnference.
    • All powers must reduce naval power in Pacific.
    • Ratio of naval power must be 5:5:3 USA:Britain:Japan.
  • Japan is humilliated by agreement.
    • Damages relations with Japan.
  • Treaty showed Britain's weakness when faced with US demands
  • Was not as secure a basis for British defence as the old alliance with Japan.
  • Rise of Japanese imperialism due to German colonial redistrubution in Treaty of Versailles.
    • Partially a mistake of Lloyd Gorge, who negotiated the treaty.
    • Britain had to increase naval power in East Asia as a result.
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The Russian Revolution (context)

  • Overthrow of the Tsar was a major concern.
    • Provisional Government continued the war & were unpopular for it (threat of losing Russian support).
  • Lenin withrew frpm the war - a problem.
  • Pressure to intervene against the Bolsheviks after Russian royal family executed.
    • Churchill advocated for intervening.
    • Others in the cabinet more sceptical
  • Forces were sent to Murmansk
  • Obvious Communists would win - supporting counter-revolution became unpopular in Britain. 
  • Lloyd George withdrew from Russia.
  • Turning point: refusal of London dockers to load a ship with arms for Poland.
    • Shows strength of opposition to supporting counter-revolutiopn in Britain.
  • Worries of costs, logistical problems and war wearniness.
  • Action against the Bolsheviks soured relations with communist russia for years.
  • Little was achieved by a half hearted intervention.
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Effects of Russian Revolution

Lloyd George's government had briefly supported the counter-revolution in Russia.

  • Was unpopular at home.
    • Obvious revolutionaries would win.
    • Worries of costs, logicstical priblems & war-weariness.
  • Disapproval of counter-revolution support in Britain was strong.
    • Dockers refused to ship arms to Polans.

By persuing unpopular foreiogn policy again, Lloyd George became even more unpopular.

  • Support of the counter-revolution soured relations between Britain and Communist Russia for years afterwards.
  • The support achieved very little, and the intervention was only breif.
    • Was not worth all the negative effects.
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Positives of Peace & Foreign Policy


  • Concieding to US could be seen as insightful.
    • US had become a major pacific power.
  • Britain got most of what it wanted from the settlements
  • Lloyd George was realistic in seeing that full scale involvement in Russia was impracticable.
  • Conservatives feared the spread of communism.
    • He gave recognition to these fears by supporting the counter revolution.
  • Britain was still a major world power, despite the foreign policy falioures.
  • Lloyd George's policy meant Britain played a leading role in world affairs.
  • Lloyd George made Britain a major player in the League of Nation.
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