- Churchill, Winston Leonard Spencer
- (1874-1965)British statesman, prime minister, and wartime leader Winston Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace, England. He served in the army in Egypt and South Africa before becoming a Conservative member of parliament in 1900. Churchill later became a member of the Liberal Party and held various Cabinet positions, including home secretary and first lord of the Admiralty. In 1917, he became minister of munitions. After the war, he served as secretary of state for war, and then, having rejoined the Conservatives, was chancellor of the exchequer from 1924 to 1929. Out of office during the 1930s, with the start of World War II in 1939, Churchill returned to the Admiralty, and in 1940 he became leader of the coalition wartime government.Churchill proved himself to be one of Britain’s greatest leaders, mobilizing the people with stirring speeches, articulating courage and determination to fight, and determining strategy. He worked closely with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and together they issued a joint statement of principles in the Atlantic Charter of 1941. He also put aside his anticommunist feelings to work with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, with whom he reached agreement at the Moscow Conference (1943) about the spheres of influence in the Balkan regions after the war. He was unsuccessful persuading Roosevelt that a rapid advance on Berlin was necessary to limit Soviet power in Europe, and during the Potsdam Conference, Churchill suffered electoral defeat at home and was succeeded by Labour leader Clement Attlee. After the war, in a speech in Fulton, Missouri, Churchill declared that an “iron curtain” had fallen across Eastern Europe, and he encouraged President Harry S. Truman to take a strong anti- Soviet position.Churchill became prime minister once again in 1951 but was forced to pass over power to Anthony Eden in 1955 due to ill-health.See also Tehran Conference; Yalta Conference.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.