Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS, was a British politician of the Conservative Party. He twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He is the only British prime minister to have been of Jewish birth. He played a central role in the creation of the modern Conservative Party, defining its policies and its broad outreach.
About Benjamin Disraeli in brief
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS, was a British politician of the Conservative Party. He twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He is the only British prime minister to have been of Jewish birth. He played a central role in the creation of the modern Conservative Party, defining its policies and its broad outreach. He was also a novelist, publishing works of fiction even as prime minister. His father left Judaism after a dispute at his synagogue; young Benjamin became an Anglican at the age of 12. He later romanticised his origins, claiming his father’s family was of grand Spanish and Venetian descent. He maintained a close friendship with Queen Victoria, who in 1876 appointed him Earl of beaconsfield. He died in London, aged 76, in 1881, and is buried in Kensal Rise, London, on his mother’s side of the family’s ancestral home, the D’Israeli family home in Bloomsbury, London. He had written novels throughout his career, beginning in 1826, and he published his last completed novel, Endymion, shortly before he died at the aged of 76. His last novel was published in 1878, a novel about the Suez Canal Company in Egypt, which the Conservatives bought in 1874. His political battles with the Liberal Party leader William Ewart Gladstone, and his one-nation conservatism, made the Conservatives the party most identified with the glory and power of the British Empire.
His second term was dominated by the Eastern Question, the slow decay of the Ottoman Empire and the desire of other European powers, such as Russia, to gain at its expense. Controversial wars in Afghanistan and South Africa undermined his public support. He angered British farmers by refusing to reinstitute the Corn Laws in response to poor harvests and cheap imported grain. In 1878 he worked at the Congress of Berlin to obtain peace in the Balkans at terms favourable to Britain and unfavourable to Russia, its longstanding enemy. In 1880, Gladstone conducted a massive speaking campaign, his Liberals defeated Disraele’s Conservatives at the 1880 general election. The family was mostly from Italy, of mixed Sephardic Jewish, mercantile background with some Italkim, and Ashkenazi origins. His siblings were Sarah Naphtali, Ralph, Ralph, James and his sister, He was close to his surviving brothers on affectionate but distant terms with his surviving sisters. He changed the course of his whole life and renounced Judaism four years after his father had renounced his Judaism and became a boarder at St Pott’s Piran. While he was at school he was damely described as a’very high-class establishment’ One of his biographers later described him as ‘for those days a very high class establishment’ Two years later, he was sent as a boarding school at Blackheath’s St Piran’s Piricary’s.