Derby and Disraeli

Part of the Problems in Focus Series book series (PFS)


There were few similarities between the two men who preserved Toryism as a viable and meaningful creed in the years after 1846. In different ways they helped to save British Conservatism from the fate of much of the European Right and to create Britain’s major political party of the future. They shared the unenviable task of leading a party against which the ‘march of progress’ appeared to be moving and which itself sometimes seemed to have a collective death wish — a body recently described as ‘the backward and unpopular party, the party of bucolic obstruction and inertia, largely cut off from the new urban and industrial Britain, and lacking any point of rapport with its advancing social forces’ and as ‘a ragged, discordant phalanx which was reluctantly coming to accept Free Trade and its own seemingly ineluctable minority status’.1 But they regularly disagreed over tactics, strategy and such philosophy as was possible in the circumstances.


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© Norman Gash, J. H. Grainger, Alfred M. Gollin, Donald Southgate, J. T. Ward 1974

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