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Politics in the Age of Gladstone and Disraeli #unravellingbritainWeek 6 Dr Robert Saunders.

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Presentation on theme: "Politics in the Age of Gladstone and Disraeli #unravellingbritainWeek 6 Dr Robert Saunders."— Presentation transcript:

1 Politics in the Age of Gladstone and Disraeli #unravellingbritainWeek 6 Dr Robert Saunders

2 DisraeliGladstone 1848-68: Leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Commons 1852, 1858-59, 1866-68: Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons 1868, 1874-80: Prime Minister 1852-55, 1859-66, 1873-74, 1880-82: Chancellor of the Exchequer 1865-66: Leader of the House of Commons 1868-74, 1880-85, 1886, 1892- 94: Prime Minister


4 The Gladstone ‘pissing pot’





9 1. The Poet and the Priest

10 Benjamin Disraeli: ‘The Asian Mystery’



13 Disraeli on Chartism, 1848 ‘Why are the people of England forced to find leaders among demagogues? The proper leaders of the people are the gentlemen of England. If they are not the leaders of the people, I do not see why we should have gentlemen’.

14 The Revolutionary Epic (1834) ‘Fling to the heady wind The cold philosophy That vaunts of human REASON; nobler far The faculty divine IMAGINATION on her airy throne Thus in human life, Upon the mass the man of genius breathes His spell creative, thus their swelling hearts Rise to his charm!’

15 Politics as Theatre

16 Gladstone: Politics as Priesthood ‘I believe in the degeneracy of man – in sin – in the intensity and virulence of sin.... Sin is the great fact of the world to me’ (1888).

17 Gladstone at Blackheath, 1876

18 Gladstone the Orator ‘Without an effort … the great orator held his audience for nearly two hours. I stood so far off that the features were indistinct, but I was spellbound by the music and magnetism of the wonderful voice … I was only conscious of the presence of a great human personality, under whose spell I was and from whom I could in no way escape. … I felt lifted into a holy region of politics, where Tories cannot corrupt or Jingoes break through and yell’.

19 Gladstone at Blackheath, 1876

20 The Liberal Party Whig aristocracy Nonconformists and Liberal Anglicans Provincial manufacturers and businessmen Trade Unionists and the ‘respectable’ working class Scotland, Wales and Ireland

21 Free Trade Gladstone (1860): in legislation of this kind, you are not forging mechanical supports and helps for men, nor endeavouring to do that for them which they ought to do for themselves; but you are enlarging their means without narrowing their freedom, …you are appealing to their sense of responsibility, you are not impairing their temper of honourable self-dependence’.

22 The Tory Party, mid-C19th The Base Agriculture The Church of England Key Issues Key issue: Agricultural Protection Disraeli: ‘We must have our eyes opened to the futility of attempting to govern this country by the landed interest alone’ ‘[We] stuck to Protection till the country positively shat upon it’


24 Decline of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire


26 The Midlothian Campaign ‘Remember the rights of the savage, as we call him. Remember that the happiness of his humble home, remember that the sanctity of life in the hill villages of Afghanistan among the winter snows, is as inviolable in the eye of Almighty God as can be your own.’

27 The Primrose League (est. 1883)


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