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.

Bibliography

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 ?
identified Neville Chamberlain, below, as Prime Minister when war broke out
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain delivers his famous "Peace for our time" speech on September 30, 1938
In September 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned to the UK after a meeting in Munich with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
While all intelligence reports confirmed that Germany was in no position, either militarily or economically, to launch a European war in 1938 and 1939, Ruggiero describes how Neville Chamberlain misplaced his great gifts of leadership, organization, and perseverance to preserve the peace, and turned a deaf ear to the advice of experts.
"As Hitler discovered when he met Neville Chamberlain in 1938, Kate Middleton's political relatives were strongly anti-war - hence his policy of appeasement.
1938: 'Peace for our time' - Chamberlain The British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, has been hailed as bringing "peace to Europe" after signing a non-aggression pact with German leader Adolf Hitler.
Neville Chamberlain is well known to posterity as the man who got colossally on the wrong side of history and, to use his own ill-fated words about Hitler against him, "missed the bus." Succumbing to cancer in 1940, he had no opportunity to work at rehabilitating his reputation (unlike, say, Eden, who enjoyed two decades of interview-giving and memoir-writing after the Suez debacle).
1938: On his return from Germany, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain told a crowd at Heston Airport, Middlesex: "I believe it is peace in our time", and waved the agreement he had signed with Hitler.
of Plymouth, UK) provides a biography of Conservative British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940), who played a part in an effort to appease Hitler by conceding part of Czechoslovakia to him.
Neville Chamberlain A Biography Robert Self Ashgate 573pp 25 [pounds sterling] ISBN 0 7546 5615 2
Munich, where British prime minister Neville Chamberlain collapsed in front of Hitler in 1938, is the most overused historical precedent of our time.
The peril America and the free world face today is every bit as real, though far greater in scope, than what a peace-hungry world faced in 1938 [when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the now-infamous peace agreement with Hitler].