Winston Churchill2 Essay

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Winston Churchill2



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 boy’s grades were still the lowest in his
class. Reluctantly his father gave up any notion of Winston’s following in his own
footsteps. Remembering his son’s passion for playing at war, Lord Randolph asked him if
he was still interested in the army. 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 England’s 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
Germany’s 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 Churchill’s 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 Churchill’s 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 government’s
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 German advances. When France surrendered to

Germany on June 22, England began to defend against a German invasion. Churchill made
more insightful speeches to help prepare the English public for a difficult war.

Should the invader come to Britain, there will be no placid lying down of the people in
submission before him as we have seen, alas, in other countries. We shall defend every
village, every town, and every city. The vast mass of London itself, fought street by
street, could easily devour an entire hostile army; and we

would rather see London laid in ruins and ashes than that it should be tamely and
abjectly enslaved…(Jones 42)
On July 3, Churchill ordered the seizer or destruction of all French fighting-ships to
stop the ships from falling into German hands. The same day German air attacks began on
Britain. England underwent three months of intense German air attacks that England tried
to stop using their own air force. During the bombings, Churchill visited bombed areas
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