Biography of David Lloyd George (1863-1945)

British politician, born in Manchester on January 17, 1863 and died on March 26, 1945 in Caernarvonshire (Wales). He/She was member of the British Parliament continuously for fifty-five years (1890-1944) and served as Prime Minister between 1916 and 1922, i.e. the last period of the first world war and the first years of the post-war period.


He was born into a Welsh family who after the death of the father, a school teacher in Manchester, decided to move to Caernarvonshire when Lloyd George was one year old. His childhood took place in Wales and in his youth went to work as an intern in an office of advocacy in Portmadoc, where he/she worked as a lawyer from 1884. From this time he/she began to participate in politics within the ranks of the Liberal Party, which highlighted his nonconformity and his fervent defense of the Welsh cause. He/She was elected liberal MP to Parliament for Caernarvon Boroughs in 1890 and, thanks to its boldness, ingenuity and skills of speaker, he/she gained fame. From 1895, during the ten years of liberal opposition, Lloyd George grew as the leader of the radical wing of the party with a series of actions which include the defense of a radical policy on social issues, support to Welsh nationalism and his tenacious opposition to the role exercised by Britain in the Guerra of the Boers.

He joined as Trade Minister in the liberal government formed by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman following the resignation of Arthur Balfour in December 1905, and thanks to its competence in this role, in 1908 went to play the position of Finance Minister in the Government of Herbert Henry Asquith. In 1909 he/she presented a budget with great items for social reforms, including a system of old-age pensions which was borne by the increase in taxes on the luxury, income and large domains, but collided with the rejection of the Conservatives and the veto of the House of Lords. Opened a crisis that ended with the parliamentary Act 1911, which cut out the power of the House of Lords and that opened the way for adopted many proposals of Lloyd George thanks, above all, to the approval of the Social Security Act of 1911, which is implanted a system of social insurancedisability and unemployment, inspired by the German system created by Bismarck.

When the first world war broke out, Lloyd George was the Minister of finance. Initially opposed the British intervention in the conflict, the invasion of Belgium made him change his opinion and tried to stabilize the economic situation in Great Britain before the great effort that was its involvement in the conflict. Given his undoubted ability, he/she was summoned by Asquith for the Ministry of munitions in May 1915, since whence did a great job recruiting women workers and changing the working methods, in order to increase production and put an end to the shortage of bullets on the Western front. He/She was appointed Minister by the Guerra in June 1916, after the death of his predecessor, Lord Herbert Kitchener, and proposed that the Affairs of the war should be paramount and that you should create a small Committee that ordered its management. On December 5, 1916, Asquith resigned as Prime Minister and, two days later, Lloyd George held his post in a coalition Government with the conservatives. Achievements in this period of war include Guerra Cabinet reduced to five members to speed up decisions and the having succeeded, after a hard struggle, that the command of the Allied army was unified in a single person, since it was granted in April 1918 to marshal Ferdinand Foch.

After the signing of the Armistice of November 1918 arose to the elections, held on 14 December (in which for the first time voted women, although they could do so only those who were over the age of thirty, as it was stipulated in the People Act approved months earlier), within the Conservative coalition that had been formed during the war. After the victory of his group, which got four hundred seventy-eight hundred seven possible seats, and his re-election as Prime Minister, he/she led the British delegation at the Paris Peace Conference and in the elaboration of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. This Treaty was very well received in Britain and, for his contribution, was decorated by the King with the order of merit in August 1919.

Lloyd George confronted the Irish problem and presented a project of Home Rule in 1920. The following year, he/she participated actively in the negotiations that ended with the independence of Ireland, except for the six counties belonging to the Ulster (Northern Ireland) in December 1921. This issue caused dissent among the conservatives in the coalition Government, problem which came to join the complaints by the ineffectiveness of the Government to respond to the social and economic problems of the post-war period (lack of use of the soldiers returning to the country, economic depression and social unrest). Support Lloyd George awarded to Greece in the war against Turkey was the trigger that rekindled criticism against his administration, and lacking in support, was forced to resign as Prime Minister in October 1922.

In the subsequent general election, the Liberal Party, which is deeply divided between supporters of Asquith and Lloyd George, he/she could not help the Conservatives win. Lloyd George was again re-elected member of Parliament and, since 1926, following the withdrawal of Asquith, until 1931 went on to lead the opposition and to lead a United Liberal Party which, however, did not have the boom of yesteryear. In 1931, against the advice of most of his party, opposed the call for elections and went on to lead a small group of independent Liberals. In 1940, Churchill offered to be part of the Cabinet of Guerra, but Lloyd George declined this offer given his advanced age and delicate health. Two months before his death, that took place on March 26, 1945, was appointed Duke of Lloyd-George of Dwyfor. According to his will, he/she was taken to the Tomb on an oxcart followed by three Pipers. He/She wrote numerous works, among which are the six volumes of memoirs of the war (1933-36) and the truth about the treaties of peace (1938).