Winston Churchill in Politics: 1900–1939

Winston Churchill In Politics: 1900–1939

Winston Churchill in politics: 1900 to 1939 documents the career of Winston Churchill in Parliament from its beginning in 1900 to the start of his term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in World War II.

Churchill entered Parliament as member for Oldham in 1900 as a Conservative. He changed parties in 1904 after increasing disagreement with the mainstream Conservative policy of protectionist tariffs preferentially favouring trade with the British Empire, joining the Liberals and winning the seat of Manchester North West. His political ascent was rapid, becoming successively Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty before he was 40 years old.

His career suffered a severe check in 1915, after his support for the failed Dardanelles Campaign during World War I, and the subsequent formation of the first Coalition. Temporarily leaving politics, he served on the Western Front before rejoining the Government after David Lloyd George had replaced H. H. Asquith as prime minister. He served as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air and Secretary of State for the Colonies before the downfall of the Coalition in 1922 when he also lost his seat in Parliament.

After contesting two seats unsuccessfully as an independent, he was elected to Epping in 1924 with the backing of local conservatives, officially rejoining the Conservative party the following year. He immediately became Chancellor of the Exchequer, retaining the post until the fall of the conservative government in 1929, and presided over the return of the United Kingdom to the Gold Standard exchange rate system. In opposition after 1929, Churchill became isolated, opposing Indian independence, advocating the unpopular policy of rearmament in the face of a resurgent Germany and supporting King Edward VIII in the Abdication crisis. By 1939, he had been out of Cabinet for ten years and his career seemed all but over.

Read more about Winston Churchill In Politics: 1900–1939:  Second Crossing of The Floor, Political Isolation, Return From Exile

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