Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, was a British statesman who served twice as Prime Minister in the mid-19th century. Palmerston dominated British foreign policy during the period 1830 to 1865, when Britain was at the height of her imperial power, he held office continuously from 1807 until his death in 1865. He began his parliamentary career as a Tory, defected to the Whigs in 1830, became the first Prime Minister of the newly formed Liberal Party in 1859. Palmerston succeeded to his father's Irish peerage in 1802, he became a Tory MP in 1807. From 1809 to 1828 he served as Secretary at War, in which post he was responsible for the organisation of the finances of the army, he first attained Cabinet rank in 1827, when George Canning became Prime Minister, like other Canningites, he resigned from office one year subsequently. He served as Foreign Secretary 1830–34, 1835–41, 1846–51. In this office, Palmerston responded efficaciously to a series of conflicts in Europe, his belligerent actions as Foreign Secretary, some of which were controversial, have been considered to be prototypes of the practice of liberal interventionism.
Palmerston became Home Secretary in Aberdeen's coalition government, in 1852, subsequent to the Peelite advocacy of the appointment of Lord John Russell to the office of Foreign Secretary. As Home Secretary, Palmerston enacted various social reforms; when public antipathy over the Government's policy in the Crimean War lost the Government popular favour, in 1855, Palmerston was the only Prime Minister, able to sustain a majority in Parliament. He had two periods in office, 1855–1858 and 1859–1865, before his death at the age of 80 years, a few months subsequent to victory in a general election in which he had achieved an increased majority, he remains, to the last Prime Minister to die in office. Palmerston masterfully controlled public opinion by stimulating British nationalism, despite the fact that Queen Victoria and most of the political leadership distrusted him, he received and sustained the favour of the press and the populace, from whom he received the affectionate sobriquet'Pam'. Palmerston's alleged weaknesses included mishandling of personal relations, continual disagreements with the Queen over the royal role in determining foreign policy.
Historians consider Palmerston to be one of the greatest foreign secretaries, as a consequence of his handling of great crises, his commitment to the balance of power, which provided Britain with decisive agency in many conflicts, his analytic skills, his commitment to British interests. His policies in relation to India, Italy and Spain had extensive long-lasting beneficial consequences for Britain: although the consequences of his policies toward France, the Ottoman Empire, the United States were more ephemeral. Henry John Temple was born in his family's Westminster house to the Irish branch of the Temple family on 20 October 1784. Henry was to become The 3rd Viscount Palmerston upon his father's death in 1802, his family derived their title from the Peerage of Ireland, although the 3rd Viscount would never visit Ireland. His father was The 2nd Viscount Palmerston, an Anglo-Irish peer, his mother was Mary, a daughter of Benjamin Mee, a London merchant. From 1792 to 1794, the young future Lord Palmerston accompanied his family on a long Continental tour.
Whilst in Italy Palmerston acquired an Italian tutor, who taught him to speak and write fluent Italian. The family visited their huge country estate in the north of County Sligo in the West of Ireland, he was educated at Harrow School. Admiral Sir Augustus Clifford, 1st Bt. was a fag to Palmerston, Viscount Althorp and Viscount Duncannon and remembered Palmerston as by far the most merciful of the three. Palmerston was engaged in school fights and fellow Old Harrovians remembered Palmerston as someone who stood up to bullies twice his size. Palmerston's father took him to the House of Commons in 1799, where young Palmerston shook hands with the Prime Minister, William Pitt. Palmerston was at the University of Edinburgh, where he learnt political economy from Dugald Stewart, a friend of the Scottish philosophers Adam Ferguson and Adam Smith. Palmerston described his time at Edinburgh as producing "whatever useful knowledge and habits of mind I possess". Lord Minto wrote to Palmerston's parents that young Palmerston was charming.
Stewart wrote to a friend, saying of Palmerston: "In point of temper and conduct he is everything his friends could wish. Indeed, I cannot say that I have seen a more faultless character at this time of life, or one possessed of more amiable dispositions."Palmerston succeeded his father to the title of Viscount Palmerston on 17 April 1802, before he had turned 18. The young 3rd Lord Palmerston inherited a vast country estate in the north of County Sligo in the west of Ireland, he built Classiebawn Castle on this estate. Palmerston went to Cambridge; as a nobleman, he was entitled to take his MA without examinations, but Palmerston wished to obtain his degree through examinations. This was declined, although he was allowed to take the separate College examinations, where he obtained first-class honours. After war was declared on France in 1803, Palmerston joined the Volunteers mustered to oppose a French invasion, being one of the three officers in the unit for St John's College, he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel Commander of the Romsey Volunteers.
