How did the war impact on the political parties?


How did the war impact on the political parties?

The Conservative Party

Generally, the Conservatives supported British entry into the war and Conservative thinking, with its emphasis on Patriotism, imperial greatness and practical policies fitted in with wartyime and they were pretty much united under the leadership of Andew Bonar Law. The formation of the Lloyd George coalition made the Conservatives stronger in the Cabinet and thwy held more tops jobs and they became increasingly powerful. In the 1918, election Bonar Law decided to continue the Lloyd George coalition.

  • Conservatives who supported the Coalition- 338 MP's
  • Independent Conservatives-48 MP's
  • The war allowed the Conservatives to strengthen their political position and they went on to generally dominate post-war government.

The Labour Party

The partty was divided over the conflict, with pacifists, such as Ramsay MacDonald opposed to the war who was replaced by Arthur Henderson. The party split again over differing views of conscription. Labour got their first taste of government in the Asquith coalition to represent the trade unions in government and Henderson was a part of the Cabinet. The experience made Labour a credible party to participate in govenrment in the future. Henderson resigned from government when other minisiters opposed him going to an internationalist socialist conference in Stockholm 1917 and he worked with MacDonald and opponents of the war to re-organise the party and draw up its aims. The 1918 Constitution marked Labour as an independent party which was…


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