Édouard Daladier was a French Radical-Socialist politician and the Prime Minister of France at the outbreak of World War II. Daladier was born in Carpentras and began his political career before World War I. During the war, he was decorated for his service. After the war he became a leading figure in the Radical Party and Prime Minister in 1933 and 1934. Daladier was Minister of Defence from 1936 to 1940 and Prime Minister again in 1938; as head of government, he expanded the French welfare state in 1939. Along with Neville Chamberlain, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, Daladier signed the Munich Agreement in 1938, giving Germany control over the Sudetenland. After Hitler's Invasion of Poland in 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany. During the Phoney War, France's failure to aid Finland against the Soviet Union's aggression in the Winter War led to Daladier's dismissal on 21 March 1940 and replacement as Prime Minister by Paul Reynaud. Daladier remained Minister of Defence until 19 May, when he was replaced by Maxime Weygand after the French defeat at Sedan.
After the defeat of France, Daladier was tried for treason by the Vichy government in the Riom Trial and imprisoned successively in Fort du Portalet, Buchenwald concentration camp and Itter Castle. After liberation, Daladier resumed his political career as a member of the Chamber of Deputies of France from 1946 to 1958, he died in Paris on 10 October 1970. Daladier was born in Vaucluse, on 18 June 1884, the son of a village baker, he received his formal education at the Lycée Duparc in Lyon, where he was first introduced to Socialist politics. After graduation he became a school teacher and university lecturer, employed at the Nîmes, Marseilles, at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, where he taught History, he began his political career by becoming the Mayor of Carpentras, his home town, in 1912. He subsequently sought election to the Paris Chamber of Deputies but lost to a Radical Socialist Party candidate, a party that he subsequently joined. In August 1914, he was mobilized at the age of 30 with the French Army's 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment on the commencement of World War I, with the rank of sergeant, having been militarily trained before the war under France's Universal Military Service Conscription System.
In mid-1915 the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment was destroyed in heavy fighting with the Imperial German Army on the Western Front, the surviving remnant of it was assigned to other units, Daladier being transferred into the 209th Infantry Regiment. In 1916 he fought with the 209th in the Battle of Verdun, Daladier being given a field commission as a lieutenant in the midst of the battle in April 1916 having received commendations for gallantry in action. In May 1917 he received the Legion of Honour for gallantry in action, ended the war as a captain leading a company, having been awarded the Croix de Guerre. After demobilization, he was elected to the Paris Chamber of Deputies for Orange, Vaucluse in 1919, he would become known to many as "the bull of Vaucluse" because of his thick neck and large shoulders and determined look, although cynics quipped that his horns were like those of a snail. After entering the Chamber of Deputies he became a leading member of the Radical-Socialist Party, was responsible for building the party into a structured modern political party organisation.
For most of the interwar years he was the chief figure of the party's left wing, supporters of a governmental coalition with the SFIO socialist party. A government minister in various posts during the coalition governments between 1924 and 1928, he was instrumental in the Radical-Socialists' break with the Socialist Party in 1926, the first Cartel des gauches, with the centre-right Raymond Poincaré in November 1928. In 1930 he unsuccessfully attempted to gain Socialist support for a centre-left government alongside the Radical-Socialist and similar parties. In January 1934, he was considered the most candidate of the centre-left to form a government of sufficient probity to calm public opinion amidst the revelations of the Stavisky Affair corruption scandal. With Daladier fell the coalition of the left, initiating two years of government by the hard-right. After a year withdrawn from front-rank politics, Daladier returned to public prominence in October 1934, taking a populist line against the banking oligarchy he believed had taken control of French democracy: the Two Hundred Families.
