History Quiz / British PM by Short Description

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Can you pick the British Prime Minister when given a paragraph from their entry on the UK government website?

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Prime MinisterExtract
 'His government became known for being strong and efficient, and he skilfully ensured that it embraced all wings of the Liberal party. The Liberals went on to win the 1906 election. Following this win, he restored independence to the Transvaal and the Orange Free State (both parts of South Africa), and clashed with the Lords over an Education Bill.'
 'Despite the Second World War leaving Britain effectively bankrupt, he managed the creation of the National Health Service, part of the Welfare State that sought to provide ‘cradle to the grave’ care for British citizens.'
 'Her first 2 years in office were not easy - unemployment was very high, but the economy gradually showed improvement. She brought more of her supporters into the Cabinet, and added to her reputation by leading the country to war against Argentina in the Falkland Islands.'
 'His appreciated the relationship between war and trading success and chose his military campaigns to increase national trade. Conquering India, Canada, the West Indies and West Africa were all immensely beneficial to Britain’s merchants.'
 'At just 24 years old, [Name] , son of Pitt the Elder, was the youngest Prime Minister in history. He died aged only 46. He was exhausted by the demands of an office whose modern conception he helped to establish, and of a peculiarly threatening international situation which frustrated many of his political goals.'
 '...the legacy of his government was the abolition of resale price maintenance, which enabled the cut price stickers on goods we see today. The reform - led by President of the Board of Trade Edward Heath - faced opposition within the party, but [name] held firm and the bill was eventually passed.'
 '[Name] held major political office for nearly 4 decades, the ultimate insider of 18th-century British politics. He was both Secretary of State and First Lord of the Treasury. Although a member of the House of Lords, he exerted considerable influence in the Commons as the patron of several boroughs.'
 '[Name] always thought of himself as a Whig. However he was an important figure in a realignment of British politics which laid the foundation of Tory government in the early nineteenth century. This gave him a significance far greater than his 2 brief spells as prime minister would suggest.'
 'He attracted scandal for his indiscreet personal life and love of pleasure, but his career was saved by his wife’s own indiscretions, which allowed him to divorce her.'
 '[Name] also had a close relationship to the monarch. He was Queen Victoria’s first Prime Minister, and she trusted him greatly. Their close relationship was founded in his responsibility for tutoring her in the world of politics and instructing her in her role, but ran much deeper than this suggests. Queen Victoria came to regard [name] as a mentor and personal friend, and he was given a private apartment at Windsor Castle.'
 'Although he generally avoided controversial domestic reforms, [name] was instrumental in getting Parliament to approve the creation of the Divorce Court in 1857. Before this, people wanting a divorce had had to get a private act of Parliament passed.'
 'He met German chancellor Adolf Hitler in Munich 1938, the result of which was an agreement that Britain and Germany would never again go to war. He declared on his return to the UK “I believe it is peace for our time”. However, the success of ‘appeasement’ was short-lived, as Hitler occupied Prague the following year.'
 'Under his direction, the colony of Rhodesia (today’s Zimbabwe) was established, with its capital city named '[name]'. The Prime Minister’s diplomatic skills were demonstrated in 1890 to 1891, through a settlement reached with the other European imperial powers over African territories.'
 '[Name]'s government lost its majority of seats in Parliament on his first day in office. This forced him to rely upon the support of the Liberal Party during 1977 to 1978, and then the Scottish National Party for the remainder of the government. It is for this reason that the 1979 referendum on the devolution of powers to Scotland was produced, which was narrowly defeated by the Scottish voters.'
 'The 9/11 terrorist attacks became defining moments for [name] and his legacy. He allied with the USA and President Bush over the need to confront militant Islamism, first in Afghanistan in 2001 and then, much more controversially, in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq.'
 'A new tax on cider increased his unpopularity and stoked fears that George III was more authoritarian than his predecessors. Even after his resignation, it was claimed that [name] continued to influence the king.'
 '[Names]'s 'Tranquility Manifesto’ was an attempt to allow Britain to recover from war damage. Though elected, he lasted just 209 days in office. He resigned in May 1923 due to ill health, and died of throat cancer 6 months later.'
 '[Name] enjoys the unfortunate distinction of being the only British Prime Minister to die at the hands of an assassin. His political career coincided with a period of upheaval created by the French Revolution. Having pursued a successful legal career, he was slowly drawn into politics.'
