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Disraeli and England

J. P. Parry
The Historical Journal
Vol. 43, No. 3 (Sep., 2000), pp. 699-728
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3020975
Page Count: 30
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Disraeli and England
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Abstract

This article questions the dominant historiographical approaches to understanding the career of Benjamin Disraeli, which view him either as more opportunistic than most of his political contemporaries or as more `continental' in his outlook. It emphasizes his determination to understand English history and values, and argues that a desire to defend and realize his conception of England gave his career coherence. He saw himself as a foe of dangerous cosmopolitan ideas that were damaging the national character and creating social disharmony. This allowed him to cast all his major political initiatives in a heroic, elitist yet restorative light. He conceived those initiatives as a response to the damage inflicted by the domestic and international crises of the 1830s and 1840s. Indeed it is arguable that as a result Disraeli's political strategy in later life was in some ways both quixotic and outdated.

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