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H. H. Asquith

H.H. Asquith, Prime Minister of Great Britain from April 5, 1908 to December 5, 1916. From 'The War of the Nations Portfolio in Rotogravure Etchings Compiled from the Mid-Week Pictorial.'

H.H. Asquith, Prime Minister of Great Britain from April 5, 1908 to December 5, 1916. From 'The War of the Nations Portfolio in Rotogravure Etchings Compiled from the Mid-Week Pictorial.' © 1919 by the New York Times Company

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Head of the Liberal Party, Asquith became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1908.

In July, 1914, Asquith's cabinet and party were divided with strong factions both for and against intervention. On August 3, with news of Germany's invasion of Luxemburg and its ultimatum to Belgium, the cabinet determined to defend Belgium's neutrality, and delivered the British ultimatum to Germany to remove its forces from the neutral country. When it did not, Great Britain declared war.

On May 14, 1915 the first story on the shell shortage was published in The Times of London. Two days later, First Sea Lord Admiral John Fisher resigned over the Gallipoli campaign and the failure of the naval campaign there. Prime Minister Asquith was forced to form a coalition, bringing Conservatives into the government and pushing out First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, a primary political force behind the campaign in the Dardanelles, out. He also brought future Prime Minister David Lloyd George in as Minister of Munitions.

Asquith tendered his resignation as Prime Minister on December 5, 1916.

Great Britain

Roles held by H. H. Asquith

Role Start Date End Date
Head of Government (e.g., Prime Minister) 1908-04-05 1916-12-05