Term Paper on Winston Churchill

This essay has a total of 1781 words and 8 pages.


Winston Churchill





Winston Churchill was born on November 30, 1874, at Blenheim Palace, the famous palace
near Oxford that was built by the nation for John Churchill, the first duke of
Marlborough. Blenheim meant a lot to Winston Churchill. It was there that he became
engaged to his wife, Clementine Ogilvy Hozier. He later wrote his historical masterpiece,
The Life and Times of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough. With English on his father's
side and American on his mother's, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill expressed the
national qualities of both his parents. His name proves the richness of his historic
background: Winston, after the Royalist family, who the Churchill’s married before
the English Civil War; Leonard, after his remarkable grandfather, Leonard Jerome of New
York; Spencer, the married name of a daughter of the first duke of Marlborough, from who
the family descended; Churchill, the family name of the first duke, which his descendants
maintained after the Battle of Waterloo. All these strands come together in a career that
had no resemblance in British history for richness, length, and achievement. Churchill
took a leading part in laying the foundations of the welfare state in Britain, in
preparing the Royal Navy for World War I, and in settling the political boundaries in the
Middle East after the war. In World War II he began as the leader of the United British
Nation and Commonwealth to resist the German domination of Europe, as an inspirer of the
resistance among free people, and as a prime architect of victory. In this, and in the
struggle against communism later, he made himself an essential link between the British
and American people, for he saw that the best defense for the free world was for the
English-speaking people to come together. (Down 133).


Strongly historically minded, he also had predictive foresight: British-American unity was
the message of his last great book, A History of the English-speaking Peoples. He was a
combination of a soldier, writer, artist, and statesman. He was not so good as a party
politician. He stands out not only as a great man of action, but as a writer of it too. He
was a genius; as a man he was charming, happy, and enthusiastic. As for personal faults,
he was bound to be a great egoist; so strong a personality was likely to be overbearing.

He was something of a gambler, always too willing to take risks. In his earlier career,
people thought him of unbalanced judgment partly from the very excess of his energies and
gifts. That is the worst that can be said of him

We know all there is to know about him; there was no disguise. His father, Lord Randolph
Churchill, was a younger son of the seventh duke of Marlborough. His mother was Jennie
Jerome; and as her mother, Clara Hall, was one-quarter Iroquois, Sir Winston had an Indian
strain in him. Lord Randolph, a brilliant Conservative leader who had been chancellor of
the exchequer in his 30's, died when he was only 46, after ruining his career. His son
wrote that one could not grow up in that household without realizing that there had been a
disaster in the background. It was an early spur to him to try to make up for his gifted
father's failure, not only in politics and in writing, but on the turf.

Young Winston, though the grandson of a duke, had to make his own way in the world,
earning his living by his mouth and his pen. In this he had the leadership of his mother,
who was always courageous and fearless. Rejoining his regiment, he was sent to serve in
India. Here, besides his addiction to polo, he went on seriously with his


education, which in his case was mostly self-education. His mother sent him boxes of
books, and Churchill absorbed the whole of Gibbon and Macaulay, and a lot of Darwin.

The influence of these authors is noticed through all his writings and in his way of
looking at things. The influence of Darwin is distinct in his philosophy of life: that all
life is a struggle, the chances of survival favor the fittest, chance is a great element
in the game, and the game is to be played with courage, and every moment is to be enjoyed
to the full. This philosophy served him well throughout his long life.

In 1897 he served in the Indian army against the uneasy tribesmen of the North-West
Frontier, and the next year his first book surfaced, The Story of the Malakand Field
Force. He entertained himself by writing a novel, Savrola, which curiously anticipates
later developments in history, war, and in his own mind. On the outbreak of the South
African War in 1899, he went out as war correspondent for the London Morning Post. Within
a month of his arrival, he was captured when acting more as a soldier than as a
journalist, by the Boer officer Louis Botha, who became the first prime minister of the
Union of South Africa, and a trusted friend.

After being taken to prison camp in Pretoria, Churchill made a dramatic escape and
traveled back to the fighting front in Natal. His escape made him world-famous overnight.
He described his experiences in a couple of journalistic books and made a first lecture
tour in the United States. The proceeds from the tour enabled him to enter Parliament.

On Jan. 23, 1901, Churchill became member of Parliament for Oldham as a Conservative, but
he had returned from South Africa sympathetic to the Boer cause, and


his army experiences had made him extremely critical of its command and administration,
which he proceeded to attack all along. The tariff proposals of Joseph Chamberlain
completed his alienation from the Conservative party, and in 1904 Churchill left the party
to join the Liberals. In consequence, he was loathed by the Conservatives for years, and
was unpopular with army authorities.

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