MacDonald, Baldwin & Chamberlain as Prime Ministers (Britain 1900-1951 Period Study 1918-51)

  • Created by: oanderton
  • Created on: 25-08-20 16:25

MacDonald as PM 1931-1935

Leadership Style of Ramsay MacDonald

  • Very involved in foreign policy
    • Strong supporter of the League of Nations
    • Took a leading role in giving India greater self-government & dominion status
  • Persued peaceful foreign policy.
    • Continued support for the LoN and collective security.
    • No denial of India policy
  • Wanted to reduce the influence of the socialist left
    • Wanted the left's influence to be more thsan just the trade unions
  • Labour economic policies continued.
    • Development of rationalisation and planned production.
    • Did not undertake an arm race with Germany that the right wing wanted
  • A moderate middle ground betweern left and right.
    • Didn't concede to far left - wanted to reduce its influence.
    • Didn't want the trade unions to dominate the left wing influence.
    • Did not concede to right wing policies, such as imperialism & an arms race with Germany.
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ii. MacDonald as PM 1931-1935

His style of leadership was seen as controversial.

  • Lost support of ally Snowden & protection of cheap food for workers in 1931.
    • When Conservatives forced in October & abandoned free trade.
  • MacDonald did not compromise his earlier policies but he was isolated from his party
  • Had an image of being controlled by the upper classes and Baldwin.
    • Betraying his own party
  • Conservative policies were largely agreed to be moderate in the early 1930
  • Defeated and humiliated in 1935 election by a Labour left winger.
  • He was a sad and outdated figure.
    • Portrayed as a turncoat (someone who betrays one party for another).
    • Now seen as an important founder and leader of the Labour Party.
    • Seens as holding the country together in difficult economic times 
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Baldwin as PM 1935-1937

Baldwin's Style of Leadership

  • Moved the Conservatives away from its extreme elements
  • He regained his dominance by August 1931.
  • Coalition gave him chance to work with moderate Liberals, Tories and Labour
  • Was a major influence in gov before 1935 and as leader from 1935-7
  • Calculated the nation’s mood winning the 1935 election.
    • Promised not to make big arms increases
    • But began rearming when he won.
    • Insisted on the need for collective security and the League
    • Wanted a naval agreement with Germany  

His image as a leader

  • Promote himself an image as a figure of solid reassurance  
  • Lots of internal criticism following failure to win 1929 election.
  • Criticised in Daily Express and Daily Mail.
    • Conservative newspapers.
  • Told by Chamberlain he had lost the confidence of the party and should step down.
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Chamberlain as PM 1937-1940

Chamberlain's Leadeship Style...

  • Believed in shuttle diplomacy.
    • Persuading dictators into sustainable agreements.
    • Foreshadowed Churchill's diplomatic style.
    • Had strong confidence in his personal diplomacy and ability to persuade dictators.
  • Greatest contribution was his personal diplomacy
    • Strong view on foreign and defence policy 
    • Based on analys of the situationuninfuelnced by emotion.
  • Distinct policy of meeting Germany's grievances - appeasment
    • When Britain failed to meet defence committments in 1937.
    • Failed to defend Far East against Japan; the Meditteranian against Italy; the Empire; and Germany's threats to overturn the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Most modern of all 3 leaders.
  • Carefully cultivated links with the press
    • To ensure PM’s point of view was communicated
  • Not as dynamic of a leader.
    • Lacked Macdonald’s talent for public speaking
    • Lacked Baldwin’s warm image.
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ii. Chamberlain as PM 1937-1940

  • Had ministerial experience before taking office.
    • Came from a well-known political family
  • More dominant personality.
    • Ice cold logic made him impatient of opposition in the Cabinet and party
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How Were Their Leadership Styles Similar?

How Were Their Leadership Styles Similar?

  • Peaceful foreign policy.
    • MacDonald known as a peaceful foreign policy pioneer.
    • Chamberlain's shuttle diplomacy.
    • Baldwin promises limited rearmerment.
      • However, went back on this when he won election and rearmed.
    • Baldwin wanted naval agreement with Germany for peace.
  • Desire for collective security.
    • Both MacDonald & Baldwin.
    • Both MacDonald & Baldwin were supporters of the League of Nations.
  • Negotiations with hostile Germany to prevent conflict- a degree of Appeasment
    • Chamberlain's shuttle diplomacy.
      • Distinct policy of meeting Germany's grievances whilst building Britain's defences.
    • Baldwin wanted naval agreement with Germany
  • Moderacy and a move away from party extremes
    • MacDonald and Baldwin.
      • MacDonald wanted to reduce influence of the far let & socialism.
      • Baldwin wanted to move the Conservatives away from there extreme elements.
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ii. How Were Their Leadership Styles Similar?

Leadership styles were controversial & they were seen as party traitors/turncoats.

  • MacDonald loses support of Labour, Snowden & trade unions.
  • Baldwin is told by Chamberlian he has lost support of the Conservatives and should step down as leader.
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How Did Their Leadership Styles Differ?

Overall more smilar than different.

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