Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith, KG, PC, KC, FRS, generally known as H. H. Asquith, was a British statesman and Liberal politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 to 1916. He was the last prime minister to lead a majority Liberal government, and he played a central role in the design and passage of major liberal legislation and a reduction of the power of the House of Lords. In August 1914, Asquith took Great Britain and the British Empire into the First World War. In 1915, his government was vigorously attacked for a shortage of munitions and the failure of the Gallipoli Campaign. He formed a coalition government with other parties, but failed to satisfy critics. As a result, he was forced to resign in December 1916, and he never regained power.
After attending Balliol College, Oxford, he became a successful barrister. In 1886 he was the Liberal candidate for East Fife, a seat he held for over thirty years. In 1892 he was appointed as Home Secretary in Gladstone's fourth ministry, remaining in the post until the Liberals lost the 1895 election.