POLITICS 1918-1929

  • Created by: tadiwa
  • Created on: 24-05-17 17:55

POST WAR BRITAIN

The war had

  • killed and injured many men in the country. many became dependent on small pensions which cost a lot. 
  • forced the goverment to intervene heavily in citizen's lives. not all of these were removed post-war. 
  • extended the british economy but also had destroyed the basis of brtiish economic strength. 
  • damaged british goverment finances and meant they owed large debts to USA.
  • clear political changes as Labour took over as the main opposition, while the Liberals were destroyed. Also, women gained the right to vote. 
1 of 24

DEC. 1918 Coupon Election

DLG remains in coalition with the Conservatives -agree to fight the 1918 election together.To create a barrier against rising Labour influenceThis lasts for 4 years after the war, and Asquith's liberals continue to be sidelined. DLG gains power and prestige in this coalition, while the Conservatives depended on his stability and popualrity, and also Bonar Law wasn't attractive enough for the electorate. .

COALITION CONSERVATIVES- 3.5M  335 seats
COALITION LIBERALS- 1.5M   133 seats
OTHER CONSERVATIVES   0.4M   23 seats
ASQUITH LIBERALS  1.3M    28 seats
LABOUR 2.4M   63 seats

Labour 2nd largest voted party. DLG dependent on CON support. Liberals divided and coalition suffered by different ideals, and no coherent policy.

2 of 24

POST WAR FOREIGN POLICY

TREATY OF VERSAILLES    *severe terms for Germany, due to coalition and media pressure

  • punitive measures for britain as they lose a trading partner.
  • clemenceau dominates conference.

LEAGUE OF NATIONS      *popular and well supported alternative to war, but no real means of enforcement

  • USA not willing to join and reverted to isolation
  • favoured disarmament, but didn't focus on peace-keeping and gave false hope

RUSSIAN REVOLUTION     *concerned with withdrawal of Lenin and Bolsheviks

  • Forces sent to Mumansk due to Churchill's support, other nsure
  • war unpopular, so they withdrew from halfhearted interventions

CHANAK CRISIS 1922   *Fall of Ottoman Empire led to Treaty of Sevres, sharing out land.Turkish unrest to get Smyrna from Greece. DLG rushes by giving General ultimatum to Turkey in support of Greece. Unpopular with pro-Turk CON and anti-war public.

3 of 24

POST WAR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC

FISHER'S EDUCATION ACT 1918

  • raised school leaving age to 14 in local authorities. Increased building grants for secondary schools

ADDISON'S HOUSING ACT 1919

  • 400k houses needed. 11 regional commisioners employed to create huousing. Only 100k built by 1921. 

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE 1920

  • 15s a week for men and 12s a week for women. earning less than £250 extended to provide for uninsured workers for 16 weeks at a time

GROWTH, DEPRESSION GEDDES AXE 1922

  • Britain coming out of deep depression.with 2m unempoyed. Cnservatives were unsympathetic. Calls for cuts by Geddes commission  of 75m and extra 100m
4 of 24

DLG, IRELAND AND INDUSTRY

IRELAND

  • JAN 1919. Sinn Fein declare independence, while the warfare campaign begins within Collins and Britain. Alienated Irish as the hired ex-soldier black and tans were excessively violent. 
  • IRISH FREE STATE TREATY 1921 meant that Ireland was split, and Ulster didn't have to have dominion status, but could decide. Treaty pleased noone, and irish felt they had to chose between 'peace or war;. 
  • DLG unable to please anyone as CON were against any form of breaking up union by giving irish freedom, while the ULSTER were annoyed at being a broken up country.

INDUSTRY

  • SANKEY COMMISSION 1919
  • - 1919 - Sankey Commision on Coal recommended nationalisation of coal (rejected by Lloyd George) Sankey Commission dealt with issues such as subsidation

  • BLACK FRIDAY/COAL MINER#S STRIKE 1921 strike

  • Expected to be joined by Triple Alliance on 15th April - did not strike - Black Friday   Railway/Transport unions - sympathy strikes = legal?   unreasonably rejected settlement offers from LG? - "treachery" & "Cripple Alliance"

5 of 24

END OF COALITION

HONOURS SCANDAL 1922

  • DLG secretly selling honours at 10k for a knighthood and 50k for a seat in the Lords. 
  • Reflected in his presidential style of gov't and unthinking of others, as he moved parliament to Wales to distrupt his holiday

FAILED FUSION

  • Tried to create a fusion of two parties, but CON unwilling to leave behind their values. Fragile union could have saved them, but wasnt able to fully happen. 

