The Midlothian Election Campaigns of 1879-80 and the Ottoman Empire
AuthorYıldızeli, Fahriye Begüm
MetadataShow full item record
As a fourth time Prime minister, William E. Gladstone was a dominant figure in shaping the British foreign policy. The Eastern Question and the Ottoman Empire were always important in the long life of the Grand Old Man. Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli was great rivals on the political arena and had deeply personal political struggle throughout the 1870s. In 1879, Gladstone’s Midlothian campaigns and the following general election of 1880 influenced the nature of British party politics as well as the British politicians’ approaches to national elections. On 8 March 1880, the intended dissolution of the second Disraeli Ministry was announced. In that respect, this early dissolution can be assessed as an informal victory of Gladstone and evidence for having the weight of foreign issues on his new cabinet’s political agenda. Following Disraeli’s call for an election, Gladstone started his second Midlothian campaign on 16 March 1880 with a journey to Edinburgh from London. It is logical to analyse the features of the Midlothian as to its essentiality for Gladstone’s role during the Eastern Question. Particularly, the importance of the campaign for this research comes from its speciality following a national awakening. For that reason, it is crucial to examine Gladstone’s political stances throughout the campaign. By the same token, this paper also seeks to find answers to the questions as to what extent did Gladstone refer to his Eastern Question campaign and how can his policy be defined; ‘Political opportunism’ or ‘public trust in a politician’?