• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent did Disraeli achieve his aims in foreign and imperial policy?

Extracts from this document...


Beth Walters To what extent did Disraeli achieve his aims in foreign and imperial policy? Disraeli had specific aims in mind when he was dealing with foreign and imperial policy. One of the aims of Disraelian Conservatism was to preserve the British Empire and it?s status abroad. This came with an innate suspicion of all that could threaten the Empire, which at the time included Russia?s designs on the Ottoman Empire and the Dreikaiserbund; he saw the Dreikaiserbund?s alliance of three prominent emperors as seeking to undermine British influence. The aim to improve the status of Britain through foreign policy was successful in some elements of his Eastern Policy - especially the quick response to Russian forces advancing on Constantinople in 1877. The assertion of British power in the area the Russians were intending on invading helped to diffuse the crisis, and ultimately helped to dismantle the treaty of San Stefano in 1878. A conference in Berlin helped to ensure the treaty of San Stefano, that involved terms that would directly result in Russia?s ...read more.


Coupled with the contentious Treaty of San Stefano, which seemed to indicate impending Russian power, Disraeli’s foreign policy caused anxiety at home, not an ideal situation with the election just a year or two away. Disraeli achieved some success in his imperial policies, most of all with the purchase of the Suez Canal shares. When 7 of 16 shares in the Suez Canal became available to purchase for £4 million, Disraeli was keen to ensure the French couldn’t buy them and manipulate the Suez Canal which provided easy access to the “jewel of the crown” of the British Empire - India. Despite criticism from Gladstone for the fact he didn’t inform Parliament of his intentions to purchase the expensive shares, the shares did turn out to be a very wise and calculated decision. By purchasing a near half majority of the shares, he could ensure he was involved in decision making, including tolls and British access to the canal. ...read more.


Disraeli?s judgments regarding the Bulgarian Horrors, South Africa and Afghanistan can be criticised as showing weakness in Disraeli?s policies and a failure to fulfil his aims regarding the balance of power and British power. However, Disraeli was successful in winning prestige for Britain through his quick and decisive dealings with the Suez Canal shares and Russia?s advance on Constantinople, but not without cost. He lost ministers and divided his cabinet over the Bulgarian Horrors, allowing Gladstone to attack him over his imperial issues in his Midlothian campaign. By the time the election came, British defeat in South Africa was at the forefront of the public?s minds, and no doubt influenced his defeat in election. Disraeli was successful in dealing with Russia, effectively asserting British authority over India and preventing the collapse of the Ottoman empire in some ways. Perhaps his oversights in imperial policy were a result of his exuberant style of speaking, which could be said to promote a forward, aggressive imperial policy, leading his representatives abroad to feel they were acting the way he would want them to. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Henry VIII'S Foreign Policy.

    warfare for its own sake, even though the cult of chivalry continued to make war appealing to contemporary monarchs. For example, as important as Henry VIII's claim to France was in justifying his cherished objective of occupying French territory, it also served a more practical purpose as a lever to extract concessions from the French.

  2. Henry VII achieved the aims of his foreign policy. Comment

    All told, Henry's dealings with France were somewhat dangerous at the start of his reign but turned out beneficial to him as he had gained an extra �5000 per annum to establish his dynasty. S pain had emerged as a superpower in Europe in the late 1400's and its unification

  1. What prinicples governed foreign and imperial policies from 1856-1902?

    The balance of power was critical for Britain because it enabled Europe to be peaceful and allowed Britain to follow its policy of free trade. Wars were viewed by the British as chancy, unpredictable and often costly. A fine example of the balance of power in action can be seen with Britain's involvement during the Crimean War 1854-56.


    Even as countries like USA and Russia began to increase duties and import tariffs, making British exports less competitive, Disraeli and Gladstone doggedly persisted with laissez-faire economics in their respective ministries. Another way in which Gladstone and Disraeli were similar was their approach to domestic social reform.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work