Historical figure Winston Churchill

Born in: 1874  - Died in: 1965
Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock (Oxfordshire), November 30, 1874. The mother is the American Jennie Jerome, daughter of the owner of the New York Times. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill was the third son of John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough and was a prominent figure of the British Conservative Party (Tory), in 1885 he led the Secretariat of State for India and in 1886 he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance).

In this capacity Sir Randolph Churchill fights for the reduction of military expenses and, when Premier Salisbury rejects his requests, he decides to present his resignation, hoping, wrongly, that they be rejected. Lord Randolph does not recover from this political injury and, due to the onset of a serious illness, he fails prematurely. The drama experienced by his father will influence the beginnings of Churchill's political life, which will try to avenge him.

Descending from the Dukes of Marlborough, Winston Churchill is linked by a distant kinship to Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), consort until 1996 of Charles, Prince of Wales, son of Queen Elizabeth II.

Winston studied at Harrow and, in 1893, was admitted to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. His father wanted to start his career in the military, while Churchill shows considerable talent for writing. Winston decides to spend a few years as a correspondent between Cuba, India and South Africa. Here he participates as a correspondent of the Morning Post to the second war against the Boers, also participating directly in the fighting. Captured by the Boers near Port Natal, he is incarcerated in a concentration camp from where he manages to escape unexpectedly and, after a long escape, thanks also to the help of a fellow countryman, John Hard, manager of mine, manages to reach, transvestite as a priest, the city of Lourenço Marques, in the Portuguese Mozambique.

At that time the extra-European continents were very popular because their fame and career depended exclusively on border posts.

From his correspondence from the Afghan war of 1897 will be published a book (The Story of the Malakand Field Force, 1898), but the true fame will come from his participation, as Ussaro, at the battle of Omdurman (September 1898) on the lower course of the Nile, in which the English defeat the Dervishes and gain control of Sudan.

Churchill feels ready to start a political career. After a first failure, he managed to enter Parliament at the age of 26, in 1900, when he was elected parliamentary for the Conservative Party on his second attempt at the college of Oldham. Although he has modeled his personality on the figure of his father, he is not slow to express a different sensitivity in the social and political field. On May 24, 1901, he began Freemasonry in the Studholme London Lodge No. 1591.

At that time the leader of the conservative current unionist liberals, led by Joseph Chamberlain, was implementing a political strategy characterized, in the economic field, by the so-called Imperial Preference, which aimed at maintaining the British imperialist strategy through a strong protectionism. This policy, criticized by many parties, so much so that it will then lead the party, stiffened in its weaknesses and its arrogance, to the defeat in the elections of 1906 by the liberals, finds Churchill, who fights for free trade, in full disagreement.

In May 1904, three years after he was elected Conservative Member, he decided to abandon the party: in Parliament, without warning and without many ceremonies, he moved from the party benches to the Government and took his place next to David Lloyd George, the future leader of the rampant liberal party, which will win over the elections in 1906. Elected deputy for the college of Manchester, Churchill begins to make a career in the liberal party, initially siding with the radical wing: first undersecretary to the colonies between 1906 and 1908, then minister, before trade (1908-1910) and finally the interior (1910-1911), reforming the British system of punishment. Moreover, his presence in the daily debate in the classroom allows him to emerge further, thanks to his strong talents as a speaker - despite a lack of pronunciation (he can not pronounce the "S") that he could never correct - and the meticulousness with which prepare the interventions.

During the period in which he held the post of minister of commerce, Churchill has implemented a series of reforms in the social field that, although considered too revolutionary by many (minimum wage, maximum hours of eight hours of work, arbitration commissions, aid for the unemployed and the imposing legislative apparatus of social insurance), they made it a very popular character. With the usual tone of challenge he declared: "I would salute with satisfaction if the state were to undertake certain possible new and audacious experiments. It must take care of the old, the sick and especially the children ... We will draw a line under which nobody will have to live and work. We intend to lay down a network of protection above the abyss ... The people never complain without a really serious reason. The cause of liberalism is the cause of the millions of forgotten ". His growing popularity meant that the leaders of the liberal party decided to entrust him with increasingly prestigious positions.

