Benjamin Disraeli biography

Benjamin Disraeli

Statesman, Politician

1804 – 1881

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Who was Benjamin Disraeli?

Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS, was a British Conservative politician, writer, aristocrat and dandy who twice served as Prime Minister. He played a central role in the creation of the modern Conservative Party, defining its policies and its broad outreach. Disraeli is remembered for his influential voice in world affairs, his political battles with the Liberal spokesman William Ewart Gladstone, and his one-nation conservatism or "Tory democracy". He made the Conservatives the party most identified with the glory and power of the British Empire. He is to date the only British Prime Minister of Jewish birth.

Disraeli was born in London. His father left Judaism after a dispute at his synagogue; young Benjamin became an Anglican at age 12. After several unsuccessful attempts, Disraeli entered the House of Commons in 1837. When the Conservatives gained power in 1841, Disraeli was given no office by the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel. In 1846, Peel split the party over his proposal to repeal the Corn Laws, which imposed a tariff on imported grain. Disraeli bitterly attacked Peel in the Commons. The Conservatives who split from Peel had few who were adept in Parliament, and Disraeli became a major figure in the party, though many in it did not favour him. When Lord Derby, the party leader, thrice formed governments in the 1850s and 1860s, Disraeli served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons. He also forged a bitter rivalry with the Liberal Party's William Ewart Gladstone.

Famous Quotes:

  • When a man fell into his anecdotage it was a sign for him to retire from the world.
  • It was not reason that besieged Troy; it was not reason that sent forth the Saracen from the desert to conquer the world; that inspired the crusades; that instituted the monastic orders; it was not reason that produced the Jesuits; above all, it was not reason that created the French Revolution. Man is only great when he acts from the passions; never irresistible but when he appeals to the imagination.
  • Every production of genius must be the production of enthusiasm.
  • Life is too short to be little. Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.
  • Next to knowing when to seize an opportunity, the most important thing in life is to know when to forego an advantage.
  • Little things affect little minds.
  • The Youth of a Nation are the trustees of posterity.
  • That we may live to see England once more possess a free Monarchy and a privileged and prosperous People, is my Prayer; that these great consequences can only be brought about by the energy and devotion of our Youth is my persuasion. We live in an age when to be young and to be indifferent can be no longer synonymous. We must prepare for the coming hour. The claims of the Future are represented by suffering millions; and the Youth of a Nation are the trustees of Posterity.
  • The secret of success is constancy of purpose.
  • I have always thought that every woman should marry, and no man.

Citation

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"Benjamin Disraeli." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Jun 2021. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/benjamin_disraeli_1st_earl_of_beaconsfield>.


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Born
Dec 21, 1804
London
Parents
Spouses
Religion
  • Church of England
  • Anglicanism
  • Sephardic Judaism
  • Judaism
Ethnicity
  • Ashkenazi Jews
  • Sephardi Jews
  • Jewish people
Nationality
  • United Kingdom
Profession
Lived in
  • London
Died
Apr 19, 1881
London

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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