Friday, 7 December 2012

On this Day: 7th of December 1916- Lloyd George becomes British Prime Minister

David Lloyd George is best known as the highly energetic British Prime Minister (1916–22) who guided the Empire through the First World War to victory over Germany and its allies. He became Prime Minister after then PM Herbert Asquith, who was increasingly seen as weak in his planning of the war effort refused to agree to Lloyd George's demand that he be allowed to chair a small committee to manage the war. On the 5th December 1916, Asquith was forced out and on the 7th December Lloyd George became Prime Minister, with the nation demanding he take vigorous charge of the war.

He was a major player at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 that reordered Europe after the Great War. As an icon of 20th-century liberalism, he is regarded as the founder of the British welfare state. He made a greater impact on British public life than any other 20th-century leader, thanks to his leadership of the war, his postwar role in reshaping Europe, and his introduction of Britain's social welfare system before the war.

During a long tenure of office, mainly as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was a key figure in the introduction of many reforms which laid the foundations of the modern welfare state. He was the last Liberal to serve as Prime Minister, his coalition premiership being supported more by Conservatives than by his own Liberals, and the subsequent split was a key factor in the decline of the Liberal Party as a serious political force thereafter. After 1922 he was a marginalised and widely mistrusted figure.

Photo Legacy: Making your memories last forever

Research courtesy of Wikipedia

Images courtesy of the National Library of Scotland on Flickr


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