FACTOID # 16: In the 2000 Presidential Election, Texas gave Ralph Nader the 3rd highest popular vote count of any US state.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > James Ramsay MacDonald
The Right Hon. Ramsay MacDonald
Image:Ramseymac.jpg
Periods in Office: 22 January 1924 - 4 November 1924
5 June 1929 - 7 June 1935
PM Predecessor: Stanley Baldwin, both times
PM Successor: Stanley Baldwin, both times
Date of Birth: 12 October 1866
Place of Birth: Lossiemouth, Scotland
Political Parties: Labour; National Labour

James Ramsay MacDonald (October 12, 1866 - November 9, 1937) was Britain's first Labour Prime Minister (January-November 1924 and June 1929-August 1931) and subsequently Prime Minister of the "National" Government of August 1931-June 1935.

Contents

Biography

Born at Lossiemouth in Scotland, he was from very humble beginnings and had no secondary education, but was a rousing speaker. A member of the Independent Labour Party from 1893 and subsequently of the broader Labour Party, he entered Parliament in 1906, and became leader of the Labour Party in 1911. In August 1914 he resigned the party leadership in opposition to World War I, subsequently losing his parliamentary seat.


Returned to Parliament at the November 1922 general election, he was re-elected Party leader. On January 22, 1924, after the failure of the Conservative government under Stanley Baldwin to win a majority of parliamentary seats at the previous month's election, MacDonald formed a minority Labour government with Liberal Party support. He served as both Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary However the government only lasted until November 4 of the same year, when Baldwin returned to office following an election marked by controversy over the Zinoviev Letter.


MacDonald took office as prime minister again on June 7, 1929,this time as leader of the largest party in Parliament, but still without an overall majority and dependent on Liberal support. The economic and financial crisis of 1931 split the government between advocates and opponents of stringent government spending cuts, MacDonald and senior colleagues joining with the Conservatives and Liberals in a "National Government" (August 24). Most of the Labour rank-and-file went into opposition, denouncing MacDonald as a "rat" and a traitor to the Labour Party. His position was further weakened in 1932 and 1933 when the Liberals slowly detached their support for the government and came to a position of complete opposition, even though part of the Liberal Party remained as the Liberal Nationals. However to many MacDonald appeared the mere puppet leader of a Conservative administration in disguise. He was deeply wounded by these attacks and the difficulties of governing over such a disastrous period and his health, both physical and mental, suffered over the next few years as a result. MacDonald surrendered the premiership of an increasingly Conservative-dominated government to Baldwin on June 7, 1935. He remained in the government as Lord President of the Council but proved increasingly ineffective over the next two years. In the 1935 general election he lost his parliamentary seat by over 21,000 votes to Emanuel Shinwell. MacDonald returned to the House of Commons for the Scottish Universities seat, though he had previously called for its abolition, and finally left office in May 1937. He declined all honours and sought a peaceful retirement. In November 1937, whilst travelling to South America for a long rest he was taken ill and died.


MacDonald's legacy is a mixed one, with few willing to praise his achievements. More than anyone else he transformed the Labour Party from the representatives of a section of British society into one of the two major political parties competing for office. His moderate course of politics has been followed by every subsequent successful Labour Prime Minister. However for many he remains the villain of the 1931 crisis who disrupted the steady rise of the Labour Party by forming a coalition against it. To this day he remains probably the most internally villified figure in the history of the Labour Party.


He was survived by his children, one of whom, Malcolm MacDonald, had a successful career as a Cabinet Minister in his own right.


Ramsay MacDonald's first Labour government, January - November 1924

Ramsay MacDonald's second Labour government, June 1929 - August 1931

Changes

  • 1930 - J.H. Thomas succeeds Lord Passfield as Dominions Secretary. Passfield remains Colonial Secretary. Vernon Hartshorn succeeds Thomas as Lord Privy Seal. Lord Amulree succeeds Lord Thomson as Secretary of State for Air. Christopher Addison succeeds N. Buxton as Minister of Agriculture.
  • 1931 - H.B. Lees-Smith succeeds Sir C.P. Trevelyan at the Board of Education. Herbert Morrison enters the cabinet as Minister of Transport.

