Winston Churchill and His Effect on History
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Winston Churchill was the most celebrated British leader of the twentieth century and one of the most prominent leaders to lead the country of all time. Although he was born in a well-known and wealthy family, he is remembered by an unmatched desire to serve the British people even during the most tumultuous times, including World War II. Even though Churchill’s legacy is complicated because of a number of important roles performed, his profound impact on the history of Great Britain and Europe remains undisputed. The purpose of this paper is to review the historical significance of Churchill and his impact on the European and British history.
A son to Lord Randolph Churchill and American inheritress Jennie Jerome, he was born in 1874 at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>. His father was a prominent political figure at the time and served as one of the leaders in the House of Commons, an elected component of the Parliament. His mother was an American-born British socialite, known for part ownership of the New York Times, and came from a line of aristocrats as well. Therefore, the background of Churchill’s family contributed to better opportunities for the future premier minister.
One of the most important opportunities provided by the status of Churchill family was education. He was sent to study at the Harrow private school but did not achieve any significant academic results mainly because he was interested in different kind of studies. From the early childhood, Churchill was programmed to pursue military education, which was even demonstrated by his fondness of soldier toys. Having recognized the need to study military activity, Churchill’s parents transferred him to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, where he finally found his passion, which turned his into one of the greatest figures in history<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>.
Churchill and British History
The impact of Churchill on Britain’s domestic policies is often overshadowed by his international achievements but certainly is outstanding. In 1900, Churchill had joined the House of Commons as a representative of the Conservative party but changed his political affiliation in less than four years<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>. In the Liberal party, he was able to achieve more significant results that had a considerable impact on the life on ordinary British citizens, such as a number of social reforms in labor legislation. Specifically, Churchill’s efforts contributed to the establishment of eight-hour working day, public health insurance system, minimum wage, and state-controlled exchange for the unemployed. These laws played a major role in the liberalization of the British labor legislation and were considered as remarkable for the time.
Churchill and European History
Winston Churchill lived through two world wars and made a significant contribution to Britain’s effort, especially in WWII, because he was appointed as the prime minister in 1940. It was indeed a historical event because on the morning of his appointment Germany invaded four countries: Luxemburg, Belgium, Netherlands, and France. Britain was faced with an ultimate test and Churchill was on the frontline, which meant that he had to defend his country against the most advanced army of the time. Each decision made by Churchill had a profound impact not only on Britain but every country that fought Nazi invasion.
The first major impact made by Churchill during the WWII is the establishment of the Britain’s alliance with the most powerful countries, the US and the Soviet Union<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>. His effective leadership and decision-making helped to consolidate the effort by the two super countries because Churchill was able to form relationships with Stalin and Roosevelt<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>. As the Battle of Britain was escalating and continuing to take a death toll, he was supporting his people and constantly sought help from outside, which is demonstrated by his visits to Soviet Russia and the United States. Specifically, he had nine meetings with the American president and five meetings with the Soviet leader during the time of war, which contributed to the consolidation of efforts of the Allies and eventually, to victory over Hitler’s Germany.
The fact that Churchill was one of the chief architects of the victory in WWII gives him a profound historic significance. If Britain had fallen under the attacks of Luftwaffe and Germans occupied the island, it would have been a major disaster for the free world, which could change the course of the conflict. However, Churchill’s unmatchable spirit and effective decision-making fueled the Britain’s effort even when German planes were flying over its major cities. Instead of retrieving to the safe territory, Churchill stayed with the citizens in London even when the city was under attack of the Nazi warplanes and continued to give radio broadcasts and speeches<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>. The effort of British people led by Churchill was an example for many other European countries that were fighting off German troops so his contribution to the victory in the WWII is difficult to overstate. His stubborn refusal to admit defeat of his country and effective foreign policy gave him significance that only a few leaders could match.
Winston Churchill is among the most prominent figures of the previous century, which is known for his wartime leadership, domestic policies, and role in defeating the Nazi Germany. Clearly, his historical impact is profound because the achievements of Britain under Churchill were significant both in domestic and international terms. First, he was one of the ministers that provided more sophisticated legislation and social reform in labor area, which was important to the development of modern British laws. Second, he provided an enormous impact on other influential leaders, including American president Roosevelt and Soviet Union’s leader Stalin. In turn, it helped Allies to consolidate efforts and win the WWII and restore the peace on the entire continent. Having reviewed these achievements by Churchill, it is sufficient to claim that he provided a profoundly important effect on history, both British and European.
Fenby, Jonathan. Alliance: The inside Story of How Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill Won One War and Began Another. San Francisco, CA: MacAdam Cage, 2006.
Haugen, Brenda. Winston Churchill: British soldier, writer, statesman. Capstone, 2006.
Larres, Klaus. Churchill's cold war: the politics of personal diplomacy. Yale University Press, 2002.
Manchester, William. The last lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: visions of glory, 1874-1932. Vol. 1. Pan Macmillan, 2015.
Rose, Norman. Churchill: An Unruly Life. London: Simon & Schuster, 1994.
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Rose, Norman. Churchill: An Unruly Life. London: Simon & Schuster, 1994, p. 3
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Ibid, p. 27
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Brenda, Haugen. Winston Churchill: British soldier, writer, statesman. Capstone, 2006, p. 97.
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Larres, Klaus. Churchill's cold war: the politics of personal diplomacy. Yale University Press, 2002, p. 18.
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Fenby, Jonathan. Alliance: The inside Story of How Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill Won One War and Began Another. San Francisco, CA: MacAdam Cage, 2006, p. 80.
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> William, Manchester. The last lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: visions of glory, 1874-1932. Vol. 1. Pan Macmillan, 2015, p. 7.