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In 1945, he became the MP from Bromley. SV. The subsequent French veto (Jan. 29, 1963) of Great Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community was a severe blow to Macmillan. Boris Johnson is the Prime Minister since 24 July 2019. The 1930s were crucial for his political career, as this was the time he became ideologically close to Winston Churchill. His liberal mindset and his anti-appeasement policies quickly made him a respected leader of the country. I think it was under him that house building reached record levels. Despite this, he won a seat from Stockton-on-Tees in 1924. By the mid-50s, he had become the fittest prime ministerial candidate from the ‘Conservative Party.’ In 1957, following the resignation of Anthony Eden, Harold became the prime minister. Macmillan himself supervised the conduct of foreign policy as prime minister. This helped him gain significance in national politics. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Harold Macmillan, who was prime minister from 1957 to 1963, believed in fidelity, loved his wife, and was heartbroken when she died. His great career was addressed by US President Ronald Reagan. His last words were, "I think I will go to sleep now".' There his efforts to secure good relations with Dwight D. Eisenhower, Charles de Gaulle, and other high Allied officers improved his skills as a politician. His party was becoming undisciplined and unmanageable by the mid 90s after so long in power and he might have benefited from being a little harder on them, but overall a good prime minister despite his public image. The ‘Conservative Party’ was shaken after Britain’s application to the ‘European Economic Community’ (EEC). The family ensured their children received top-notch education. Lady Dorothy Evelyn Macmillan GBE (née Cavendish; 28 July 1900 – 21 May 1966) was an English socialite and the third daughter of Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire, and Evelyn Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire.She was married to Harold Macmillan from 1920 until her death. He openly supported Churchill’s stance on non-appeasement, and this support did not go unrewarded. His zone was suffering from a high level of unemployment, which cost him his seat in the parliament. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Harold-Macmillan, Spartacus Educational - Biography of Harold Macmillan, Harold Macmillan - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). The party could not take this blow and split up soon. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. His mother, Helen Belles, was an artist and a socialite. Thus, the supreme leaders of his party were unhappy with him. Macmillan refused a peerage and retired from the House of Commons in September 1964. His father, Maurice Crawford Macmillan, worked as a publisher. Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was a British Conservative politician and statesman who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 19 October 1963. Harold Macmillan emerged as … While his father was mostly busy with the family business, Harold’s mother took care of his education. Eden's resignation left him as the clear choice of his Cabinet colleagues to become Prime Minister. In the early 1960s, he made several popular speeches on the virtues of independence and granted freedom to several African countries such as Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Uganda. Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, later Lord Salisbury (1830–1903) Party: Conservative. Harold Macmillan, Britain’s Prime Minister from 1956 to 1962 (the period bracketed by Suez and Profumo), was without doubt the most important and influential figure in British politics since Churchill. Therefore, in practice, what is decided in the House of Commons is the decisive event. Rumors claimed that Sarah Heath, their youngest daughter, was not Harold’s biological daughter. After completing school, Harold attended ‘Balliol College,’ one of the colleges of the prestigious ‘University of Oxford’ and joined many political societies. Nicknamed "Supermac," he was known for his pragmatism, wit and unflappability. He then began producing his memoirs: Winds of Change, 1914–1939 (1966); The Blast of War, 1939–1945 (1967); Tides of Fortune, 1945–1955 (1969); Riding the Storm, 1956–1959 (1971); Pointing the Way, 1959–1961 (1972); At the End of the Day, 1961–63 (1973); and The Past Masters: Politics and Politicians, 1906–1939 (1975). However, Harold’s political understanding had him reaping benefits out of it, despite the fact that he had also been responsible for the debacle. Share with your friends. Harold served in the World War as one of the grenadier guards in early 1915. Updates? Macmillan served in the Grenadier Guards during the First World War. He ventured into politics once the war was over. CU. He made you Prime Minister and me an under-secretary. Keystone Pictures USA /Alamy stock