Neville Chamberlain

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Chamberlain, Neville

(Arthur Neville Chamberlain), 1869–1940, British statesman; son of Joseph ChamberlainChamberlain, Joseph,
1836–1914, British statesman. After a successful business career, he entered local politics and won distinction as a reforming mayor of Birmingham (1873–76).
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 and half-brother of Sir Austen ChamberlainChamberlain, Sir Austen
(Joseph Austen Chamberlain) , 1863–1937, British statesman; son of Joseph Chamberlain and half-brother of Neville Chamberlain. He entered Parliament as a Conservative in 1892.
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. The first half of his career was spent in business and, after 1911, in the city government of Birmingham, of which he became lord mayor in 1915. In 1917 he was director of national service, supervising conscription, and the following year, at the age of 50, he was elected to Parliament as a Conservative. During the 1920s he served both as chancellor of the exchequer (1923–24) and minister of health (1923, 1924–29). In the latter position, he enacted a series of important reforms that simplified the administration of Britain's social services and systematized local government. In 1931 he again became chancellor of the exchequer and held that office until he succeeded Stanley BaldwinBaldwin, Stanley,
1867–1947, British statesman; cousin of Rudyard Kipling. The son of a Worcestershire ironmaster, he was educated at Harrow and at Trinity College, Cambridge, and entered the family business. In 1908 he was elected to Parliament as a Conservative.
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 as prime minister in 1937.

During the 1930s, Chamberlain's professed commitment to avoiding war with Hitler resulted in his controversial policy of "appeasement," which culminated in the Munich PactMunich Pact,
1938. In the summer of 1938, Chancellor Hitler of Germany began openly to support the demands of Germans living in the Sudetenland (see Sudetes) of Czechoslovakia for an improved status. In September, Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudetenland.
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 (1938). Although contemporaries and scholars during and after the war criticized Chamberlain for believing that Hitler could be appeased, recent research argues that Chamberlain was not so naive and that appeasement was a shrewd policy developed to buy time for an ill-prepared Britain to rearm. After Germany's invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939, he pledged military support to Poland and led Britain to war in September. After the British debacle in Norway, he was forced to resign in May, 1940. He was lord president of the council under Winston ChurchillChurchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer,
1874–1965, British statesman, soldier, and author; son of Lord Randolph Churchill. Early Career

Educated at Harrow and Sandhurst, he became (1894) an officer in the 4th hussars.
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 until Oct., 1940, and died a few weeks later.


See biographies by W. R. Rock (1969) and D. Dilks (vol. 1, 1984); R. Cockett, Twilight of Truth (1989); J. Charmley, Chamberlain and the Lost Peace (1990).

References in periodicals archive ?
Kennedy emerges in this account as a man much more like Neville Chamberlain than Winston Churchill.
Millions of people crowded around their wirelesses to hear prime minister Neville Chamberlain make the sombre announcement.
EVENTS 1939: Britain is at war with Germany following the invasion of Poland two days ago, Premier Neville Chamberlain, above, tells the nation 1984: At least 1,300 least 1,300 A people die and hundreds more are injured as a storm sweeps across the Philippines.
In which city did Neville Chamberlain sign an agreement with Adolf Hitler in 1938 that was supposed to bring peace?
Unfortunately he is becoming our Neville Chamberlain, pursuing policy of appeasement," he said.
But over the years several experts have argued that Churchill merely cribbed his emotive words from his predecessor Sir Neville Chamberlain.
Dear Editor, I read the article on Neville Chamberlain with great interest (Post May 6) and the role of the Chamberlains as a family in local and general UK politics is equal to that of the Churchill dy-y nasty in my estimation.
He spoke of 1940, when Labour and Liberals refused to serve in a government headed by Neville Chamberlain, as a "historical precedent" but said it was still "important for parties to work together".
However, when Winston Churchill (whom I despised for his treatment of the Welsh miners in the 1920s) formed his new war cabinet which went on to defeat the Nazis, he included Neville Chamberlain among the brave politicians from both sides of the political divide.
George Howarth, who represents Knowsley North and Sefton East, had said of Mr Brown: "He's so unpopular that no one can remember a time since Neville Chamberlain, after Hitler invaded Norway, that anyone was so unpopular.
30, 1938, Neville Chamberlain, the prime minister of Great Britain, stood before a cheering crowd in front of 10 Downing Street and said, ``My good friends, this is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honor.
St John's rector, Canon Neville Chamberlain, said it was a tribute to those who died at Dunblane as well as supporting the anti-handgun lobby.