Stanley Baldwin

From Academic Kids

Periods in Office: May, 1923 - January, 1924
November, 1924 - June, 1929
May, 1935 - May, 1937
PM Predecessors: Andrew Bonar Law
Ramsay MacDonald (twice)
PM Successors: Ramsay MacDonald (twice)
Neville Chamberlain
Date of Birth: 3 August 1867
Place of Birth: Bewdley, Worcestershire
Political Party: Conservative
Retirement honour: Hereditary Peerage

Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley (August 3, 1867 - December 14, 1947) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on three separate occasions.


Early life

Born at Bewdley in Worcestershire, he was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge (where he received a third class degree in history), and went into the family business. In the 1906 general election he contested Kidderminster but lost amidst an anti-Conservative landslide. In 1908 he succeeded his deceased father as MP for Bewdley. During the First World War he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Conservative leader Andrew Bonar Law and in 1917 he was appointed to the junior ministerial post of Financial Secretary to the Treasury where he sought to encourage voluntary donations by the rich in order the repay the United Kingdom's war debt, notably writing to The Times under the peusdonym 'FST'. In 1921 he was promoted to the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade in 1921.

In late 1922 dissatisfaction grew within the Conservative Party about the coalition it was in with David Lloyd George. At a meeting of Conservative MPs at the Carlton Club in October Baldwin announced that he would no longer support the coalition and famously condemned Lloyd George for being a "dynamic force" that was bringing destruction across politics. The meeting chose to leave the coalition despite the views of most of the party leadership. As a result the Conservatives' new leader, Andrew Bonar Law was forced to find new ministers for his Cabinet and so he promoted Baldwin to the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer. In November a general election was held and the Conservatives were returned with a majoirty.

First appointment as Prime Minister

Missing image
Arms of Stanley Baldwin

In May 1923, when Bonar Law discovered that he was dying of cancer, he retired immediately. Due to many of the party's leading figures' standing aloof from the government, there were only two candidates to succeed him — Lord Curzon, the Foreign Secretary, and Stanley Baldwin. The choice formally fell to King George V acting on the advice of senior ministers and officials. It is not entirely clear what factors were the most crucial, but many felt that Curzon was unsuitable to be Prime Minister, due to his being a member of the House of Lords (though this did nor stop other Lords being seriously considered for the premiership on subsequent occasions). Likewise, his lack of experience in domestic affairs, his personal character, which many found objectional, and his aristocratic background at a time when the Conservative Party sought to shed its image as bastion of the establishment, were deemed as impediments to his advancement. The king then turned to Baldwin to become Prime Minister. Initially Baldwin also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer whilst he sought to recruit the former Liberal Chancellor Reginald McKenna to join the government, but when this failed he instead appointed Neville Chamberlain.

The Conservatives had a clear majority in the House of Commons and could govern for another four years before being contitutional required to hold a new general election, but Baldwin felt bound by a pledge given by Bonar Law at the previous election that there would be no introduction of tariffs without a further election. With the country facing growing unemployment due to cheap imports, Baldwin decided to call an early general election in December 1923 to seek a mandate to introduce protectionist tariffs. Although this succeeded in reuniting his divided party, the election produced an inconclusive outcome. The Conservatives won 258 MPs, the Labour Party 191 and the Liberals 159. Whilst the Conservatives retained a plurality in the House of Commons, they had been clearly defeated on the central election issue of unemployment. Baldwin remained Prime Minister until the opening session of the new Parliament in January 1924 when the government was defeated on a confidence vote and he resigned immediately.

Return to office

Missing image
Cover of Time Magazine (August 10, 1925)

For the next ten months a minority Labour government was in office but it too fell and a further general election was held in October 1924. This election resulted in a landslide majority of 223 for the Conservatives, primarily at the expense of the Liberals who lost ground due to a depleted organisation and limited funds. Baldwin became Prime Minister again and remained in office until 1929. This period included the General Strike of 1926, a crisis which the government managed to weather, despite the havoc it caused nationally. In 1931 he and the Conservatives entered into a coalition with Labour Party Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. This decision led to MacDonald's expulsion from his own party, and Baldwin, as Lord President of the Council became de facto Prime Minister for the increasingly senile MacDonald over the next four years, when he, once again, became Prime Minister. During his third term of office, from 1935 to 1937, his foreign policy was much criticised, and he also faced the problem of the abdication of King Edward VIII. With this successfully achieved he retired after the coronation of the new King George VI and was created Earl Baldwin of Bewdley.


Baldwin was a cousin of the author and journalist Rudyard Kipling.

First Government, May 1923 - January 1924


  • 1923 - Neville Chamberlain took over from Baldwin as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sir William Joynson Hicks succeeded Chamberlain as Minister of Health. Joynson-Hicks' successor as Financial Secretary to the Treasury was not in the Cabinet. Hello

Second Cabinet, November 1924 - June 1929


  • 1925 On Lord Curzon of Kedleston's death, Lord Balfour succeeded him as Lord President. W. Guinness succeeded E.F.L. Wood as Minister of Agriculture. The post of Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs is created and held by Leo Amery in tandem with Secretary of State for the Colonies.
  • 1926 - The post of Secretary of Scotland is upgraded to Secretary of State for Scotland.
  • 1927 - Lord Cushendun succeeded Lord Cecil of Chelwood as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
  • 1928 - Lord Hailsham (former Sir D. Hogg) succeeded Lord Cave as Lord Chancellor. Lord Hailsham's successor as Attorney-General was not in the Cabinet. Lord Peel succeeded Lord Birkenhead as Secretary of State for India. Lord Londonderry succeeded Lord Peel as First Commissioner of Public Works

Third Cabinet, May 1935 - May 1937


  • November 1935 - Malcolm MacDonald succeeds J.H. Thomas as Dominions Secretary. Thomas succeeds MacDonald as Colonial Secretary. Lord Halifax succeeds Lord Londonderry as Lord Privy Seal. Duff Cooper succeeds Lord Halifax as Secretary for War. Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister becomes Viscount Swinton and Bolton Eyres-Monsell becomes Viscount Monsell, both remaining in the Cabinet.
  • December 1935 Anthony Eden succeeds Sir Samuel Hoare as Foreign Secretary and is not replaced as Minister without Portfolio.
  • 1936 - Sir Thomas Inskip enters the cabinet as Minister for the Coordination of Defense. Lord Eustace Percy leaves the cabinet. William Ormsby-Gore succeeds J.H. Thomas as Colonial Secretary. Lord Stanhope succeeds Ormsby-Gore as First Commissioner of Works. Elliott succeeds Collins as Secretary for Scotland. William Shepherd Morrison succeeds Elliott as Minister of Agriculture. Samuel Hoare succeeds Lord Monsell as First Lord of the Admiralty. Leslie Hore-Belisha enters the Cabinet as Minister of Transport.

Preceded by:
Sir Robert Horne
President of the Board of Trade
Succeeded by:
Sir Philip Lloyd-Greame
Preceded by:
Sir Robert Horne
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by:
Neville Chamberlain

Template:Succession box one by three to two Template:Succession box two to two

Preceded by:
The Lord Parmoor
Lord President of the Council
Succeeded by:
Ramsay MacDonald
Preceded by:
The Viscount Snowden
Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by:
Anthony Eden

Template:Succession box two to two Template:End box

Preceded by:
New Creation
Earl Baldwin of Bewdley Succeeded by:
Oliver Baldwin
de:Stanley Baldwin

fr:Stanley Baldwin ja:スタンリー・ボールドウィン sv:Stanley Baldwin


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