MacDonald, (James) Ramsay

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MacDonald, (James) Ramsay (1866–1937) British statesman, prime minister (1924, 1929–31, 1931–35), b. Scotland. MacDonald became an MP in 1906, and leader of the Labour Party in 1911. His opposition to Britain's participation in World War I lost him the party leadership (1914), and his seat (1918). MacDonald was re-elected to Parliament and as Labour leader in 1922. In 1924, he became prime minister and foreign secretary in Britain's first Labour government. His administration was short-lived, as the Liberal Party withdrew its support and Stanley Baldwin succeeded him as prime minister. Labour's second spell in office was also cut short, this time by the Great Depression. MacDonald, however, remained in office at the head of a Conservative-dominated ‘National’ government. MacDonald lost his seat in the 1935 elections, and Baldwin returned to power.

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