Liberal Government 1905–1915

Liberal Government 1905–1915

With the fall of Arthur Balfour's Conservative government in the United Kingdom in December 1905, the Liberals under Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman were called in to form a government. In the subsequent election, the Liberals won an enormous majority. Campbell-Bannerman was succeeded by Herbert Henry Asquith in 1908. This Liberal government, supported also by 29 Labour Members of Parliament, is best known for having introduced social legislation such as Old Age Pensions and Unemployment Insurance for a part of the working population. For many working people, for whom in old age the threat of the workhouse was very real, these represented a very significant change.

Although the government lost a great deal of support by the two general elections of 1911, they managed to hold on by dint of support from the Irish Nationalists. After early mismanagement during the First World War, particularly the failure of the Dardanelles Campaign, Asquith was forced to bring the Unionists into the government in a coalition.

Source: Butler, David and Gareth Butler. "Twentieth Century British Political Facts, 1900–2000". (St. Martin's, 2000)

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