In 1911, when the expansionist ambitions of Germany became clear with the Agadir incident, Churchill was named First Lord of the Admiralty - a role corresponding to Minister of the Navy - with the declared aim of maintaining the superiority of the Royal Navy on the Kaiserliche Marine ( the German Navy) in all possible theaters of a future conflict. Against all the resistances, Churchill succeeded in imposing the implementation of a vast program for the strengthening of the fleet: he gave great impulse to the innovations, in particular to the development of naval aviation, and modernized the British fleet through the use of diesel engines. . The latter decision will depend on the strategic importance assumed by the oil fields in Mesopotamia (then controlled by the Ottoman Empire) and in Persia (formally independent, but situated in the sphere of both Russian and British influence) and the consequent British military campaign in Persian Gulf area during the First World War.

On 4 August 1914 the First World War broke out and in October of the same year Churchill ordered the sending of three thousand Marines to the aid of besieged Antwerp. This move will not save Antwerp from capitulation, but will allow the British fleet to assume and maintain control of the seas. Churchill was one of the promoters of the allied landing in January 1915 in the Gallipoli peninsula on the Dardanelles, an ambitious military operation that aimed to open a sea connection with the Russians through the conquest of Istanbul. The military campaign, however, proved to be much more difficult than expected for the effective defense of the Ottomans and the allies, after suffering heavy losses, decided to withdraw from Gallipoli.

Considered solely responsible for the disaster, Churchill, also for the pressure of the conservatives who have recently joined a government of national unity, is ousted from the government and is fighting the war in France as a major of the British Army. A commission of inquiry will be needed, which in 1917 absolves him from the role of sole responsible for the Dardanelles disaster, to allow the new Prime Minister Lloyd George to appoint him minister for military supplies in the summer of 1917. As responsible for the mass production of tanks, Churchill plays a focal role in the British victory of the First World War.

From 1919 to 1921 he was Secretary of State for War and Air; in this period he tries in every way, even against the negative opinion of many members of the liberal party, to convince the government to make a military intervention to crush the Russian Revolution and Bolshevism. [4] Between 1921 and 1922 he was appointed minister of the colonies: among his provisions is that of the establishment of a British mandate on Palestine, an issue that in the coming years will cause many problems.

In this period his greatest success was the agreement with the Irish independentists, which will lead to the establishment of the free state of Ireland first and then the Republic of Ireland. The 1922 elections mark the defeat of the Churchill liberals, who also lost his seat in Parliament, and the return to the government of the conservatives. The subsequent elections of 1923 sanction the overtaking of the liberals, who become the third British party, by the Labor party.

The structure of the British system means that only the two major parties play an important role in national political life; therefore, if Churchill aspires to a leading role, he must abandon the liberal party, which in 1924 decided to support the creation of a Labor government, making a political choice to which Churchill is strongly opposed. In 1924, after about twenty years, he returned to the ranks of the conservative party.

In 1924 he became Chancellor of the Chessboard of the conservative government of Stanley Baldwin: the economic policy of this period is highly deflationary and the decision to restore the gold standard of sterling causes a strong discontent towards him and the government, which will culminate in the great strike of the 1926. In the 1929 elections, also due to Churchill's unpopular economic policy, the Labor of Ramsay MacDonald won the relative majority.

The conservatives, who are now in opposition, attribute to Churchill the sole responsibility for the electoral defeat and decide to marginalize it politically. The controversy over India will play an important role in Churchill's marginalization, which is contrary to the government's proposal (also supported by the conservatives) to grant India the status of dominion, which is a more autonomous form of government, similar to the one already adopted in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa. Churchill considers India not yet ready for autonomy, and also believes that the proposal will have a different effect from the one hoped for, inducing the Indians to demand full independence more strongly. On the Indian controversy Churchill will be in strong isolation even among conservatives.

