‘Gladstone’s Attack on Disraeli’s Foreign Policy Was the Most Important Reason for the Conservative Defeat in the 1880 Election.’ How Far Do You Agree? (50) Essay

1193 Words5 Pages
Gladstone’s attack on Disraeli’s foreign policy was the most important reason for the Conservative defeat in the 1880 election; however it is also due to the economic depression which was happening at this time in history, as well as Disraeli’s ineffective domestic reforms. Disraeli’s foreign policy included his involvement with the Eastern Crisis in the 1870s, as well as events regarding South Africa and the Boers War. The most important reason as to why the Conservatives lost the 1880 election was Gladstone’s attack on Disraeli’s foreign policy. The most prominent example of Gladstone’s attacks was his Midlothian Campaign. This contributed to the loss of support of the Conservative party because during this tour, made by Gladstone, of the Conservative seat in Scotland, Midlothian, he gave a series of speeches in large towns such as Edinburgh, attacking Disraeli’s foreign policy. He spoke in emotive language, commenting on Disraeli’s continued support of the Turkish Empire, describing this Eastern policy as ‘inhumane’. He portrayed his rival’s foreign policy as expensive and aggressive, consequently losing support of Conservatives, and swaying the minds of others to vote Liberal. Personality had become an important part of the political process in aiding the decisions of the electorate, and the fact Disraeli was in bad health meant he could no longer contest Gladstone’s attacks. This lead to Conservatives losing the election because many Christians were outraged and humanist sentiment was lowering in the country due to the way Gladstone spoke of the foreign policy, and Disraeli was in no state to argue back, so the public just followed what Gladstone said. Disraeli was unable to defend himself. The pamphlets Gladstone produced as a result of the Eastern Crisis further contributed to loss of support for the Conservatives. This is because Disraeli had previously

More about ‘Gladstone’s Attack on Disraeli’s Foreign Policy Was the Most Important Reason for the Conservative Defeat in the 1880 Election.’ How Far Do You Agree? (50) Essay

Open Document