 'A champion of economic planning and a moderniser at heart, as living standards and prosperity in Britain increased he was able to claim that the British public had “never had it so good”. Dubbed ‘Supermac’, the Conservative party increased its majority in the October 1959 General Election.'
 'He was troubled by domestic problems, though. His agreement to the independence of the South of Ireland was reluctant, and he presided over a period of depression, unemployment and strikes. There were also concerns that he was eager for war in Turkey, and serious allegations that he had sold honours. As a result of the many scandals he had attracted his popularity faded.'
 'On 8 August 1827, after spending barely 5 months in office, [name] died suddenly from pneumonia at Chiswick House. His last words were ‘Spain and Portugal’.'
 '[Name] was a successful Speaker of the House of Commons. His tenure as First Lord of the Treasury was short and he died in office. He came to prominence after Sir Robert Walpole’s lengthy administration and was only ever seen as a temporary replacement.'
 '[Name], who also adopted the self-created position of Minister for Defence, was active both in administrative and diplomatic functions in prosecuting the British war effort. Some of his most memorable speeches were given in this period, and are credited with stimulating British morale during periods of great hardship.'
 'In 1845, he faced the defining challenge of his career. Failed harvests led much of the population to call for the repeal of the 30-year-old Corn Laws, which banned the import of cheap foreign grain - a crisis triggered by the Irish potato famine. Unable to send sufficient food to Ireland to stem the famine, he eventually decided the Corn Laws must be repealed out of humanity.'
 In the first-ever Labour government, the survival of [name]’s small Commons majority depended on the good will of opposition parties. This difficult situation prompted him to call an election. During the campaign a newspaper published the notorious ‘Zinoviev letter’. Although later accepted to be a fraud, the letter ruined [name]’s anti-Communist credentials. His Labour administration was then heavily defeated in the election.'
 'His imposition of new duties on the American colonies helped provoke the outbreak of the American War of Independence.'
 '[Name] was unfairly branded ‘the Jesuit of Berkeley Square’ on account of his reputation as a dissembler. His reformist inclinations, political independence and vituperative speeches certainly made him a difficult colleague, with more appeal to posterity than to his contemporary politicians.'
Prime MinisterExtract
 'Five months into the new parliament, [name] was forced to abandon a leading part of his economic policy: membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism. Intended to keep inflation low by linking exchange rates to the Deutschmark, the markets forced the UK out after government spent billions trying to buck the market.'
 '[Name] was a skilled administrator and financial manager. He had to find the resources to fund the War of the Austrian succession and was always very mindful of the costs of war and diplomacy.'
 'His imperialist designs in foreign policy, such as expansion of the fleet, were defeated by disagreements within the Liberal Party, while the House of Lords stopped the Liberals’ domestic legislation. His government lasted only 15 months, falling in June 1895 over a vote of censure on military supplies.'
 'When Lord Salisbury retired, [name] became Prime Minister, but his cabinet split on the free trade issue and his relations with the king were poor. Defeats in the Commons and in by-elections led to his resignation in December 1905.'
 '[Name]'s historical reputation owes less to his brief spell as Prime Minister than to his later career as a famously reactionary Home Secretary after becoming Viscount Sidmouth.'
 'His controversial handling of the Suez crisis in 1956 ultimately proved to be his downfall. After the nationalisation of the Suez canal by the Egyptian nationalist Colonel Abdul Nasser, [name], fearing a new Arab alliance would cut off oil supplies to Europe, conspired with France and Israel in order to retake the canal.'
 'Despite the brevity of his time as Prime Minister, [name]'s extended political career highlights the shifting patterns of British political alignments in the later Hanoverian period. As premier, he was responsible for one of the most important legislative measures of the early nineteenth century, the abolition of the slave trade in 1807.'
 'In February 1886, aged 76, he became Prime Minister for the third time. Working in alliance with the Irish Nationalists, he immediately introduced an Irish Home Rule Bill, proposing a parliament for Ireland. It was defeated, and he lost the General Election held in July 1886.'
 'He was First Lord of the Treasury for over twenty years, an unusually long period in office by any standard. During this time he played an important role in restoring government credit after the the South Sea Bubble financial crisis.'
 '[Name] was a compromise choice as First Lord of the Treasury. His tenure coincided with a period of political infighting and external threat. [Name]’s status as a major landowner and his membership of a major political family allowed him to look after the affairs of state while the Duke of Newcastle and William Pitt the elder resolved their differences.
