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

  • Created by: oanderton
  • Created on: 29-08-20 11:32


How successful was the peace policy of  Lloyd George Coalition's foreign policy 1918-1922?


  • Treaty of Versailles limited Germany's army and navy power.
  • Illiminated Germany as a naval threat of Britain
    • However, these limitations were violated at the beginning of WW2.


  • Peace polcy distracted the government from domestic issues.
  • Treaty of Versailles was a compromise between US Britain & France; no countries were completely happy with the result.
  • The Treaty of Versailles created nationalist anger in Germany, which facillitated the rise of fascism and Hitler.
  • Economic depression created in Germany; interrupted trade Britain had with Germany.
  • Treaty of Versailles wasn't harsh enough and didn't completely weaken Germany.
    • They managed to build up enough froce for a second war.
  • Treaty of Versailles made a second war more likely.
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ii. Summary


  • League of Nations was ineffective; couldn't enforce authority.
  • League of Nations meant Britain couldn't have independant foreign policy.
  • League of Nations meant Britain had to weaken its army.
    • To avoid responsibility of peacekeeping in Europe.
    • Because it gave a false sense of security that it would prevent war.
  • League of Nations did not achieve its aim of preventing more wars.
  • League of Nations was not backed by its proposers; the US.
  • League of Nations lacked support from many big powers; Germany, Japan, US.

Overall  the Lloyd George Coalition's peace polity (Treaty of Versailles, League of Nations) was highly ineffective at preventing war and weakened Britain's military, economy, and political freedom over fpreign policy.

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Impacts of the War

  • Britain was in a very strong psoition after the war.
    • Reflected by the vote of confidence for coalition candidates in the election. 
  • Britain gained the most for the least loss
    • Out of the 5 great powers during the war.
    • Losses of manpower were substantially lower.
  • Britain's empire grew
    • Gains in the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific
  • War showed the Empire's co-operation in support of Britain.
    • 15,000 from West Indies
      • 10,000 from Jamaica
    • 140,000 Indians
    • 180,000 Africans
    •  10% of the 620,00 Canadians who enlisted were killed.
  • Troops from the empire had fought loyally.
    • 10% of Canadian soldiers were killed.
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ii. Impacts of the War

  • Britain had an imperial war cabinet.
  • Britain was no longer threatened by German imperialism or the German navy.
    • Navy had overcome its enemies.
  • British industry had supplied huge amounts of war materiel.
  • The army had grown to an unprecedented size.
    • Had shown great courage and valour.
    • 2.6 million volunteers when conscription was introduced
    • Firther 2.3 million conscripted before end of the war.
    • End of 1918: army reached peak of 4 million men.
  • There had been no serious mutinies.
    • Series of great victories.
  • Showed the power of British alliances.
    • Entry of the USA showed the power of an anglo-saxon alliance.
  • Britain had mobilised its resourcesinnovated and got its whole population behind the war effort.
  • Remarkably little defeatism or opposition.
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iii. Impacts of the War

Britain and its empire had emerged united and victorious.

  • A very severe test of its national will and leadership
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Foreign Policy

The Treaty of Versailles

  • The end of the war meant Lloyd George had to focus on foreign policy.
  • This distracted him from domestic issues.
  • Played a key role in the peace conference at Versailles.
  • Negotiated Treaty of Versailles.
    • Hoped to achieve lasting peace.
    • Wanted to make Germany pay for the war, as he was voted in on this promise.
    • Lead to Germany's military forces being weakened.
  • Quashed threat Germany navy & imperialism.
  • Tried to maintain co-operation between the nations by a series of conferences afterwards.

The Treaty of Versailles and ending the war distracted Lloyd George from domestic policy.

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Foreign Policy Pressures

Foreign Policy Pressures

When pressing for the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Lloyd George had to consider a number of pressures...