PERSONAL LIFE

  • Long-term extra marital affair ,indicated low morality in his character.

CARLTON CLUB 1922

  • Meeting of CON. were they decide to campaign alone for 23' election, while they also chose Baldwin as their leader
6 of 24

1922 ELECTION

CON 5.5M   345 seats

DLG LIB  1.6M  62 seats

ASQ. LIB  2.5M   54 seats

LAB  4.2M     142 seats

7 of 24

CON GOVERNMENT 1922-JAN 1924

Baldwin decided to hold an election, to get the mandate to govern, as new CON leader

.He stated that it was over protection, which was controversial as LIB/LAB was strongly against protectionism. 

DEC 1923 majority needed = 305

CON 5.5M  258seats

LIB  4.3M  159 seats

LAB 4.4M  191 seats

no outright majority results in hung parliament, and LIB/LAB union created Labour create first ever parliament. Aquith willing to supprt to keep CON out of parliament. Many believed inexperience of Labour would lead to disgrace and destriction.

MacDonald concerned with appealing moderate and responsible, AND proving themselves as a party.

8 of 24

FIRST LAB GOV'T ACTIONS

SUCCESSES

  • State Scholarships to University
  • Unemployment Benefits
  • MacD foreign policy (Dawes' Plan, LON)
  • Pensions
  • Wheatley Housing Act 
  • building of over 521k council homes

FAILURES

  • TRADE UNIONS- given voting power which seemed to be giving in to union powers
  • USE OF VIOLENCE- unsympathetic to strikes and readily threatened violence
  • RED SCARE- fear of communism, fuelled by CON and lost them support

Didnt meet voter's needs and expectations, but maintained ideals of moderate gov't working for all. They didnt distinguish themselves as a solid party.

9 of 24

FIRST LAB GOV'T FALL

  • LEADERSHIP     MacDonald was a hard worker, but poor at delegating and combined 2 jobs for himself, which meant alienatedmany ministers .
  • THE RED SCARE £30M loan to Russia, which was compensated for assets seized in revolt and appeared to support the communism in the country.      ZINOVIEV LETTER  Dubious DM published a letter from Zinoviev calling for revolution which was used to smear LAB 4 days before election. was said to have won 100 seats
  • PARLIAMENTARY POSITION
  • reliant on LIB support to pass anything as a minority gov't. lost 40 seats but gained 1m votes as many were impressed by control and moderation of gov't. Scare tactics effective as Baldwin was back. High turnout of 76%.
  • CAMPBELL CASE
  • Left winger Campbell urged troops not to fire at striking workers, which was seen as mutiny, ppl wanted investigation into LAB, and MacDonald threatened (and did) resignation. while editor was persecuted by LAB. Later reserved as a political measure. 
10 of 24

OCT 1924 ELECTION

  • CON   8M    419
  • LIB    2.9M   40
  • LAB   5.4M   151

CON- BALDWIN SECOND MINSTRY

  • advantaged by leaked Zinoviev letter, as they used it as a scare ploy against communism. clear majority meant they returned solidly to power.

LIB

  • heavily disadvantaged as their irrelevancy continued. lost many seats to CON and are sidelined.

LAB

  • lost 40 seats but gianed 1m votes, implies strengthened support. general fear of communism scares off some, but not all.
11 of 24

1922-24 UNEMPLOYMENT

FLUCTUATED, BUT NEVER FELL BELOW 1M. Persistent problem during the wars, but the politicians didn't have a need to find answers and signals. Caused by a decrease in traditional british industires *coal *iron *steel

Baldwin wanted to create and maintain harmony between employees and employers, so had little on ideas for actual recovery. . the gold standard worsened the situation in britain, while the country had to contend against  *outdated industry and equipment  *high costs and low productivity

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT 1927   unlimited cover for injured and unemployed workers, genuinely seeking wotk for 15 weeks a year. 

