The Liberal Party and the First World War

A one-day conference organised by the Journal of Liberal History and Kings College, London.

In this year, 100 years since the coming of war in August 1914, the conflict is remembered chiefly for its impact on the millions of ordinary men, women and children who were to suffer and die and over the following four years. Lives were altered forever and society transformed. But the war had political consequences too: empires fell, new nations emerged and British political parties and the party system underwent profound change, a transformation which plunged the Liberal Party into civil war and caused it to plummet from a natural party of government to electoral insignificance within a few short years. This conference will examine some of the key issues and personalities of the period.


09.30 Registration

09.50 Introduction: Lord Wallace of Saltaire, President of the Liberal Democrat History Group

10.00 The Liberal Party and the First World War an overview: Professor Pat Thane, Kings College

10.30 Sir Edward Grey and the road to war: Professor Thomas Otte, University of East Anglia

11.15 Coffee break

11.45 Gilbert Murray v. E.D. Morel: Liberalism’s debilitating Great War divide: Professor Martin Ceadel, New College, Oxford

12.30 Lunch break

13.15 The papers of Asquith and Harcourt: Mike Webb, Bodleian Library

14.00 Asquith as War Premier and Liberal Leader: Dr Roland Quinault, Institute of Historical Research

14.45 Coffee break

15.15 Comparing Lloyd George and Winston Churchill as war leaders: Professor Richard Toye, University of Exeter

16.00 Panel discussion on the impact of the war on the Liberal Party:
Michael Steed, Professor Vernon Bogdanor, Roland Quinault, Pat Thane

17.00 Close of conference

The cost of the conference will be £15 (students and unwaged £10) to include morning and afternoon refreshments. (Lunch is not provided but there are plenty of cafes and sandwich shops in the vicinity of the campus.)

To register please send your name and address to Graham Lippiatt, 114 Worcester Lane, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, B75 5NJ, or Payment can be taken on the day, but pre-registration is essential to allow access to the building.

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