  • Pressure to Punish Germany
    • From Coalition MPs
    • From British Press 
    • Pressure to press for harsh punishment of Germany at Versailles.
  • Government of Germany had collapsed.
    • New regime was struggling to form a liberal democracy.
    • A punishment too harsh might lead to a fascist/communist regime forming.
      • Would become an even bigger threat.
  • Damaging trade with Germany.
    • Punitive measures would make Germany poor and close up trade.
    • Might make it difficult for Britain to resume trading with Germany.
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ii. Foreign Policy Pressures

  • Woodrow Wilson'sarmstice
    • Wilson had offered an armstice on liberal terms.
      • Wanted to peacefully end the war on fair terms.
    • Germany had agreed to this armistice.
  • Sacrifice of American lives
    • Wilson didn't want American lives to have been lost just for Britain & France to grow their empires.
  • Potential threat of imperial France
    • Terms couldn't be too harsh in France's favour.
    • If France gained the Rhineland, it would become another colonial rival of Britain.
    • A France too powerful might disturb the power balance of Europe again.
    • Would replace the threat of imperial Germany with the threat of imperial France.
      • Problems are not solved.
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Germany's Punishment for the War

  • Restrictions placed on the size of Germany's army.
    • Limited to 100,000.
  • Restrictions were put on the future German fleet
    • Limited to 6 battleships
    • No submarines
    • Most of the old fleet was destroyed
    • This meant the growth of the German navy was no longer a problem.
  • Germany's colonies were distributed between the victors.
    • Although, not rich or significant.
    • Ruled under mandates from the League of Nations
      • In the interests of the people who lived there
  • Britain gained...
    • Part of Togoland and the Cameroons
    • German East Africa
    • German South West Africa
    • Iraq
    • Transjordan
    • Palestine
    • German Pacific islands south of the Equator
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Problems in the New Mandates

  • Britain had to quell unrest in its new territories.
    • Unrest in Iraq
    • Britain had to use force against rebels.
  • Involvment in the politics of new territories.
    • Agreed that Palestine would be the home of the Jewish people.
    • Tensions rapidly increased.
  • Encouraged Japanese nationalism, imperialism & expansion.
    • Caused by distribution of German territories.
    • Japan had aquired German Kiaochow and Pacific Islands north of the Equator.
    • Encouraged imperialism & expansion.
    • Britain had to defend East Asian territories as a result.
  • New colonies = greater costs for defence.
    • African colonies increased the costs of administration and defence.
  • New colonies = demand for greated military presence.
    • Government had to become more imperial.
    • More resources had to be devoted to defence & imperial causes.
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Problems with the Treaty of Versailles

Problems with the Treaty of Versailles

  • Compromise with other Leaders.
    • France was given some concessions but not everything it wanted.
      • They wanted Germany to be totally weakened.
        • This was not fulfilled.
    • Italy and Japan failed to get everything 
  • Resentment and unrest in Germany.
    • Huge resentment towards the harsh terms and punishments.
    • Bread the conditions for Hitler's rise to power.
      • Thus, the conditions for a fascist dictatorship.
  • Germany was not totally weakened.
    • Treated badly enough to build up nationalist resentment.
    • Facilitated the rise of fascism and Hitler.
    • Made another war likely.
    • Not weak enough to erradicate the chance of another war.
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Problems with the League of Nations

The League of Nations was weak

  • Proposed by US but didn't have US support.
  • Had no real power to enforce authoriuty.
  • Needed unanimity for decisions to be made.
  • Absence of major powers - Germany, JApan, US.
  • Could not me relied upon to keep peace.
  • British policy had to consider the League but could not actually rely on it to keep peace.
  • LoN wasn't strong enough to prevent war
    • Had no army
    • Only weapon was imporsing sanctions on aggressive powers.
      • Was ineffective.
  • Led Britain to believe it didn't need to maintain strong defences.
    • Weakened Britain
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ii. Problems with the League of Nations

Major victor = Britain major part of the League.

  • Unfavourable
  • Prevented Britain from persuing independant foreign policy.
  • Committed Britain to supporting the League.
    • Britain didn't want to be responsibile for peacekeeping in Europe.
      • Would have to disarm fast to avoid this.
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Affect on Lloyd George's Popularity

Lloyd George's concessions & relationship with France started to make him unpopular.

The hard line attitude to Germany had made France unpopular in Britain.

  • Attended international conferences.
  • Socialising with French leaders.
  • He hadn't dissuaded France in pressing for reparation payments from Germany.
    • Would hinder Germany's economic recovery.
      • Would close up the market for British exports in Germany.
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