In February 1806 Palmerston was defeated in the election for
1857 United Kingdom general election
In the 1857 United Kingdom general election, the Whigs, led by Lord Palmerston won a majority in the House of Commons as the Conservative vote fell significantly. The election had been provoked by a vote of censure in Palmerston's government over his approach to the Arrow affair which led to the Second Opium War. Aged 72 Palmerston became the oldest person to win a general election for the first time; as of 2019 there has been no person as old as Palmerston to win a general election for the first time. Craig, F. W. S. British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302 Rallings, Colin. British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, Ashgate Publishing Ltd 1857 General Election Spartacus: Political Parties and Election Results
House of Commons of the United Kingdom
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House; the Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved; the House of Commons of England started to evolve in 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century; the "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as she or he retains the confidence of a majority of the Commons. Although it does not formally elect the prime minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. By convention, the prime minister is answerable to, must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of the House, or, most to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, while the leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since 1963, by convention, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Commons may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a motion of confidence or by passing a motion of no confidence. Confidence and no confidence motions are phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government." Many other motions were until recent decades considered confidence issues though not explicitly phrased as such: in particular, important bills that were part of the Government's agenda. The annual Budget is still considered a matter of confidence; when a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another MP who can command confidence, or to request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election. Parliament sits for a maximum term of five years. Subject to that limit, the prime minister could choose the timing of the dissolution of parliament, with the permission of the Monarch. However, since the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, terms are now a fixed five years, an early general election is brought about by a two-thirds majority in favour of a motion for a dissolution, or by a vote of no confidence, not followed within fourteen days by a vote of confidence.
By this second mechanism, the UK's government can change its political composition without an intervening general election. Only four of the eight last Prime Ministers have attained office as the immediate result of a general election; the latter four were Jim Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and the current Prime Minister Theresa May. In such circumstances there may not have been an internal party leadership election, as the new leader may be chosen by acclaim, having no electoral rival. A prime minister will resign after party defeat at an election if unable to lead a coalition, or obtain a confidence and supply arrangement, she or he may resign after a motion of no confidence or for health reasons. In such cases, the premiership goes to, it has become the practice to write the constitution of major UK political parties to provide a set way in which to appoint a new leader. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no fixed mechanism for this, it fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new prime minister, after taking the consensus of cabinet ministers.
By convention, ministers are members of the House of House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who were outside Parliament, but in most cases they entered Parliament in a by-election or by receiving a peerage. Exceptions include Peter Mandelson, appointed Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in October 2008 before his peerage. Since 1902, all prime ministers have been members of the Commons; the new session of Parliament was delayed to await the outcome of his by-election, which happened
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby
Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, was a British statesman, three-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and, to date, the longest-serving leader of the Conservative Party. He was known before 1834 as Edward Stanley, from 1834 to 1851 as Lord Stanley, he is one of only four British prime ministers. However, his ministries each totalled three years and 280 days. Historian Frances Walsh says it was,Derby who educated the party and acted as its strategist to pass the last great Whig measure, the 1867 Reform Act, it was his greatest achievement to create the modern Conservative Party in the framework of the Whig constitution, though it was Disraeli who laid claim to it. Stanley was born to Lord Stanley and his wife, Charlotte Margaret, the daughter of the Reverend Geoffrey Hornby; the Stanleys were a long-established and wealthy landowning family whose principal residence was Knowsley Hall in Lancashire. Stanley was educated at Christ Church, Oxford. In 1822 Edward Stanley, as he was was elected to Parliament in the rotten borough of Stockbridge as a Whig, the traditional party of his family.