photo. https://www.biography.com/news/queen-elizabeth-and-her-prime-ministers Prime Minister Harold 'Supermac' Macmillan distanced the UK from apartheid, sped up the process of decolonisation and was heavily involved in negotiating the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The erstwhile prime minister, Anthony Eden, decided that resignation was the best course of action in such circumstances, and he subsequently resigned. Harold died at ‘Birch Grove,’ the family mansion in East Sussex, on December 29, 1986. He attended Oxford, studying history, philosophy, politics, and economics, and at 24 married his sweetheart, … He was appointed prime minister on Jan. 10, 1957, following the resignation of Eden in the wake of the Suez crisis, and was elected leader of the Conservative Party 12 days later. Similar to Johnson, Macmillan had come to the Conservative Party leadership as a result of his predecessor, Anthony Eden’s resignation. He had several conferences with presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, and he visited Nikita S. Khrushchev in Moscow (February 1959). Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). He embarked on a historical tour called the ‘Winds of Change Tour’ across Africa in 1960. He then became the minister of defense and a foreign secretary. He was born and raised in London and completed his education from the ‘University of Oxford.’ He was always an admirer of the policies of liberalism adopted by a few British politicians of that era. For most of his term Macmillan had been held in high esteem by his party. Harold Macmillan’s famous declaration that “most of our people have never had it so good” came in July 1957 at a time when the country was riding high on the post-war economic boom. But in the early phase of his career this background could be seriously misleading. In 1957 Harold Macmillan took over as Prime Minister after Anthony Eden fell on his sword following the disaster of the Suez Crisis, when British troops were forced to withdraw from the Suez Canal and hand it back to Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel … He led the Conservative Party to a resounding victory in the 1959 general election by effectively contrasting Britain’s prewar unemployment with its postwar full employment under the slogan “You’ve never had it so good.”. The erstwhile prime minister, Anthony Eden, decided that resignation was the best course of action in such circumstances, and he subsequently resigned. During the later years of the Second World War, he had become very close to Churchill. He became the MP despite the troubles, but he could not continue in the next elections. Harold Macmillan, in full Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden, (born Feb. 10, 1894, London, Eng.—died Dec. 29, 1986, Birch Grove, Sussex), British politician who was prime minister from January 1957 to October 1963. Although he lost in 1929, he came back to power two years later. The procedure Edit. Watching the problems in extricating the United Kingdom from the European Union reminded me that a humiliating failure to secure entry to that same entity’s predecessor was one of the things that drove Macmillan from office. He rose through the political ranks. He passed away in December 1986. https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person/mp05788/harold-macmillan-1st-earl-of-stockton, https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw98602/Harold-Macmillan-1st-Earl-of-Stockton, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVUX8TlrZKs, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7ySKryGldo, http://home.bt.com/news/uk-news/pm-macmillan-asked-minister-to-look-into-claims-of-brainwashing-captured-spies-11364012445536. As member of Parliament for Stockton-on-Tees after 1924, he was no orthodox Conservative. Harold initially attended ‘Mr. Quotations by Harold MacMillan, English Politician, Born February 10, 1894. He gained experience and secured good relations with people there. He was aged 92 years and 322 days—the greatest age attained by a British Prime Minister until surpassed by James Callaghan on 14 February 2005.His grandson and heir Alexander, Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden, said: 'In the last 48 hours he was very weak but entirely reasonable and intelligent. By this point, the Prime Minister’s … At the time of his death, he was the longest-lived prime minister in British history, a record surpassed by James Callaghan in February 2005. On receiving t… By 1962, however, his government was looking tired. Harold Macmillan - 1963. Interior Mr. Harold Macmillan sitting at his desk. The Nassau agreement (December 1962) between Macmillan and Kennedy, that the United States should furnish nuclear missiles for British submarines, enraged Charles de Gaulle, who then was head of the French state and who insisted on a Europe uncontrolled by the United States. When the World War was at rest in November 1918, Harold was still recovering from his war injuries. 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