Paul Adelman seeks to explain the Liberal Party's dramatic transformation in political fortune. This clear, objective up-to-date account of the history of the Liberal Party covers the key period, 1910-1931. Focusing on liberal decline and drawing upon the different views forwarded by historians to account for this phenomenon, it discusses liberal decline before World War 1, the impact of the war on the liberals and the divisions that grew in the party after December 1916 between followers of Asquith and Lloyd George. A number of general factors are also covered, the impact of social and economic change, the effects of the Reform Act of 1918 and the rise of the Labour party. An ideal text for A-level and undergraduate students of history and politics.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The crisis of Liberalism:
Liberalism under strain, 1910-1914; the impact of war - the end of the Liberal government, from Asquith to Lloyd George, the domination of Lloyd George, 1916-18.
Part 2 Liberal decline:
Liberals divided -"coalitionists" and "wee frees", the downfall of Lloyd George, 1922; Liberals united - Liberal reunion and the 1923 general election; Liberals and the first Labour government; Lloyd George as Liberal leader - Lloyd George takes over, defeat and dissension.
Part 3 Assessment.
Part 4 Documents.
Appendix: the Liberal vote.
Paul Adelman was formerly Reader in History at Kingston University.