Was Disraeli an unprincipled opportunist in his foreign policy in his ministry 1874-80?

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During his ministry of 1874-1880, Disraeli’s Conservative party held a more active foreign policy that that of his Liberal predecessor. This foreign policy included pursuing British National interests abroad and trying to convince the public that Britain was once again a major player in European politics. The policies implemented by Disraeli’s government (such as the Royals Title Act in 1876) are often greeted by two responses. Whilst some historians argue that the pursuit of imperial interests was part of Disraeli’s plans to build up a One Nation Tory democracy that was evident in Disraeli’s earlier works of political ideologies. Another argument of Disraeli’s passion for furthering of British interests was an opportunist measure that Disraeli endorsed as a way of gaining political credence. The most evident case for claiming that Disraeli’s interests in foreign affairs was purely for opportunistic reasons is his acquiring of the Suez canal in 1875. The acquisition of the Suez Canal can be termed as ‘cavalier’ or ‘opportunistic’ as on hearing that the impoverished Egyptian khedive needs to sell to sell his shares in the Canal, Disraeli borrows the money from the Rothschild’s to buy a controlling share at a knock-down price before even securing parliamentary approval. This can be argued as an opportunistic move since the act of buying the shares in the canal was done under secrecy. Moreover, the fact that Disraeli did not consult parliament lead to him being accused by Gladstone of ‘undermining Britain's constitutional system’, due to his lack of reference or consent from Parliament. However, whilst one can easily condemn Disraeli for his action in this situation, one is ignoring the other side of the story. The Suez Canal purchase of 1875 gave Disraeli more political clout due to the fact that it was of large political important to many European countries. As
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