SAFEGUARDING OF INNDUSTRIES ACT 1921   selective use of import controls

UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF COMMISSION 1927    benefit unrecognisable under opportunistic legislation.

DERATING OF INDUSTRY ACT 1929   relieved 75% of rate burdens and released 27m to be reinvested in country.

12 of 24

CON SOCIAL REFORM

WIDOWS ORPHANS AND OLD AGE CONTRIBUTARY PENSIONS 1925   financed by equal contributions from employers and employees with a state subsidy to meet expenditure. by 1937, covered all insured workers, while the was 20m in the scheme. The pensions, equal access to health.

LOCAL GOV'T ACT 1925  removes power from poor law boards and guardians (635). creates a single basis for valuation with 12k new parish boards and 648 new authorities in 343 regional areas.   

LOCAL GOV'T ACT 1929   Boards of local gov't abolished and power tranformed to Public Assistance Communities in counties and boroughs. 

  • reduced money to be paid, while the farms and factories remained exempt from it. 
  • Churchil was keen to see relief for manufacturers and famrers with help in lost rates. 24m to make up for lost rates   16m for new responsibilites. 
13 of 24

LIBERAL DECLINE

Liberals had widely declined from the beginning of 1914. These had been due to the pre-war crises such as *issue of women's suffrage *ireland question *constitutional crisis..The war had only accelerated what was already happening.

  • LONG TERM-
  • DLG associated with repressive actions.
  •  The war was the main reason for their decline, as they *gave up key views for their party
  • reforms withheld and debt increased gov't control
  • split during the war between DLG and ASQUITH. 
  • needs of traditional LIB met elsewhere , ROPA, and Rise of LAB (women= CON workers = LAB) 
  • SHORT TERM-
  • Voters concerned about gov't intervention and red scare= vote CON
  • belief of free trade was no longer an issue by 1924 as Baldwin drops policy and Churchill is Chancellor
  • Reunion by 1924 (too little, too late? lost public confidence) 
14 of 24

FOREIGN POLICY -1928

  • LEAGUE OF NATIONS    Austin Chamberlain refuses the Geneva Protocol that MacDonald had began to negotiate, while the lack of US entry and difference in belief mean many things are never implemented. Favours individual treaties and is unwilling to commit to being seen as major power within organisation. Previously, Labour viewed Britain as 'policeman of the world'.
  • LOCARNO PACT 1925     Signed by France, Italy, Britain and Germany.Guarantees the German western borders  (and banned Anschluss) but fails by leaving east unclear and unsecured. Split between ways to ensure enforcement and german resentment over polish loss. Britain and Italy guarantee non-agression pact and allow Gemran entry into LON. 
  • KELLOGG-BRIAND PACT 1928      Treaty that ensured war was outlawed in 65 states, headed by French and American statesmen.- But cant secure any effective sanctions.
  • RUSSIAN RELATIONS   Relations with USSR became increasingly less friendly as the Labour gov't was removed and the  trade agreement was ended abruptly. realtionsihp effectively breaks down.
  • DEBT AND DOMINION   States such as NZ and Canada and Aus given status that allows them to self-govern, unlikely to join future wars. Debt is extensive and causes cuts. 1918-760M  1929-102B 
15 of 24

CHAMBERLAIN REMOSELESS ADMINISTRATOR VS COMMITTED

REMORSELESS ADMINISTRATOR

  • TAYLOR- "he had effeciency, clarity and resolution...only marred by his unsymapthetic manner" strictly a businessman.
  • HOPKINS-"made little difference in the POV of the unemployed" acknowledges helpful meausres, but ultimaely ineffective.