He was made president of the Radical-Socialist Party and brought the party into the Popular Front coalition. Daladier became Minister of National Defence in the Léon Blum government, retaining the crucial portfolio for two years. While the forty-hour working week was abolished under Daladier's government, a more generous system of family allowances was established, set as a percentage of wages: for the first child, 5%. Created was a home-mother allowance, advocated by pronatalist and Catholic women’s groups since 1929. All mothers who were not professionally employed and whose husbands collected family allowances were eligible for this new benefit. In March 1939, the government added 10% for workers whose wives stayed home to take care of the children. Family allowances were enshrined in the Family Code of July 1939 and, wit
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
Spirit of St. Louis
The Spirit of St. Louis is the custom-built, single engine, single-seat, high wing monoplane, flown by Charles Lindbergh on May 20–21, 1927, on the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight from Long Island, New York, to Paris, for which Lindbergh won the $25,000 Orteig Prize. Lindbergh took off in the Spirit from Roosevelt Airfield, Garden City, New York, landed 33 hours, 30 minutes at Aéroport Le Bourget in Paris, France, a distance of 3,600 miles. One of the best-known aircraft in the world, the Spirit was built by Ryan Airlines in San Diego, California and operated at the time by Benjamin Franklin Mahoney, who had purchased it from its founder, T. Claude Ryan, in 1926; the Spirit is on permanent display in the main entryway's Milestones of Flight gallery at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D. C. Known as the "Ryan NYP", the single-engine monoplane was designed by Donald A. Hall of Ryan Airlines and named the "Spirit of St. Louis" in honor of Lindbergh's supporters from the St. Louis Raquette Club in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.
To save design time, the NYP was loosely based on the company's 1926 Ryan M-2 mailplane, the main difference being the NYP's 4,000-mile range. As a nonstandard design, the government assigned it the registration number N-X-211. Hall documented his design in "Engineering Data on the Spirit of St. Louis", which he prepared for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and is included as an appendix to Lindbergh's 1953 Pulitzer Prize winning book The Spirit of St. Louis. B. F. "Frank" Mahoney and Claude Ryan had co-founded the company as an airline in 1925 and Ryan remained with the company after Mahoney bought out his interest in 1926, although there is some dispute as to how involved Ryan may have been in its management after selling his share. It is known, that Hawley Bowlus was the factory manager who oversaw construction of the Ryan NYP, that Mahoney was the sole owner at the time of Donald A. Hall's hiring; the Spirit was designed and built in San Diego to compete for the $25,000 Orteig Prize for the first nonstop flight between New York and Paris.
Hall and Ryan Airlines staff worked with Lindbergh to design and build the Spirit in just 60 days. Although what was paid to Ryan Airlines for the project is not clear, Mahoney agreed to build the plane for $6,000 and said that there would be no profit. After first approaching several major aircraft manufacturers without success, in early February 1927 Lindbergh, who as a U. S. Air Mail pilot was familiar with the good record of the M-1 with Pacific Air Transport, wired, "Can you construct Whirlwind engine plane capable flying nonstop between New York and Paris...?" Mahoney was away from the factory, but Ryan answered, "Can build plane similar M-1 but larger wings... delivery about three months." Lindbergh wired back. Many years Jon van der Linde, chief mechanic of Ryan Airlines, recalled, "But nothing fazed B. F. Mahoney, the young sportsman who had just bought Ryan." Mahoney telegraphed Lindbergh back the same day: "Can complete in two months." Lindbergh arrived in San Diego on February 23 and toured the factory with Mahoney, meeting Bowlus, chief engineer Donald Hall, sales manager A. J. Edwards.
After further discussions between Mahoney and Lindbergh, Mahoney offered to build the Spirit for $10,580, restating his commitment to deliver it in 60 days. Lindbergh contributed $2,000 toward the cost of the Spirit that he had saved from his earnings as an Air Mail pilot for Robertson Aircraft Corporation; the rest was provided by the Spirit of St. Louis Organization. Lindbergh was convinced: "I believe in Hall's ability. I have confidence in the character of the workmen I've met." He went to the airfield to familiarize himself with a Ryan aircraft, either an M-1 or an M-2 telegraphed his St. Louis backers and recommended the deal, approved. Mahoney lived up to his commitment. Working on the aircraft and with Lindbergh, the staff completed the Spirit of St. Louis 60 days after Lindbergh arrived in San Diego. Powered by a Wright Whirlwind J-5C 223-hp radial engine, it had a 14 m wingspan, 3 m longer than the M-1, to accommodate the heavy load of 1,610 L of fuel. In his 1927 book We, Lindbergh acknowledged the builders' achievement with a photograph captioned "The Men Who Made the Plane", identifying: "B. Franklin Mahoney, Ryan Airlines", Bowlus and Edwards standing with the aviator in front of the completed aircraft.
