Winston Churchill on why the American Constitution matters

Winston Churchill on why the American Constitution matters

Constitution Daily

On the 142nd anniversary of his birth, Constitution Daily looks back at what the British leader and author Sir Winston Churchill had to say about the American Constitution, which was quite a lot.

Churchill addresses the U.S. Congress
Churchill addresses the U.S. Congress

After all, although Churchill came from a prominent British family on his father’s side, his mother was an American, Jennie Jerome. He was a British citizen, but in 1963, Churchill was the first person even honored by the United States Congress and President as an honorary American citizen.

In 1965, former President Dwight Eisenhower recalled a past conversation with Churchill when he spoke about his American heritage. ““My mother was American and my ancestors were officers in Washington’s army, I am myself an English-speaking union,” Churchill reportedly said.

Churchill drove his point home on Dec. 26, 1941, when he spoke in Washington, D.C. to a joint session of Congress and the Supreme Court just weeks after the Pearl Harbor attack. “If my father had been an American, and my mother British, instead of the other way around, I might have gotten here on my own. In that case, this would not have been the first time you would have heard my voice,” he told a global audience.

“I have been in full harmony all my life with the tides which have flowed on both sides of the Atlantic against privilege and monopoly and I have steered confidently towards the Gettysburg ideal of government of the people, by the people, for the people,” Churchill added.

Five years earlier, Churchill wrote an article called “What Good’s A Constitution” for Collier’s magazine where he criticized some of President Roosevelt’s policies but praised America’s Constitution, and offered conflicting opinions on the struggle between Roosevelt and the Supreme Court. But here, many of his other comments dealt with the Constitution’s founding principle[…]

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Right to use granted by the National Constitution Center solely for educational non-commercial purposes under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.


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