In 1824, however, he alienated his Whig colleagues by voting against Joseph Hume's motion for an investigation into the established Protestant Church of Ireland. When the Whigs returned to power in 1830, Stanley became Chief Secretary for Ireland in Lord Grey's Government, entered the Cabinet in 1831; as Chief Secretary Stanley pursued a series of coercive measures which brought him into conflict with the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Anglesey. In October 1831, Stanley wrote a letter, the Stanley Letter, to the Duke of Leinster establishing the system of National Education in Ireland—this letter remains today the legal basis for the predominant form of primary education in Ireland. In 1833, Stanley moved up to the more important position of Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, overseeing the passage of the Abolition of Slavery Bill. Stanley, a conservative Whig, broke with the ministry over the reform of the Church of Ireland in 1834 and resigned from the government, he formed a group called the "Derby Dilly" and attempted to chart a middle course between what they saw as the radical Whiggery of Lord John Russell and the conservatism of the Tories.
Tory leader Sir Robert Peel's turn to the centre with the 1834 Tamworth Manifesto, published three days before Stanley's "Knowsley Creed" speech, robbed the Stanleyites of much of the uniqueness of their programme. The term "Derby Dilly" was coined by Irish Nationalist leader Daniel O'Connell. Besides Stanley, the other principal members of the Dilly were Sir James Graham, who had resigned as First Lord of the Admiralty; these four ministers had all come from notably different political backgrounds—Stanley and Graham were old Whigs, Ripon was a former Canningite Tory prime minister, while Richmond was an arch-conservative Tory who had incongruously found himself in the Grey cabinet. Although they did not participate in Peel's short-lived 1835 ministry, over the next several years they merged into Peel's Conservative Party, with several members of the "Derby Dilly" taking prominent positions in Peel's second ministry. Joining the Conservatives, Stanley again served as Colonial Secretary in Peel's second government in 1841.
In 1844 he was summoned to the House of Lords as Lord Stanley of Bickerstaffe in his father's Barony of Stanley by Writ of Acceleration. He broke with the Prime Minister again in 1845, this time over the repeal of the Corn Laws, managed to bring the majority of the Conservative Party with him, he thereafter led the protectionist faction of the Conservative Party. In the House of Lords, on 23 November 1847, he accused the Irish Catholic clergy of using the confessional to encourage lawlessness and crime; this was disputed in a series of letters by the coadjutor Bishop of Edward Maginn. In 1851 he succeeded his father as Earl of Derby; the party system was in a state of flux when the Conservatives left office in 1846, the outstanding issues being the question of Ireland and the unresolved franchise. The protectionists had a core of leaders, but in opposition, the party was still in-fighting. Derby formed a minority government in February 1852 following the collapse of Lord John Russell's Whig Government.
In this new ministry, Benjamin Disraeli was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. With many senior Conservative ministers having followed Peel, Derby was forced to appoint many new men to office—of the Cabinet, only three were pre-existing Privy Counsellors; when the aged Duke of Wellington, by very deaf, heard the list of inexperienced cabinet ministers being read aloud in the House of Lords, he gave the government its nickname by shouting "Who? Who?". From this government would be known as the "Who? Who?" ministry. Traditionally Derby's ministries were thought in hindsight to have been dominated by Disraeli. However, recent research suggests that this was not always the case in the government's conduct of foreign policy. There and his Foreign Secretaries, Lord Malmesbury and his son Lord Stanley, pursued a course of action, aimed at building up power through financial strength, seeking to avoid wars at all costs, co-operating with other powers, working through the Concert of Europe to resolve diplomatic problems.
This contrasted with the policy of m
1868 United Kingdom general election
The 1868 United Kingdom general election was the first after passage of the Reform Act 1867, which enfranchised many male householders, thus increasing the number of men who could vote in elections in the United Kingdom. It was the first election held in the United Kingdom; the result saw the Liberals, led by William Ewart Gladstone, again increase their large majority over Benjamin Disraeli's Conservatives to more than 100 seats. This was the last general election at which all the seats were taken by only the two leading parties, although the parties at the time were loose coalitions and party affiliation was not listed on registration papers. Craig, F. W. S. British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302 Rallings, Colin. British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, Ashgate Publishing Ltd Spartacus: Political Parties and Election Results
1852 United Kingdom general election
The 1852 United Kingdom general election was a watershed in the formation of the modern political parties of Britain. Following 1852, the Tory/Conservative party became, more the party of the rural aristocracy, while the Whig/Liberal party became the party of the rising urban bourgeoisie in Britain; the results of the election were close in terms of both the popular vote and the numbers of seats won by the two main parties. As in the previous election of 1847, Lord John Russell's Whigs won the popular vote, but the Conservative Party won a slight majority of the seats. However, a split between Protectionist Tories, led by the Earl of Derby, the Peelites made the formation of a majority government difficult. Lord Derby's minority, protectionist government ruled from 23 February until 17 December 1852. Derby appointed Benjamin Disraeli as Chancellor of the Exchequer in this minority government. However, in December 1852, Derby's government collapsed because of issues arising out of the budget introduced by Disraeli.
