The same could be argued of Gladstone’s approach to the Franco-Prussian War. Gladstone was concerned not to involve Britain in this European War, and as a result was heavily criticised by Disraeli for allowing the future of Europe to be shaped by the victor of war that was so close to home. By opting out Gladstone had ensured peace for Britain at the time, but this meant that her influence in the post-war discussions would be limited. There is no doubt that Gladstone’s opinion of this war was that it had nothing to do with Britain and her imperial interests, in addition there would have been substantial financial costs involved in such an engagement, which he worried about immensely. Therefore, Gladstone’s foreign policy can be declared as a juxtaposition of high morality with a commitment to financial regulation and retrenchment.
Part 6 Part 8