Derby, however, saw imperialism as despotic continental expansionism, preferring more economic and financial influence in the colonies. The Established Church occupied a central place in Conservative ideology. Both Derby and Disraeli did everything possible to maintain its position as the state institution.
Floyd on Hawkins, 'The Forgotten Prime Minister: The 14th Earl of Derby, vol. 1, Ascent, 1799-1851'
As has been noted, Derby was a practising Anglican, ready to sacrifice anything to uphold the position of the Established Church, as he did in by leaving the Whig party At the same time, he recognised the interests of other religions, and supported the Emancipation of the Catholics and Jews Derby and Disraeli were different types of politician.
Lord Derby was a parliamentary politician who favoured the measured, piecemeal Conservative progress for the country through the enhancement of existing public institutions. As was colourfully noted by W. The essential step towards each other was made at the dinner at Grosvenor Gate in July organised by Disraeli, after which the two men started their convergence. This was the period of fledging rapprochement. During and the summer of there was an active collaboration between Derby and Disraeli.
Both leaders reached an agreement on Protectionism, and party tactics in order to secure power, which they achieved in The correspondence consists of frequent, day-to-day letters to one another, and extensive discussions of political issues. The substantial progress that had been made in their relationship notwithstanding, the letters reveal a tendency towards careful, reserved avoidance of conflict.
Following his resignation in , Lord Derby virtually lost interest in politics, and devoted himself to shooting and hunting. Curiously, there is not a single extant letter from Disraeli to Derby in Between and the summer of , there was a new period of warmth in the Derby-Disraeli relationship, characterised by mutual avowal and respect.
His conduct… appears to have gained him golden opinions from all parties. The correspondence of this period is much more extensive than before.
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There are very few signs of their earlier mutual frustration. From the autumn of to there was a period of few public conflicts and inertness in the political life.
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After this, Disraeli never visited Knowsley again. This political inertness was caused by Palmerston; but once he died in October , the parliamentary struggle for a new Reform bill started. Both leaders of the Conservative party managed to co-operate in order to oppose the Liberals in parliament, secure power, keep the party united, and explain the benefits and necessity of the Reform bill to their colleagues. The correspondence of this period and diaries of other MPs show the co-operation of Lord Derby and Benjamin Disraeli and their detailed work on various political matters.
To conclude, despite the many important differences between Lord Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, they overcame their initial mutual mistrust and managed to unite politically, which allowed both politicians to build a working relationship, and to revive the party in terms of both its structure and its ideology. Bodleian library, Oxford. Cambridge: CUP, The Times, 22 December, Secondary sources 1 Blake, R. London: Longman.
Basingstoke: Macmillan. Oxford: Blackwell. Cambridge: CUP. Related Papers.
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