The Labour Party and WWI (1914-18) As British History OCR Spec B

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  • Created by: Alex
  • Created on: 15-05-11 09:31

WWI broke out in 1914
  Caused initial problems to how Labour should respond to the war - caused divisions in the party

Conservatives & irish national party gave full support to liberal government in the war. Labour faced an internal dispute over policy

  • 'Patriotic' element - War meant all provious political & class hostilities would be put aside & labour movement as a whole - including trade unions should support war effort
  • 'moderate group' - more conditional support with a more critical approach when protecting working class interests
  • 'radical' Marxist-inspired element - war be condemned as imperialist conspiracy by collapsing capitalist nations
  • Some held pacifist views - war was morally wrong and couldn't  be supported
  • Liberal John Morley resigned as felt he couldn't serve a government in war

Early War
Labour campaigned against Militarism - to public hostility
   Labour Leader, Ramsay MacDonald resigned -felt he couldn't support war - replaced by Erthur Henderson
  MacDonald formed UDC (union of Democratic Control - opposed to war & continue demand for settlement by negotiation not military victory

Coalition Government
1915- Shell crisis - Coalition government didn't provide sufficient munitions for war effort
    Asquith's tactic as 'buisniess as usual' in relation to the war had restricted the war effort
   Unionists refused to continue supporting the war unless if something was done - resulted in Asquith agreeing to form coalition giovernment of…


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