SOCIAL REFORMER

  • DILKS/FEILING-"contributed more than any minister tp conception of today's national politics"
  • ISSUE OF POPLARISM- "too much help" local gov'ts would be overly generous by giving to the poor, stopped by Chamberlain.
16 of 24

FOREIGN POLICY -1928

FOREIGN POLICY

  • British foreign policy was weak and lacked foresight. 
  • self-governing dominion status given
  • reduced navy and army
  • unsecured eastern german border 
  • British foreign policy was realistic and served best intentions
  • disarming= best case scenario   and  no major conflicts occur
  • anti-war ideals in many, including public
  • Locarno outcome positive and successful
17 of 24

BALDWIN SECOND MINSITRY AND AIMS

New Conservatism

  • efficiency and moral purpose
  • nt'l unity
  • encourage mainstream LAB 
  • social harmony to create stability
  • moderate reforms
  • Shunned Disraelian Conservatism.Aimed to be moderate and unite country, while not causing instability through significant changesScared bc of DLG's previous actions

CABINET- 

PM- Baldwin

FOREIGN SEC- Austen Chamberlain

INDIAN SEC Lord Birkenhead

CHANCELLOR- Winston Churchill

18 of 24

ECONOMY PROBLEMS

Chancellor Churchill

  • had no previous expertise in finance, so relied on other's advice
  • 1925 budget, returned to Gold Standard- ties pound value to gold value
  • favoured by many, but was being overvalued by 10%, and caused 1926 general strike

economy

  • Pound had fallen in value and floated due to depleted gold reserves by wartime spending. 
  • Wartime debts bought about cuts. 
  • Decline in tradtional industry, *coal *iron *steel
  • 500M in benefits and poor relief
  • 1200M of debt

social

  • 1.1M on poor relief by 1923
  • no free universal heathcare system
  • slums persisted and prevalent
  • high levels of chronic health problems
19 of 24

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN AS HEALTH MINISTER

Drew up 25 proposed plans and bills, 22 of which were passed, but not on important topics. 

plans on

  • food hygiene
  • medical training
  • health visitors
  • slum clearance
  • 1925- pension rights to widows and children and orphans of insured men
  • 1925- reform local taxation
  • LAB- opposed as the meausres would stop overly generous local authorities
  • CON- felt it gave subsidies to businesses with little effective impact

YES- Represented Badlwin's gov't commitment to moderate reform and state support

NO- Criticised for lack of help for unemployed, and not rationalising a complex system

20 of 24

OTHER REFORMS

CENTRAL ELECTRICITY BOARD 1925

  • set up to rationalise supply of electricity, and stablise costs. 
  • board had duties of *buying power from select stations *constructing a ntl grid  *selling the power to private businesses. 
  • solution to ntl problem- but criticised by CON and LAB for socialism and not nationalism

BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP 1927

  • privately owned corp taken into natioonal public ownership
  • under board of governors management. 
  • raises funds through license fees paid by tv owners

FRANCHISE ACT 1928

  • voting age of women equal to mens (21)
  • residence qualififcation is 3 months but plural voting not abolished
  • electorate is 29M, women outnumber by 2M
21 of 24

GENERAL ELECTION 1929

STATE OF LIB

  • hampered down by DLG and past actions. focused on unemployment issue and CON failures in remedying this. 

STATE OF LAB

  • confident due to success of first gov't and were justified by strike failure. stle many liberal policies to campaign. supported by unions and workers, attracted moderates

STATE OF CON

  • needed Baldwin's successor, but found no one better
  • ran on virtue and aimed to discredit DLG
  • chose to stand on his record, and not on policies
  • made few pledges and policies, to easier fulfil them
  • idea of "safety first" and "the man you can trust"
22 of 24

1929 ELECTION RESULTS

CON 8.6M   260 seats

LAB  8.4M    288 seats

LIB   5.3M    40 seats

  • CON    lost 159 seats, due to lack of effective and imaginative policies, as their campaign was wholly based on expecting votes for Baldwin's virtue.
  • LAB  increased 157 setas, as they moved away from socialism, and towards refrom through public works, electrificstion and immigration, but steering away from nationalisation and wealth distribution.
  • LIB   disappointing 40 seats, as they saw a small revival through "we can conquer unemployment" and the radical alternatives of pulic works, defecit financing, housing.

LIBLAB coalition formed in order to keep CON out of gov't. As LAB could only be  minority gov't in hung parliament. 

23 of 24

END

24 of 24

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Modern Britain - 19th century onwards resources »