To what extent were Gladstone and Disraeli’s foreign policies from 1870 to 1880 driven by different ideologies ? - Part 9

In conclusion, both these views of Gladstone and Disraeli’s foreign policies can be criticised. As Gladstone wanted to intervene over Alsace and Lorraine in 1871 and his Bulgarian pamphlet can be seen as opportunist, as despite his support for these interventions he attacked others such as the Berlin agreements even though they resulted from a European Conference. Whereas Disraeli can be seen as upholding the principles of Palmerston by following a traditional foreign policy, whereby he supported Turkey against the looming threat that was Russia. At the same time his Imperial adventures were not necessarily his own ideas, many of these exploits were brought about by his men on the spot who made their own independent decisions; he was simply reacting in order to maintain the balance of power. It could therefore be argued that both men had preserved essential British interests as they saw them and thus both had a fundamentally cautious outlook.

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