‘Lloyd George fell from power in 1922 because of his style of government after 1918.’ To what extent do you agree with this view?
Lloyd George was dominant in politics in 1918. The First World War resulted in an increase in his popularity and in the coalition he was a valuable asset to the conservative party. Various factors, his style of government and its effect on the conservatives, the conservative attitude towards him and finally his poor decisions in policymaking brought about his downfall. These factors collectively led to his downfall, however in the end, the conservatives decided to abandon him because he had outlived his usefulness due to his tarnished reputation and growing unpopularity.
Lloyd George’s style of government can be described as presidential in which he was extremely interventionist evident by the fact that he made foreign policy without consulting Lord Curzon who was the foreign minister at the time. He also bypassed the cabinet at every opportunity such as in the Chanak crisis. The conventional conservatives accepted such a system during the war but in peacetime such a style of government was not necessary. Lloyd George’s unconventional ways were not very popular with the conservatives and it can be argued such a system weakened his relations with them. Another consequence of such a system was that a mistake could be blamed entirely upon Lloyd George as did happen in the Chanak crisis where due to misjudgment he nearly started a war with the Turks failing to take into account the public mood which in turn decreased his popularity alone. However, in 1921 the conservatives still supported Lloyd George in the Anglo – Irish treaty, proof that it did not alienate him as the top conservatives and the cabinet was still loyal to the coalition, most of the criticism he received was by backbenchers who were effectively controlled by Bonar Law. Lloyd George’s bypassing of the cabinet may also have been viewed by the...
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