Ramsay MacDonald's first national government, August - November 1931

  • Ramsay MacDonald - Prime Minister and Leader of the House of Commons
  • Lord Sankey - Lord Chancellor
  • Stanley Baldwin - Lord President
  • Philip Snowden - Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Sir Herbert Samuel - Home Secretary
  • Lord Reading - Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of Lords
  • Sir Samuel Hoare - Secretary for India
  • J.H. Thomas - Dominions Secretary and Colonial Secretary
  • Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister - President of the Board of Trade
  • Neville Chamberlain - Minister of Health

Ramsay MacDonald's second national government, November 1931 - May 1935

  • Ramsay MacDonald - Prime Minister and Leader of the House of Commons
  • Lord Sankey - Lord Chancellor
  • Stanley Baldwin - Lord President
  • Lord Snowden - Lord Privy Seal
  • Neville Chamberlain - Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Sir Herbert Samuel - Home Secretary
  • Sir John Simon - Foreign Secretary
  • Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister - Colonial Secretary
  • J.H. Thomas - Dominions Secretary
  • Lord Hailsham - Secretary of State for War and Leader of the House of Lords
  • Sir Samuel Hoare - Secretary of State for India
  • Lord Londonderry - Secretary for Air
  • Sir Archibald Sinclair - Secretary of State for Scotland
  • Sir B. Eyres-Monsell - First Lord of the Admiralty
  • Walter Runciman - President of the Board of Trade
  • Sir John Gilmour - Minister of Agriculture
  • Sir D. Maclean - President of the Board of Education
  • Sir Henry Betterton - Minister of Labour
  • Sir E. Hilton-Young - Minister of Health
  • William Ormsby-Gore - First Commissioner of Works

Changes

  • 1932 - Stanley Baldwin succeeds Lord Snowden as Lord Privy Seal. Sir John Gilmour succeeds Sir Herbert Samuel as Home Secretary. Sir Godfrey Collins succeeds Sir Archibald Sinclair as Scottish Secretary. Walter Elliot succeeds Sir John Gilmour as Minister of Agriculture. Lord Irwin succeeds Sir Donald Maclean as President of the Board of Education.
  • 1933 - Stanley Baldwin ceases to be Lord Privy Seal, and his successor in that office is not in the cabinet. He continues as Lord President. Kingsley Wood enters the cabinet as Postmaster-General.
  • 1934 - Oliver Stanley succeeds Sir H. Betterton as Minister of Labour.


Preceded by:
George Nicoll Barnes
Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party
1911–1914
Succeeded by:
Arthur Henderson
Preceded by:
John Robert Clynes
Leader of the British Labour Party
1922–1931
Succeeded by:
Arthur Henderson
Preceded by:
Stanley Baldwin
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
1924
Succeeded by:
Stanley Baldwin
Leader of the House of Commons
1924
Preceded by:
The Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
Foreign Secretary
1924
Succeeded by:
Sir Austen Chamberlain
Preceded by:
Stanley Baldwin
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
1929–1935
Succeeded by:
Stanley Baldwin
Leader of the House of Commons
1929–1935
Preceded by:
Stanley Baldwin
Lord President of the Council
1935–1937
Succeeded by:
The Viscount Halifax



  Results from FactBites:
 
Ramsay MacDonald - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2681 words)
MacDonald was born in Lossiemouth, in Moray in northern Scotland, the illegitimate son of John MacDonald, a farm labourer, and Anne Ramsay, a housemaid.
MacDonald took the post of Foreign Secretary as well as Prime Minister, and made it clear that his main priority was to undo the damage which he believed had been caused by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, by settling the reparations issue and coming to terms with Germany.
MacDonald's second government was in a stronger parliamentary position than his first, and during 1930 he was able to pass a revised Old Age Pensions Act, a more generous Unemployment Insurance Act and an act to improve wages and conditions in the coal industry, which had been the issues behind the General Strike.
MacDonald, Ramsay. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05 (393 words)
In foreign affairs, however, MacDonald helped secure acceptance of the Dawes Plan and sponsored the Geneva Protocol (later rejected by the Conservative government), which provided for compulsory arbitration of international disputes.
In 1929, MacDonald became prime minister in the second Labour government.
In 1935 he resigned the prime ministership to Stanley Baldwin and became lord president of the council.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m