Churchill

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Churchill's career before 1929

- Was a professional soldier serving in India & Sudan before entering politics as a Conservative MP in 1900.

- Played a leading role in introducing social reforms before 1914.

- Served in Lloyd George's coalition government from 1918 to 1922.

- Re-joined the Conservatives and was chancellor of the exchequer 1924-29.

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Churchill's political ideas

- Strong believer in the British Empire, was determined to defend it

- Bitterly opposed to communism, urged GB, France and the US to send forces against the Russian Revolution.

- Opposed any threat to the monarchy or to the British constitution.

- Against 1926 General Strike, thought it tried to use union power in a political way.

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Churchill's personality and controversy

- Betrayed his party by joining the Liberals.

- His support for the use of troops against striking miners in S Wales in 1910 made him unpopular with many in Labour.

- His decision to return Britain to the Gold Standard in 1925 was critiscised by many economic experts.

- Extreme opponent of trade unions, opposition to the General Strike in 1926.

- Outspoken, outwardly self-confident and often controversial.

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The British Empire

- Very important, many British people lived and worked in it.

- Helped Britain to win WWI, but was very costly and difficult to defend.

- Britain controlled the Suez Canal and dominated Egypt.

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Political life in 1929

- Labour => relatively new party, represented the working people, increased support after WWI. Won 1929 election.

- Conservatives => major party from 1916 to 1922. In power  1922 - 23 and 1924 - 29.

- Liberals => introduced many important changes, including the beginnings of the modern welfare state. Party split during WWI.

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Society in 1929

- Britain lost over 750,000 men in WWI. Was a loss of faith in old values of patriotism.

- Rise in relative wealth & influence in the middle classes.

- War confirmed social change, women had to vote, on equal terms with men after 1928.

- Rise of radio, cinema, use of motor transport increased awareness of the wider world and improved communications.

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The Economy in 1929

- Britain => great industrial power with textiles, iron, steel, leading the world.

- By 29 its older industries were in decline. Less demand for its heavy industry products.

- Collapse of the U.S. stock market, beginning of the Wall Street Crash. World economic depression.

- Unemployment hadn't fallen below a million in the 20's.

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