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Peace, War and Party PoliticsThe Conservatives and Europe, 1846-59$
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Geoffrey Hicks

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719075957

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719075957.001.0001

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Conservative perspectives

Conservative perspectives

Chapter:
(p.25) 2 Conservative perspectives
Source:
Peace, War and Party Politics
Author(s):

Geoffrey Hicks

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719075957.003.0002

Throughout the mid-Victorian era, foreign policy had an important part to play in Conservative strategy as it was directly or indirectly the responsibility of Palmerston, who was thrice the Foreign Secretary, then Home Secretary and later on became the Prime Minister in the period of 1846 to 1859. This chapter explains that Palmerston's foreign policy was significant due to its apparently liberal characteristics and it also provided opportunities for potential Conservative reunion. Foreign policy offered a promising road back to Conservative harmony. It is suggested that, as a result of Benjamin Disraeli's ambivalence, Palmerton's foreign policy ‘tended to find a favourable reception across the floor of the House of Commons’. The chapter also discusses how Palmerston's intervention in Greece presented the Conservatives with one of their best opportunities to attack the government.

Keywords:   mid-Victorian era, foreign policy, Conservative strategy, Conservative harmony, House of Commons

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