Problems facing Lloyd George's Coalition Government at the end of The Great War.

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Immediate Problems

  • Forming a Cabinet with old political opponents.
  • Demobilisation of 5m men without creating mass unemployment.
  • Reorganising Govt from wartime to peacetime priorities. 
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The Economy

  • Moving the Economy back from a wartime to a peacetime basis.
  • Whether to dismantle wartime state control.
  • Whether to restructure key industries like coal and the railways before returning them to private enterprise.
  • What to do about the Staple Industries some of which like Cotton, had suffered during the War from lost markets and under-investment.
  • Also disrupted international economy producing a Slump in 1921 with high unemployment.
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  • How to repay war debts which were at 8 billion and balance the budget once again.
  • At the same time how to pay for social reforms such as better housing, education and social welfare promised in 1918.
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  • Promise of Home Rule made in 1914 now had to be honoured but Ulster Unionists would not be ruled from Dublin.
  • 1918 Election saw the demise of the moderate Irish Nationalist Party in the South and its replacement Sinn Fein which demanded immediate independence.
  • By 1919 the British were fighting a war with Sinn Fein's military wing - the Irish Republican Army.
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Industrial Relations

  • Trade unions doubled membership to 8m by 1920 so much stronger and more militant.
  • 1919-26 saw growing and widespread militancy with miners' strikes, dock and railway strikes, even a police strike in Liverpool.
  • Threat of a General Strike in 1920 and one did occur in 1926.
  • Fear that this militancy might be linked to ideas of Socialist Revolution coming from Soviet Russia.
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