Churchill returned to England after his well-publicised escapades in South Afruica. And in the General Election he contested his second parliamentary seat (1900). He was elected Conservative Member for Oldham. After 4 years, however, because he disagreed with Joseph Chamberlain's tarif reform policy, he left the Conservatives and joined Herbert Asquith's Liberal Party (1904). He was chosen Secretary of State for the colonies. He was promoted to be President of the Board of Trade (1908). Churchill 2 years later was partly responsible for a split in the government resulting in a General Election (1910). The Liberals were returned to power and Churchill became Home Secretary. This was an extrenely productive time of his life, leading to speculation, as with his father, that he might be a prime minister. As Home Secretary he experimented with what at the time were seen as radical social reforms which made him powerful enemies among conservatives. (1910-11) he used troops against strikers in South Wales which earned him the eminity of labor. He was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty (1911). In this post he helped strengthen the Rotal Navy. Through all this he pursued several beautiful women, finally marrying Clementine Hozier (1908). After all this frentic activity the primeminister post he so coveted did not come. Changing parties hurt him and he made enemies with some of the policies he promoted. One author sees Churchills subsequent career as attempting to achieve the promosise of his youth. [Sheldon]
Churchill graduated from Sandhurst and accepoted a commissino (1895). As a young officer, his interests began to grow and mature. He took a greater interest in both politics and writing. He resigned his Army commission (1899). He decided ton pursue both journalism and politics. His first steps in politics were to contest a by-election for a seat in Oldham (1899). He stood as a Conservative largely because his father had been an important figure in the Party. He narrowly lost the election.
After losing the Oldham seat, he decided to go to South Africa and report on the Boer War for the Morning Post (London). Churchill inprobably becane famous. He helped rescue an armoured train ambushed by the Boers, but in the process was tajen prisoner. Hee artracted even more attention when he managed to escape from military prison where he was held. The Boers launched a manhunt, but he managed tob get back to British lines. As aesukt, he returned to Britain a military hero.
Churchill returned to England after his well-publicised escapades in South Afruica. And in the General Election he contested his second parliamentary seat in Olfham, again as a cnservative (1900). His fame proved to be a real advantage. This gtime he won the seat, beginning aalimentary career streaching s five decades. Churchill even as a newly-minted MP attracted attention. He had some difficulties. Of all things a speech impediment and psychological inhibitions prevented him from becoming an effective debater in his early years. Debate is important to a MP, but more so than Comgressmen in America. And he soon began taking issue with Conservative keaders and their policies. Irinically he criticized military spending. He also supported. Hethus was soon disavowed by his Conservative constituents and aienated from the Party leadership. The Conservatives supported large military budgets in response to an increasingly belicose Germanhy. They also supported high protective tariffs.
As a result of the growing rift with the Conservative leadership, Churchill 'Crossed the floor'
of the House, something rarely done in British politics (1904). Joseph Chamberlain's tarif reform policy seems to have been the decisive issue. He took a seat with Herbert Asquith's Liberal Party. And with his debating skills improving, Churchiill soon beganb attacking Chamberlain (Neville Chamjberlain's father)
and Balfour. He becameclose with some iof the most strident members of his new oartty. One was John Morley, a political legatee of the famed 19th century statesman W.E. Gladstone. The other was David Lloyd George,
a rising Welsh orator, at the time described as a firebrand. He was chosen Secretary of State for the colonies. He was promoted to be President of the Board of Trade (1908).
Churchill felt an urge to write from an earky age. He id bestv known for his non-fiction, but he also wrote a few fiction works as well. But politics infused his fictions works as well. He wrote his one and only novel at this time-Savrola (1900). It is a biut the main character who leads a democratic revolution in an imaginary Balkan country. The revolution, however, spirals out of control. He then wrote two-volume biography of his father, Lord
Randolph Churchill (1906). It wa a fascinating account of British parliamentary government and involvded considerabke research. Churchill was still young when Lord Randolph was a the height if his career. The work was a real education in British politics.
Churchill contested a Manchester seat in the General Election (1906). He scored an impressive victory. The Liberals also won and formed a government.
Churchill was rewarded with his first ministerial post.
He was appointed undersecretary of state for the colonies. An inspection tour to East Africa resulted in another book--My African Journey (1908). His mostvimportant work was his efforts at conciliation and self-government in South Africa, still recoverung from the Boer War. Prime Minister Asquith reorganized the Ministry (1908). He promoted Churchil to president of the Board of Trade (1908). This mean a seat in the Cabinet. Churchill took his new position in hand. He became a leader in the Liberal movement. The Board of Trade among other matters oversaw labor law. He moved away from 19th century laissez-faire liberalism toward social reform which became the core of 20th century liberalism. He continued the work begun by his predecessor on the Board of Grade--Lloyd George. The key act was aan 8-hour day for miners. Churchill began a new camjpaign against 'sweated' labor. He established
trade boards with the authority to set minimum wages. He also attemoted to reduce unemployment by stting up state-run labor exchanges. Social reform is expensive and highr taxes were required. Conservatives were outraged. The
House of Lords broke president and rejecting the 1909 budget passed by the Commons. Churchill and Lloyd George worked together limit the constitutional ability of the Upper Chamber to block the work of the Commons.
Churchill became president of the Budget League. And from this position launched effective vocal attacks.
Through all this he pursued several beautiful women, finally marrying Clementine Hozier (1908). It surely was tge best decusion of his life. It proved to be a marriage of mutal affection that lasted their entire lives. Clementine ensured that her husbond despite the trails and tribulations of his political career had a securecabd stabke home life where he coukd seek refuge. They would have five children, one of whom died as a young child.
Churchill 2 years later was partly responsible for a split in the government resulting in a General Election (1910).
The Liberals were returned to power in the 1910 General Election. Churchill's reward for his work on the budget and House of Lords was the Home Secretary, a particularly important post (1910). Part of his responsibilities were the police and prison system. He made some progress in prison reform. The reforms included reducing lengthy sentences, alternatives to prison for youthful offenders, and efforts to differentiate criminal and political prisoners. Despite these efforts, Labour began to see him as an individual attempting to supress the Labor movement. Britain was hit by a wave of industrial unrest and increasingly violent strikes. He used troops against strikers in South Wales which earned him the eminity of labor. Churchill held the post of Home Secretary until 1911.
This was an extrenely productive time of his life, leading to speculation, as with his father, that he might be a prime minister. As Home Secretary he experimented with what at the time were seen as radical social reforms which made him powerful enemies among conservatives. He was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty (1911). In this post he helped strengthen the Royal Navy.
After all this frentic activity the primeminister post he so coveted did not come. Changing parties hurt him and he made enemies with some of the policies he promoted. One author sees Churchills subsequent career as attempting to achieve the promosise of his youth. [Sheldon]
Sheldon, Michael. Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill (2013), 400p.
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