It must be said that Churchill's prediction will prove to be correct: the Congress Party (the greatest Hindu political force) will reject the proposal to transform India into dominion and will assert its independence with greater determination. A few years earlier, Churchill expressed interest and admiration for the new head of the Italian government, Benito Mussolini, who defines "the greatest living legislator" [5] (1926), while recognizing, after the Ethiopian war (1936), the danger consisting of the fascination that Nazism and the authoritarian and solemn figure of Adolf Hitler exert on him.

When Stanley Baldwin and Arthur Neville Chamberlain, who are also conservatives, go to the government, who in the foreign policy adopted the so-called appeasement strategy towards Hitler, Churchill has no qualms about showing his strong disagreement with this attitude. In fact, he fears that the excessive concessions to the German Nazi regime (the Sudeten question, the 1938 Munich conference, the Anschluss) underestimate the danger and risk sustaining Hitler's plan for an ever-increasing expansion of the "living space" (Lebensraum) that Hitler deems necessary for Germany in Europe.

"Britain and France could choose between dishonor and war. They chose disgrace. They will have the war. "

The Thirties saw a decline in the prestige of Churchill ("his desert"), which quickly resumed when, at the outbreak of the Second World War, his warnings about the dangers posed by Nazism, initially received with diffidence, sounded prophetic and became the basis of the vast trust that supported it. On September 3, 1939, the day of England's declaration of war on Germany, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, noting the failure of his appeasement policy, appointed Churchill the First Lord of the Admiralty, that is, minister of the navy, as in the first war world. "Winston is back" was the telegram that left the ministry for the fleet.

The erroneous conduct of the war, together with the pressure of public opinion, led Chamberlain to present his resignation (May 1940) and conservatives to pray to Churchill to accept the position as prime minister. However, just a few days before, neither the king nor Chamberlain nor any of the three English parties would have wanted him in that position: Churchill undercut any resistance and reluctance by opposing a stubborn, threatening silence to the request if he were willing to assume a ministry in a cabinet presided over by Lord Halifax, waiting patiently for "send him to call." Formed a government of national unity - including the Tories, Labor and Liberals - its decisive attitude against Germany and Italy greatly increases its internal popularity. Although he promised "tears, sweat and blood", and in spite of the many defeats suffered by Britain in the first years of the war, the population unconditionally supported him until his victory in 1945.

In foreign policy, Churchill is more wary and worried about Stalin than US President Roosevelt is. Despite the historic military victory, the reputation of a great leader and the considerable popular consensus, Churchill loses, surprisingly, the political elections of 1945 and must give way to Clement Attlee, leader of the Labor party.

Perhaps he weighed, in the election result, the fact that he had always been unpopular to the unions. Incidentally, the Labor Party's economic promises included nationalization, a progressive tax system, an employment development plan, a new health, pension and school system. It was, therefore, a plan to implement what is now called the welfare state, a project of modernization that is as innovative as it is beneficial in the eyes of the electorate, which the Conservative Party could neither propose nor propose, which will be among the reasons for the surprising electoral choice. of 1945.

Another decisive fact in the election result was Churchill's speech on the radio, a few days before the election. On this occasion he expressed all his contempt for Labor, arguing that they would impose socialism in England and that, by their victory, a form of Gestapo (the Nazi political police) would be imposed. Finally, according to Churchill, even the military vote was against him.

Churchill however continues to play a leading political role: his voice is heard all over the world. Among the topics most dear to the statesman there is the incentive of policies of detachment from the USSR, a position that makes him one of the supporters of what then will take the name of Cold War (during the speech of Fulton (Missouri), held at Westminster College, in the presence of President Truman, in 1946, he coined the famous expression iron curtain), consistent with the anti-communism that has always distinguished him. In 1950, with other illustrious personalities, he committed himself unnecessarily to the salvation of Milada Horáková, sentenced to death by the Czechoslovak communist regime.

