William Gladstone vs. Benjamin Disrael Great Britain: Toward Democracy вЂў The period between 1850 and 1865 saw a realignment of political parties in Britain. вЂў The Tory Party was transformed into the Conservative Party under Benjamin Disraeli. вЂў The Whig Party was transformed in to the Liberal Party under William Gladstone Disraeli (Before Prime Minister) вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў Supported aggressive expansion of British Empire Expressed sympathy for the working class in an 1845 novel, Sybil Was influenced by John Stuart MillвЂ™s On Liberty, which advocated for increased democracy Introduced the Reform Bill of 1867 which built on the Reform Bill of 1832. вЂ“ It nearly doubled the number of men who could vote by lowering monetary requirements (taxes/income) вЂ“ Wanted to attract workers to the conservative party. Gladstone (Before Prime Minister) вЂў Opposed imperialism вЂў Supported free trade and repeal of Corn Laws (a chartist demand) вЂў Lowered taxes and govвЂ™t spending as finance minister вЂў Supported Italian nationalism Gladstone (PM вЂ“ 1868 вЂ“ 1874) вЂ“ the liberal Disraeli (PM вЂ“ 1874 вЂ“ 1880) вЂ“ the conservative вЂў вЂў 1875 вЂ“ Public Health Act вЂ“ improved sanitation вЂў 1875 вЂ“ Artisan Dwelling Act вЂ“ govвЂ™t became involved in providing housing for working class. вЂў Reduced govвЂ™t regulation of trade unions вЂў *Very paternalistic reforms вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў 1870 вЂ“ introduced civil service exams for govвЂ™t positions Secret ballot (1872) вЂ“ a chartist demand Ended compulsory church taxes to support Church of England. Dropped religious requirements for degrees at Oxford and Cambridge 1870 Education Act вЂ“ state is responsible for elementary schools *reforms were focused on creating a meritocracy and eliminating traditional sources of discontent. Some historians refer to GladstoneвЂ™s rule as the apex of вЂњclassical British liberalismвЂќ because they strengthened the nation through enabling talent to compete fairly. The Irish Question and Gladstone вЂў Gladstone (liberal) becomes P.M. a 2nd time in 1880 and a 3rd time in 1892. вЂў 3rd Reform Act вЂ“ 1884 вЂ“ Gives most male farmers the franchise вЂў However, the dominant domestic issue was the Irish question. Irish self-consciousness increased during the 19th century. вЂў The Irish resented British landlords and their required rents. вЂў Gladstone supported home rule for the Irish, but the issue was defeated in Parliament in 1886 and 1892 вЂў The Irish question split the Liberal Party which endangered social and political reform. The Irish question divided those who agreed on other reforms вЂў A new Labour Party would arise in the absence of leadership on social reforms (social class issues, etc).