The early life, business career and political rise of Neville Chamberlain culminated on 28 May 1937, when he was summoned to Buckingham Palace to "kiss hands" and accept the office of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Chamberlain had long been regarded as Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin's political heir, and when Baldwin announced his retirement, Chamberlain was seen as the only possible successor.

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dbo:abstract
  • The early life, business career and political rise of Neville Chamberlain culminated on 28 May 1937, when he was summoned to Buckingham Palace to "kiss hands" and accept the office of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Chamberlain had long been regarded as Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin's political heir, and when Baldwin announced his retirement, Chamberlain was seen as the only possible successor. Chamberlain was born in 1869; his father was the politician and future Cabinet minister, Joseph Chamberlain. He was educated at Rugby School and Mason College (now Birmingham University); at neither institution was he particularly successful. After a period in a firm of chartered accountants, the younger Chamberlain spent six years in the Bahamas managing a sisal plantation in a failed attempt to recoup the family fortunes. After returning to England in 1897, Chamberlain became a successful businessman in his home city of Birmingham. He was interested in social affairs, and successfully stood for Birmingham City Council in 1911. He became Lord Mayor of Birmingham in 1915. His second term was interrupted in December 1916 when Prime Minister David Lloyd George asked him to become Director of National Service. Chamberlain received little support from Lloyd George in the post, and his eight-month tenure sparked a hatred between the two which lasted Chamberlain's lifetime. In 1918, Chamberlain was elected to the House of Commons, at age 49 the oldest man to enter Parliament and later become Prime Minister. After four years on the backbenches, Chamberlain saw rapid promotion, briefly becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer after less than a year as a minister. Chamberlain subsequently spent five years as Minister of Health, securing the passage of many reforming acts. After two years in opposition, Chamberlain became part of Ramsay MacDonald's National Government, and spent five and a half years as Chancellor, directing Britain's financial policies as the nation emerged from the Depression. When Baldwin (who had replaced MacDonald as Prime Minister in 1935) retired in 1937, Chamberlain succeeded him. (en)
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  • 1869-03-18 (xsd:date)
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  • Arthur Neville Chamberlain (en)
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  • 1940-11-09 (xsd:date)
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  • 1940-01-01 (xsd:date)
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  • The early life, business career and political rise of Neville Chamberlain culminated on 28 May 1937, when he was summoned to Buckingham Palace to "kiss hands" and accept the office of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Chamberlain had long been regarded as Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin's political heir, and when Baldwin announced his retirement, Chamberlain was seen as the only possible successor. (en)
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  • Rise of Neville Chamberlain (en)
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  • Neville Chamberlain (en)
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