Lindbergh believed that multiple engines resulted in a greater risk of failure while a single engine design would give him greater range. To increase fuel efficiency, the Spirit of St. Louis was one of the most advanced and aerodynamically streamlined designs of its era. Lindbergh believed that a flight made in a single-seat monoplane designed around the dependable Wright J-5 Whirlwind radial engine provided the best chance of success; the Ryan NYP had a total fuel capacity of 450 U. S. gallons or 2,710 pounds of gasoline, necessary in order to have the range to make the anticipated flight non-stop. The fuel was stored in five fuel tanks, a forward tank – 88 U. S. gal, the main – 209 U. S. gal, three wing tanks – total of 153 U. S. gal. Lindbergh modified the design of the plane's "trombone struts" attached to the landing gear to provide a wider wheel base in order to accommodate the weight of the fuel. At Lindbergh
Seine-Saint-Denis is a French department located in the Île-de-France region. Locally, it is referred to colloquially as quatre-vingt treize or neuf trois, after its official administrative number, 93; the learned and used demonym for the inhabitants is Séquano-Dionysiens. Seine-Saint-Denis is located to the northeast of Paris, it has a surface area of only 236 km², making it one of the smallest departments in France. Seine-Saint-Denis and two other small departments, Hauts-de-Seine and Val-de-Marne, form a ring around Paris, known as the Petite Couronne. Since 1 January 2016, together with Paris, they form the area of Greater Paris. Seine-Saint-Denis is made up of three departmental arrondissements and 40 communes: Seine-Saint-Denis was created in January 1968, through the implementation of a law passed in July 1964, it was formed from the part of the Seine department to the north and north-east of the Paris ring road, together with a small slice taken from Seine-et-Oise. Seine-Saint-Denis has a history as a veritable left-wing stronghold, belonging to the ceinture rouge of Paris.
The French Communist Party has maintained a continued strong presence in the department, still controls the city councils in cities such as Saint-Denis, Montreuil and La Courneuve. Until 2008, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne were the only departments where the Communist Party had a majority in the general councils but the 2008 cantonal elections saw the socialists become the strongest group at the Seine-Saint-Denis general council. A commune of Seine-Saint-Denis, Clichy-sous-Bois, was the scene of the death of two youths which sparked the nationwide riots of autumn 2005. In October and November, 9,000 cars were burned and 3,000 rioters were arrested. In 2018, the department had the highest crime rate in metropolitan France. In 2017, the area was the theatre of 18% of all drug offences in metropolitan France. Seine-Saint-Denis is the French department with the highest proportion of immigrants: 21.7% at the 1999 census. This figure does not include the children of immigrants born on French soil as well as some native elites from former French colonies and people who came from overseas France.
The ratio of ethnic minorities is difficult to estimate as French law prohibits the collection of ethnic data for census taking purposes. In 2005, 56.7% of young people under 18 were of foreign origin including 38% of African origin. In 2018, the poverty rate was twice the national average at 28%, the unemployment rate was 3 percentage above the national average and 4 percentage points above the Île-de-France average at 12.7%. In 2018, it was estimated. Brittany M. Hughes of MRCTV estimates that there are more than 300,000 illegal immigrants in Seine-Saint-Denis. An education study confirmed falling levels of literacy in the area, where the fraction of pupils who had 25 errors or more increased from 5.4% in 1987 to 19.8% in 2015. Bédarida, Catherine. "Seine-Saint-Denis, naissance d'un ghetto". Le Monde. Kefi, Ramses. "Pourquoi toujours le 9-3 ?". L'Obs. Seine-Saint-Denis General Council Prefecture website Seine-Saint-Denis Tourist Board
Sister cities or twin towns are a form of legal or social agreement between towns, counties, prefectures, regions and countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties. The modern concept of town twinning, conceived after the Second World War in 1947, was intended to foster friendship and understanding among different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation, to encourage trade and tourism. By the 2000s, town twinning became used to form strategic international business links among member cities. In the United Kingdom, the term "twin towns" is most used. In mainland Europe, the most used terms are "twin towns", "partnership towns", "partner towns", "friendship towns"; the European Commission uses the term "twinned towns" and refers to the process as "town twinning". Spain uses the term "ciudades hermanadas", which means "sister cities". Germany and the Czech Republic use Partnerstadt / miasto partnerskie / partnerské město, which translate as "partner town or city".
