Winston Churchill, a man who has gone down history as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th Century was a very multi-facetted personality. His speeches are recognizable and quoted to this day. He turned around the outcome of the Second World War, leading the United Kingdom from its darkest hour at the brink of defeat to emerging as victorious.
Winston Churchill was born into a privileged life, which helped him gain power at a young age. His father was a member of the noble British aristocracy. His mother was the daughter of a wealthy American financier. He gained a military education and carried on to be commissioned as a lieutenant in the British Army, where he travelled around the world, carrying out missions in the colonies. Later, he used his journalistic talents during the Boer War in South Africa to obtain popularity and fame. After being imprisoned and having escaped, he returned to England as a hero and started his political career as, among many other titles, an MP, the Secretary State for the Colonies, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
One of the greatest accomplishments of Churchill was leading Britain to victory in the Second World War. While Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of England before Churchill, agreed to the appeasement policy, Winston Churchill opposed this decision. The policy, enabling unchecked expansion of the German Reich, indirectly caused the Second World War and as a result, Chamberlain experienced a loss of popularity. Due to this and other complications, he was forced to resign, and Churchill took over the position of Prime Minister.
What made Winston Churchill an accomplished and outstanding leader was his ability to inspire and empower the public. He used his unique personality, sometimes displaying enthusiasm, determination and optimism in times of great hardship to encourage people. His speeches were immaculately delivered and packed full of emotion, vision and inspiration. He was a man who did what nobody else would have done. For good reason, as well, for many of his decisions were risky and ended in disaster. On other occasions, his decisions led to many great moments for the British Empire.
At the end of the day, Winston Churchill always went down the path which was best for Britain. Hitler posed a threat to the British Empire, so there was an outspoken rivalry between him and Hitler. This proved to be one of the greatest accomplishments in his life and led to much success. His unrelenting struggle to withstand and denounce Naziism proved to be the key incident which makes him memorable well into the 21st Century.
One of the more disastrous operations he undertook was how he handled the situation in India. Winston Churchill showed no empathy or tolerance toward the pacifist independence movement led by Ghandi. While British authorities were willing to negotiate with Ghandi, Churchill referred to him as a “malevolent fanatic.” In this way, his methods of thinking were obsolete.
While Winston Churchill accomplished great things in his life, it is crucial to evaluate the other side to him. His thinking was obsolete and crude, especially towards the people in British colonies like India, whom he viewed as “beastly people with a beastly religion.” Furthermore, he opposed the suffrage movement and argued that women’s voices were sufficiently represented by the vote of their husbands and male relatives. In Addition, his violence and hatred towards Ireland, a nation he described as “a small poor, sparsely populated island, lapped about by British sea power”, proves his egotistical views. He sacrificed diplomatic relations for the gain of the Empire, which he did his best to maintain, conserve and keep at the top of the hunger chain.
For these reasons, it is arguably reasonable to portray Churchill as a failure. This is, however, a bold statement to make. We must not forget that the best leaders and the worst leaders are often very similar.