A Peelite–Whig coalition government was formed under Lord Aberdeen, one of the leading Peelites. Although the immediate issue involved in this vote of "no confidence" which caused the downfall of the Derby minority government was the budget, the real underlying issue was repeal of the Corn Laws which Parliament had passed in June 1846. A group within the Tory/Conservative Party called the "Peelites" voted with the Whigs to achieve the repeal of the Corn Laws; the Peelites were so named. In June 1846, when Peel was the Prime Minister of a Tory government, he led a group of Tory/Conservatives to vote with the minority Whigs against a majority of his own party. "Corn" was important to the cost of living of the average citizen in Britain during the early 19th century. The term "corn" did not refer to maize. In Britain, at this time, "corn" referred to rye and/or other grains. Wheat, or corn, was used in the baking of bread and was the "staff of life", thus the price of wheat was a substantial part of the cost of living.
The Corn Laws enforced a high "protective" tariff against the importation of wheat into England. These high tariffs increased the suffering of poor people in England. Agitation for the repeal of the Corn Laws had begun in England as early as 1837, bills for their repeal had been introduced in Parliament each year from 1837 until their actual repeal in 1847. For some parliamentary leaders, like John Bright, Richard Cobden and Charles Pelham Villiers, the repeal of tariffs on imported corn was not enough, they wished to reduce the tariffs on all imported consumer products. These parliamentary leaders became known as "free traders"; the repeal of the Corn Laws irrevocably split the Tory/Conservative party. The Peelites were not free traders, but both the Peelites and the free traders were Tories, thus both the free traders and the Peelites tended to side with the Whigs against the Tories on international trade issues. This presented a real threat to any government; the effect of this split was felt in the election of July–August 1847, when the Whig party won a 53.8% majority of seats in Parliament.
The Whigs knew that they could count on the Peelite Conservatives when an international trade issue came before Parliament. In June 1852, the effects of the split in the Tory/Conservative party was having more effect; the period 1847–48 had been one of economic stagnation in Britain, but 1849–52 saw a return to prosperity. Indeed, 1852 proved to be "one of the most signal years of prosperity England enjoyed"; the Whigs and Peelites felt that the repeal of the Corn Laws had brought about the prosperity, wished to take credit for this. The Free Traders agreed, continued to press for the repeal of all tariffs on consumer goods to achieve continued prosperity; the split in the Tory party was a significant cause of the reformation of the political parties in Britain in the February 1852 election. To understand this, it may be easier to consider the British political party structure in 1852 by using the labels "Ministerialists" and the Oppositionists; as noted above, in the election of 1852 the Ministerialists became the party of the rural landholders, while the Oppositionists became the party of the towns and growing urban industrial areas of Britain.
In the 1852 election, the borough constituencies of England elected 104 Ministerialists to Parliament and 215 Oppositionists. There were similar results in Wales and Scotland: the boroughs of Wales elected 10 Oppositionists and only 3 Ministerialists, while the counties of Wales elected 11 Ministerialists and 3 Oppositionists; the Scottish boroughs elected 25 Oppositionalists and not a single Ministerialist, while Scottish counties elected 14 Ministerialists and 13 Oppositionists. Only in Ireland was this political formation less clear-cut, as the boroughs in Ireland elected 14 Ministerialists and 25 Oppositionists, while the counties of Ireland elected 24 Ministerialsts and 35 Oppositionists; the Irish Oppositionists were known as the "Irish Brigade". Although the Ministerialists, elected in 1852, were loyal to the Tory/Conservatives, the Irish Brigade knew that they would be able to count on support from some of the Irish Ministerialists if and when a purely Irish issue arose in Parliament.
The Irish were seeking tenant rights for Ireland. An opportunity for the Irish Oppositionists to pull some Irish Ministerialists over to the Opposition arose in December 1852 when the Chancellor of Exc