David Lloyd George

David Lloyd George

David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, OM, PC (17 January 1863 – 26 March 1945) was a British Liberal politician and statesman. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and led a Wartime Coalition Government between 1916 and 1922 and was the Leader of the Liberal Party from 1926 to 1931.

During a long tenure of office, mainly as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was a key figure in the introduction of many reforms which laid the foundations of the modern welfare state. He was the last Liberal to serve as Prime Minister, his coalition premiership being supported more by Conservatives than by his own Liberals, and the subsequent split was a key factor in the decline of the Liberal Party as a serious political force thereafter. After 1922 he was a marginalised and widely mistrusted figure.

Lloyd George is best known as the highly energetic Prime Minister (1916–22) who guided the Empire through the First World War to victory over Germany and its allies. He was a major player at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 that reordered Europe after the Great War. As an icon of 20th-century liberalism, he is regarded as the founder of the British welfare state. He made a greater impact on British public life than any other 20th-century leader, thanks to his leadership of the war, his postwar role in reshaping Europe, and his introduction of Britain's social welfare system before the war.

Although many barristers have been Prime Minister, Lloyd George is to date the only solicitor to have held that office. He is also so far the only British Prime Minister to have been Welsh and to have spoken English as a second language, with Welsh being his first. He was voted the third greatest British prime minister of the 20th century in a poll of 139 academics organised by MORI, and in 2002 he was named among the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote.

Read more about David Lloyd George:  Upbringing and Early Life, Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister (1906–1916), Later Political Career (1922–1945), Family, Peacetime Government, January 1919 – October 1922, Cultural References

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    The Landlord is a gentleman ... who does not earn his wealth. He has a host of agents and clerks that receive for him. He does not even take the trouble to spend his wealth. He has a host of people around him to do the actual spending. He never sees it until he comes to enjoy it. His sole function, his chief pride, is the stately consumption of wealth produced by others.
    —David Lloyd George (1863–1945)

    I already, and for weeks afterward, felt my nature the coarser for this part of my woodland experience, and was reminded that our life should be lived as tenderly and daintily as one would pluck a flower.
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    Diplomats were invented simply to waste time.
    —David Lloyd George (1863–1945)