Why did Lloyd George fall from Power in 1922?

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Lloyd George lost popular support by 1922

  • This was due to the failings of his Domestic Policies.
  • His great promises e.g. ' homes fit for heroes' were not fully delivered.
  • His great reforms e.g. The Addison Housing Act to rehouse the working class in decent houses at modest rents fell victim to the 'Geddes Axe' as Govt spending had to be reduced.
  • Plans to improve pensions and national insurance also had to be limited.
  • By 1922 there was disillusion amongst working and lower middle class voters at his undelivered promises.
  • The voters felt let down by LG in domestic policy.
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His domestic policies also lost him support

  • His domestic policies lost him support amongst the increasingly powerful Trade Union Movement - 8m strong by 1920.
  • His return of the coalmines and railways to private ownership without modernisation not only dissapointed hopes but laid up industrial troubles throughout the 1920's.
  • His Emergency Powers Act was seen by the Trade Unions as giving the police and army strike breaking powers.
  • Finally, despite an immediate post-war boom by 1922 there was rising unemployment especially in the old industrial areas of the North and West.
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Disappointment with LG in foreign affairs by 1922

  • The use of the Black and Tans in Ireland disturbed liberal minded voters.
  • Unionists were angry by the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty by which 3/4 of Ireland left the Uk to form the Free State.
  • Socialists were furious at his intervention against the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War.
  • His handling of the Chanak Crisis 1922 nearly brought Britain into a war with Turkey, which angered the voters who now saw him as a 'war monger' and as trying to hold onto powerthrough the old trick of fighting a war.

HOWEVER,He showed some success in Foreign Policy. He showed imagination in his handling of the Irish question.

He satisfied Ulster Unionists with the creation of Northern Ireland and moderate Nationalists by creating the virtually independent dominion of the Free State. He avoided a new naval race and resettled Europe and the Middle East after the Great War. Unfortunately, the voters were less impressed by this than by social reform at home.

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His post-war social reforms

  • Despite limitaions his post-war social reforms were still impressive. BUT the achievements tended to come early on in his government and by 1922 the voters were more conscious of the failures.
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Backbench Tory rebellion

  • It was NOT the voters who removed LG it was a backbench Tory rebellion.
  • This happened because many Tories were tired of not havinng a proper Conservative Govt. There had not been one since 1905 and the backbench younger MP's wanted to make it their careers.
  • Although dependent on the Tories LG's cabinet was full of Liberals.
  • Some Tories like Baldwin disliked LG seeing him as unprincipled because of political scandals e.g. The Honours Scandal but also sexual scandals too.
  • They also feared that LG might split the Tories like he had the Liberals, and that he planned to create his own party. This was Baldwin's view when he called LG a 'terrible force' at the Carlton Club Meeting.
  • Baldwin was able to play on Tory dislike and suspicion of LG - memories of the constitutional Crises, of losing 3/4 of Ireland and of his authoritarian methods of government.

However, Not all Tories agreed with Baldwin, the Conservative leaders mainly wanted to continue the Coalition. What gave strength to the revels was LG's growing unpopularity in the country because of his failing policies. By autumn 1922 many Tories came to the conclusion that they no longer needed LG. They had been encouraged by winning a bye-election, they came to the conclusion that they could win an election without him and govern alone.

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His fall was inevitable

  • A leading radical Liberal as PM of a government largely dependent on his old political enemies, the Tories could not last forever.
  • In 1918, the Tories felt that they needed LG - they feared revolution might spread from Russia and Germany to Britain.
  • They needed someone who was admired popular and trusted. But once LG lost this support, and once the danger of revolution was passed, the Tories were bound to want their own government and leader.
  • Had the Liberal party not been bitterly split between 'Asquithites' and 'Lloyd Georgers' then LG may have beaten the Tories in the 1923 Election.
  • As it was the November 1922 Election showed the decline of the Liberals and the rise of both the Tories and Labour
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