After winning the elections in 1951, Churchill again receives the task of forming a government at the age of seventy-seven. During the second Churchill government, Britain represses the Marxist guerrilla in Malaysia and the bloody Mau-Mau uprising in Kenya. In 1952 he tried to remove the democratically elected Iranian premier, Mohammad Mossadeq, following his decision to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (of which the British government is a majority shareholder), but when the first coup attempts were discovered and the 'British Embassy is expelled from Iran, the Churchill government is forced to ask the CIA and the Eisenhower administration to continue the coup.

The most important element of Churchill's foreign policy in those years will be the commitment to favor the distension between the US and the USSR. He strongly supported the need to exploit for this purpose the deterrent power of the nuclear weapon, which he endowed Britain. In the eighties this thesis was taken up and supported by Margaret Thatcher, who quoted Churchill before the US Congress in support of the need for the US and Britain to maintain a strong nuclear weaponry as a deterrent to the Soviet Union.

After having supported in previous years the need to face the USSR with force, now, even without calling into question the alliance with the USA of which he was the first bishop, Churchill considers it necessary to reduce the tension between the opposing blocs and in this he attributes a leading role to Britain. In 1952 King George VI died, making Winston Churchill the first premier of Queen Elizabeth II. In 1955 Churchill resigned as premier passing his hand to his dolphin Anthony Eden.

His contribution to the service of the country will be rewarded with a harvest of prizes and awards, even from abroad. In 1953 he obtained the Nobel Prize for literature, mainly for his work World War II (The Second World War), 1948-1954. In 1955 he finally retired to private life. On January 15, 1965 a medical bulletin was issued in which he read "Sir Winston was hit by circulatory disorders that caused a cerebral thrombosis". He died on 24th January 1965, shortly after 9.00 am: about 300,000 people attended his funeral at St. Paul's Cathedral in London on 30th January; his body is exposed on January 27 at Westminster Hall.

After the funeral of the state, January 30, 1965, to fulfill his last wish, the body of the great statesman was transported by train to Bladon, where he was buried in the cemetery of St Martin's Church, with a private ceremony, officiated by the rector of the church, in which only relatives and close friends participated. The figure of Churchill in the United Kingdom has always enjoyed and still enjoys great prestige; the statesman is considered among the greatest national figures of the twentieth century.

Winston Churchill Visited places

 Europa Road, 3 - 0 Gibraltar - Gibraltar

The Rock Hotel occupies a majestic position at the foot of the famous Rock of Gibraltar with panoramic views of the Bay, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Spanish mainland. Historic landmark for... see

Offered services

Hotel, Location for Ceremonies and Conferences, Restaurant, Swimming pool

Time period

United Kingdom, Gibraltar

Grand Hotel Gardone

 Corso Zanardelli, 84 - 25083 Gardone Riviera - Brescia

Built in 1884, the Grand Hotel Gardone is situated in a splendid position on the lake and is considered among the most refined and exclusive hotels of the Riviera del Garda: with its 167 finely... see

Offered services

Hotel, Location for Ceremonies and Conferences, Restaurant, Wellness Center / SPA

Time period

Italy, Brescia

Grand Hotel Nuove Terme

 Piazza Italia, 1 - 15011 Acqui Terme - Alessandria
Palace/Villa, Thermae/Spa

Grand Hotel Nuove Terme is a 4-star hotel in Acqui Terme with 142 rooms, a restaurant and bar lounge, a fully equipped spa and an indoor pool. Located in a central position, convenient to visit the... see

Offered services

Hotel, Location for Ceremonies and Conferences, Restaurant, Swimming pool, Wellness Center / SPA

Time period

Italy, Alessandria

Locanda Punta San Vigilio

 Punta San Virgilio - 37016 Garda - Verona
Albergo diffuso/Historic hamlet, Palace/Villa

Sixteenth-century inn with tavern and marina is among the oldest hotels in Italy. Always a destination for illustrious visitors, it is situated in the most enchanting place of Lake Garda, stretched... see

Offered services

Bar / Café, Hotel, Location for Ceremonies and Conferences, Restaurant

Time period

Italy, Verona