Essay On Lloyd George's Life

1397 words - 6 pages

David Lloyd George, was born in Manchester on 17th January, 1863. David's father, a schoolmaster, died a year after he was born and his mother took her two children to live with her brother, Richard Lloyd, a shoemaker in Llanystumdwy, Caernarvonshire.Lloyd George joined the local Liberal Party and became an alderman on the Caernarvon County Council. He took part in several political campaigns including one that attempted to bring an end to church tithes(a tenth part of the annual produce of ones land or of ones annual income paid to support the church or clergy) . Lloyd George was also a strong supporter of land reform. As a young man he had read books on the need to tackle this issue. He ...view middle of the document...

In 1908 the new prime minister, Henry Asquith, promoted him to the post of Chancellor of the Exchequer (department of tax). Lloyd George now had the opportunity to introduce reforms that he had been campaigning for since he first arrived in the House of Commons.Lloyd George had been opposed of the Poor Law in Britain for a long time. He was determined to take action that in his words would "lift the shadow of the workhouse from the homes of the poor". He believed the best way of doing this was to guarantee an income to people who were too old to work. Based on the ideas of Tom Paine that first appeared in his book Rights of Man in 1791, Lloyd George's measure, the Old Age Pensions Act, provided between 1 shilling and 5 shillings a week to people over seventyLloyd George's next reform was the 1911 National Insurance Act. This gave the British working classes the first contributory system of insurance against illness and unemployment. All wage-earners between sixteen and seventy had to join the health scheme. Each worker paid 4pense a week and the employer added 3pense and the state 2pense. In return for these payments, free medical attention, including medicine was given. Those workers who contributed were also guaranteed 7 shillings a week for fifteen weeks in any one year, when they were unemployed.Lloyd George's reforms were strongly criticised and some Conservatives accused him of being a socialist. There was no doubt that he had been heavily influenced by Fabian Society pamphlets on social reform that had been written by Beatrice Webb, Sidney Webb and George Bernard Shaw in the early 1900s. However, he had also been influenced by non-socialist writers such Seebohm Rowntree and Charles Booth.In 1912 Loyd George, along with two others were accused of corruption. It was suggested that the men had profited by buying shares based on knowledge of a government contract granted to the Marconi Company to build a chain of wireless stations.In January 1913 a parliamentary inquiry revealed that Lloyd George, Herbert Samuel and Sir Rufus Isaacs had profited directly from the policies of the government, but it was decided the men had not been guilty of corruption.At the end of July, 1914, it became clear to the British government that the country was on the verge of war with Germany. Senior members of the government, Lloyd George, Charles Trevelyan, John Burns, and John Morley, were opposed to the country becoming involved in a European war. They informed the Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, they intended to resign over the issue. When war was declared on 4th August, three of the men, Trevelyan, Burns and Morley, resigned, but Asquith managed to persuade Lloyd George, to change his mind.The progressive wing of the Liberal Party, was disappointed with Lloyd George's unwillingness to oppose Britain's involvement in the First World War. In fact, he soon emerged as one of the main figures in...

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