Churchill Forced Out of Politics
Churchill was devastated to have been forced out of politics. Although
he was still a member of Parliament, it just wasn't enough to keep such
an active man busy. Churchill went into depression and worried that his
political life was completely over.
It was during this time that Churchill learned to paint. It started as a
way for him to escape the doldrums, but like everything Churchill did,
he worked diligently to improve himself. Churchill continued to paint
for the rest of his life.
For nearly two years, Churchill was kept out of politics. Then, in July
1917, Churchill was invited back and given the position of Minister of
Munitions. In 1918, Churchill was given the position of Secretary of
State for War and Air, which put him in charge of bringing all the
British soldiers home.
A Decade in Politics and a Decade Out
The 1920s had its ups and downs for Churchill. In 1921, he was made the
Secretary of State for the Colonies but only a year later he lost his MP
seat while in the hospital with acute appendicitis.
Out of office for two years, Churchill found himself leaning again
toward the Conservative Party. In 1924, Churchill once again won a seat
as an MP, but this time with Conservative backing. Considering he had
just returned to the Conservative Party, Churchill was quite surprised
to be given the very important position of the Chancellor of the
Exchequer in the new Conservative government that same year. Churchill
held this position for nearly five years.
In addition to his political career, Churchill spent the 1920s writing his monumental, six-volume work on World War I called The World Crisis (1923-1931).
When the Labour Party won the national election in 1929, Churchill was
once again out of government. For ten years, Churchill held his MP seat,
but did not hold a major government position. However, this didn't slow
Churchill continued to write, finishing a number of books including his autobiography, My Early Life.
He continued to give speeches, many of them warning of Germany's
growing power. He also continued to paint and learned bricklaying.
By 1938, Churchill was speaking out openly against British Prime
Minister Neville Chamberlain's plan of appeasement with Nazi Germany.
When Nazi Germany attacked Poland, Churchill's fears had proved correct.
The public once again realized that Churchill had seen this coming.
After ten years out of the government, on September 3, 1939, just two
days after Nazi Germany attacked Poland, Churchill was asked to once
again become the First Lord of the Admiralty.
Churchill Leads Great Britain in WWII
When Nazi Germany attacked France on May 10, 1940, it was time for
Chamberlain to step down as Prime Minister. Appeasement hadn't worked;
it was time for action. The same day that Chamberlain resigned, King
George VI asked Churchill to become Prime Minister.
Just three days later, Churchill gave his "Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat" speech
in the House of Commons. This speech was just the first of many morale
boosting speeches made by Churchill to inspire the British to keep
fighting against a seemingly invincible enemy.
Churchill spurred himself and everyone around him to prepare for war. He
also actively courted the United States to join in the hostilities
against Nazi Germany. Also, despite Churchill's extreme dislike for the
communist Soviet Union, his pragmatic side realized he needed their
By joining forces with both the United States and with the Soviet Union,
Churchill not only saved Britain, but helped save all of Europe from
the domination of Nazi Germany.
Falls Out of Power, Then Back in Again
Although Churchill was given credit for inspiring his nation to win
World War II, by the end of the war in Europe, many felt that he had
lost touch with the daily lives of the people. After suffering through
years of hardship, the public didn't want to go back to the hierarchical
society of pre-war Britain. They wanted change and equality.
On July 15, 1945, the election results from the national election came
in and the Labour Party had won. The following day, Churchill, age 70,
resigned as Prime Minister.
Churchill remained active. In 1946, he went on a lecture tour in the United States that included his very famous speech, "The Sinews of Peace,"
in which he warned of an "iron curtain" descending upon Europe.
Churchill also continued to make speeches in the House of Commons and to
relax at his home and paint.
Churchill also continued to write. He used this time to start his six-volume work, The Second World War (1948-1953).
Six years after resigning as Prime Minister, Churchill was again asked
to lead Britain. On October 26, 1951, Churchill began his second term as
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
During his second term as Prime Minister, Churchill focused on foreign
affairs because he was very worried about the atomic bomb. On June 23,
1953, Churchill suffered a severe stroke. Although the public wasn't
told about it, those close to Churchill thought he would have to resign.
Surprising everyone, Churchill recovered from the stroke and got back
On April 5, 1955, 80-year-old Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister due to failing health.
Retirement and Death
In his final retirement, Churchill continued to write, finishing his four-volume A History of the English Speaking Peoples (1956-1958). Churchill also continued to give speeches and to paint.
During his later years, Churchill earned three impressive awards. On
April 24, 1953, Churchill was made Knight of the Garter by Queen
Elizabeth II, making him Sir Winston Churchill. Later that same year,
Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Ten years later, on
April 9, 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy awarded Churchill with
honorary U.S. citizenship.
In June 1962, Churchill broke his hip after falling out of a his hotel
bed. On January 10, 1965, Churchill suffered a massive stroke. After
falling into a coma, he died on January 24, 1965 at age 90. Churchill
had remained a member of Parliament until a year before his death.