France uses ville jumelée, Italy has gemellaggio and comune gemellato. In the Netherlands, the term is stedenband. In Greece, the word αδελφοποίηση has been adopted. In Iceland, the terms vinabæir and vinaborgir are used. In the former Soviet Bloc, "twin towns" and "twin cities" are used, along with города-побратимы; the Americas, South Asia, Australasia use the term "sister cities" or "twin cities". In China, the term is 友好城市. Sometimes, other government bodies enter into a twinning relationship, such as the agreement between the provinces of Hainan in China and Jeju-do in South Korea; the douzelage is a town twinning association with one town from each of the member states of the European Union. Despite the term being used interchangeably, with the term "friendship city", this may mean a relationship with a more limited scope in comparison to a sister city relationship, friendship city relationships are mayor-to-mayor agreements. In recent years, the term "city diplomacy" has gained increased usage and acceptance as a strand of paradiplomacy and public diplomacy.
It is formally used in the workings of the United Cities and Local Governments and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and recognised by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. A March 2014 debate in the British House of Lords acknowledged the evolution of town twinning into city diplomacy around trade and tourism, but in culture and post-conflict reconciliation; the importance of cities developing "their own foreign economic policies on trade, foreign investment and attracting foreign talent" has been highlighted by the World Economic Forum. The earliest known town twinning in Europe was between Paderborn, Le Mans, France, in 836. Starting in 1905, Keighley in West Yorkshire, had a twinning arrangement with French communities Suresnes and Puteaux; the first recorded modern twinning agreement was between Keighley and Poix-du-Nord in Nord, France, in 1920 following the end of the First World War. This was referred to as an adoption of the French town; the practice was continued after the Second World War as a way to promote mutual understanding and cross-border projects of mutual benefit.
For example, Coventry twinned with Stalingrad and with Dresden as an act of peace and reconciliation, all three cities having been bombed during the war. The City of Bath formed an "Alkmaar Adoption committee" in March 1945, when the Dutch city was still occupied by the German Army in the final months of the war, children from each city took part in exchanges in 1945 and 1946. In 1947, Bristol Corporation sent five'leading citizens' on a goodwill mission to Hanover. Reading in 1947 was the first British town to form links with a former "enemy" city – Düsseldorf; the link still exists. Since 9 April 1956 Rome and Paris have been and reciprocally twinned with each other, following the motto: "Only Paris is worthy of Rome; the support scheme was established in 1989. In 2003 an annual budget of about €12 million was allocated to about 1,300 projects; the Council of European Municipalities and Regions works with the Commission to promote modern, high quality twinning initiatives and exchanges that involve all sections of the community.
