Winston Churchill had just become prime minister, appointed by King George VI just a few days earlier. Part of his job was to pull together members of Parliament to form a government made up of politicians from all parties, to be truly representative of the entire nation. Because of the urgent need to deal with the upcoming crisis of war with Germany, Churchill had done his homework basically overnight.
In this speech, he tells the members of Parliament that he'll give everything he has to the cause of fighting evil and tyranny, and Britain has to stand up and fight.
Otherwise, it's the end of the world as we know it.
Without Churchill's leadership, Britain never would have been strong enough to hold back the Nazis.
Churchill's telling the MPs what they don't want to hear so they can get off their butts and start taking care of business.
Winston Churchill becomes prime minister of Great Britain after Neville Chamberlain's resignation, which is related to Chamberlain's failure to stop Nazi aggression in Europe. Churchill addresses Parliament for the first time as prime minister.
Churchill's speech has two primary aims.
The first half or so of the speech isn't about ramping up the political troops against fascism—it's about the transition between governments. Churchill explains the rapid change in leadership and why Parliament was meeting that day. Then he transitions to talking about the war, first through a political lens and then a more poetic one.
Churchill finishes off the speech with some rousing yet intimidating lines about the crisis facing Britain today, and how they'll be victorious…but only after lots and lots of fighting.
I've created a new, multiparty cabinet because we're facing a major war, and we're going to have to fight like crazy to win and protect everything we hold dear.