Baldwin Government 1924-29

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Leadership

  • Worked with Liberal Party against socialism in order to sabotage the Labour Party by introducing the ‘Red Scare’, revealing that the Labour Party were manipulated by the Soviet Union, he used the forged Zinoviev letter and J.R Campbell Case as evidence.
  • ‘Peace in our time’ after War, General Strike and the threat of socialism.
  • Paternalistic
  • 1924 he won a landslide (419 seats)
  • Managed to suppress opposition from Empire Free Trade including Beaverbrook and Rothermere.
  • ‘Safety First’
  • Famous for his radio and cinema reels, felt like a personal conversation, which attracted voters
  • Successful in cubing the General Strike in 1926
  • The appointment of Churchill was a shrewd and cunning move by Baldwin though unpopular with many Tories. Baldwin deprived LG of his most talented supporter- giving Churchill the position of Chancellor broke this connection with LG, whilst at the same time keeping Churchill out of mischief and guaranteeing that there would be no return to Protectionism, which had twice lost the Tories power in 1906 and 1923.

However 

  • Too safe with ‘Safety First’ meant he bought nothing new
  • 1927, he moved the party over to the right with the Trade Disputes Act 1927, thus he lost moderate electoral support, he failed to gain the support of the Trade Unions which led to the strike, he refused to negotiate with them on 3rd May. The Strike caused a slow down in the economy, a loss of £400 million of work, 20% decrease in coal exports. He did nothing about the decline of the Staple Industries.

Policies

  • Gold Standard 1925 – high interest rates, makes exports 10% more expensive, damaging to the economy e.g. made British coal more expensive, could keep up from competition from Ruhr, Poland and US, led to a 20% decrease in coal exports.
  • Electricity Act 1926 – nationalized electricity through the National Grid ran by the Central Electricity Board. The price of electricity falls sharply and makes more available to customers, thus an increase in economic activity.
  • British Broadcasting Company 1926 – measure of nationalization, so it appealed to the left. It also gave the Conservatives exclusive control over radio, which was pivotal in election campaigns.
  • Extension of National Insurance 1925 – to provide pensions for widows and orphans,

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