It has launched a website dedicated to town twinning. As of 1995, the European Union had more than 7,000 bilateral relationships involving 10,000 European municipalities French and German. Public art has been used to celebrate twin town links, for instance in the form of seven mural paintings in the centre of the town of Sutton, Greater London; the five main paintings show a number of the main features of the London Borough of Sutton and its four twin towns, along with the heraldic shield of each above the other images. Each painting features a plant as a visual representation of its town's environmental awareness. In the case of Sutton this is in a separate smaller painting showing a beech tree, intended as a symbol of prosperity and from whi
Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
Arthur Neville Chamberlain was a British Conservative Party statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his foreign policy of appeasement, in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the German-speaking Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany; when Adolf Hitler invaded Poland, the UK declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, Chamberlain led Britain through the first eight months of the Second World War. After working in business and local government, after a short spell as Director of National Service in 1916 and 1917, Chamberlain followed his father, Joseph Chamberlain, older half-brother, Austen Chamberlain, in becoming a Member of Parliament in the 1918 general election for the new Birmingham Ladywood division at the age of 49, he declined a junior ministerial position, remaining a backbencher until 1922. He was promoted in 1923 to Minister of Health and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
After a short-lived Labour-led government, he returned as Minister of Health, introducing a range of reform measures from 1924 to 1929. He was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in the National Government in 1931; when Stanley Baldwin retired in May 1937, Chamberlain took his place as Prime Minister. His premiership was dominated by the question of policy towards an aggressive Germany, his actions at Munich were popular among the British at the time; when Hitler continued his aggression, Chamberlain pledged Britain to defend Poland's independence if the latter were attacked, an alliance that brought his country into war when Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in 1939. Chamberlain resigned the premiership on 10 May 1940 as the Allies were being forced to retreat from Norway, as he believed that a government supported by all parties was essential, the Labour and Liberal parties would not join a government he headed, he was succeeded by Winston Churchill but remained well regarded in Parliament among Conservatives.
Before ill health forced him to resign, he was an important member of Churchill's War Cabinet as Lord President of the Council, heading the Cabinet in the new premier's absence. Chamberlain died of cancer six months after leaving the premiership. Chamberlain's reputation remains controversial among historians, the initial high regard for him being eroded by books such as Guilty Men, published in July 1940, which blamed Chamberlain and his associates for the Munich accord and for failing to prepare the country for war. Most historians in the generation following Chamberlain's death held similar views, led by Churchill in The Gathering Storm; some historians have taken a more favourable perspective of Chamberlain and his policies, citing government papers released under the Thirty Year Rule and arguing that going to war with Germany in 1938 would have been disastrous as the UK was unprepared. Nonetheless, Chamberlain is still unfavourably ranked amongst British Prime Ministers. Chamberlain was born on 18 March 1869 in a house called Southbourne in the Edgbaston district of Birmingham.
He was the only son of the second marriage of Joseph Chamberlain, who became Mayor of Birmingham and a Cabinet minister. His mother was Florence Kenrick, cousin to William Kenrick MP. Joseph Chamberlain had had Austen Chamberlain, by his first marriage. Neville Chamberlain was educated at Rugby School. Joseph Chamberlain sent Neville to Mason College. Neville Chamberlain had little interest in his studies there, in 1889 his father apprenticed him to a firm of accountants. Within six months he became a salaried employee. In an effort to recoup diminished family fortunes, Joseph Chamberlain sent his younger son to establish a sisal plantation on Andros Island in the Bahamas. Neville Chamberlain spent six years there but the plantation was a failure, Joseph Chamberlain lost £50,000. On his return to England, Neville Chamberlain entered business, purchasing Hoskins & Company, a manufacturer of metal ship berths. Chamberlain served as managing director of Hoskins for 17 years during which time the company prospered.
He involved himself in civic activities in Birmingham. In 1906, as Governor of Birmingham's General Hospital, along with "no more than fifteen" other dignitaries, Chamberlain became a founding member of the national United Hospitals Committee of the British Medical Association. At forty, Chamberlain was expecting to remain a bachelor, but in 1910 he fell in love with Anne Cole, a recent connection by marriage, married her the following year, they met through his Aunt Lilian, the Canadian-born widow of Joseph Chamberlain's brother Herbert, who in 1907 had married Anne Cole's uncle Alfred Clayton Cole, a director of the Bank of England. She encouraged and supported his entry into local politics and was to be his constant companion and trusted colleague sharing his interests in housing and other political and social activities after his election as an MP; the couple had a daughter. Chamberlain showed little interest in politics, though his father and half-brother were in Parliament. During the "Khaki election" of 1900 he made speeches in support of Joseph Chamberlain's Liberal Unionists.
The Liberal Unionists were allied with the Conservatives and merged with them under the name "Unionist Party", which in 1925 became known as the "Conservative and Unionist Party". In 1911, Neville Chamberlain stood as a Liberal Unionist for Birmingham City Council for the All Saints' Ward, located within his father's parliamentary constituency. Chamberlain was ma