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Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill Sir Winston Spencer Churchill Winston Churchill was born in 1874 and died, aged ninety, in 1965. He was active in British politics for almost sixty years and was twice Prime Minister. He was a soldier, an artist, a historian, and a journalist, as well as a politician. He was a man of great mental energy, of vivid imagination, and powerful ambition. He was frequently the center of stormy political activity; criticism and abuse were often showered upon him.

But he died respected and mourned not only by his own nation, but by the world, for which he had done so much when he led the fight against Nazi tyranny and refused to surrender or to despair of victory. (Gilbert 13) On November 30, 1874, Winston Spencer Churchill was born to Lord Randolph Churchill and Jennie Churchill at Blenheim Palace. In 1888, he was placed in Harrow School. At the end of his first year at Harrow, the boys grades were still the lowest in his class. Reluctantly his father gave up any notion of Winstons following in his own footsteps. Remembering his sons passion for playing at war, Lord Randolph asked him if he was still interested in the army.

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Winston was delighted over the thought that his father recognized his military genius. The sad truth that his father considered him hopeless in any other field never occurred to the self-assured lad. (Manchester 13) He was then sent to Sandhurst, a Royal Military Academy, in 1893. He joined the army and began selling articles to the Daily Graphic. In 1898, his first book, The Malakand Field Force, was published.

The next year he resigned from the army to enter politics. July 6, 1899 Churchill lost his first election as a Conservative candidate. When the Boer War broke out, the London Morning Post sent Churchill as a reporter. A month after arriving in South Africa he was captured by the Boers but made a daring escape. When he returned to England in 1900 he ran for election again and won.

Entering Parliament in 1901, he rose in the course of a very few years to a position in which every major event in Englands affairs was part of his life story (Coolidge 1). Churchill joined the Liberal party in 1904, after other Conservatives pushed for a Tariff Reform. The next year the Conservative party was defeated in the House of Commons and the Liberals offered Churchill the seat of Under Secretary for the colonies. In 1906, Churchill published another book, this one being a biography of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill who died in 1895. In 1908, the Prime Minister appointed Churchill as the President of the Board of Trade, which was his first seat in the cabinet. Later that year he married Clementine Hozier.

In July of 1909 their first child, Diana, was born. Churchill was promoted again in 1910 as Home Secretary, which made him responsible for law and order. In the May of 1911 the Churchills had their first son, Randolph. October of 1911 brought Churchill a new position, First Lord of Admiralty. In the Cabinet Churchill argued with his colleagues to get money for the expansion of the Navy (Jones 16). He felt that there had to be an expansion of the navy to compete with Germanys increase in sea power. In 1914, he strongly backed the Irish Home Rule by threatening rebellious Ulster Protestants with the Royal Navy.

He was greatly criticized for his extreme method of solving the Irish problem. On August 4, 1914, war with Germany began and Churchills expanded Navy was ready for war. Churchill was removed from the Admiralty in 1915 because of his failed plan to seize the Dardanelles from Germany. The Dardanelles haunted Churchill for years because he was removed from office before his full plan had been executed. After he was not included in the new War Cabinet, Churchill resigned from the government and joined the fighting in France during the November of 1915.

Six months later he left the army to begin politics again. He felt he had learned a great deal from being in the trenches. Churchill used this knowledge to make critical speeches about the slaughter he had seen in the trenches. He championed the grievances of the men at the front and urged a more vigorous military policy. On May 10, 1917, the House of Commons held a Secret Session, wanting to discuss detailed aspects of the conduct of the war out of German earshot.

Churchill made a powerful speech, pleading to lead with Lloyd George not to allow further lack of planning to lead to more slaughter without any visible gain. Lloyd George quickly took Churchill into his confidence and began discuss with him every aspect of the war and many of his secret hopes and fears.(Gilbert 66) His speeches helped him return to the British government. In July of 1917, Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, made Churchill Minister of Munitions. When given the position, Churchill began to urge the development of modern weapons such as tanks, machine guns, and airplanes to end the war quicker. When he was made Secretary of War after WWI, he favored the British intervention in the Russian Civil War.

He feared the spread of the Bolshevik ideas, but did not realize that the Russians would unite against any foreign interference. He also reacted strongly to the IRA who wanted to force independence on the whole of Ireland. After he was appointed Colonial Secretary in February 1921, he worked for peace in Ireland by urging other members of the Cabinet to support a truce. A truce was achieved in July of that year. In 1922, Churchill loses his seat in the Cabinet due to a conservative shift in the government.

He used his free time to write The World Crisis, his study of the First World War. In 1924, he joined the Epping Conservatives and was elected back into the House of Commons. The Prime Minister then appointed Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer, the position that Churchills father had held. He then wanted to make Britain more prosperous and reduce unemployment. Churchill did this by reducing defense spending which reduced taxes.

Due to economic problems from 1924 to 1929, the Conservatives lost the election and Churchill was out of the office. He wrote his autobiography My Early Life in 1930, which helped to keep him occupied. The next year he resigned from the Conservative party, which he felt was not going anywhere. When Hitler came to power in 1933, Churchill warned against German rearmament. He also published his first volume of Malborough, a biography.

When Britain declared war on Germany in 1939, Churchill was reappointed First Lord of Admiralty. After Chamberlain resigned from government on May 10, 1940, Churchill became the new Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. On 13 May 1940, in his first speech in the House of Commons as Prime Minister, Churchill made clear both the dangers Britain faced and his governments determination to overcome them: I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. You ask what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror victory, however long and hard the road may be (Jones 40) In the June of 1940, Churchill had to make a painful decision. He was forced to pull English troops out of Dunkirk because of Germa …


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