 'Responsibility for failing to manage the Crimean War efficiently was pinned on [name] personally. Attempts to hold an inquiry into the conduct of the war led to his resignation in 1855.'
 'His willingness to criticise government policy in America ensured that he remained in the political wilderness during the American War.'
 '[Name] was long regarded as a failure as Prime Minister due to his association with Britain’s catastrophic defeat in the American War of Independence (1775 to 1783). He was also condemned by opponents as complicit in a reassertion of royal power against Parliament. However [name] is more justly appreciated as an outstanding parliamentarian and potentially great premier brought low, like so many others, by ‘events’.'
 'As Prime Minister, [name] presided over a period of national upheaval, with the issues of Irish Home Rule and women’s suffrage dominating the era. He also brought Britain into the First World War.'
 '[Name]'s most remarkable achievement was the Reform Act of 1832, which set in train a gradual process of electoral change, sowing the seeds of the system we recognise today. Around 130 years of parliamentary reform began with this act and culminated in universal suffrage for men and women over 18, secret ballots and legitimate constituencies.'
 'As early as December the monarch was exploring alternative options, and when news of this leaked to the press the ministry began to fragment. The final denouement came in an interview with the King on 8 January 1828 at which [name] was humiliatingly asked to arrange his own replacement. The meeting, according to some reports, literally ended in tears, one source of [name's] less flattering nickname, ‘the Blubberer’.'
 'It was from this point that the trade unions sensed they could seize the initiative. [Name]'s attempts to weaken their power had failed, and when their pay demands were not met, they went out on strike. Particularly crippling were the miners’ strikes of 1972 and 1974, the second of which led to the 3-day week, when electricity was limited to 3 consecutive days’ use.'
 'The greatest challenge he faced in office was the worldwide financial crisis and the following recession. In April 2009, he hosted the G20 Summit in London where world leaders pledged to make an additional $1.1 trillion available to help the world economy through the crisis and restore credit, growth and jobs.'
 '[Name] started his career as a Whig. He resigned from Lord Melbourne’s government in 1834 in opposition to plans to reform the Irish Church and later joined the Tory party. [Name] presided over the introduction of the Second Reform Act in 1867, which significantly increased the size of the urban electorate.'
 'When sterling crises continued, [name] was forced to devalue the pound in November 1967. Two months later, his government reluctantly announced Britain’s gradual withdrawal from the strategically important East of Suez. Despite his initial hesitation, [name] recognised the value of membership of the European Economic Community, but his 1967 application was unsuccessful.'
 'Faced in late 1936 with King Edward VIII’s proposed marriage to the twice-divorced Mrs Wallis Simpson, which met widespread disapproval, he took the lead in making it plain that if the king persisted he should give up the throne. His management of this abdication crisis was highly praised.'
 'During his time as Prime Minister, his government led the way on the equalities agenda by passing the UK’s same sex marriage act. He also held three national referendums. The first in 2011, known as the alternative vote referendum, asked whether the current existing method of electing MPs should remain for future general elections.'
 '[Name]'s following ‘Six Acts’ limited the right to hold radical meetings. This crackdown on liberty prompted an attempt by radicals in 1820 to murder [name] and his Cabinet, and start a radical revolution. But the Cato Street Conspiracy (as it became known) proved unsuccessful, and the conspirators were hung or transported.'
 'He was given the title '[name]' in 1814, and went on to command his most celebrated campaigns in the Napoleonic Wars, with final victory at Waterloo in 1815. When he returned to Britain he was treated as a hero, formally honoured, and presented with both an estate in Hampshire and a fortune of £400,000.'
 '[Name]'s government acquired a reputation for weakness, especially in economic policy. He had to compromise significantly on the social and Irish reform that he wanted to be his legacy, though Acts of 1847 and 1850 imposed a limit on working hours in factories, state grants to schools were significantly increased in 1847, and the 1848 Public Health Act forced localities to tackle sewerage and drainage.'
 'The premiership saw the passing of a large amount of social legislation: the 1875 Climbing Boys Act reinforced the ban on employing juvenile chimney sweeps; the 1875 Artisans Dwelling Act allowed local authorities to destroy slums, though this was voluntary, and provided housing for the poor. In the same year the Public Health Act provided sanitation such as running water and refuse disposal.'

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