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David Lloyd George – An assessment
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DescriptionDavid Lloyd George – An assessment
David Lloyd George – An assessment
Being prime minister of a country is never an easy job, but some have done it better than others. Many characteristics go into making a good politician, but only a certain mixture can provide a person with the strength to lead a country and lead a country well. A good politician should be charismatic, strong, level headed, aware of his own ideas yet willing to admit his mistakes, a good prime minister however should be all this and more. But does David Lloyd George, prime minister of Britain during the coalition government of the World War One, fit this bill or not? Lloyd George, an energetic welsh man, is considered one of the most important prime ministers Britain has ever had, but is also known as one of the most notorious. So where does the truth lie? Lloyd George is heavily credited with guiding Britain to victory over Germany, devising the treaty of Versailles and being the founder of the welfare state. However, he had many enemies, stemming from his infamous lime house speech, to his decision over Irish Home Rule. Taking all this into account, Lloyd George’s legacy can still be seen today, and without him the face of Britain may be very different. But what made him a good prime minister and why?
In 1890, Lloyd George became the youngest MP in the House of Commons aged 27, as a Liberal MP for Carnarvon Boroughs. This was the start of his long running career in British politics; he remained an MP for 55 years. Lloyd George began to gain national fame when he declared his vehement opposition to the second bore war. He attacked the aims of the war, the cost of it and the generals, mainly for the treatment of prisoners in concentration camps. But Lloyd George’s first real vital part in British politics was his key involvement in ‘New Liberalism’, and what it entailed.
The liberals were in government and had always been about individual freedom, but realised this was no good when you were starving in poverty. The liberals decided they would try and establish a minimum standard living through social reforms. Lloyd George hated the ‘poor law’, the fact that people were punished for being poor and were sent to the workhouse and was a key campaigner in reforming Britain’s seemingly unfair society. Lloyd George became a key architect in pushing through the new reforms such as the Education Act, The Children Act, The Old Pensions Act and Labour Exchanges. Lloyd George was largely responsible for the introduction of state financial support for the sick, which can be argued, was the founding of today’s welfare state. Lloyd George’s determination ...
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