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An Explanation of Why Churchill Found Himself in the Wilderness in the 1930s.

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An explanation of why Churchill found himself in the wilderness in the 1930s.
The Conservative Party lost the General Election in the spring of 1929, as a result of this Winston Churchill stepped down as the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had served in nearly every major British Cabinet post except two: Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister. Part of his unpopularity was due to political reasons; Churchill was never very popular with the Conservative Party’s rank and file or its leaders. There were also personal reasons which aided in his dislike by many. Many of his enemies considered him unsound and felt he lacked in his judgement.
Churchill made the decision to wander into the political dessert; as a result the 1930s were referred to as his wilderness years. Churchill’s persistent attacks on the progression of the Indian constitution and his defence of Edward VIII earned him a public backlash. Mussolini was admired very much by Churchill and he had sympathized with Franco during the Spanish Civil War. He never offered up many ideas on the significant economic questions of the day such as unemployment, protection and recovery.
Despite his growing unpopularity, Churchill took up the cause of resistance of Nazi Germany during the 1930s. There were many obstacles that were related to this and the British government was well aware of them; pacifist settlement after the First World War; belief in the League of Nations; sympathy for Germany’s desire to rewrite the treaty of Versailles; fear of the bomber. Churchill didn’t believe that war was inevitable and he was also aware that Hitler wanted Britain as an ally. However, he strongly believed that a grand alliance against the dictator would then make him moderate his plans. Churchill had envisaged that Britain would make her contribution, if there was to be a war, with sea and air power; he had a belief that a continental army would be a mistake.
By the time of the 1930s, Churchill no longer held a government position. He seemed out of touch from the public and he greatly opposed plans that involved granting India greater independence. He continued to write books and he also wrote articles for some newspapers, much of the public believed his political career was over. Churchill’s vocal opposition to Hitler’s new Nazi dictatorship in Germany, and also his calls for British rearmament, that gradually brought him back into the public perspective. At first only a few wanted to hear the message but soon after the Munich Crisis of 1938 and the German occupation of Czechoslovakia that a growing consensus began that he was right. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain has no choice but to make Churchill First Lord of the Admiralty when war finally broke out in September 1939, this was the same position that he held at the outbreak of the First World War.
In November 1936 Edward VIII told Stanley Baldwin, the Prime Minister at the time, that he had every intention to marry Wallis Simpson. Mrs Simpson was an American socialite who had just been divorced from her second husband just a month before. The marriage was constitutionally impossible; the Church of England didn’t allow divorcees to remarry. There was no precedent for the monarch to marry a commoner such as Mrs Simpson. It was made very clear by the cabinet that it wouldn’t be accepted by them, but there was no provision in the British constitution for an abdication either.
There was a huge amount of increasing pressure from the government for the king to abdicate, but Churchill sided with the king, he hoped that the king would lose his intention or that Mrs Simpson would just disappear from the scene altogether. He felt that abdication of the king would damage the British monarchy; this was a feature that Churchill felt was an important part of Britain’s historic identity. Churchill was shouted down in the House of Commons when he spoke of his support for the king on 7 December, he was totally shocked and horrified at the fact that this had occurred. Many of his opponents firmly believed that he was aiming to topple the government, hoping that Baldwin would resign if it was felt that the king didn’t require his advice and guidance. Much to Churchill’s distress ad very much regret, the kind went on to abdicate on 11 December. He felt more isolated than ever before and the general public opinion was that his career was ruined beyond redemption.
Churchill was a very strong opponent against the Indian Independence movement that occurred in the 1920s and 1930s, he argue that it “was a frightful prospect”. Some reports have been believed that Churchill was in favour of letting Ghandi die if he went on a hunger strike. In the first half of the 1930s, Churchill was very outspoken with regards to his firm opposition to granting independence to India, he was a founder of the Indian Defence League, this was a group that was dedicated to the preservation of British power in India. During this period, he forecast widespread unemployment in Britain and civil strife in India should they be granted independence in his speeches and press articles. In 1931, the Round Table Conference was engaged and Viceroy Lord Irwin (who had been appointed by the prior Conservative Government) announced the Government’s policy regarding that India should be granted Dominion Status. It was supported by the Liberal Party and officially, also the Conservative Party, Churchill denounced the Round Table Conference.

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