William Churchill S Role In British History

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Hist- H 210

Essay #2

4/10/2013

Prompt #2

Winston Churchill is remembered as one of Britain’s most influential people. He played a crucial role in British history, leading them through both World Wars and coming out victorious in both. One of his strong suits was his ability to rally Britain behind him. He used his gift of public speaking to get people to listen to his ideas and support his administration. Churchill was able to do this so effectively by using longstanding Victorian values in his speeches that civilians could identify with. The British people’s values were rooted in empire, tradition, duty, bravery and liberty. Throughout Churchill’s wartime speeches, he managed to consistently touch upon at least a few of these values. We first see this in one of his pre-World War II speeches, “We are Vulnerable” delivered at the House of Commons on February 7, 1934. Churchill is in front of the government urging them to raise the amount of arms in preparation for attack. One major component Churchill is saying that they need a strong air force. He refers to the tradition of the British Royal Navy’s strength that cemented them as a global force. “It would only begin to put us back in the position that we were brought up. We have lived under the shield of the Navy.” Churchill realizes that with the emergence of aerial warfare that they are no longer the “island they were 25 years ago”. This part of the speech made citizens remember the day when they ruled the seas, and made them think of the glory they could have once again if they had a powerful air force. He once again calls upon British tradition six years later in another speech at the House of Commons. In “The Few” he explains how the war should be in Britain’s favor because of the characteristics of its people. Churchill stated, “Because we are the most united of all nations, because we entered the war upon the national will and with our eyes open, and because we have been...
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