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Britain – Politics, 1918-45

5. Churchill as War Leader

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we think about Churchill's leadership of Britain in the Second World War, focusing in particular on: (i) the importance of Churchill's oratory, and the power of language in public life; (ii) Churchill's success in cultivating relationships with leaders from opposite ends of the political spectrum – Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union; (iii) his deft management of potentially difficult figures, both within his own Conservative Party (e.g. Neville Chamberlain, Lord Halifax, Anthony Eden) and from the opposite side of the house (e.g. Clement Attlee, Ernest Bevin).

Course

In this course, Dr Robert Crowcroft (University of Edinburgh) explores British politics between the years 1918-45. In the first module, we think about the reasons for the political domination of the Conservative Party in this period, focusing in particular on the leadership of Stanley Baldwin and policy-making of Neville Chamberlain. In the second module, we trace the rise of the Labour Party between 1918-31, before turning in the third module to the three major crises of the period – the 1926 General Strike, the 1931 financial crisis, and the 1936 Abdication Crisis. In the fourth module, we think about the interdependence of domestic and foreign policy I this period, particularly in relation to the issue of appeasement, before turning in the fifth module to think about Churchill's leadership of Britain in the Second World War. Finally, in the sixth module, we think about the General Election of 1945 and why it was that the Conservative Party, led by the war hero Winston Churchill, were so comprehensively defeated by Clement Attlee's Labour Party.

Lecturer

Dr Robert Crowcroft is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary History at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on moments where political systems have been subjected to acute stresses such as war. His most recent book, The End is Nigh: British Politics, Power, and the Road to the Second World War (2019), focused on British politics in the years prior to the Second World War.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Crowcroft, R. (2021, March 04). Britain – Politics, 1918-45 - Churchill as War Leader [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/britain-politics-1918-45/churchill-as-war-leader

MLA style

Crowcroft, Robert. "Britain – Politics, 1918-45 – Churchill as War Leader." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 04 Mar 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/britain-politics-1918-45/churchill-as-war-leader