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|Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
December 6, 1923 - November 25, 1924
|Preceded by:||David Lloyd George|
|Succeded by:||David Lloyd George|
September 10, 1929 - September 25, 1931
|Chancellor of the Exchequer|
October 9, 1903 - December 4, 1905
|Preceded by:||Charles Ritchie|
|Succeded by:||Herbert Asquith|
October 16 1863, Birmingham, Warwickshire
|Died||March 17 1937, London|
Trinity College, Cambridge
Austen Chamberlain was a British politician who served as Prime Minister (1923-1924). The first Conservative Prime Minister since 1905, Chamberlain's government ended 18 years of Liberal government.
He led the Conservative Party at the 1923 general election, but the result was a hung parliament, with the Tories the largest party.
Chamberlain formed a minority government, introducing a system of tariffs to try to deal with the economic crises that plagued Britain in the post war years. The 1924 general strike also caused damage to his government. Ultimately he was unable to come up with a permanent solution to the political deadlock and called a crisis election in November 1924. The result was another hung parliament, but with the liberals the largest party.
Chamberlain first attempted to form a non-socialist coalition with the liberal party with Lloyd George as Prime Minister and himself as Foreign Secretary and Chancellor. These terms were deemed unacceptable to Lloyd George. Chamberlain then made a second offer, this time to Winston Churchill, offering to appoint him Chancellor if he would bring enough liberal MPs to give a Chamberlain-led government a majority in parliament. Churchill refused this offer and Lloyd George formed a minority government.
Chamberlain resigned as Tory leader a few weeks later, with Baldwin taking over. He served as Foreign Secretary during Baldwin's minority government of 1929-1931. He retired from parliament at the 1935 election.
Early Political Career
In September 1924 a general strike was called.