Skip to content

Ramsay MacDonald

05/06/192907/06/1935

Ramsay MacDonald

James Ramsay MacDonald (12 October 1866 – 9 November 1937) was a British politician who was the first Labour Party member to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, leading minority Labour governments for nine months in 1924 and then in 1929–31. From 1931 to 1935, he headed a National Government dominated by the Conservative Party and supported by only a few Labour members. MacDonald was expelled from the Labour Party as a result.

MacDonald, along with Keir Hardie and Arthur Henderson, was one of the three principal founders of the Labour Party in 1900. He was chairman of the Labour MPs before 1914 and, after an eclipse in his career caused by his opposition to the First World War, he was Leader of the Labour Party from 1922. The second Labour Government (1929–31) was dominated by the Great Depression. He formed the National Government to carry out spending cuts to defend the gold standard, but it had to be abandoned after the Invergordon Mutiny, and he called a general election in 1931 seeking a "doctor's mandate" to fix the economy. The National coalition won an overwhelming landslide and the Labour Party was reduced to a rump of around 50 seats in the House of Commons. His health deteriorated and he stood down as Prime Minister in 1935, remaining as Lord President of the Council until retiring in 1937. He died later that year.

MacDonald's speeches, pamphlets and books made him an important theoretician. Historian John Shepherd states that "MacDonald's natural gifts of an imposing presence, handsome features and a persuasive oratory delivered with an arresting Highlands accent made him the iconic Labour leader". After 1931, MacDonald was repeatedly and bitterly denounced by the Labour movement as a traitor to its cause. Since the 1960s, historians have defended his reputation, emphasising his earlier role in building up the Labour Party, dealing with the Great Depression, and as a putative forerunner of the political realignments of the 1990s and 2000s.


0 comments

Comment

No comments avaliable.

Author

Info

Published in 10/09/2020

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic U.K. - Prime Ministers:


03/04/172111/02/1742Robert WalpoleRobert Walpole
16/02/174202/07/1743Spencer ComptonSpencer Compton
27/08/174306/03/1754Henry PelhamHenry Pelham
16/03/175411/11/1756Thomas Pelham-HollesThomas Pelham-Holles
16/11/175629/06/1757William CavendishWilliam Cavendish
29/06/175726/05/1762Thomas Pelham-HollesThomas Pelham-Holles
26/05/176208/04/1763John StuartJohn Stuart
16/04/176310/07/1765George GrenvilleGeorge Grenville
13/07/176530/07/1766Charles Watson-WentworthCharles Watson-Wentworth
30/07/176614/10/1768William PittWilliam Pitt
14/10/176828/01/1770Augustus FitzRoyAugustus FitzRoy
28/01/177027/03/1782Frederick NorthFrederick North
27/03/178201/07/1782Charles Watson-WentworthCharles Watson-Wentworth
04/07/178226/03/1783William PettyWilliam Petty
02/04/178318/12/1783William Cavendish-BentinckWilliam Cavendish-Bentinck
19/12/178314/03/1801William PittWilliam Pitt
17/03/180110/05/1804Henry AddingtonHenry Addington
10/05/180423/01/1806William PittWilliam Pitt
11/02/180625/03/1807William GrenvilleWilliam Grenville
31/03/180704/10/1809William Cavendish-BentinckWilliam Cavendish-Bentinck
04/10/180911/05/1812Spencer PercevalSpencer Perceval
08/06/181209/04/1827Robert JenkinsonRobert Jenkinson
12/04/182708/08/1827George CanningGeorge Canning
31/08/182708/01/1828Frederick John RobinsonFrederick John Robinson
22/01/182816/11/1830Arthur WellesleyArthur Wellesley
22/11/183009/07/1834Charles GreyCharles Grey
16/07/183414/11/1834William LambWilliam Lamb
17/11/183409/12/1834Arthur WellesleyArthur Wellesley
10/12/183408/04/1835Robert PeelRobert Peel
18/04/183530/08/1841William LambWilliam Lamb
30/08/184129/06/1846Robert PeelRobert Peel
30/06/184621/02/1852John RussellJohn Russell
23/02/185217/12/1852Edward Smith-StanleyEdward Smith-Stanley
19/12/185230/01/1855George Hamilton-GordonGeorge Hamilton-Gordon
06/02/185519/02/1858Henry John TempleHenry John Temple
20/02/185811/06/1859Edward Smith-StanleyEdward Smith-Stanley
12/06/185918/10/1865Henry John TempleHenry John Temple
29/10/186526/06/1866John RussellJohn Russell
28/06/186625/02/1868Edward Smith-StanleyEdward Smith-Stanley
27/02/186801/12/1868Benjamin DisraeliBenjamin Disraeli
03/12/186817/02/1874William Ewart GladstoneWilliam Ewart Gladstone
20/02/187421/04/1880Benjamin DisraeliBenjamin Disraeli
23/04/188009/06/1885William Ewart GladstoneWilliam Ewart Gladstone
23/06/188528/01/1886Robert Gascoyne-CecilRobert Gascoyne-Cecil
01/02/188620/07/1886William Ewart GladstoneWilliam Ewart Gladstone
25/07/188611/08/1892Robert Gascoyne-CecilRobert Gascoyne-Cecil
15/08/189202/03/1894William Ewart GladstoneWilliam Ewart Gladstone
05/03/189422/06/1895Archibald PrimroseArchibald Primrose
25/06/189511/07/1902Robert Gascoyne-CecilRobert Gascoyne-Cecil
12/07/190204/12/1905Arthur BalfourArthur Balfour
05/12/190503/04/1908Henry Campbell-BannermanHenry Campbell-Bannerman
08/04/190805/12/1916H. H. AsquithH. H. Asquith
06/12/191619/10/1922David Lloyd GeorgeDavid Lloyd George
23/10/192220/05/1923Bonar LawBonar Law
22/05/192322/01/1924Stanley BaldwinStanley Baldwin
22/01/192404/11/1924Ramsay MacDonaldRamsay MacDonald
04/11/192404/06/1929Stanley BaldwinStanley Baldwin
05/06/192907/06/1935Ramsay MacDonaldRamsay MacDonald
07/06/193528/05/1937Stanley BaldwinStanley Baldwin
28/05/193710/05/1940Neville ChamberlainNeville Chamberlain
10/05/194026/07/1945Winston ChurchillWinston Churchill
26/07/194526/10/1951Clement AttleeClement Attlee
26/10/195105/04/1955Winston ChurchillWinston Churchill
06/04/195509/01/1957Anthony EdenAnthony Eden
10/01/195718/10/1963Harold MacmillanHarold Macmillan
19/10/196316/10/1964Alec Douglas-HomeAlec Douglas-Home
16/10/196419/06/1970Harold WilsonHarold Wilson
19/06/197004/03/1974Edward HeathEdward Heath
04/03/197405/04/1976Harold WilsonHarold Wilson
05/04/197604/05/1979James CallaghanJames Callaghan
04/05/197928/11/1990Margaret ThatcherMargaret Thatcher
28/11/199002/05/1997John MajorJohn Major
02/05/199727/06/2007Tony BlairTony Blair
27/06/200711/05/2010Gordon BrownGordon Brown
11/05/201013/07/2016David CameronDavid Cameron
13/07/201624/07/2019Theresa MayTheresa May
04/07/201910/09/2020Boris JohnsonBoris Johnson